Feminism

I Apologize for Dehumanizing Hysterical Shrews

Inevitably, if a new user attempts to post a new comment on a Skepchick article from 15 months ago, it’s going to be unintentionally hilarious. And so I give you the following screed, posted in response to this article about a Redditor claiming to be a man who had sex with an “evil whore” who pulled the condom out of the trash and right then and there injected the sperm into her vagina with a turkey baster. In my post, I point out that a story like that can only be believed if you believe that women as a whole are “hysterical shrews driven to birth children regardless of where the sperm comes from.”

One brave sir recognized the injustice to women in that post. Specifically, he and only he saw my comment as being an appalling example of someone dehumanizing evil whores. Sorry, I mean “women.” He wrote:

“Women aren’t hysterical shrews driven to birth children regardless of where the sperm comes from. We’re not Loki, planning great Rube Goldbergian machinations to enslave men into becoming hapless fathers who will pay us a grand sum each month for the rest of our lives. That obviously is not a common occurrence.”

You know, when you deny women this kind of thing, you deny them their humanity. I’m absolutely serious. Do you deny that human beings as a whole are capable of insane, irrational, petty evil? Not all people, but some extreme examples now and then? If you believe a man is capable of wanting sex so badly he’d forcibly take it from a woman, not caring about her trama or the consequences to herself, then why are you unable to believe a woman could want a baby that much?

If the story was fake, call it fake. If it has inconsistences, point out the inconsistencies. But when you say it’s *obviously* fake because no woman would ever do such a thing, you are dehumanizing women. You are making them Mary Sues. Incapable of the full depth of human behavior; including the ugliest parts. Just because you would never do such a thing, or anyone else you know, is not proof it can’t happen. No one I know is a cannibal either but I don’t deny the existence of cannibalism entirely because of my own perceptions.

I apologize profusely for suggesting that it’s not common that women behave like cunning trickster gods bent on deceiving men into fatherhood. Clearly I have denied women the full breadth of human experience, and for that I am sorry, you evil whores, you.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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17 Comments

  1. But the guy wasn’t saying that women in general are like that, just that women aren’t immune from all the evil and stupid stuff that people get up to. Saying “it’s plausible that an individual woman might do that” is not a broad statement that “women are hysterical baby-happy shrews.”

    Yes, it would be odd and vindictive behavior, and I’ve never heard of it actually happening, but people do sick shit all the time, so yeah, I could buy it. Shitty human behavior is ALWAYS plausible.

    1. Except for the fact that what Rebecca was talking about in the original post (did you read it?) was how MRAs have this mythology about women as a group that they will steal their sperm to make babies because they’re all hysterical baby-making machines that will do ANYTHING to get a man’s sperm.

      This is about an MRA trope that this guy is trying to defend with an appeal to…I don’t know? Human nature? All people are capable of stupid and/or evil things, therefore…this trope might be true? Something like that. It overlooks what Rebecca was actually talking about to try to make a point, which as far as I can tell can be summarized as “nuh uh!”

  2. I know that language is an dynamic thing, always changing, and I’m totally cool with that. BUT MARY SUE?! Because the only alternative to thoughtlessly accepting that any random woman is just waiting for her chance with a turkey baster (and let’s not even get into the lack of understanding of how basters physically work required to buy into the original story) is turning every single woman into a wish-fulfillment projection of the author, leaping to solve impossible plot dilemmas single-handedly and making everyone fall in love with her by the sheer force of her wonderfulness? I think we need a new fallacy name, because false dilemma just isn’t going to cut it on this one.

        1. Hysterical Shrew stuck in a link, so maybe it’s easier to click to. (I’ll see when I post the comment.)

          This shrew may in fact be a professional comedian, since it is wearing a tiny wireless headset complete with boom mike. I bet its jokes are hilarious, just wish there was a soundtrack.

  3. My favorite part was when he compared rape (and I think it’s frequency?) to “stole sperm out of a used condom” while making rape a crime about wanting sex. As if something experienced by one in five women is as difficult to imagine as a women fishing viable sperm out of the trash. I’d find it funny if it weren’t so terribly sad.

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