Creeping misogyny. Like the phrase; hate the concept.
Seriously, though--it exists. Little things. For a start, the tempest in a teapot in the Skeptic/Atheist community. A woman who speaks out and blogs about skepticism, atheism and feminism, mentioned on her blog that a man who had recently heard her speak at a convention found himself alone in an elevator with her, and asked her up to his room for coffee. She pointed out that she found that to be a bit creepy, and requested (politely) that men refrain from doing that. All of a sudden, one of the world's leading (male) atheists castigated her for her comments! The gist of his argument was that there are women being badly treated all over...many of them treated much worse than being on the receiving end of a come-on in an elevator, and she should just shut up and not sweat the small shit. The man ignores the fact that little things become larger if not nipped in the bud.
As well, I've been hearing men (I should say, overhearing men) complaining about what they see as excessive body hair on women. Hey, guys. I got news. Grown women have hair. Many of us remove some of it. Armpits, for instance, and lower legs. Some try a lot harder and take it off our upper legs. Most of us have known the horror of having to shave what is euphemistically called "the bikini area," so that there isn't pubic hair hanging out of our swimsuits. There are four OTC ways to remove hair. Razors, tweezers, wax and depilatory creams. Razors are my weapon of choice in the constant war on hair. The downside? Shaving can hurt. The hair grows back fast, and with nasty sharp ends that can become ingrown and infected and painful. I had a friend once advise me to tweeze out my leg hairs. Dearly Beloved, tweezers are good for eyebrows and those occasional chin hairs, but leg hair removal by that method would be a full-time job! Many women use wax. Wax is not like candle wax...it's more like resin. You apply it warm (hot), let it cool some and rip it off. It pulls the hair out by the roots. It hurts. A lot. Especially in sensitive areas. The hair grows back more slowly, and it's new hair, without the sharply cut ends left by shaving, but it hurts a lot. Depilatory creams burn. Think about it. A chemical strong enough to dissolve hair is going to wreak havoc with your skin. I've used depilatories, and the results are like a second degree sunburn. Guys, if a woman is willing to go through all that for your delectation, consider it a gift but don't take it for granted and expect it as the norm. I repeat--grown women have hair. This is a little thing, in the Grand Scheme of Things, but when men expect real live women to emulate the airbrushed pictures in magazines, we have a problem. Not to mention that the removal of pubic hair allows a woman to appear more like a little girl. Don't you think that's just a little bit...well...creepy?
Then, there is the ubiquitous War on Women. Women's health services are being cut. Masectomies are practically outpatient surgery, these days. Planned Parenthood, relied on by millions of poor women, is being de-funded. Pharmacists are permitted to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control if their religion forbids it. Rape is being redefined to exclude statutory rape, or date rape. "If you're not all beat up, you haven't been raped," seems to be the new standard.
I know this post seems to be sweating the small shit and just skimming the serious stuff. True. That's the way I feel this morning.
We need to stand up and fight for our rights, again. Still. Forever.