I almost flipped tables over today. Not because of my French midterm or my low bank accounts. Not even because I haven’t felt truly awake in a really long time.
But because a handful of humans continue to beat against the walls of my “everyone is good” heart.
A blog post by Matt Forney called The Case Against Female Self-Esteem has been circulating widely on my Facebook, and probably on yours too. I encourage you to go read it. Warning: you will be fuming afterwards. I gave myself a stress headache and a racing heart. If you don’t want to infuriate yourself, I’ll give you a play-by-play.
Forney states that women should be insecure, that female confidence is a plague on our nation. He gives a three-part argument:
- “Most girls have done nothing to deserve self-esteem.”
- “Insecurity is integral to femininity.”
- “Women don’t want self-esteem.”
As if the subheads weren’t already infuriating, it only gets worse.
- “A woman with excessive confidence is like a man with a vagina. It’s an attribute that is at best superfluous and at worst prevents women from fulfilling their natural biological and social functions.”
- “If girls want to play in our world, they’ll have to obey our rules. Otherwise, they know where the kitchen is.”
- “Confidence doesn’t give men erections; vulnerability does.”
- “Sorry, but homie don’t play that game. If I’m not the center of a girl’s world, I’m not going to be in her world period.”
- “So-called confident women are as threatening as a pile of dog turds. Sure, you can scrape them off your boots when you get home, but it’s better to not step in dog shit to begin with.”
- “Why do you think the average urban slut machine is downing enough Prozac to poison the water supply?”
The worst thing is the last paragraph.
At the end of the day, there are no Strong, Independent Women™. There are only shrews pleading for a taming. All the posturing, the pill-popping, the whining and demands for “equality”; they’re a cry for help. Girls don’t want the six-figure cubicle job, the shiny Brooklyn 2BR, the master’s degree, the sexual liberation, none of it. They want to becollectively led back to the kitchen, told to make a nice big tuna sandwich with extra mayo and lettuce, then swatted on the ass as we walk out the door.
I say we give them what they want.
Okay. The cordial, “don’t-get-too-loud-about-you-feelings” gloves are coming off… ARE YOU KIDDING ME. ARE YOU JOKING. IS THIS REAL.
The idea that there is a person out there who can, in good consciousness, type and publish a piece like this is horrifying to me. An even bigger problem is that it’s not only Forney who holds these views: Commenters are voicing agreement from the void of the Internet. Women, even, are nodding their anonymous heads, telling Forney how attractive they find him, how they want to sleep with him, make him happy.
It doesn’t end there either. Forney has posted other inflammatory posts, such as “Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve To Be Love.” This posts hits especially close to home, as an overweight woman, and I was nearly naseous when he referred to overweight and obese women as “warpigs,” “cows,” “sluts” and “vermin.” This post includes quotes just as choice as the piece on insecurity:
“Women, regardless of size, crave one thing above all else: attention. Starve the heifers of it. Don’t speak to them if you don’t have to and don’t acknowledge their existence. Treat them like you would treat a child molester or a card-carrying Nazi. This includes your family; if your sisters, cousins or aunts insist on being losers, treat them like losers.”
I don’t understand. I don’t understand. I don’t understand. I want to believe that people are good underneath all of our pettiness and wacky behavior. I want to believe there is a golden streak through the heart of every human, that wants to bring good into the world. I want to believe.
And then people like Forney and his followers open their Internet mouths and destroy that hope.
I know the people I surround myself with in my personal life are not the types to ever read a Forney post without screaming at the feminist goddesses, asking why a few ignorant men insist on ruining the reputations of good men everywhere.
For all of the goodness of my family and friends, and their sincere desire for me to succeed, there are people (with Internet connections and blogs) who think I am worth nothing if I am not cowering in a corner, waiting for a man’s approval.
How do we move on from here? How do I move past the fact that there is a group (not an individual, but a group) that thinks it’s okay to call me a vermin? That my career aspirations and educational pursuits are all fluff? That my place is in the kitchen not because I make really delicious oven-roasted veggies or turkey chili, but because that is all my tiny female brain can handle?
One of these days, I won’t get upset by the toxic words of others. I will do what I can to educate and forgive those who have spoken out of hate or naïveté, but I won’t let the negativity of others impact my life. I will live with respect and compassion, and do my best to be light in the lives of others.
Not today. Today, I am angry.
(note: I wish I had a solution to offer you, dear readers. But I am simply fuming and needed to get this post out of my system.)