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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » "Learn how to train your girlfriend!"

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Author Topic: "Learn how to train your girlfriend!"
Devourer
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AskMen.com has some articles I admittedly find entertaining mixed in with the blatant sexism against both genders, but this one is just outrageous...

http://www.askmen.com/dating/curtsmith_100/136_dating_advice.html

Next thing ya' know, they'll have "girlfriend leashes" in the review section or something. Often, I try to respect or at least consider other opinions, even if they are far from my own, but this was just too antipodean to even consider. It's sad to think that treating your girlfriend like a companion animal and not a human being is published, even if just on the web. Anyway I hope this is in the right section, it's a publication so perhaps it is safe to say it is media.

What do you think about this?

[ 05-16-2009, 04:16 PM: Message edited by: Devourer ]

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cool87
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No wonder why the article is listed in the single guy's opinion section, it's very not surprising that the author of the article is single, without a girlfriend.

With so much complaints/negative opinions about girls, he's probably better off alone, without a girlfriend anyway. What he's looking for is some kind of animal to dress, not an human being.

[ 05-16-2009, 04:53 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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StrangePudding
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Wow, that is one of the most disgusting things I've ever read.
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orca
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Actually, he might be trying to be absurdist. That is, the writer may be trying to show how stupid/sexist those notions of power struggles in relationships and the typical gender stereotypes shown on TV and talked about in every crappy joke are by turning the person into something that's not even human and then giving advice on "obedience training." Think Swift's An Immodest Proposal. Just a thought. I could be wrong, and he could be just a sexist prick, but given how many stereotypes he engages in (and that really aren't even funny), I just have to wonder if it's not to a certain effect. Also, the fact that as the piece progresses the "girlfriend" becomes less and less human and more dog-like supports this idea.

ETA: Then again, the fact that he's the author of this book kinda refutes my theory.

[ 05-16-2009, 05:57 PM: Message edited by: orca ]

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Devourer
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quote:
Originally posted by cool87:
What he's looking for is some kind of animal to dress, not an human being.

A dog for a girlfriend? I supose PETA would be the one critisizing him instead of feminists.

quote:
Actually, he might be trying to be absurdist.
That never occured to me. Interesting idea... I read a few of his other articles, which are equally misogynistic, so I guess that kind of killed that notion for me before it could even be conceived... It would be interesting if that was true, though. Perhaps he's been pulling a very bad joke all these years. That would be interesting indeed.

[ 05-16-2009, 09:34 PM: Message edited by: Devourer ]

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strumpet
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maybe i'm a lousy feminist, but I actually thought that was pretty funny. stupid, but funny. and let's not kid ourselves here. if ladies did that about a guy, its hilarious. i mean, has anyone read "men are dogs"? read it. it's funny. "porn for women"? yes! it's just as stereotyping and maybe even just as degrading, but its allowed because its women talking about men.
i'm not saying either is right. but we really need to remember that we do the exact same thing all the time and call it "comedy"

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Jill2000Plus
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Actually, a lot of female feminists consider calling men dogs to be very sexist, both in that it's insulting to men and in that it excuses their misogyny on the basis that they can't help it.

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orca
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Just to be clear, Scarleteen is an inclusive site which serves people of all genders and sexes. We do not distinguish between sexism against males, females, or intersex as it is all sexism and thus inappropriate and unacceptable at this site (and definitely not funny). If anyone feels that any group is being attacked, harrassed, marginalized, or stereotyped against, please do report it so we can investigate the matter. Thanks!

(And while there are many different views on feminism, the feminist view held by Scarleteen includes that all people be treated with equity and respect, regardless of gender, sex, race, sexuality, heritage, education, income level, etc.)

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Jill2000Plus
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Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that there aren't also male (pro)feminists who would object, but just to point out that it is not the view of all feminist women, or even necessarily the majority of feminist women that calling men dogs constitutes huge LOLZ, as that seemed to be implied by one of the other posters. Nor am I suggesting that all men are misogynists or that women never are, though I don't think I implied that in my post.

