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 Misogyny: Why hurt when you can hate?

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jul 11, 2001

Pop psychology would have us believe that emotions can be pigeonholed into simple categories of black and white - love is good, hate is bad; generosity is something to aspire to, while jealousy is to be avoided. Like all fuzzy, feel-good movements spawned by the 1960's, this gross oversimplification conveniently ignores the fact that not only are "negative" emotions a necessity in modern life, they can in fact be leveraged as powerful agents of progress. In our current culture fewer things have been more unfairly maligned than the mindset spawned by an emotional state that is wrongly considered unhealthy - that of misogyny.


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To begin, we must lay to rest the foolish notion that we can place a value judgment on any emotional reaction. The idea that how an individual reacts to external events can be categorized as correct or incorrect is an attempt to apply objective reasoning to something that is itself the most inherently subjective situation possible.

Not only is the manner of emotional retaliation to any given event completely beyond the confines of right and wrong, it is also by its very nature immune to any attempts at control by the person experiencing it. Those who would have us deny our true emotions are no better than those who advocate resisting homosexual tendencies or who try to "cure" phobias and obsessive-compulsive "disorders". Our automatic reactions are the base nature of who we are, and should not be trifled with under any circumstances.

A second key to understanding misogyny as a useful tool is the realization that pain is not an emotion. Pain is a physical reaction to adverse, or even dangerous, external events. It is the human body's way of forcing us to take notice of conditions that need to be remedied in short order if we are to be well. "Emotional" pain is really no different than what occurs when you whack your thumb with a hammer. Both involve a traceable reaction in the brain's chemistry that alerts the consciousness to a threatening condition. Identification of the threat is quite simple when this condition is caused by an inanimate object. Identification of a mental threat can require more perspicaciousness, however, than many are capable of.

The constant reference to pain as an emotion is simply a method by which people seek to address a less bodily-specific condition in a way that shifts causation from an identifiable target to something more ephemeral. Unfortunately, this is a mistake that hinders alleviation of the situation. There is only one kind of pain, and the proper reaction to it is always the same: deal directly with the cause in such a way that the pain, and any attendant damage, is eliminated as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

The next step, from pain to hatred, is a quite logical and simple one. If you bump your head on the corner of a cabinet door your first instinct is to lash out at the door itself, slamming it with all your might. As we pointed out above, whether or not this breaks the door is irrelevant because your first instinct must, by definition, be the correct one. To deny yourself the retribution against the door is to deny yourself, period. Similarly, when bitten by a stray dog you will most likely be tempted to kick the offending beast quite violently. This is proper and should be enacted immediately, animal rights activists be damned.

Now we will return to the emotional aspect, but not a false emotion this time. As is often the case with physical stimuli, there is a true emotional counterpart, and in the case of pain the counterpart is anger. Extreme cases of pain result in extreme anger, also known as hatred. The length of emotion generally coincides with the length of pain. In the cabinet door incident the pain passes quickly and so does the anger, but it would be folly to deny the brief presence of extreme hatred towards the door that caused such a sharp pain. And with the dog, too, there is hatred. If Fido failed to get a good grip and only scratched you then your hatred will not last much longer than the scratch marks, but if you require stitches then you will hold animosity towards the rambunctious pooch for several weeks.

All of this leads quite naturally to women and misogyny. When a man has been hurt by a woman he always feels hatred towards her, but most men try to deny it. The complex nature of male/female relationships leads men to believe (wrongly) that any pain caused by the relationship also need be a complex thing. This is of course ludicrous, as pain itself is quite simple and reactions to it should also be straightforward. It is not wrong to hate.

Now of course misogyny carries with it more than simple, passing anger. Misogyny is a long-term statement of hatred towards all women and everything they represent. This may be an extreme reaction for a 14 year old boy who has been dumped for the first time, but let us again return to the aforementioned misbehaving canine. When bitten once by a dog the event will soon be brushed off; if bitten twice the person becomes more cautious around certain dogs; bitten three times and all dogs become suspect. Enough bites and the base emotion of the person begins to reflect what has been dealt by reality. Thus, hatred of all dogs. Justifiable, and beyond reproach as it is a true emotion.

