I’d put David closer to academic but still esoteric, like where Alec is. And I’d definitely move Blake farther right.
Not sure about the “menstrual” category, especially since (unknown gender of xTx notwithstanding) I don’t like that it’s all women in there, it’s like… OK, maybe you could call the Douche box “testosterone” or something.
But very aesthetically appealing graphic overall. Everything should be diagrammed…
the safe zone is not the line, but the space demarcated by the line, the center of which is the idealized ‘well-adjusted zone’; a direct correlation may be inferred from distance from the center of the safe zone and excessiveness of said affliction
I feel like I’ve received a mid-year middle management progress report, telling me I’m doing everything almost exactly right and could not
possibly improve upon my performance, even if I tried, such is the imperfectibility of man, and am therefore instructed, in closing, that should I wish to rise further in the firm in years to come, I would do best to keep up the good work and reliably, if always idiosyncratically, stay the course. Thank
damn…i feel like my name should be floating somewhere <1 mile to the right of the computer where you made this (maybe closest to the word "douche") waiting for a sandwich to pass by so it can land on something
I haven’t heard from Steve Roggenbuck… He’s probably creating a website that is called steveroggenbuckisnotadouche.com that will be one hundred pages set in helvetica that lists short reasons why he’s not a douche…
This is stupid and you’re being a bully idiot. If you don’t understand why, you need to do some serious introspection, esp. re: the menstrual stuff (oh my god! I’m calling you out on being misogynist! Someone call me a bitch, quick!) The bully idiocy of this will remain true even though a million people will jump on me for saying it and for being anonymous (don’t feel up to being mocked on the internet. Oh my god, someone call me a coward, quick!) The bully idiocy will remain true past all that and most of us who don’t regularly tickle HTMLGIANT’s balls will all continue to know it.
I thought calling a girl a cunt when she turns down your offer to buy her a drink is misogynistic, or writing an essay arguing that women are emotionally unstable and inferior to men is misogynistic, or, like, telling your friend that all women are whores in earnest is misogynistic.
I mean, this is a joke. It’s teasing. If you think these circles are somehow going to spawn a bunch of date-raping bitter loser assholes… Jesus Christ. Watch Entourage. Check out the Bud Light commercials. Check out the Bratz doll line. GQ. Maxim. Esquire. Or a million other things that are actually misogynistic but really good at concealing it.
A joke is only a joke if someone finds it funny. I suppose this is a joke, I laughed at parts of it, sure, but it’s mostly an inside joke and a mean joke with a slight touch of veracity. Let’s not pretend it’s a good-humored joke. though. Rarely is teasing kind hearted.
Plenty of people found this misogynistic and voiced that pretty clearly in other places online including, I might add, another contributor to this very site. Using the word menstrual is misogynistic. Women bleed. OMG. This was a revelation in 7th grade. This was awkwardly funny in 7th grade. Now, not so much. A basic reproductive function used as an insult or identifying characteristic is misogynistic. When you are told you are being menstrual, you are not being paid a compliment. It’s a gendered insult and it’s also… the easiest possible one. There is no commensurate category for bros or testosterone or semen jockeys or whatever but the reality is that there couldn’t be a commensurate category for men because men are never insulted for example, for being pre-ejaculatory. The use of douche is also misogynistic but I can’t say shit about that because I use douche as an insult on the regular. I cannot begin to figure out the motivation of using menstrual as an identifying category nor would I try. And it’s annoying to even have to point this out, to address your skepticism, and explain why some people might look at this chart and think, ugh, because doing so comes across as humorless. I’m not even in the menstrual category (though I fully expected to be and totally laughed at where I ended up) so I’m not saying this out of hurt feelings. I’m just saying, it’s not rocket science to imagine that people would have a problem with this “joke.” The misogyny in this is not a matter of debate.
I didn’t even want to comment. I hate feeling like I am the one who always has to say “Yes, actually that [insert comment or post] is racist/sexist/fucked up.” but the alternative is what? And maybe I’m overthinking this but, great news, it’s totally fine for me to do that because I’m an academic. I know my place.
Some of this feels disorganized. It’s cool, though — let’s tango.
“This was a revelation in 7th grade. This was awkwardly funny in 7th grade.”
Idunno. I still find menstruation pretty funny. You ever see Dave Foley’s “A Good Attitude Toward Menstruation”? That’s pretty funny I think. Things commonly regarded as gross by society are funny because they are taboo subjects we’re afraid to talk about, and bringing them out in the open makes people laugh. As Louis CK once said, “You don’t need to be smart to laugh at farts, but you need to be pretty stupid not to find them funny.”
