It’s a Dicey Subject

by Little Miss Attila on October 15, 2010

. . . but to some degree Tommy Christopher (who may be a sparring partner to many on my “side,” but has been a crucial defender of conservative women when the chips were down) is right: gender-baiting is usually in bad taste.

To some degree, it can’t be avoided, since we live in a male-dominated society, and all have to “man up” in some way at some point in our lives. (That’s certainly not a new concept.)

But women in pubic life should try to avoid the appearance that they are trying to have it both ways, and ought to select their terms carefully (e.g., rather than insulting someone’s manhood—almost always dirty pool—they might suggest that the man “grow a spine,” which is a gender-neutral construction).

It is a more powerful and awful thing for a woman to insult a man’s masculinity than for a man to insult a woman’s femininity. In this day and age, we allow females their masculine side more than we allow males their feminine side. Both types of gender-baiting are low, but for a woman to do it to a man is lower: it’s the rhetorical equivalent of a large man punching a smaller woman when self-defense (or defense of another) is not a consideration.

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The Anchoress | A First Things Blog
October 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

I R A Darth Aggie October 17, 2010 at 8:32 am

It really takes breast to say that…


Texan99 October 18, 2010 at 6:10 am

The only time I’d consider insulting a man’s sexuality would be to distract him while I grabbed for the gun to shoot and kill him. Strictly off-limits otherwise.

By the same token, I find it terrifically offensive for a man to insult another man in my presence by attributing feminine characteristics to him (“he’s so cowardly he might as well wear a skirt”). I’ve rarely encountered any man who understands why this should be offensive. For me, it’s about like insulting a Caucasian co-worker, in front of an Asian, by saying, “You’re as dumb as a Chink!”


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