Thursday, April 14, 2011

Misogyny

If we are to assume that misogyny is a hereditary trait, how does this continue? Who honestly, HONESTLY would consent to allowing a man with so little respect for her gender ANYWHERE NEAR those parts that make her unarguably female??

This afternoon, I dropped my car off to get my oil changed and took a little jog. I brought nothing with me but a water bottle, and then nervously stopped in every business I passed to check the time. After a 20-or-so minute loop, I returned to Mavis to find my car hadn't been brought in the garage yet. I resigned myself to sit in the waiting room and watch the TV, which an older man also waiting had turned to Seinfeld. After Seinfeld, my car hadn't been brought in yet, so I watched the Simpsons too. I did my best to try to ignore the man and the woman (who appeared to be in their late 50s) also waiting and quietly having an argument that sounded like they were breaking up. At one point they started fighting about who of them would know something more. The guy said: "I know, because I'm a man."

WHAT.

My face contorted into a look of incredulity and I tried my best to not make eye contact or acknowledge that I had been listening, but I briefly caught the woman's gaze, so she clearly knew how I felt about the situation.

The episode of the Simpsons was a rather good one, and one I'd never seen before. It featured Homer and Marge discussing their pre-married life in the 90s. (hilarious as didn't the show start in the 90s?) Marge goes to college, paid for by Homer, and she falls for her radical professor who talks a lot about the oppressive force of the white male. Marge and Homer split up, Marge briefly has a thing with the professor which ends sharply when the professor shows his true colors by saying "oh Marge, it's statements like that that make people say women are stupid."

What a relevant episode to be playing in the background of these shenanigans.

At one point this man pulls a number out of his wallet, for effect. Apparently some other woman had given it to him. He rips it up as a show that he doesn't even care about that, but if this is true, why did he keep it in the first place?

(I suppose this was because he later accused her of making him feel undesirable, and perhaps he wanted to save it for just such an opportunity, but still -- I don't understand why she was wasting her time with such a misogynistic a-hole.)

The Simpsons ends and Family Guy comes on. I walk up to the counter to see if I should bring my car back in tomorrow -- they hadn't even pulled it into the garage yet and I would be glad to have an excuse to leave. They tell me that won't be necessary as they were just moments away from servicing my car.

All the while this couple is arguing, the woman keeps shushing the man, who occasionally quiets down and always gives her sass about it. At the point where I've been sitting with them for about an hour, the woman turns to me and asks me if I can hear the TV okay.

This is in no way about volume. I had already taken the remote control to flip the channel and check the time. If I couldn't hear, I could certainly turn the TV up.

I turn to them and admit that they *have* made me feel a bit awkward, and the woman apologizes to me, and I tell her that, no, *I* am sorry.

The man begins to yell at her about bringing the argument into the public and yell at her for the very basis of her apology to me, and I tell him that I was a bit baffled at his misogynistic comment about men knowing everything, telling him I'm surprised that such men could even reproduce, when such an act requires a woman.

Sometimes I run my mouth off.

At this point he starts berating me for even talking to them and simultaneously begins defending his side of the fight to me [telling me that she is 61 and told him she was going to fellate every guy in the bar -- which she defended as saying that was because she was hot headed because he had slept with someone else] while berating me for saying anything to him [I wanted nothing to do with this but I didn't really have a choice] it is a public place, and also telling me that it's men like him [misogynists] who produce women like me [feminists]. Yep. He called me a feminist. No. He did not mean it as a compliment.

[My dad, while not the most outspokenly liberal guy, is certainly not a misogynist as I'm pretty sure he couldn't function without my mom and also, she clearly wears the pants in the family.]

I don't remember why, but he went outside for a bit, and I ended up talking to her for that time. We apologized to each other and I recounted for her the things that I overheard that had outraged me. I told her I didn't know why she put up with his bullsh--. She told me what drives her crazy is he won't take responsibility for his own actions.

He soon comes back inside and yells at her some more, "oh, you've made a new little friend?" turning to me and telling me that she wants to have a lesbian encounter. "It's true, she really does." I tell him that I don't think that's really related at all to what's going on. I start scowling into space and he starts yelling at her for always talking to everyone. "I just like PEOPLE!" she defends.

I walk into the garage to see how much longer it'll take for my car, explaining both that I have to go to work and also about the couple making me uncomfortable. When I go back into the waiting room, one of them suggests they take their arguement outside. "So we don't offend little Miss Sensitive ears!" the man calls out mockingly.

"SORRY for being HUMAN!" I respond.

I mean, really.

3 comments:

tara said...

woah, i can't even believe it! holy cow. are you okay? geez whiz.


ps. i like your labels on this post.

Eric said...

If this was the Mavis in Troy, the take-away from this is don't go to that Mavis. Seriously, every experience I've ever had in that place has been terrible, and it's the same with a handful of others I know who've been there.

Sarah said...

Whoa, I have to admit even though the situation made you uncomfortable I doubt you'll ever forget it. It's a great story and I'm just glad you're the witness and not the married woman. That guy is absolute scum and I hope this woman eventually wises up and gets rid of his abusive arse. In the meantime though, you probably learnt something you can store away in your art. What a bastard.