I have now read the article, it's typical MRA nonsense, drawing on all manner of stereotypes about men and women, this man wants a sexual slave, I particularly hate that it pulls out the "women have all the power because of their lady bits that are the entirety of my interest in them, not that me ignoring their bodies as owned by them is me exerting power at all, you feminists are soo mean!" trope. I would never treat anyone, regardless of how much I wanted them in my pants, the way this writer thinks girlfriends should be treated.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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orca
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(Jill, I think what you said was very accurate. What I said wasn't aimed at you at all, but just a general note to everyone participating in the thread. [Smile] )

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Heather
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Strumpet, I also want to add that my own experience is that feminist women (or men) tend to be the LAST people you see "doing the exact same thing," such as the men are dogs stuff, or the "Porn for Women" book.

You tend to see sexism come far more often -- towards anyone -- from people without a solid and acute awareness of sexism, not from people with that awareness or who are working to cultivate that awareness and work against sexism, which is at the heart of nearly all feminist theory.

Personally, as a pretty much lifelong feminist who grew up in the second wave and works really hard against sexism and to advocate for respect, equality and equity for people of all genders, I don't find this sort of thing funny about women nor would I find it funny about men.

quote:
A girlfriend can make a best friend and ideal companion, but like any bitch (female dog, that is), she needs to be taught how to act around the house. So you have to set the ground rules early by enrolling her in your own private obedience school.
Seriously? That's just not funny. It's how people who abuse and degrade women talk all the time: it's how partners who have killed women talk and think, and the kind of things people who earnestly think that way are enabled in by hearing or seeing. It wouldn't be funny to me, again, about men either, but it -- like anything which speaks this way about an already oppressed group -- is particularly noxious given that it enables an existing set of ideas which stand in the way of equality or equity, and is written by a man, for men, about women.

To perhaps better understand that, while if we made this about white people or black people, it'd not be hyuk-hyuk no matter what, you can perhaps see how it would be particularly vile were it about people of color written by whites, no? Or, what if it were about immigrants, written by a citizen? or about poor people, written by a rich person? See what I mean? Again, not really funny either way, but when a member of a group with more rights, liberties and power writes stuff like this -- and for their own group, no less -- about a group they oppress, a tome all about how funny or needed oppression or abusive behavior are? Yipes.

So, I do think it's apt, without getting too much in your face, to consider that if sexism of any kind seems hilarious and not something serious, that indeed, perhaps you're not so much a "bad" feminist, but perhaps misunderstanding feminism or identifying yourself as feminist without either really feeling or understanding what that is. Again, I don't say that with any kind of accusation, but because part of feminism as a tradition does tend to involve constantly evaluating these things and taking a good look at our own thoughts, ethics, ideas and reactions to things, and finding our own internalized sexism, which we all are likely to have at least some of, and may be why we might laugh at something which is pretty clearly uncomedic.

[ 05-17-2009, 07:42 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Jill2000Plus
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In addition to the sexism of the advice given, they used the B-word, they may have tried to dress it up with the notion that they were talking about female dogs, but they clearly intended it to be aimed at female homo sapiens (I'm disturbed that the word "homo" is recognized on it's own but the word "sapiens" isn't, I'm aware that insults are still words, though I guess maybe it's recognized as the root of homogenous and so on but they should also find a place for a latin term so commonplace as to effectively be a loan word, it's not like the latin names for all the flower species or anything).

Also, it isn't funny when somebody heterosexual writes this kind of stuff about homo/bisexuals, or when somebody cisgendered writes this kind of stuff about transgendered individuals.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Nephology
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I don't know what you guys are freaking out over. I am super impressed that someone with such a low-grade of intelligence can use a word processor and a computer at all. Men's Health is rather revolutionary in that aspect- it's the first article published by a dog! And such a smart dog too- he must have been up for hours studying the Chick Tracks and Mein Kamph to come up with that particularly machismo piece of propaganda. His girlfriend and owner must be very proud, bless his little heart for trying to impress her. Maybe if we're lucky, he'll even learn to go on the paper next week.

</satire>

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