Regardless, you not thinking the joke was funny has nothing to do with whether the joke was misogynistic.
“It’s a gendered insult and it’s also… the easiest possible one. There
is no commensurate category for bros or testosterone or semen jockeys
or whatever but the reality is that there couldn’t be a commensurate
category for men because men are never insulted for example, for being
The easiest possible insult is “You can’t play football because your gender on average is physically smaller and weaker than the average male.” That is the clearest difference between men and women — size and shape. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Arguing that the joke is easy (or as I stated earlier, “not funny”) is fine, but it has nothing to do with misogyny.
You know you can START making fun of men for being pre-ejaculatory, or having small dicks, or masturbating way too often, right? Just because it’s not done now doesn’t mean it can’t be used. Dudes who are angry because their penises are small are pretty funny, the same way that there’s an implication that being on your period makes you cranky.
“Plenty of people found this misogynistic and voiced that pretty clearly
in other places online including, I might add, another contributor to
this very site.”
This isn’t a counterpoint. “Plenty of people” think the burning of the American flag should be made illegal. “Plenty of people” doesn’t mean a whole lot in making an argument legit.
“I’m just saying, it’s not rocket science to imagine that people would have a problem with this ‘joke.'”
That’s not what I’m arguing. I’m not arguing, “I do not understand how this could be seen as misogynistic.” I can totally understand why someone might perceive this as misogynistic or sexist or whatever. I’m arguing, “This ISN’T misogynistic.” I could see why people might think anorexia is a justifiable venture. I could see why a person might want to rob a bank. That doesn’t mean I think those things are ok to actually do. Having perspective on a thing doesn’t mean you are a proponent of that thing.
“And maybe I’m overthinking this but, great news, it’s totally fine for
me to do that because I’m an academic. I know my place.”
So is this a concession that you might be making a mountain of a molehill? Because if so I totally agree with you. Also being an academe doesn’t allow you to make mountains of any molehill. That’d be pretty irresponsible, and also pretty inefficient use of a skill set.
It’s not a concession at all. It was a joke. See? Humor IS relative. We’re arguing from places where we’re never going to agree. I say it is misogynistic, you say it isn’t and well, I doubt either of us are going to change our minds or at least, I’m not and I am happy to admit that.
I’m not necessarily expecting anything from you, here, but I was also made to wonder whether or not his use of ‘Menstrual’ was misogynistic–I’m not going to bother pointing out to you that it was a joke, because I assume that’s pretty obvious, even without the above back and forth. For the record, I thought the joke was funny. But as to whether or not it was misogynistic, I was left thinking. Part of why it’s certainly good you stopped the above back and forth is you were talking past each other on all the points that matter in a discussion about misogyny–namely, whether or not this usage is indicative of a hatred of women. You’re both talking at each other with your own answers to that already assumed, and zeroing in on the surface of things (such as, bizarrely, whether or not it was ‘funny’, or whether or not society has jokes about male anatomy).
I’m more thinking out loud about this, at this point, but I’m having trouble seeing how exactly Jimmy is behaving hatefully toward women. Now it’s true he’s exploiting a joke which has a storied history of misogyny,–and he’s doing so in order to tweak men and women who are clearly aware of that history, of which, it’s safe to assume, there are plenty on this site–but part of the joke is that storied history. Is it misogynistic because he’s using it because it has been used in a misogynous fashion; is it misogynistic because he’s using it to tweak women and men who know it has been used in a misogynous fashion, and resent its further use; is it misogynistic because it’s taking a female specific body function and casting it negatively?
The first two clearly don’t hold any water, and the last one isn’t really what he was doing, even if it was misogynistic. I’m not trying to convince you of anything, and if I was it certainly wouldn’t be that the joke was in good taste (hell I think Jimmy’d be offended if I did), but I can’t personally see where he’s being a misogynist. An asshole, sure. Insulting, sure. Insensitive, most definitely. Hateful, not really. And even assuming being an asshole at women-in-general was enough to qualify as misogyny, he’s not really doing it at women-in-general; women-in-general can’t even be relied upon to be uniformly offended at menstruation jokes, or even not to make them themselves, so it’s an ineffective button to push. He’s doing it at a cultural subset which has a very specific kind of response to that joke, and he’s doing it because they have that response, and he can expect them to have that response.
