Warning: the following article may present some objectionable views. If you happen to believe that woman are/should be subordinate to men,and deserve to be treated badly, I suggest you don’t read it so you don’t get unduly upset. Also there are four letter words here, which may or may not be more objectionable than the views expressed here.
A three decades old study involving over 475,000 participants reveal men are more likely than women to be narcissists.
They found the widest gap in entitlement, suggesting that men are more likely than women to exploit others and feel entitled to certain privileges.
Another study found that up to 7.7% of men in the US have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a mental illness, where the extremes of narcissism interfere with the individual’s functioning in society. What isn’t clear is what percentage of the population display narcissistic traits. One study put the number at 30% of men, but then again this may be a case of figuring out what color the dress is.
It doesn’t help that narcissism seems to play a role in leadership traits, those hunky alpha male/bad boy traits that many women seem to find so attractive.
“The second largest difference was in leadership/authority. “Compared with women, men exhibit more assertiveness and desire for power,” Grijalva says.”
Of course this last point could be explained by women suffering societal backlash when they display aggressive traits:
Individuals tend to observe and learn gender roles from a young age, and may face backlash for deviating from society’s expectations,” Grijalva says. “In particular, women often receive harsh criticism for being aggressive or authoritative, which creates pressure for women, more so than for men, to suppress displays of narcissistic behavior.
Another study suggests that heterosexual men’s narcissism is linked to an adversarial and angry stance toward heterosexual women more than toward other groups. Although narcissists may want to maintain feelings of superiority and power over all people, narcissistic heterosexual men are particularly invested in subordinating heterosexual women.
“This is likely to be due to women’s unparalleled potential for gratifying, or frustrating, men’s narcissism, the author concludes. They are crucial players and even gatekeepers in men’s quests for sexual pleasure, patriarchal power and status.”
The results suggest that narcissistic hostility is associated with a group’s potential to provide or withhold gratification rather than ideology about a group’s sexual orientation or conformity to heterosexual gender roles.”
Which brings us to slut shaming.
There is an alarming tendency in our culture to call women bitches, whores, cunts, and sluts.
Mind you, Miss Primm is not talking about dirty bedroom talk between two consenting adults. No, I am talking about how some men feel free to call women bitches, sluts and whores outside the bedroom when women do things that men do not like.
If you think about it, you see it everyday.
The woman who becomes the boss “slept her way to the top,” labeling her a slut. Of course, that has nothing to do with the fact that the man doing the slut-shaming coveted that job. Also, the woman who is the boss is a “real bitch” even when her behavior mirrors that of her male peers. The man who sleeps around on his wife might be called a “dick,” which is a backhanded compliment, or a bastard, which is a slur against his MOTHER. But a woman who sleeps around is a whore. Yep. Even when she doesn’t take money for the sex act, she’s a whore.
It’s more than a double standard. It is the use of language in the attempt to control women. And it just isn’t right.
We do other things to our language, like labeling feminists as man-haters, dykes and controlling bitches. We twist the very word that celebrates the power of womanhood into an ugly epithet. And if you are woman, and you think that being a feminist diminishes you as a woman, then its time to rethink your role in society. Every woman should stand up for herself and her gender, and doing so doesn’t make you less of a woman. It makes you more of one.
It’s time for us ladies to stand up and put a stop to it. And if you are a man, take a few minutes to stop and think about how you or the men you know display just these attitudes. If you feel in any way feel these attitudes justified, then it is time to take a look at just how well that is working for you in your life. If you count the number of broken relationships on more than one finger it just might be the problem wasn’t the other party.
And ladies, there are some of you who have men in your life with these attitudes about their past relationships. And you, being the good girlfriend/wife may sympathize with him. But I can almost guarantee that it is a matter of time before you are the next bitch, slut or whore in his life when you do something he does not like.
It’s time to stand up for ourselves, and it’s time to stand up to those who abuse us with words. We need to go beyond, “you never hit a woman,” to “you never disrespect women with your words.”
Because we don’t deserve it. We never, ever, deserve it.
Photo published under a Creative Commons License issued by Flickr user Charlotte Cooper