A letter to the New York Times from a “justifiably angry feminist”:
How do I deal with my anger toward men? I go to therapy, I’m on anti-depressants and I’m trying to practice self-care. But I’m still angry. I don’t think it’s unwarranted.
You sound like a lunatic, but let’s see where this goes.
I’ve been sexually assaulted at least twice. We live in a time where women have more rights than ever, but our president is an alleged sexual predator.
If your chief concern, having been sexually assaulted twice, is Donald Trump’s womanising then you have issues which I suspect the New York Times cannot address.
Men are socialized to be condescending toward women, and even the few who check themselves often fail.
As is often the case with feminists, I suspect this says more about how the men she chooses to hang out with treat her than about men and women in general.
The only way to tell if a man is a sexual assaulter is to say no, and once you’re in that position, it’s too late.
Yes, there is absolutely no method of gauging a man’s character before a sexual assault occurs. At this point I’m wondering if women choose to become feminists, or they simply end up that way. It seems to take a certain lack of understanding of how people behave, leaving them hopelessly unable to deal with the simplest of societal interactions.
I have male friends who care about me — some who’ve even been sexually assaulted themselves — but they still don’t understand my pain.
Perhaps they tried, but you started going on about Donald Trump and lost focus?
In my observation, there are elements of sexism in even the healthiest relationships, and that makes me angry.
Are you angry at other people’s healthy relationships, or the fact you’re unable to have one of your own (with or without sexism)?
I don’t want to be emotionally unavailable to the entire sex that I am attracted to. How am I supposed to find a life partner if I can’t even find many men who treat women like equals?
My advice is to do a Google search for “single men seeking train wrecks”, but that’s just me. Let’s take a look at what the NYT offers instead:
You have every right to be angry with men who have harmed you, in word or deed. No man can understand how it feels to grow up female in this culture, especially not an affluent white man like myself.
Erm mate…you’re supposed to be giving the advice this week, not seeking it.
Having said that, your essential beef here really isn’t with men, individually or as a population. It’s with patriarchal thought and behavior, those monstrous forms of privilege by which men control women. The deeper question we need to reckon with is why boys and men are socialized to derive their self-worth from the denigration and domination of women. The symptoms of this mindset — discrimination, abusive behavior, rape — are infuriating. But beneath this rage lurks a deep sorrow that belongs to all of us.
Oh well done. You’ve only just gone and validated her self-destructive, delusional behavior. Can the next person do any better? Alas, no:
Your rage is justified, Angry Feminist. I won’t list all the reasons why because you already did that quite well. We both know the list of injustices goes on. It stretches around the globe and dates back through all time.
What’s the betting the woman’s therapist told her something similar? It would explain why it hasn’t worked. It also guarantees repeat visits.
I know your most immediate fury is rooted in the specific problem you have in your own life — the question of how you can love (or even find) a man when so many have wronged or disappointed you.
Hang out with better men? Look at your own behaviour? Hire a better therapist?
The reasons you cite for your anger — the high incidence of sexual assault, the misogyny of our president and the nation that elected him, the sexism that even enlightened men (and women) enact — aren’t topics being discussed on the margins anymore.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that virtue-signaling over Trump will not help this woman find a partner with whom she can enjoy a healthy, stable relationship.
And many of our most powerful institutions and assumptions about men and woman are being rocked, if not yet toppled, by that discussion. Take heart in that.
Never mind that you’re insane, paranoid, and unable to have a functional relationship; take heart in the fact that people are creating a moral panic to further their political objectives. Onto the next guru:
Abusive men are beginning to be held to account, which is to say: Women are being believed. But there’s still a vast segment of our population that refuses to confront the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault. They’ve chosen, instead, to normalize and even lionize cruel and predatory behavior.
Are we talking about the Clintons?
Men are indoctrinated to associate power with predation, and women with seduction and submission.
This paradigm, epitomized in the simulated pleasure of hetero-normative pornography, will only begin to diminish in force as we reject the dishonesty of a sexual discourse founded on misogynistic myths.
A deeply disturbed woman writes to the NYT asking for help, and instead gets an unsolicited glimpse into some bloke’s porn habits. Next!
I can’t predict if you’ll ever find a man who treats you like an equal, but I can say you’re more likely to find one if you seek love from a place of personal power rather than desolation.
This could be as small as speaking up rather than remaining silent when you observe sexism
That’ll land her a man for sure.
or as big as getting involved with an organization or cause whose mission is gender equity (and you might even meet some good guys there).
Oh dear Lord. What’s the betting the two sexual assaults she experienced were at the hands of men who quoted chapter and verse from the bible of gender equity? Can the last contributor provide something that might help? It’s not looking good:
Anger is a proper response to injustice. But so is empowerment, as Cheryl suggests. Place your faith in the feminist philosopher bell hooks. “Love cannot exist in any relationship that is based on domination and coercion,” she observes. “A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving.”
Erm, I don’t mean to be overly cynical but this person you’re supposed to be helping has already said she needs a relationship in which she is treated as an equal. Your telling her what she already knows, wrapped up pretentiously in a quote, suggests you’ve not even read her letter properly.
Any man worth your time will recognize this, and will come to see that the forces seeking to control women seek to control him, too.
So any man worth her time will subscribe to the warblings of a feminist philosopher? Good luck with that.
But there are men in this world capable of owning their self-doubt rather than turning it against women. You deserve such a man. We all do.
And there are women in this world capable of owning their self-doubt rather than turning it against men. They’re the ones who married the sort of guy you’re looking for.
Conclusion: if you’re a crazed feminist angry at the world, hopelessly single, and probably insane don’t turn to the New York Times for advice.