But as indisputably correct as all this is, how can misogyny be utilized as a lever for progress? Quite simply, by recognizing that the so-called "negative" emotions are in fact those that spur mankind to his most energetic and productive state. To deny the stunning progress motivated by anger and hatred is to willfully ignore thousands of years of mankind's history. We are reactionary beings, and as such we reach our highest levels of productivity when we have a clear target that we are in battle against, whether this be defending Europe from Nazis or calling up righteous indignation when writing letters to elected officials. Nothing motivates a man quite like hatred, and when this is understood one can capitalize on the fact to accomplish a great deal while under its influence.

To conclude, every man who has ever felt the tug of gender hatred should stop trying to go against the grain of his central being and accept it as both a natural reaction and one that can be used for positive gain. If you bring your anger inside you and feed on it you will find the strength to motivate you far beyond where you believed your previous limits were. Hatred is an empowering emotion, and few things inspire hatred in a man quite like the actions of women. The role of the fairer gender as bearers of our children is well understood, but it is time to also understand their role in driving us along the path of progress. A complacent man is a useless one, but our women keep us on the road to innovation and accomplishment. Accepting hatred is to give women their due as great motivators. Do not deny them this honor. Do not deny your hatred.


lame comment (5.00 / 1) (#13)
by alprazolam on Wed Jul 11th, 2001 at 01:32:01 PM PST
well i'm only halfway through, my attention span is short today. anyway i'd like to disagree with the statement that "your first instinct must, by definition, be the correct one". let's say you punch a wall, and it hurts. this angers you, and makes you want to punch the wall again. the point of the pain is that you don't keep punching the wall, because you'll eventually break your hand. similarly, you shouldn't kick a barking dog if kicking it will cause the dog to kill you. well maybe you should. natural selection and all that.

also what is the point of leading a hate and anger filled life just so you have a little extra motivation. is the point of life "innovation and accomplishment"? it may be, but it doesn't really cut it for me.

Reply (none / 0) (#15)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Jul 11th, 2001 at 02:17:07 PM PST
your first instinct must, by definition, be the correct one

Perhaps he meant one's wits, rather than physiological reactions? Even so, reflection will improve on instinct sometimes, and sometimes excessive cogitation is very bad. Seems like a matter of judgement which should be employed - and that requires good instinct. Nothing wrong with trusting your instincts of course, but they are not always correct.

also what is the point of leading a hate and anger filled life just so you have a little extra motivation. is the point of life "innovation and accomplishment"? it may be, but it doesn't really cut it for me.

That is really a personal decision. I myself prefer not to think about such issues too deeply. Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise, and this very much falls in that general arena for me. I only think about such philosophical issues when I can be reasonably sure I amn't going to depress myself overmuch, and generally screw with my head. Philosophy does that, its a bitch.

May I make a polite suggestion ? (none / 0) (#17)
by dmg on Sun Jul 15th, 2001 at 02:05:46 PM PST
my attention span is short today is a serious discussion site. If you intend to contribute to the discussion, It may be helpful if you can concentrate on the article, maybe even read it all the way through before commenting. This way, we can avoid pointless comments that would not have been made if the author had bothered to concentrate for the three minutes or so required to read the whole thing.

Thank you

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

difficult articles (none / 0) (#18)
by alprazolam on Mon Jul 16th, 2001 at 09:22:58 AM PST
it's hard to read all the way through articles that make ridiculous assumptions to support absurd claims. you tend to get confused and quit reading after the ridiculous assumptions.

Ok... (3.00 / 2) (#14)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Jul 11th, 2001 at 02:14:03 PM PST
It's OK to hate women because they motivate men to be innovative.

This is like saying that a computer is more purple than Nolan Ryan's fastball. Or something.

A string's tale (3.00 / 2) (#16)
by WockaWocka on Wed Jul 11th, 2001 at 03:03:53 PM PST
A string walks into a bar and the bartender barks, "Hey, you string! We don't serve your kind here!" and motions to the bouncer who tosses the string out the door.

The string dusts herself off and thinks for a second. The she poofs herself up and loops around and through herself and struts back into the bar garishly and sits down at a barstool.

The bartender looks a bit perplexed at the string and says, "Hey, aren't you that string I just kicked out of here?" "Nope, a frayed knot," replies the string.

A word of advice for ZikZak: Don't become a gynecologist!


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