Clio Bluestocking has written a brave and disturbing post about her childhood and adolescence called “Daddy Issues.” Go read it now–here’s a sample from the conclusion, in which her father tells her that if a man used her sexually and then showed contempt for her, “I’d feel sorry for you, . . . but I’d understand him:”
In that moment, I knew that my father did not respect me. After 2 decades of similar incidents, I finally realized that by simple fact of 2 X chromosomes, I was never going to be a full person to him. My brothers would go through the world as men, while I was supposed to go through the world for men. Men were full people, and I was not. What’s more, I was supposed to embrace that role, and any rejection of it was a problem with me, not with the world.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Then, you get nephews. Sweet, interesting, little boys who could grow up to be sweet, interesting grown men. Could. They think that you are kinda cool too, because they are little boys and have no real frame of reference. Then, you see their fathers (your brothers) and their grandfather, praising them for grabbing women’s breast, teaching them to say the most disgusting sexist words, and telling them that if they whine or cry (as small children do) that they are being “girls” and being a “girl” is bad. You see that, and you see these sweet little boys are being taught to hate you.
You know that this same process is going on in a million houses with a million little boys, too young to know the difference. They will grow up and marry women who give the shrug of capitulation to sexism and raise more misogynists. That is how misogyny is taught and learned; and it is an ugly, soul-killing sight.
This post was inspired by a man on the Tonight Show who recounted his toddler son’s sexualized aggression with his babysitter. Ha-ha! Women’s bodies are just for males to grab, poke, and twist around any way they like–even when those males are toddler boys. Hilarious! Nice going, NBC–I hope you continue to enjoy that long ratings slide to the basement. As Melissa McEwan writes,
There’s so much wrong with this, I hardly know where to begin. The casual hilarity of sexual assault, the implied “just desserts” for the high school ice queen, the invasion of her privacy (twice), the invasion of the son’s privacy, the inappropriate behavior of a curious child recast as sexual aggression, the fatherly pride of a sexually aggressive son, the collusion of the show host and audience in rescuing this vile anecdote by pretending it’s harmless and funny, the deeming of this content as appropriate for a national audience…
Is there any other class or category of persons that parents would actively encourage their children to treat this way? The creepy fascination of the supposed “adult” man with the teenaged babysitter, and his pleasure in permitting his son to serve as his proxy in feeling her up, really makes me feel vindicated in not having done a lot of babysitting as a teenager myself.