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Can some think like a misogynistic twat but not act like one?

(71 Posts)
RebelRogue Thu 22-Feb-18 19:12:23

I've been mulling over this for a while.
OH's actions are in the walk the walk realm.
No "crazy" exes,he's actually friends with the main two and so am I. We help eachother out and there is a lot of respect going both ways.
Doesn't expect me to cook,clean etc and didn't even when I was a SAHM. If I did anything fine,if I didn't also fine, and he'd do it himself or we do it together at the weekend. I actually don't cook for him anymore and he does the dishes for everyone when he's done eating.
Was very supportive of me going back to work,looked at ads with me,helped with my cover letter and pays for childcare.
When DD was off sick for a longer period,he took one day off ,I took one and someone else looked after her for the other day. He attends all parents meetings with me. He supports DD in anything she wants to do,be it football or having his nails paintef and hair styled by her.
He doesn't watch porn or is in any way pushy with sex. Most days he won't even try if he knows I'm poorly,tired etc, and our sex life has taken a massive nose dive in the past 6 years,but he'll never complain. He will scratch my back for hours if i struggle to sleep but won't make a move even if he is turned on.
Knows about my wild past and never commented either positively or negatively,the past is in the past.
I have full access to all his accounts, I've never witnessed him to be aggressive towards me or anyone else.
There's loads of other things and ofc he has his moments when he can be an idiot or a twat ...

So you might think what the problem is?
The problem is that any time we discuss any feminist issues,big cases in the press with women as victims etc he is the embodiment of all the Daily Mail comments into one person. From victim blaming,to NAMALT ,to probably the same amount of men are abused too. It's like hitting a brick wall of stubbornness and misogyny. No argument works or makes a dent.
Sometimes I'm horrified by the things he says (which have never actually been aimed at me or any other woman he knows).

So how can someone that acts(is?!?) nice think such awful things about women? Every time we have one of these debates I'm left reeling and wonder who/how he really is.

P.s. We've been together 10 years and lived together for 9 so that would be an awfully long time to simply put on an act.

TERFousBreakdown Thu 22-Feb-18 19:16:01

Yes, I've seen this on occasion. It's rare, IME, but not unheard of.

It's basically the flip side of the every-lefty-feminist-identifying-man-ever type. You know, the ones who'll lecture you about feminism while leaving dirty crockery after the meeting and simply assuming that one of the women will take care of it ...

Yellowshadeofgreen Thu 22-Feb-18 19:17:15

Tbh I think most men and a lot of women are to some extent misogynistic. We live is a patriarchical society, it is pure conditioning. I think the fact that on a day to day basis he does his bit puts him at the lower end of the spectrum because for me actions speak much, much louder than often virtue signalled words.

grasspigeons Thu 22-Feb-18 19:23:22

perhaps he thinks all men are like him so therefore in these other cases the women must be at fault.

Theglobe Thu 22-Feb-18 19:26:02

Perhaps because he isn't like that he resents being tarred with the same brush as the shit bags.

HolgerDanske Thu 22-Feb-18 19:27:05

It’s because he sees women as either ‘nice ones’ who this either wouldn’t happen to or who don’t deserve that kind of treatment (you, his daughters, sisters, mother, good female friends) and ‘other women’ who aren’t really quite as deserving of respect, safety and basic rights of person.

BitchPeas Thu 22-Feb-18 19:29:43

My DH is like this and I’ve put it down to what grass and Theglobe said. I don’t think he quite gets what it’s really like as he has never behaved like that. It still pisses me off though and we’ve had some almighty rows about it!

RebelRogue Thu 22-Feb-18 19:38:36

On one hand he refused to buy dd a toy hoover as he didn't want her to grow up thinking housework is a woman's job, on the other hand he thinks that any woman going clubbing should expect/accept that men will feel them up,hit on them, try to get them into bed.

It's so frikking confusing.

RebelRogue Thu 22-Feb-18 19:38:48

And infuriating.

