Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Love you like a sister always. Here we have a story by a female misogynist. Apparently, after being raped in college in front of a group of frat boys, this woman's sorority "sisters" betrayed her trust and kicked her out of the house. Unfortunately, the author has used this as an excuse to refrain from cultivating female friendships. "Generally I feel a kind of skittish distrust and discomfort when dealing with most women, particularly women in packs," she writes. She sees her sorority's deplorable behavior as part of a larger pattern of women's deceitful nature:

We women swim in shark-infested waters of our own design. Often we don’t have a clue where we stand with one another — socially, as mothers, as colleagues — because we’re at once allies and foes.... How do we help our girls navigate the duplicitous female maze? How do we ensure that they behave authentically, respect humanity over fleeting alliances, and squash the nasty tribal instincts that can inflict lifelong distress?

This article made me seethe because she so easily accepts the stereotype of women as inherently scheming and back-stabbing. Her experience will be seen as genuine; especially because she is highly educated, her opinion has more weight than the countless feminists who have fought this harmful stereotype for decades. Even though she was raped in a structure of female exploitation for men's pleasure, the fact that the frat brothers objected because she was unconscious and later apologized to her somehow frees them from any culpability. To her, men are angels and women demons because of a small pack of terrible human beings.

As a product of a woman's college--an environment which certainly cultivates aggression and competition--I have managed not to be the victim of this acrimonious femininity. Yes, I encountered some painfully spiteful people who effectively voted me off the island, but, unlike the author, I did not let one or two bad experiences label half the population as inherently treacherous.

Did her sorority sisters act reprehensibly? Yes, absolutely, without question. Has she let her early trauma deprive her of meaningful relationships with other women? Yes, absolutely, without question. Does she expect us to believe that she is the lone angel fish in a shark-infested sea? It's certainly possible. Either way, her article furthers the view of woman-as-untrustworthy and does nothing to ensure that either sex "respect humanity."

No comments: