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Korey has been asking me to post, and I’ve been planning to do so, for quite some time. The trouble is that I always have things I want to post, and I think through what I’m going to say… then I think of something to add, then something else, and on and on, until I realize that the post will be so long that I have neither the time nor the energy to write it. So, I promised Korey I would keep my posts at least reasonably short, so that I can actually make myself take the time to write them.

Korey and I were at the outlet mall today, and we walked by a store selling BBQ equipment, including some aprons. In order to make these aprons appropriately manly (it is BBQ, after all, not baking cookies), they all had various manly phrases about meat, or sports, or cars. One of them had this statement, obviously directed at the manly apron wearer’s wife: “In the time it took you to read this, you could already have gone and gotten me a beer.” I admit I laughed out loud at this. However, it also made me think about how accepting our society has become of what I would call casual chauvinism. I’ll give a better definition for this term later.

While thinking about this, I remembered another time a few years back when I was struck by the same concept. My girlfriend and I had just had a relatively petty argument which had turned into a fight, and she was laying in the sun on the beach (we were spending a day at the ocean while visiting her family, who live near the Texas Gulf Coast). I wandered into a large shop dedicated to selling all types of T-shirts. As I wandered, I noticed that one entire section was devoted completely to girls’ T-shirts with various insults toward men printed on them. Many of them were the usual, benign girl-power stuff, like “If it has tires or testicles, its going to give you trouble.” However, I noticed that quite a few others had pretty harsh insults on them, attacking the average man’s intelligence, abilities, looks, etc. I honestly don’t remember what any of them said, but I remember thinking that these were far more insulting than the average T-shirts sold in mall kiosks.A silly thing to be bothered by, of course, but I was in a bad mood toward women at the time, due to my recent argument, and so I looked around the store for similar T-shirts designed for men. I soon found them, but they just depressed me further. Of course there were the usual “FBI: Female Body Inspector” and similar shirts, which could in a way be considered a response to the insults heaped upon men in the other section, but these didn’t satisfy me. I don’t really know what I was looking for, exactly. I didn’t seriously expect to find a T-shirt with “If you don’t treat me with more respect, young lady, I’ll take you over my knee and spank your bottom bright red!” printed on the front, although that would have been nice. I think I just wanted something at least somewhat mature and intelligent, which again was silly because I was at an oceanside T-shirt shop, but again that was the mood I was in at the time.

Finally, I saw a T-shirt alone on a display. I couldn’t read it from the angle where I was standing, but I already knew this T-shirt had something to say. It stood out, apart from the others. As I came closer and looked up at it, I got my hopes up. Here, at last, would be the response of the male sex to all the abuse. It was solid black, with large, bold white lettering on the front. The phrase was simple, unequivocal, and profound:

“I will destroy you with my enormous cock.”

This was not the response I had hoped for from my half of the species. However, it did make me think about what society will accept from men, and what it will not. Society will accept chauvinism from men, as long as it is done in a lazy, stupid, boys-will-be-boys type of way. This is what I referred to earlier as casual chauvinism.

Now, I need to end this post in order to keep with my “short-post” promise, but there are two separate issues I would like to address in follow-up posts.

First, why has it become acceptable in society for women to constantly, aggressively, and harshly bash not just individual men, but the entire male sex? I’m not talking about playful poking of fun between the sexes, I’m talking about a sustained attack on everything that could be loosely considered male.

Second, why has it become acceptable for men to descend deep into chauvinism, as long as they do so in a way that is lazy, stupid, and slobbish? Just as an example, why is it that if a man were to walk around in public with a shirt that said “A woman should be naked, in the kitchen, making me a pie” that wouldn’t really make anyone raise an eyebrow, but if a man walked around in public with a shirt saying “In a Christian marriage, the man is the head of the household” he would have feminists parachuting in to confront him in a matter of minutes?

2 Responses to Casual Chauvinism and the T-Shirt Wars

  • Hi There,

    Not sure about the parachuting feminist, but I do think there has been a coarsening of society and our discourse has sunk to crass lows.

    Notice our comedians, the conversations taking place in our political arenas, the disgraceful displays on 'reality' television.

    DD people should just consider themselves lucky.

    CD

  • Korey, I think (?) it might be because we no longer teach the tools needed to have positive healthy male/female relationships .I consider myself a “feminist” and DD wife. I believe in equality and I believe in respect and doing what it takes to make a marriage work. Many of us today search for how to do that, and come up with it on our own. There is misunderstanding, and even resentment towards the opposite sex,,,because our current culture portrays one to the other as the enemy. Just read the T-shirts! Sara

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