There are surface specifics I could get into, such as the many jokes society does in fact have about males and their equipment, or whether or not ‘douche’ (an insult in my experience almost exclusively indicative of masculine behavior) is being used here as an equivalent male category, but right now I’m more interested in the core issue of if the joke is in fact misogynistic, and in what way. As a guy who laughed at this joke (a guy who laughed at this joke for the highly male reason of having been with women through PMS and rough periods), and as a guy who is invested in trying to understand misogyny in specific and the sexes in general, that is my sense of things, and if anyone has a lay of the land which it could benefit from, I’d ask for it.
Hi NLY. You’re thinking through some good questions here. For me, it’s a gut feeling as to whether or not something is misogynistic. It’s more than that too, but it frustrates me that this has to be explained. That it needs to be explicated and proven. Women say they were offended and men say, “I don’t think so.” You cannot change how this was perceived for some people just like they can’t change your outlook. This isn’t an academic exercise of debating the finer points of the term misogyny. If you want a good explanation of why this is misogynistic, check out Kate Zambreno’s blog post on this topic. I am certainly not saying that some chart on the Internet is the worst thing to ever happen to women but it’s not great either. It’s a joke, it’s funny ha ha fine. I honestly don’t have my back up for this argument. I only commented last night because I didn’t want the notion that it’s juuuust a joke to go unchecked. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to simply accept how some people perceive this differently. And yes, society has some jokes about male equipment but it is not equivalent and it never will be.
I was still on whether or not the remark was misogynistic, really, though your point is taken. If I were concerned about the overall label being slapped because of one joke, it would be a good thing to remember. As for Jimmy on the whole, I couldn’t say, either. I’d have to smell his cologne before I could make any final judgments.
Hmmm…I think it’s pretty much undebatable, given the historical precedent of such language and its conflation with “irrationality.” Think, Freud and all of his sexist ideas that conflated “irrationality” with women’s bodies.
If you’re a man, you should be as concerned about this as women. If women’s bodies mark them as “irrational,” this in turn marks men’s bodies as the opposite–as “rational” and “stoic.” In other words, two rigid binaries are created, and both genders suffer as a result.
It’s nice that you’re concerned about this, and I think there’s a lot we could be talking about here–but without more knowledge about what I already know and think about these and other issues, and how much time I do or do not spend with them, this is going to get even more condescending even more quickly.
Which is to say, if we are going to have this conversation, it shouldn’t be within the context of another conversation, because for whatever reason (maybe you read my post and made some kind of judgment on the basis of it which isn’t quite on point, or you think someone who asks that question must be at a certain level) I’m being given the 101 like it’s the 411.
Well, I apologize for coming off as “condescending,” but this is pretty basic stuff. If that makes me snotty, so be it. This site could use a little more snottiness anyway, and I’m happy to oblige and get all uppity on some folks if I have to.
I didn’t say you were snotty, and I don’t think you were snotty. I also was in no way offended by your comments. I just thought you were trying, in a very direct and clear way, to convey ‘pretty basic stuff’ to me. And it was, pretty basic. I thought the quickest way to get around that problem was to let you know so you could either adjust accordingly or decide it wasn’t worth the effort.
I think it’s the idea that my original post was made out of some failure to understand something, such as why that remark would be offensive and construed as misogynistic, which is getting in between us. Just as there were probably several preconceptions about me getting in between me and Roxane. I understand full and well, as I thought I’d made clear, that that joke is misogynistic. I know its history, I know its implications, and I know precisely why it offends people. What I was thinking about was that joke as it was told. I understand the shirt is made of cotton, I was just curious about its neckline.
If that question is intellectually or analytically insufficient for you, I could also see where you were coming from, but it wasn’t as black and white for me and I was curious about how black and white it was for others–not “having trouble understanding”.
“Menstrual” and “douche” as categories are misogynistic. Roxane laid out the implications of the former. They imply that these writers’ works are dirty bloody stinky, require cleansing. Something specific to women, based in old school thinking about how nasty women’s bodies are. These are the implications, deny all you like, meant to debase these writers via misogynistic notions. A real wiener of a critique.
Okay, let me try this kind of funnee. So clever! Ironic! Tongue in cheek! [Insert your dismissive-get-him-off-the-hook adjective here]. Nothing like Andrew Dice Clay’s “dish rag whore” stuff! Cause you know Jimmy Chen is a nice sad ironic sometimes self deprecating blah blah guy! He’s just so funnee, no harm meant. Polanski too is a good guy, had some hard times, didn’t mean
rape (see Chris Rock – http://jezebel.com/5372888/chris-rock-on-roman-polanski-its-rape-rape )!
