Friday, August 5, 2016

As the Mother of a Son Who Has Been Manipulated and Subverted at Every Turn By a Powerful But Jealous Female, I Strongly Object to Obama's "All Men Are Sexist" Essay in Glamour Magazine

The girl in question pretended to one of my son's closest friends. My son--who is certainly no shinking violent--was consistently done dirt by this faux friend, who felt threatened by his intelligence, saw him as a rival, and therefore did whatever she could to keep him down. (She could do so because she held some powerful positions in organizations in which he too participated, ones which held the sorts of competitions that look good on a university application.)

The situation came to a head at the end of this school year--which coincided with the end of High School. My son was devastated--no, gutted--by the extent of his so-called friend's series of betrayals. Part of the problem was that, as a kid who would never go in for such sabotage, especially of someone he considered to be a very good friend, it took him a while to wrap his head around her dirty dealings. That someone whose friendship he valued could do that to him came as the rudest of awakenings. As his mother, I can tell you it was very hard to watch.

Fortunately, he's never been one to wallow in his misery or be tripped up for long by a crappy situation (in that way, he's a lot different than his mom, since I tend to suffer and stew for days, if not longer), and he was able to shake it off pretty quickly.

It is perhaps instructive to keep my son's experience in mind when reading this, about Barack Obama essay in next month's Glamour magazine, for which he's won much praise:
In his most extensive remarks about feminism, President Barack Obama has written an essay for Glamour magazine in which he reflected on American women’s long fight for equality and called on men to fight sexism and create equal relationships. 
In the 1,500-word essay, which was published online Thursday and will appear in the September print magazine, the president argued that “when everybody is equal, we are all more free.” He praised the progress of American women over the past century while pledging to work on securing equal pay and reproductive rights. The president also warned against “dated assumptions about gender roles.” 
The president said that it was important to his daughters that he be a feminist, “because now that’s what they expect of all men.” 
“We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive, that criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear,” he wrote. “We need to keep changing the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality and rewards men for theirs. 
“We need to keep changing the attitude that permits the routine harassment of women, whether they’re walking down the street or daring to go online. We need to keep changing the attitude that teaches men to feel threatened by the presence and success of women.” 
Brenda Weber, the professor and the chairwoman of the gender studies department at Indiana University, said she was “delighted” by the essay, which she said showed a nuanced sense of women’s issues. It is unusual for a man to write such an essay, let alone a president, she said. ...
It's so unusual that I doubt the president actually wrote it. (More likely, it was penned by one of his factotums.) Furthermore, the idea that all girls are potential victims and all boys potential victimizers is, quite simply, unfair and unfounded.

My son was in no way "threatened by the presence and success" of his friend; he was always supportive of her endeavors and successes, even when she was in direct competition with him. She was the one who felt threatened by him, and by the possibility that he might be the smarter, more successful one.

I wonder if Obama would have "written" this essay in exactly the same way if he'd had a son who, like mine, had been treated so horribly by a girl.


Moe said...

I wish I could remember the name of the young, female anti-feminist who wrote a book....oh, maybe 15 or 20 years ago...and was asked by a talking head if she wanted to take us back to the 50s.

Her reply was, "Yes, the 1850s." I'm still chuckling.

Glad your son has bounced back from such a betrayal.
Without going into details, my son saw the preferential treatment given girls in his university engineering courses, because there just aren't "enough" women engineers, don'tcha know. All I can say is, watch out for that bridge.

scaramouche said...

I hear you, brother.

Moe said...

It's "sister"; I'm a sexist woman.

scaramouche said...

Hey, me too!