WhatInTheWorldIsGoingOn Thu 22-Feb-18 19:41:54

My husband is like this. I’ve decided it’s because he has been with me so long I have trained him to be like this and if he was with a less feminist/scary person he might lean more towards misogyny!

HolgerDanske Thu 22-Feb-18 19:43:22

It is Male entitlement. It is built into every single man to one extent or another. Decent men don’t hold views on the extreme of the spectrum but unfortunately most of them hold views somewhere on moderate to low. They have what we all know to be Male privilege. They don’t feel it personally because it is not personal to them. It is academic.

‘Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.’ Only when a man truly begins to grasp how true this actually is, can they hope to have any understanding at all of what women and girls live with every day.

RebelRogue Thu 22-Feb-18 19:46:49

* ‘Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.’*

I tried that argument to counter-argue his "women do it too" hmm argument. I also asked when was the last time he was actually afraid of a woman. His answer was "never,but I've never been afraid of a man either".

Dunno if he's deliberately ignorant,blind,privileged,all of them or there's something I'm missing.

TERFousBreakdown Thu 22-Feb-18 19:51:25

On one hand he refused to buy dd a toy hoover as he didn't want her to grow up thinking housework is a woman's job, on the other hand he thinks that any woman going clubbing should expect/accept that men will feel them up,hit on them, try to get them into bed.

I think many actually 'good' men are struggling with both the notion that they may not be the norm (as suggested by PP) but also with societal expectations of masculinity.

Your example reminded me of a former, much-beloved boss of mine. He had my back in every conceivable situation, risked his own neck to get a more senior person fired after he behaved incredibly inappropriately towards me and is, in every way I can think of, the reason why I became a woman manager in a heavily male-dominated industry. He's also, however, the creator of this gem:

Yes, my wife works - but it's not for the salary!

When I pulled him up on saying this (during a coffee break at a high-stakes meeting, nonetheless), he initially got defensive but, upon further reflection, conceded that the thought of not being in a position to provide for his wife and kids felt inherently threatening to him on a deeply personal level in some rather irrational way.

I think we need to talk about notions of masculinity!

HolgerDanske Thu 22-Feb-18 19:57:10

He doesn’t get it. At all. I’d struggle to stay with him if he persisted in this utter lack of comprehension. I am actually really angry with him for his dismissal of the disparity between what his experience is and how a girl or woman might feel. So you’ve never been frightened of a man, do you not see how fucking lucky you are that you can say that?!

I would tell him, every time a woman is found dead in a ditch, every time a child is used or abused by a man, every time a rape case comes up and the woman is cross examined for days as if she was the criminal - I would draw a line back to yourself and say, do you understand how this makes me feel? Do you understand how a young woman might feel, a girl even (these and related things often start to happen to us around the age of ten or eleven), every time a woman is beaten to a pulp, every time people make it the woman’s problem that a man has touched her against her will, every time she is reminded that she is weaker, more vulnerable and far, far less likely to be listened to, I’d be saying, see? There it is again.

RebelRogue Thu 22-Feb-18 20:03:31

* He doesn’t get it. At all.*

I think you've hit the nail on the head with this one. And no matter how hard I try to explain to him or reference to my own experiences, he never will because he never lived it. He sympathises ,he can say something was wrong,that another man behaved appallingly but he doesn't actually get it.

IfNot Thu 22-Feb-18 20:29:18

Wow Rebel you have basically described my dp...and articulated my main worry about him! (Except that he has felt scared of men in the past).
Look, I don't think ANY man is ever going to "get it" and the ones that say they do..well, I would watch them closest of all frankly.
You are what you do and your actions define you, ultimately.
Dp thinks I am in a feminist rage at the moment ( I am ) and tries not to get into it with me, but sometimes I make him realise things.
I get that it's infuriating though. I go back and forth with it too. Sorry, I'm not much help!

pallisers Thu 22-Feb-18 21:00:18

he thinks that any woman going clubbing should expect/accept that men will feel them up,hit on them, try to get them into bed.

