Monday, March 17, 2008

Being a girl is a bad thing

No, of course not. But apparently some women think it is. Several blogs are reacting to Laura Ingraham's commentary regarding Brett Favre crying at his retirement press conference.
All these years, and I didn't know there was a woman quarterback in the NFL.

Brett Favre — we're watching this in the studio — obviously retiring from the NFL, great quarterback, handsome 38-year-old man, he gets up there and he does this press conference that was frankly one of the most embarrassing things I have ever seen.

That's a great message for young boys. "Get up there and act like a girl and start blubbering like a baby."
Only in the fucked-up mind of a conservative could "acting like a girl" be considered an insult. Only in a twisted mind that thinks that being a girl is a bad thing could accusing someone of acting like one be an insult. So what kind of self-esteem can Ingraham have, as a woman herself, to think that being a woman is so abhorrent that it can be used as a derisive comparison?

Of course Ingraham probably doesn't think there is anything wrong with acting like a girl if you happen to have a vagina. This isn't about Brett Favre acting like a girl, it is about Favre not acting like a "man." Because in the world of conservatives, "men" do not have emotions, even after retiring from a celebrated career. Or rather, men do not have sissy emotions like joy and sadness. Righteous indignation and bloodlust are encouraged.

The ongoing masculinity crisis has no end in sight. It's not a crisis of men being "feminized," but one of men fighting the age-old battles between being authentic and whole on the one hand, and conforming to an outdated model of masculinity on the other. The entire idea of "masculinity" and "femininity" is outmoded, based on nothing more than tradition and hocus-pocus. Whatever traits patriarchal custom deemed "male" and "female" are, in actual incidence, only averages and trends at best.

We need to move into a post-gendered world, where people's behavior and roles are defined by nobody but themselves. Maybe men will still be more likely to be stoic or aggressive thanks to testosterone. Maybe not. The only relevant question is, "Why should we care?" People are individuals.

And Laura, a truly great message for young boys would be "be who you are, and don't let conservative assholes tell you not to."


  1. Straight from the overly coifed head of a woman trying like hell to be a man, confused about her own gender role because her beliefs dictate that her ambitions can't be fulfilled by a woman.

    I'm dealing with the same issue in reverse. I'm a female martial artist working my ass off to prove to the insecure fathers of my male students that I can teach their sons how to fight AND, IN FACT, better than they could do themselves. The complaints I get are that I'm either too mean and too hard on their kids (from the men who want me to mother them) or too nice and too forgiving (from the men who don't understand that discipline and torture aren't synonymous). Meanwhile, I'm trying to teach my female students that there's a middle ground between nursemaid and Nurse Ratched.

  2. It's insulting to both men and women. Men have emotions and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's a good thing.