Ah, blogging. So futuristic! So full of promise! Such a way for people to connect! For example: sometimes, while blogging, you can connect with people by being a total dick. Then, people will connect with you for the express purpose of pointing out what a dick you are! This can be kind of uncomfortable. Such is the sad tale of Ned Hepburn and Gus Menary, the two gentlemen behind the hit comedy website Boner Party.
Now, the Boner Party is, as you may have noticed, on the Tumblr, a site that I have just recently figured out (WHAT I HAVE FIGURED OUT: it is Livejournal, but for sexy people). So are the personal blogs of Hepburn and Menary! So, when Menary posted a charming little bit on the new, underreported, decidedly unstereotypical and unsexist true fact that women - have you heard about this? - are not funny, this made its way, through Tumblcentric means, to my personal "dashboard."
Goodness! Thought I, arrested in the flow of Tumbling. It would appear that this gentleman writes for a comedy website! Let's see how funny that is!
Ladies, gentlemen, the writing of Ned Hepburn on Boner Party:
women, you’re still fucking crazy. its not fair that you have this sort of power over us because its like giving your keys to a Kennedy. you make irrational decisions. you collect shoes. you have periods at the same time as other women just because you are in the same vicinity as them what the fuck is that about that is some fucking werewolf shit im fairly fucking sure. i’m also fairly sure a woman invented The Snuggie. a sizable minority of you fucking ENJOY Sex & The City (hint: anyone who likes that show is a secret whore). so its totally NOT fair. sure, we think farts are fucking hilarious and cry at Wonder Years episodes when nobody is around, but women - fuck - to put it in the simplest way possible: you can’t “emotion” your way out of a problem.The rest of the site is about women they would like to fuck! Delightful! I, of course, publicized my findings immediately. Yes, that's right: I take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for the downfall of professional comedy website The Boner Party. (Not its real name. Its real name is BONERPARTY!!!, which I refuse to type, because even I find those exclamation marks egregious.) For several folks weighed in, afterwards, to note that, not only were they not funny (ha ha, women have periods! Sex & the City existed, and all women everywhere watched it! Women destroy men's lives by existing!) they were also frat-boy sexists dressed up in vague approximations of hipster clothing. That is to say, they were giant dicks.
Now, sadly, Ned Hepburn and Gus Menary have shifted gears from acting like giant dicks to acting like giant... well:
ARTIST'S REPRESENTATION: What Ned Hepburn and Gus Menary Are Totally Acting Like Right Now.
In addition to writing multiple posts on how not-sexist they are, and one post on how women who object to sexism will be treated to a thoughtful and considerate deep-dicking by either Hepburn or Menary, they are bemoaning the loss of "200 followers," and saying things such as "obviously there is a time and place for men to ruminate on the nature of femininty, to have opinions, which however wrong they may be, can be changed... may this be a lesson to all the (ACTUALLY degrading) porn Tumblr blogs out there." That was Hepburn. And Menary, who is delightful enough to quote at length:
Why, yes! Yes, I am! I am not of the opinion that sexism is an unpopular thing!
As for BonerParty!!!… Yeah. You’re right. That’s what it is. Congratulations. You cracked the code. What’d you expect? But I would argue that it flips the intention on those more visceral thoughts and can really get to the crux of what attracts us (men) to women. There is nothing wrong with sex or fantasizing about it or the lead-up that precedes it, which Bonerparty!!! and Ned especially, excel at capturing. As evidenced, people and not just “frat dudes” or “dumb girls” identify. Are you willing to say all these people are wrong?
(Hepburn, for the record, also left a comment on a friend's blog to note that her jokes about his prowess in the boudoir were "sexist towards men," because clearly (a) his weiner stands in for all men, everywhere, and an affront to Ned Hepburn is an affront to Manhood Itself, and (b) only men are allowed to make blog posts about how well they imagine people of the opposite gender would facilitate their orgasms.)