It strikes me that he isn't so much misogynistic as he expects nothing but bad behaviour from men (as well as curiously lacking any kind of imagination or ability to put himself in the position of another person). Frankly, I accept/expect that if I go clubbing, men will feel me up or hit on me or try to get me into bed (well back in the day anyway). It was why I rarely went clubbing. I think it is wrong, it sucks, I hate it and I actively try to change what I can but for me it is the reality. Same as the reality that I don't walk through the lovely woods near our house on my own, don't go into underground carparks late at night, don't drink too much unless I have a friend watching my back etc. I should be able to do all those things. And possibly I could - but I wouldn't enjoy doing them because I would be on alert for danger. I expect bad things from the general group "men" (even though my own husband walks the walk and talks the talk).

He seems to be rearing your dd as a feminist. A more interesting question would be how will he rear a son? Will he tell him that he is not entitled to women's bodies or space? Will he explicitly tell him that women are not asking for it when they dress nicely? Will he warn him about consent and tell him not to have sex with drunk women? I would be more concerned about that than how he is rearing a girl.

RebelRogue Thu 22-Feb-18 21:03:15

@pallisers no idea how he'd raise a son,DD is an only child and will stay that way. I guess I could ask,but would his words match his actions?

Nope I'm not having another kid to try and find out.grin

Patodp Thu 22-Feb-18 22:47:28

Glad to find other women with partners just like mine! (well not glad exactly but ykwim).

I've had to, with a great sigh, accept that my wonderful, kind, funny, clever, thoughtful, loving, devoted DP is a bit of a misogynist.
BUT it only ever comes out when we have specific chats about feminist issues.

Like, he'd never say anything bad about women in general, is always respectful around women, listens etc, never judges appearance, never expects me to be wifey and domestic, we're equals at home...

Whenever a feminist issue comes up though, it's as if he gets possessed by one of those really goady annoying posters that show up on feminist threads trying to derail the subject.

I laughed at the vegans-are-trans-exclusionary thread on here yesterday, so showed DP what I was laughing at. I explained
"Apparently it's transphobic to say you're vegan because dairy exploits the female animals reproductive system" lol

He chose to point out "well you never hear feminists saying how awful that it's the male animals who are killed for meat"

And he's tried in the past to debunk the wage gap says stuff like "why don't feminists care about the really high rate of suicides in men?" And about how young men are now achieving the lowest degrees compared to women and women are getting all the graduate jobs feminists are not complaining about that....

I have made great achievements though. He has far more awareness of feminist issues than he did before.

Partly I think because he does like a good debate he sort of deliberately tries to pick an opposing view just to see where our conversation goes, usually we agree on most things so maybe he finds it stimulating to wind me up about this??!

Anyway don't give up on them. Keep pointing it all out as although they may never "get it" They may wake up a bit.

safeeuropeanhome Thu 22-Feb-18 22:57:07

It seems like this guy has demonstrated consistently over years that he is not a misogynist. It seems clear he doesn't hate women.

I know the use of the word misogyny has been broadened out in recent years but it shouldn't be used to mean disagreeing with some of your views. Maybe he just tries to counter balance your world view.

NotDavidTennant Thu 22-Feb-18 23:07:40

The problem is that any time we discuss any feminist issues,big cases in the press with women as victims etc he is the embodiment of all the Daily Mail comments into one person. From victim blaming,to NAMALT ,to probably the same amount of men are abused too. It's like hitting a brick wall of stubbornness and misogyny. No argument works or makes a dent.

I suspect the subtext here is: "If there really was problem I would have to question the status quo, and I like the status quo so there can't really be a problem".

See also:

"There's plenty of help for homeless people, and if they don't want to take it that's their fault", "Nobody needs to use foodbanks in this day and age" & "If women didn't want to do sex work then they'd just find themselves another job, but they don't so they must like it."

If you deny that a problem exists then you don't have to do anything about it.

