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The Book of Laughter and Castration

Some gals are afraid that people are going to laugh at them.
Actually, some gals are afraid that people are going to laugh at them.

Listening in on conversations amongst Men’s Rights Activists is often like taking a brief journey into an alternate universe, where cats are dogs and water is dry and men are the most oppressed creatures on planet earth.

Over in the Men’s Rights subreddit the other day, some of the regulars seem to have just discovered a famous feminist quotation, a paraphrase of something Margaret Atwood once wrote:

Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.

A number of the Men’s Rights Redditors were indignant that anyone could possibly suggest that women have more to fear from men than the other way around. And so, collectively, they came up with a rebuttal of sorts.

OneBigCosmicHorror began by suggesting that the real fear men have of women is much more primal:

OneBigCosmicHorror 17 points 6 days ago  I don't know who first said this, but that person is obviously an idiot. The biggest male fear is not a fear that women will laugh at us. Fear of castration will always be the most primal male-specific fear.

Ah, but isn’t being laughed at basically the same as castration?

indigoanasazi 2 points 6 days ago  Being laughed at is -social- castration.

Indigoanasazi explained:

indigoanasazi 3 points 6 days ago  Well, it's more like...the psychological fear of castration is a fear of loss of social status.  After all, women are afforded social status by default due to their value to society as childbearers.  Men have to compete to gain any status, so when approaching a woman, there is a risk of status loss.  The fear of castration is a metaphor for male status. Men have to fight to be considered men. And it can be lost and taken away by something as trivial as a woman spreading rumors or humiliating you.

Oh, you silly ladies with your fears of being killed by men. We men face an even greater peril — the ever-present threat of laugh-castration!





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Steven Dutch
Steven Dutch
6 years ago

White equals light equals pale equals faint equals dim equals dark equals black. Therefore, white equals black. QED

Being ridiculed equals loss of status equals social castration equals actual castration. So being ridiculed equals literal castration. QED

GrumpyOldMan: “I just wish I could walk in other peoples shoes.” Years ago I was teamed up with a guy to install surveyors’ bench marks. Rather than fight our way back through thick brush, we decided to just drop down to the road. On the way down, he got blisters on his feet, and my boots fell apart. So I took his boots and hiked back to our vehicle. So there is one person of whom I can say I walked a mile in his shoes. Five miles, actually.

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