A few months ago I decided that I wanted to read posts from those with opposing points of view in the gender relations department and added a few feminist sites to my Reader feed. Of course – being a Mormon – one can’t avoid the car wreck in the bloggernacle that is Feminist Mormon Housewives.
In my few months of reading all the articles posted I have yet to find one that hasn’t made me laugh out loud at my desk. The predictability, the doctrinal inconsistency, the self justification, all of it can be too much to handle at times. Normally I will just read, have a chuckle and then move on with my life; but today’s article was too ironic to pass up without a response.
Nat Kelly starts off a woefully sad and depressing story about an immigrant woman being “harassed” on the bus and the inherent lack of white knights there to protect her. Every paragraph in this post is rife with either blatant contradictions or serious hypocrisy. I wonder how they don’t see it.
On the bus, I took a seat behind a man sitting by himself. During the ride, I noticed his face plastered against the window, and his stare riveted to the sidewalk outside. I paid no attention to it until I started hearing him utter phrases like, “Oh helloooo Mommy!” under his breath. He was using the bus ride as a voyeuristic opportunity to ogle every woman who happened to be on the sidewalk.
But then another man got on. He walked past me and I didn’t think anything of him, too wrapped up in being disgusted at the pervert in front of me.
Don’t you love that the liberal/feminist culture of tolerance only extends so far? They’re as fanatical in their intolerance of others’ intolerance as they accuse the rest of the world of being. What’s the difference between a systemic intolerance of intolerance or a systemic intolerance of anything else? Besides, I thought a good liberal or feminist was supposed to give people the benefit of the doubt. Kelly certainly doesn’t wax thoughtful about whether or not the “pervert” (love the shaming language) was mentally handicapped or anything like that. She immediately jumps to the conclusion that he is a vile sexual offender based solely on her limited perception of the comments he’s muttering to himself. Hello pot meet kettle.
Then I hear him muttering something, across the aisle and 2 rows back.
“Are you from another country? Which one? Are you from China? The Philippines?”
I glance back to see that he has sat down right next to the woman I spoke to at the bus stop, despite the bus being nearly empty. He was talking to her in a low tone, getting as close to her as possible. Everything about the woman’s body language was at red alert. Her entire body was turned towards the window, her eyes wide open, her mouth in an angry, nervous straight line.
“Are you from Taiwan? Thailand?”
He lowered his voice even further and spoke so I couldn’t hear. I could see her alarm visibly rising.
My stop was only 3 blocks away. I didn’t know what to do. My first impulse was to say, “Dude, leave her alone, go sit somewhere else, you jerk.” But I had no idea how he would react. I had no idea if he was mentally stable, or if he would lash out and hurt one of us.
Based on what she tells in her story it sounds like the man would have been annoying – maybe even a bit creepy – but certainly not a predator. There was nothing either implicitly or explicitly sexual or threatening in the way he was acting. In fact, I’m willing to guess the exchange wouldn’t have even registered on her radar if the man had sat down next to another white man and start asking him what state he was from. She most likely would have written him off as crazy and left it at that. The fact that it was an immigrant woman he was talking to makes for the double victimization; and there’s nothing SWPL’s love more than seeing, pitying and writing about victims – real or perceived. The woman may have been genuinely afraid but why doesn’t Kelly condemn her for that? Why not call her out for being judgmental and impatient of a man who most likely has a screw or two lose? Isn’t he also a child of God who deserves mercy and understanding? Oh wait over at FMH, God’s love is only for women and minorities.
All of her perceived thoughts of equity and you go girlness aside, Kelly decides to remedy her man problem by approaching… wait for it… yes you guessed it… another man. Steinem and the sisterhood would be so proud. Not only just a man, but a male authority figure. And why aren’t there more women bus drivers anyway. It’s the patriarchy trying to keep the womenz down.
I walked up to the driver and said, “Hey, the guy in the white hat is-”
“Yeah, I know, I’m watching him. He rides all the time, kinda kooky.”
Well would you look at that. The man of the situation – even if he is just a lowly bus driver – is aware of his domain. Not only does he see what’s going on at that immediate point in time, but he’s paid enough attention to his little corner of responsibility in the past that he recognizes the passenger for the kook he is. It’s great to see the inherent virtue in a man who owns his domain and is aware of potential problems or hazards within his sphere of influence.
I love that when the bus driver tells Kelly the passenger is a bit kooky, it doesn’t call her to a sincere repentance for being so quick to judge, rather it just escalates her own perception of him being “weird” and therefore undesirable and less worthy in the eyes of the Lord. The same thing she’s accusing him of feeling towards the immigrant woman. You can’t make crap like this up.
Meanwhile, the woman stood up to move. (Duh, Natalie! Why didn’t you address her and offer her a seat by you!) The man stayed right where he was, blocking her access to the aisle. The driver yelled at him several times to get up and let her move, and he slowly swung his legs out so she could shimmy by.
I got off the bus and turned back towards it. There she was, staring determinedly out the window, now on the other side, face full of fear and hatred. I made eye contact with her briefly, and tried to give some sort of expressive smile – expressive of support, anger, disgust, love, solidarity. Oh, if looks could heal.
In fairness to the author and the article, when the passenger refused to let the woman out of her seat, he crossed a line and should have been called down for it. Thankfully the bus driver – in all his masculine glory – was there and able to do so. Some would accuse him of white knighting for the woman, but he really was doing his job and keeping control in his domain. Good on the driver.
How great that Kelly laments her inability to express – through a mere smile – her sense of solidarity with the immigrant woman. “If looks could heal” is a load of tripe. I’m sure the immigrant woman would also appreciate Kelly’s “look of solidarity” as she’s being robbed or raped because it would show that women stand together and they hate hate hate all the evil in the world. The narcissism and laziness expressed in Kelly’s solution to the woman’s “problem” are extremely sad and extremely telling. Why get your hands dirty solving a problem when you can pat yourself on your moral back by empathizing with the victim? The latter is safer and you still get to feel self-righteous about your condemnation of evil.
She goes on to bemoan the objectification of women (without acknowledging that it is primarily perpetrated by other women), the vilification of immigrants (even though the immigrant woman also was being judgmental and closed-minded about the man who sat down next to her), and the failure to finally be in the liberal utopia wherein all people of all creeds, colors and sexes are exactly the same (when Mormon doctrine specifically outlines that the world will become increasingly more evil and dystopic until the Second Coming of Christ).
She complains about the physical differences between men and women without recognizing that they always have and always will exist. The only reason women didn’t feel as in danger in the past was because there were other men who were willing and able to defend an innocent woman from a predator. And that’s the real irony, in her attempt to create a feminist utopia, Kelly and her sisterhood have succeeded in making the world a more dangerous, more miserable place for women. One where men no longer step up to protect a strange woman out of a fear of their own propensity for violence, apathy for the plight of another human being, belief that women and men are inherently the same (no man would step in if it were another man being harassed on the bus), and an understanding of the high likelihood that the woman they saved would immediately resent them for doing so.
Feminism, multiculturalism and liberalism are what create the unironic inconsistency of Kelly’s view of the world. This is the society these ideologies have created.