MyRelationshipIsWeird Thu 22-Feb-18 23:08:58

I tried explaining this to my recent ex. His reply after I sent him links to articles about women being aware of the possibility of male violence in their life at all times. "Well I will have to take your (& these other women's word for it. It hasn't been my personal experience." hmm confused I replied that until he grew a vagina he wouldn't have "personally experience". He thought that was funny confused

The sad thing is, the same week I'd got involved in a twitter row about 'the husband stitch' ( women having unnecessary extra stitches after episiotomy to make them tighter for their husbands after birth). Hundreds of women posted saying they had seen their doctor wink at the husband and tell him they were giving her an extra stitch for him.

A (male) doctor posted and said it wasn't something he'd ever encountered or had "first hand experience of". I told him that he would never have first hand experience until he had his vulva cut during childbirth and someone sew it up to leave him in pain for someone else's pleasure. He actually apologised and said he should listen more and accept that he didn't know it all.

Sad that a total stranger respected my opinion more than my DP. Just one of the many reasons he is now an ex.

Bloodmagic Thu 22-Feb-18 23:23:14

I joined up just to reply to this smile

Ive had this discussion with men before who claim they don't see sexism in real life and they think that therefore accounts of it are exaggerated. I understand that. When you are told something you absolutely should hold it up against real life and see if it matches observable reality. The problem is that men only ever experience life from a mens perspective.

The whole concept of sexism is that HE would never really experience it and the whole concept of the patriarchy is that everything seems fine from the point of view of the men. Ive almost never seen anyone be truly racist but thats because I'm white so I'm only there very occasionally when its happening to other people. And then i probably forget about it really quickly because its not a danger to me. For people who are of a minority ethnicity theyre there every single time it happens because its happening to them. So I should believe them about what they experience and how much it happens.

Sexist men aren't exactly going to creep on you and your daughter while your husband is there, are they? They'll do it when you're alone. The whole nature of the thing is that he CANT experience it or really see most of it. Of course he isnt afraid if men. He hasnt been raped and probably doesnt know any man who has been raped by men. You probably know at least one woman and have had at least one 'near miss' yourself. Its not less real just because its not happening to him.

Ive also debated the wage gap with good smart men. I say debate, but theres nothing to debate. The wage gap is proven and measurable. And no, its not just that women hate money for some reason. Theyve done studies sending around identical resumes with either a mans name or a womans name. The woman is consistently rated as less suitable and offered significantly less money. We have statistics, we've done the research. The numbers are in and sexism is real. Structural sexism is more subtle now than it was in the days when they just straight up banned women from certain things or plainly said that men were allowed to beat and rape their wives, but those attitudes don't dissappear overnight, they still linger on and women still suffer from it. Thats a fact.

MyRelationshipIsWeird Thu 22-Feb-18 23:59:04

Exactly Bloodmagic - You probably know at least one woman and have had at least one 'near miss' yourself. Its not less real just because its not happening to him. and that's not to mention all the everyday sexism, cat-calling etc that women put up with just going about their daily business. But to them, they are the only real 'people'.

Reading the thread about 'A man just shouted at me in the street' has been saddening to say the least. Also another thread saying she hates men. Sounds drastic, but women are just throwing their arms up in the air and saying "I've had it, I've had enough! It's everywhere, all the time."

TERFous - he initially got defensive but, upon further reflection, conceded that the thought of not being in a position to provide for his wife and kids felt inherently threatening to him on a deeply personal level in some rather irrational way. I think we need to talk about notions of masculinity! - toxic masculinity at it's finest! Defensiveness, shame, needing to be seen as the big provider, so putting down his DW in the process. Just another day at the office.

Writersblock2 Fri 23-Feb-18 00:11:11

OP, I feel for you. I think most of us who consider ourselves feminists reach a point with our OH’s where we realise they will never reach the same understanding - because they’re men.

Thankfully I have one of the good ones, and he’s generally respectful of women’s issues, however even he had no idea as to the extent of the issues women face. He’s had a learning curve with me, but we’ve also had the discussion that no matter how hard he tries, his lived experience is different to mine for virtue of his sex.

Which is ironic really, since sex-specific rights are what so many of us are fighting for currently.

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