I was recently inspired by a series of unfortunate events to chronicle the ways that misogyny sneaks itself into everyday life, and the hidden implications of certain male behaviors. Thus the idea for Caricatures of Misogyny was born – instances of misogyny that are so ridiculous that they become caricatures of themselves. The first episode will commence after a short history of my writing about things that naysayers might call 'airing dirty laundry' but I prefer to refer to as 'calling out the patriarchy.'
I first wrote a piece using my own experiences as a lens for discussing the societal inequalities of sex and gender a little over three years ago. It was a scary but safe experience, because I was writing an essay for a class of my peers several of whom I knew well and all of whom I trusted, as well as a professor who was one of my great champions and mentors. The class went astoundingly well and gave me the impetus to publish the piece I wrote for that class, with a few revisions, the next year in an alternative dialogue magazine created by my good friend Joe Taylor, the Mentone Special. Again, I was met with a huge amount of support and solidarity from those who read the piece. I continued to utilize this lens in my writing throughout the next year at undergrad as well as in my writing today.
Now on to my decision to write this piece and curate this series. I realize that my website is much more widely accessible than a writing class or the Mentone Special but those experiences convinced me that it is more important to talk about the problems we face in society, even if that means revealing personal details of ones life, than to let the stories go untold for fear of embarrassment. My aim isn't to get any sort of revenge, but rather to use my unique position in society to illuminate the ways that gender inequality is still vastly prevalent in human interactions.
As I usually try to disclaim when I am writing anything about gender: I know many wonderful men. I live with two male roommates who are paragons of respect and always willing to sympathize with me. I have countless close male friends who whether they know it or not have worked tirelessly to help me trust men and give me great standards for putting any new men in my life. In short, I don't hate men, I love them, and everything I say is a reflection on how society allows certain men to act rather than anything overtly negative towards the gender.
And...welcome to the series! The first piece will go live later tonight. I am always accepting submissions of your tales of misogyny and sexism so ridiculous that they have become caricatures. You don't have to identify as a woman to submit! Smart and feminist men encouraged to share their tales as well.