Roger Ebert recently wrote a well-intentioned but misguided faux-feminist blog post setting forth the thesis that “Women are better than men.” Here’s the gist of it, from his opening paragraph:
Women are nicer than men. There are exceptions. Most people of both sexes are probably fairly nice, given the nature of their upbringing and opportunities. But in terms of their lifelong natures, women are kinder, more empathetic, more generous. And the sooner more of them take positions of power, the better our chances as a species.
Here’s how to respond appropriately to this sort of argument, courtesy of Jill at Feministe:
I love me some Roger Ebert, but this is a big piece of crap. His point basically comes down to, “Women are nurturing and wonderful and non-violent, men are competitive and want to see boobs, because Evolution.” … Most people are capable of great kindness; most people are capable of being total assholes. The degree to which any of us displays any of these traits depends largely on circumstance and partly on individual personality and temperament. Those things are certainly influenced by gender, but our gender does not in fact hard-wire us to be nice or awful.
Here’s how to respond inappropriately to this sort of argument, courtesy of John the Other at A Voice for Men:
[Y]es, it’s another one of those articles. Men are bad, women are good, men are worse, women are better, men are the worst thing ever, and women are just the best, squee!!! …
Ebert, in his attempt to ingratiate himself to a mostly female audience has done what countless other approval seeking men have done. Simply, to metaphorically prostrate himself – declaring – look, I’m a good man, not like those other bad men, you see how I heap scorn on them and flatter you? Approve of me!…
Ebert’s male-abasing and false esteem is a tired and monotonous repetition of standard gender ideology.
Sing along with me, you all know the words!
Women are better then men!
Boom boom boom!
They do everything better than them!
Boom boom boom!
Ladies are generally nicer!
Quack quack quack!
Their thoughts and feelings are higher!
Quack quack quack!
Girls and women are smarter!
Bing! Bang! Smash!
To keep up, men must try harder!
Clang! Bang! Bash!
Well, there’s a thoughtful argument.
Naturally, the commenters at AVfM are happy to join in the fun.
Shrek6 trots out the old “we hunted the mammoth” argument:
[E]verything on this earth from the knickers these women wear on their fat buts, all the way through to just about every single thing they touch in their day, up to and including homes, buildings, cars, trains, rockets, and the food they stuff down their throats, has all been either invented or produced by those useless ‘less than’ human, men. What a waste of space those men are!
Yep, I can feel a man strike coming on.
If all the men and boys in this world pulled the pin and sat on their buts for a month, the world would come to a grinding halt and anarchy would reign. All the women would be seen crying, screeching at men with gnashing teeth. Then they would eventually come begging.
Yep, that day is coming to these over indulged women. That day is coming!
Andybob, meanwhile, offers this analysis of what he sees as the gender enemy:
There are four main categories of women:
1) Women who care about the men in their lives, but never make the connection that their naked misandry contributes to the misery of these men. Most of those women who whooped and cackled when RegisterHer lifer, Sharon Osborne, expressed delight when an innocent man was genitally mutilated belong in this category. They would not have cackled quite so much if someone had brutalised their sons. Other women’s sons? No problem. It has ever been thus: white feather campaign in WWI.
2) Women who may pay lip service to caring about the men in their lives, but in reality, see them in the same way they see all other men – as utility objects to be manipulated and exploited. Such women don’t think of the men in their lives at all, except when they want something from them.
3) Feminists. These range from the mild (man-hating bigots), to the radical (man-hating bigots who advocate genocide and eugenics).
4) Women MRAs. These are rare women (I’ve never seen one, even in captivity), who regard men as actual people with collective and innate value. I can count them on two hands with fingers to spare.
Men have been struggling for many decades now with nary a peep from women. There is a reason for this.
They don’t care.
Feminism has provided today’s pampered princesses with the privilege-stuffed, consequence-free Nirvana that they believe they’re entitled to. Do you really think they can be swayed with reason and logic? Have you ever tried to discuss men’s rights with women? They will show concern for some imaginary, hypothetical female from some Third World country before they give two shits about the son, brother or friend standing in front of them. …
We are in a battle against a powerful, well-financed and establishment-supported entity which has succeeded in stealing our rights in every sphere. This has been done with the silent collusion of vast numbers of women. As such, a few “derogatory remarks” are the least they deserve.
Guys, I hate to have to tell you this, but you’re sort of making it look like Ebert might have a point.
Happily, I know that you all are statistical outliers, and that your raving misogyny (while it may reflect views common amongst AVFM readers, as evidenced by the upvotes those comments got) doesn’t reflect the views of most men. Heck, even some Men’s Rights Redditors are getting sick of your bullshit.