But I am trying not to be mean, these days. This is hard, because Hepburn and Menary are clearly wusses of the highest degree, really the Platonic ideal of "you can dish it out but you can't take it," and it's tempting to be mean to those people simply in the hopes that it will help them to get the point. However! Let's move beyond them. Let's make this relevant. Let's talk about how sexism works: specifically, "benevolent sexism." A topic I have been wanting to address for some time!
Here is a regrettable fact for you: some men really, really, really hate women. I've met them! They are very scary! They do things like hit women, and rape them! We all agree that those things are bad, and based in woman-hating, right? (Right, Ned? Right, Gus? Good, I'm glad you follow me.) It's hard to miss how much they hate women, with the hitting and the raping and all.
However, the vast majority of men, in my own personal experience, do not hate women. They like women. They have the best of intentions toward women. They even agree that hating women is gross and bad, when it takes the form of hitting and raping. Also? The vast majority of those men? Still totally sexist.
For example: they assume they have the natural, God-given right to fuck a different girl every week, yet think that ladies who get around are "kind of slutty." (This is especially fun when you are the "kind of slutty" girl who has made the choice to fuck them - for which choice they must, of course, condemn you.) They don't broach serious topics with you, out of respect for your tiny lady-brain, but when you raise those topics, they lecture and condescend and talk over you even when it's apparent that you know more than they do. They don't see why they can't talk publicly about whether or not they'd "hit that"; they know that rape and domestic abuse and stuff like that is bad, but don't see why they can't tell jokes about it; and, you know, it's not that they hate women or anything, but they don't see why they can't call someone a slut or a tease or a cunt or an uptight bitch if she is, you know, acting like one. Also? They know it's not PC? But they think that women, with their emotions and hormones and stuff, are... um... crazy.
They don't hate women, though! They haven't hit any, or raped any! So, if you call them "misogynist" or "sexist," they will check to make sure that they don't remember any hittings or rapings, conclude that they haven't done those very bad things, and dismiss you. They forget that condescending to women, objectifying them (not fantasizing about them sexually, but defining them as objects that are only good for sexual fantasy or sex), and thinking about them in terms of demeaning stereotypes is also sexism. That's just normal bro-stuff! They are normal!
Yes, Virginia and/or Ned Hepburn and/or Gus Menary, sexism is normal. It is a huge part of culture. Men are raised with male privilege, which allows and encourages sexism, and disallows women from challenging it (or stereotypes them as "militant feminists" who are angry and bitter and un-funny if they do). Every man, I am telling you - along with, unsurprisingly, many women - has some sexist attitudes that he needs to address, even if he is the nicest and most well-meaning man in the world, because every man is raised in this current world, where the norm is sexist. I know several men who are very nice and well-meaning, and I like them very much, and on occasion I have had to point out that they are being sexist! Because I get that it is not conscious! I have had to be like, "excuse me, friend/boyfriend/coworker/what-have-you, I understand that you mean well, but please back the fuck up, stop treating me like a girl, and start treating me like a person." The guys who are actually decent people listen, and stop with the sexist behaviors! The others... well.
Part of male privilege is that you don't have to listen to people when they call you out on your sexism. There are so many, many, many convenient stereotypes that you can use to dismiss them! And the world will back you up! That is what "privilege" means! So, your commitment to listening and changing the way you behave - your commitment to not being sexist any more, and to not getting defensive when people point your sexism out to you - really doesn't rest on anything but whether or not you are a good person. Whether or not you genuinely care about women enough to listen to them when they speak about things that are disrespectful, hurtful, or holding them back. Or, whether you want to pay lip service to women being humans, and continue with the frat-boy/"ironic" lady-hating.
The question, Gus and Ned, isn't whether you're sexist. The next step isn't explaining why you are not sexist. You're sexist. It's obvious. You got caught out, and you got called out. So: the question isn't how you're going to defend yourself. (YOU CANNOT, AT THIS POINT, DEFEND YOURSELF.) It's how you're going to change.