The argument is that it’s sexist, if not downright misogynistic, to use the “nuts and sluts” argument, that a woman is batshit crazy, to oppress women. All the unduly passionate tell me so, and make it clear that one can never, but never, seize upon the tool employed for centuries to silence women. So what then does one call this?
It started with “don’t be bad guys.” Then be good guys. Shed your toxic masculinity. But even that wasn’t good enough for Victoria Bissell Brown, who apparently decided to lose her shit on the pages of the Washington Post.
I yelled at my husband last night. Not pick-up-your-socks yell. Not how-could-you-ignore-that-red-light yell. This was real yelling. This was 30 minutes of from-the-gut yelling. Triggered by a small, thoughtless, dismissive, annoyed, patronizing comment. Really small. A micro-wave that triggered a hurricane. I blew. Hard and fast. And it terrified me. I’m still terrified by what I felt and what I said. I am almost 70 years old. I am a grandmother. Yet in that roiling moment, screaming at my husband as if he represented every clueless male on the planet (and I every angry woman of 2018), I announced that I hate all men and wish all men were dead.
Her husband sat there in silence. Whether that’s good or bad can’t be known, given that the dynamic between spouses isn’t the sort of thing outsiders could possibly know. But what can be known, what is known, is that Brown thought it appropriate to put her breakdown into words, and the WaPo thought it appropriate to put her words on its pages.
No, of course she doesn’t really wish all men were dead. No, she’s not a threat to human life. I think.
As my rage rushed through the streets of my mind, toppling every memory of every good thing my husband has ever done (and there are scores of memories), I said the meanest thing I’ve ever said to him: Don’t you dare sit there and sympathetically promise to change. Don’t say you will stop yourself before you blurt out some impatient, annoyed, controlling remark. No, I said, you can’t change. You are unable to change. You don’t have the skills and you won’t do it. You, I said, are one of the good men. You respect women, you believe in women, you like women, you don’t hit women or rape women or in any way abuse women. You have applauded and funded feminism for a half-century. You are one of the good men. And you cannot change. You can listen all you want, but that will not create one iota of change.
He’s a good guy, and that’s not good enough because he’s still a guy? There is a message in here, and it doesn’t reflect well on Brown, since there’s no evidence that she’s been elected as the spokeswoman for all female hysteria. But if this reflects some hidden angst seething within you, then there’s bad news for you and for the allies who thought being that passive wuss who placated your feelings by silently listening with tears in his eyes while nodding his head in empathy.
It’s not good enough, dear woke allies who believe that concealing and repressing their manly desires will gain them the appreciation of the better smelling sex.
And as for the women who share Brown’s hysteria, more bad news. It’s not that most men don’t want to be good guys, don’t want to hurt your feelings, don’t want to treat you with gentility and concern, but we also don’t want to stop being guys. We like being guys. It’s who we are. Bacon. Football. Cars. And if that’s not good enough for you, not sufficiently feminine to make you stop wishing all men dead, then there’s nothing more we can do.
It’s not that we don’t appreciate that this moment in time has brought out the disinhibitions that allow you to go on a hysterical rant like Brown’s. For this brief moment, you can get away with a psychotic breakdown without being called “psychotic.” If it’s a catharsis you need, have at it. We can watch the game while pretending to listen.
But if you seriously believe that it’s not enough for men to be “good men,” but women, then you’re going to be very disappointed. Sorry, but we don’t want to, and you can’t make us, especially by going full batshit crazy. We may not be able to call an unhinged woman “unhinged” in this politically correct moment, but make no mistake about it. This was bonkers.