Tripping Over Dr. Laura
I try to be positive. I try to look at the good happening in my life and in the world. If there are things that aren’t going well, I try to figure out how to fix them. If someone is unhappy (including me), I try to find solutions to whatever difficulties are in the mix. I don’t watch the network news. I listen to NPR, which keeps me informed without feeding me flaming rhetoric. I do my best to avoid negative people, negative situations and drama. And for the most part, I succeed.
Last night, however, a link to Dr. Laura’s blog showed up on my Facebook feed, with the poster’s comment that she is “right on the money” concerning relationships between men and women. Even though I know better, even though I know she is amazingly negative, I clicked through. And tripped over and fell into a blog entry so full of vitriol, I am still upset and shaken this morning. Hyperbole, you’re thinking. Please remember that I’ve been fairly successful at insulating myself from negative people and situations. So successful, in fact, that it seems I have little immunity to general hatefulness and deliberate offense.
In her response to an op-ed piece in Slate on-line, entitled “Sex is Cheap: Why Young Men Have the Upper Hand in Bed, Even When They’re Failing in Life,” she posits that the failure of men in our society is directly attributable to female promiscuity. Since every woman is ready to “put out”, men have nothing to strive for in order to obtain ready sex with socially desirable partners.
When I started writing this, I thought about using quotes from her blog post and rebutting, but as I look through it, it’s all offensive, I don’t want to post any of it here, and I would have to try to find reasonable responses to words that were mostly chosen to inflame and offend. I just can’t bring myself to do it. So, if you really want to read it, here it is.
What I initially found most offensive about this piece is that it reduces the relationship between a man and a woman to that of a sexual war. A woman must hold the front lines against a man’s unrelenting assault at all costs, until a favorable treaty (i.e. marriage) can be negotiated. This also means that a woman’s sexuality is the only asset she has to bring to the negotiation. If she decides that she does not want her sexuality to be held in reserve and used only as trump card in the treaty process, then she is an “unpaid whore” who isn’t even getting good recompense for the only thing of value she holds. Oh, and she is also contributing to the downfall of civilization.
As I was falling asleep last night, I wondered how such an intelligent, articulate woman (and she is intelligent and articulate, which makes her opinions all that much more baffling to me) could also be such an amazing misogynist. As I awoke this morning, however, the flip side of her argument dawned on me. If women (and their controlled sexual urges) are the only guard against our society’s downfall, what place does that leave men? They must be mere homonculo-penises, capable of being motivated only by the prospect of eventually attaining exclusive sexual rights claim on the body of a respectable “nice-girl”. And if you give a donkey the carrot early, he won’t have any motivation at all, right?
That’s when I realized that Dr. Laura is not merely a misogynist, but a full-blown misanthrope. How very sad for her to have to live in the hateful world she has created for herself. I’m really glad I don’t have to live there, too.