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Pussy Grabbers and Ball Busters


In such a climate, sometimes just saying something that would have not gotten traction in an earlier moment can get a man in very hot water. Saturday Night Live did a skit on this with two couples at a restaurant centered on things the men said; by the end of the skit the men were terrified to open their mouths. This struggle can easily devolve into a clash between the ideological camps of feminism and masculinism. Feminism is, itself, a backlash. Now, there's a backlash against that backlash. Until it becomes an out-and-out battle engaged at the extremes where we find the defensive pussy grabbers and the offensive ball busters referred to in the title. The former label, of course, is linked with our current TV celebrity president’s well publicized remark. The ball-busters are women like McGowan and others mentioned in Roiphe’s article, such as the creator of what goes by the name Shitty Media Men list, described as “an anonymously crowd-sourced spreadsheet chronicling sexual misconduct in the publishing world.” You don't want to get on that list, which like a lot of things in this computerized/digital age, can be pure hell to get off if inclusion is unjust. McGowan refers to "shitty men" in the video.

“Twitter, especially, has energized the angry extremes of feminism,” writes Roiphe. “in the same way it has energized Trump and his supporters: the loudest, angriest, most simplifying voices are elevated and rendered normal or mainstream.” She writes of a “sense of great, unmanageable anger” and “an alarming lack of proportion.” She quotes a male friend who feels the “presumptive criminalization of all male sexual initiative.” She cites a “sexual harassment story” in New York magazine's The Cut that hinges on a man sitting too close to a woman in a cab and asking for her phone number. Annoying and obnoxious, probably -- but harassment? A big problem, she writes, is “judging other people before learning (or without bothering to learn) all the facts.” This “invites us to concoct our own opinions and fantasies and speculations based on our own experiences of what someone has done to us, or on our impressions of what men in power do.”

On some level one has to ask how much of the anti-male fury Roiphe cites from extreme feminists at this moment in time can be linked to Hillary Clinton’s unexpected and ignominious loss to a narcissistic sexist abuser who at every turn successfully avoids responsibility or shame for his actions by simply refusing at all to assume even a glimmer of responsibility or shame. As a friend of mine said early on, "The guy has an incredibly thick hide." His disdain for the dignity of women appears to be so great and so unquestioned in his self-worshipping mind that he becomes untouchable -- until the rules of great tragedy play out and he goes down. At least that's the hope. This moment must be especially exasperating for liberal women who fully anticipated a leader in the White House. But because Trump himself is so impenetrable, might some women in "fury" (McGowan's word) take it out on more liberal, more accessible and more vulnerable males -- men who are, like everyone, guilty of something? Roiphe suggests there might be something to this.

story | by Dr. Radut