SC State Senator Tom Corbin, who got more than a little sexist in his recent engagement with colleague, State Senator Katrina Shealy, a fellow Republican, who he suggested was just years away from barefoot, and whose umbrage was deflected by pointing out that Eve was taken out of the rib of Adam--and was thus a lesser cut of meat.
I'm going to allow that he thought this would be taken with a grain of humor. But a lot of women can't take that humorously because the implication is that women shouldn't be heard because we are somehow not as good and that men are only suffering us to appear wherever we happen to be visible. What we say can be safely ignored, because who are we to insist on any authority? And if men are good enough to let us sometimes vote or hold property or offices, should we not return the favor by listening to them and letting them have their way because of their beneficence?
Regular commenter Formerly Amherst made the great point regarding the debate of theism vs atheism that a lot of the debate between even fairly educated atheists or theists like Hitchens and D'Souza existed at the 101 level of apologetics and religious criticism. Point taken--a lot of people don't engage with either their faith or lack thereof on the same level as people who have made a special inquiry into the field of theology or comparative religion. And I would add, in interpersonal relations, one of the damaging things that causes people to be wholly at odds is that many regular people have no grasp, at all, of Feminism 101.
Feminism has become a dirty word in some circles because we're looked at as the main driver of all the "PC" stuff--I think that's why Rash Lumbago has his whole "feminazi" spiel, I mean, apart from his actual open naked misogyny. To me, feminism is transparently positive--it's about women being treated as people, openly and equally and with all the same rights and expectations as men. But having to argue that women are not barefoot emotional savages is straight out of Mary Wollstonecraft. I mean, you have to go back 200 years to find the pushback against this kind of thinking--so why does it still exist in "alleged" joke form?
I guess my question would have to be--is State Senator Corbin acting on the 101, literalist level of the Biblical interpretation of womankind's place in which she is denied "headship" over men, in actual fact? Or is he just being a jackass? In any event, how is he preserving a fossil of how women are viewed that is two centuries out of step with how far we have come?
And I don't pretend I know the answer to that. And I suspect he wouldn't be able to elaborate, either, because he's never actually checked his privilege, or because a joke that needs to be explained isn't actually funny.
Which sort of takes me to another interesting use of language--a call for the repeal of the ACA with "manly firmness". "Manly firmness"--meaning being in favor of the ACA is "unmanly" which is womanly, which is, ahem, again, less-than? Because being manly is a virtue, and womanliness isn't? Because there is a stereotype of males being hardened against aiding the weak, but women are supposed knee-jerk nurturers, which makes our (alleged) instincts to serve others "lesser" and unsuitable?
(Leaving out the advanced feminist course in how this whole exercise is absurdly gender-reductionist--but seriously: "barefoot" and "manly"? Can working politicians be that ignorant of how to not use speech? This isn't even PC--just common sense. But retrograde notions of "a woman's place" are revealed in language used by lawmakers all the time.)