Guest post by Solveig Lehmann
Everyday feminism wants the women’s liberation movement to be terribly worried by the alleged anti-feminist harm done by little penis jokes.
Once again, they have confused feminism with women spending all our time wondering if our words make men feel bad. No. Men feeling that it’s abusive for women to not be nice enough about their penises is just patriarchy, if not outright men’s rights activism.
Men’s performance of anxious masculinity, especially efforts to publicly overcompensate for insecurity through displays of aggression and dominance, can often be observed to have nothing to do with the actual shape of any part of their bodies. Though it’s certainly centered on the penis, and often phantasmic fears that theirs is too small.
We can know that men obsess over the size of their genitals in particular because they tell us. Oh, how often they tell us. Most women learn to see the particular intensity and quavering fear underlying male genital self-obsession from a mile away. They may even talk instead about honor, or respect, but they’ll make it painfully clear to the women in their immediate vicinity that all these words stand for is a demand that we be considerate of their penis.
It may not be nice to make fun of people, but this article simply encourages men to continue putting their insecurity at the forefront of women’s concerns, and to demand that women be even more reverent and accommodating towards them. This is a perpetuation of patriarchy.
Men constantly complain that any discussion of male oppression of women makes them feel bad. They say that women’s complaints about violence, harassment, and coercion make them feel personally accused. They say they feel bad when we don’t smile or are angry, and give this as a reason why we should play-act happiness for them on command, or sideline our political concerns. Women talk about rape and all many of them can think of to say is, “But, but … my penis didn’t do that. Not all penises rape!”
Yes, yes, you want us to think tenderly of your penises. We heard you the other hundred thousand times. We can see that you still think only of your penis and not your attitude about it.
Men hear women joking about their overweening, obvious, and often childish penile insecurities, and instead of turning on their large brains, they assume we’re actually in agreement with their deepest fears. Then they act out aggressively towards us in retribution, which is what we were talking about in the first place.
Take this man, who beat his ex-girlfriend bloody and broke her nose and eye socket for the alleged crime against his pride of texting other men, and whose main worry right now is self-loathing, as reported by his lawyer. Or consider the famous child sex abuser, Jared Fogle, whose main concern in life is that he has been hard done-by and unfairly depicted as a “monster.” People just haven’t been sensitive enough to the needs of these men’s penises, they seem to think, which would be entirely funny on account of their infantile stupidity, if the consequences weren’t so deadly serious.
Men lash out at women and children and then worry only about their own feelings all the time. They treat women unfairly in the workplace, harass us in the street, physically attack women, take advantage of incapacitated women, or excuse these things and provide cover for abusive men. They will do all of this, and then have the nerve to try to manipulate us into feeling bad for them when their sensitive souls can’t stand the critique of even other men. They work hard to make sure that whenever a woman opens her mouth, she is thinking about how it will make the men around her feel.
The author of the Everyday Feminism article, for example, is so male-feelings-centric that they can’t even stand a joke at Hitler’s expense. So they have written an entire article trying to explain that the male genital ego is apparently an out-of-body nerve network so sensitive that it twitches in agony when you laugh at the dick of a dead genocidal tyrant.
Which women already knew. It’s not that we didn’t know. It’s that we think this is stupid, and that all the attitudes attached to men’s penis worship are used to excuse harm against us. If men would give up this stupidity, women would have almost no reason to laugh at them.
Yet men miss the point over and over. “Respect my penis,” they seem to shout at us, in a multitude of ways, from every direction. It’s as transparent and emotionally unsophisticated as the petulant children they sound like. But they are grown men, and they have made it clear to women and girls that if we refuse to pay homage, retribution will be swift, and they’ll help each other against us to put us back in our place beneath them.
Adding insult to injury, they do this while constantly reinforcing that the most important thing about women is how we look and what shape or size our own bodies are. Though women aren’t allowed to get mad about that. No. Because women’s bodies are for the purpose, in the opinion of people with penises, of penis entertainment.
Though men are so insecure that most of them turn into screaming, tantrum-throwing babies when subjected to even a minute of the sort of body shame to which women are forced to endure every day of our lives. Shaming and mockery that women are expected to accept with a smile, no matter how we feel about it.
Because women aren’t people to most men, and therefore they don’t have to care about our egos, our feelings, our insecurities, our pride, our interests in being seen as valuable for more than our appearances. They don’t have to fear our retribution, so they think this gives them the right to walk all over us and treat us like objects that exist for the sole purpose of humping their egos against.
Men can dish it out, but they can’t take it. What’s anti-feminist is to suggest that women play into this ludicrously thin-skinned self regard, and help even more men miss the point because they can’t see past their bulging egos.
Get over your penises. Especially, stop trying to use them to think with, it only diverts vital oxygen from your brain. Thanks ever so much.