Okay, here goes. Jimmy, your category is Smegma. Your humor is thick dick cheese irritating the head of your dick, always infected, requiring the cheap trick of targeting women, who don’t ‘understand’ how sore it is to maintain such humor. Cause it’s funny-so-much-smarter-man-style humor. Bitchy menstrual women just don’t “get it.” This humor is rancid. Stings! Bitches can’t handle it. Limp, can’t get it up unless at the cost of someone else. Don’t clean it. This humor spreads yeast infections & warts and peeps gotta live with the stench when you enter the room, smearing your nasty humor on the chairs we share, rotting up the table we talk over. Excise it? No, it hits hard, this stink rotten dick cheese. See how people react? That’s real power! I’m so loved! I’ve got defenders, see! — How’s that? Boring? Clever yet? Yeah, I thought so.
Here’s Jimmy decreeing how he doesn’t have to care about the implications of publicly labeling someone “menstrual” when she complains – “sorry idk, ‘that time of month’ is just rent for me” He’s proud, thinks he’s done something special (gosh, a double entendre!), boasting how he doesn’t have to think about the implications of using cheap Remedial Humor 001. You know, doesn’t care bc he’s above it all, having followed his forefathers, Andrew Dice Clay & Howard Stern, a brilliant lineage to be proud of. Is that what I’m supposed to read from such proud disdain? Or am I just not “getting it?” Likely the latter, but I can live with that.
This isn’t an academic exercise of debating the finer points of the term misogyny.
I agree; that debate is worth having, but it isn’t what (some) “men” mean when they say “I don’t think so.”
“This” is a fight for power, and in this fight, “men” might be saying “I don’t think so.” to mean, not that they think they are not really misogynistic, but rather that they think that whatever they ‘are’ will be called “misogynistic” by their opponents.
“This” contest is not about the perception of an essence, but rather about the essence of perception–particularly, of manufacturing ‘perception’ to cause perception: people sometimes use language not to say how they feel or what they see or think, but rather to gain advantage.
For example, people make explosive accusations to gain moral and/or ethical high ground, or to motivate allies–in a word: to bully.
Zambreno, at the blogicle in reply to this diagram and (I think) to her location in it, describes this (at least attempted) management of perception well:
I think a bully’s goal is to discipline, to make someone smaller whose behavior is seen as outsized, as taking too much space[.]
To make the question of bullying less academic, and less a postmodern solvent of discernment–to define the term “bully” so as to be able to call somebody a “bully” without bullying that person:
Does Jimmy Chen have power over Kate Zambreno, particularly over Kate Zambreno’s capacity to move and edify the readers who know her through the internet? Is Jimmy Chen responsible for participating in a culture-wide exertion of power over Kate Zambreno whether he knows it or not?
Is Jimmy Chen being identified accurately as a “bully”, or is that assertion a form of bullying Jimmy Chen?
I don’t know what kind of penises you’ve been hanging out with, but I have known my share, always within the parameters of mutual respect and affection, and I have not once encountered dick cheese. There’s a lot to be said for the up-side of simple regular personal hygiene ( soap and warm water does the trick) regardless of gender.
As for Jimmy’s use of the word ‘menstrual’, I will give him the benefit of _my_ opinion that he probably means something more like ‘female-hormone-al’, and as a female who has experienced fully the down-sides (cramps, crankiness, the pain-in-the-ass of not having a tampon in my tote) as well as the up-sides (the un-matchable excellent awe of two healthy life-primal-in-the-depths-of-my-belly pregnancies, two healthy live births, weeks, literally weeks suspended in the slo-mo, engulfing-dreamstate, full-body-orgasmo-rushes of let-down) of being a fully female-hormone-ally-functioning, will take said use of this word ‘menstrual’ as being basically Jimmy’s own brand of silly, unhappy-in-love, mildly-misogynist little prod of humor. Personally speaking, I see nothing here to get defensive or counter-offensive about.
Aren’t the implications of putting Jimmy in the Smegma category as funny as Jimmy putting other writers in the Douche and Menstual categories? Or can only dudes play the degrading game? Is it so uncomfortable when we conjure the dick in the “joke” context that he must be defended?
after wracking my brain for several days now i realize that it is not so easy to conjure up all those funny dick jokes that i _know_ i know
i _know_ i know them
they just aren’t percolating to the surface of my poor little brain!
but i did remember this joke – i hope it will suffice –
Q – What do they give Tickle-Me Elmo right before he leaves the toy factory?
A – Two Test Tickles