Monday, March 19, 2007

Women's History Month, now with woman-hating!

Okay, so it's true that I love lists. It's something about ranking and ordering and organizing that appeals to the part of me with OCD. Plus, they appeal to the lazy part of me that can't be bothered by full sentences and transitions. I like to list things I've already done on my to-do lists, just so I can cross them off and feel productive. Yes, I like lists.

My favorite lists are end-of-year pop culture lists like this one, but that's for another day.

What's biting me right now is that MSN made a list of barrier-busting women in honor of Women's History Month (which is right now, by the way). All the usual suspects are present: Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, Eleanor Roosevelt. This is all well and good. Not enough opportunities to celebrate great women, I say. But the part I just can't figure out is why anyone thought it would be a good idea to also publish a list of "10 Women Who Make Us Cringe."

Now, I'm not saying that there aren't people of all stripes out there who make me cringe. There are. Several of the people on MSN's list are fine examples. But why - oh, why? - would you publish something like this in conjunction with your celebration of women? Did you feel the need to make sure all of us little ladies kept our proper place in mind? Did you think we might get some fancy ideas from your celebration of the barrier-busters and try to strike a blow for empowered women, Goddess forbid? Yes, I suppose we should thank you for the lead shoes. Those Women's History Month balloons almost carried us away!

The most insidious part about this list, if one has to choose a worst part about something that is entirely shitty, is that it is written by a woman. I'm sure that was MSN's way of making the list slide down a bit easier. See? A woman said it! It's not sexist! It's the old "My Black friend says the same thing" trick of deflecting accusations of bigotry. I'm not swallowing, thankyouverymuch. (On a side note, I doubt they would celebrate Black History Month by including a list of "10 Black People Who Make Us Cringe")

So, a message to Joanne Bamberger: the Patriarchy doesn't need your help. Women experience enough hatred from the outside. We don't need it from within our own ranks, too.


Anonymous said...

hi. you might like for list writing and sharing...

Gender Blank said...

Thank you! I signed up and contributed a bunch of lists today. I can always use more time-wasters!