With those words, in response to the video of Dua Khalil's violent death by stoning, Joss Whedon addresses not only the worldwide violence towards women, but the attitude of which that violence is a symptom. As I read his post, I found myself nodding not only because I recognized that pervasive misogynistic sentiment, but also because I realized that, to some extent, I had internalized it.
An outspoken feminist, I am ashamed to admit that at some level I buy into it all: I hate women, too.
How else can I interpret my exceptionalist attitude towards the women I discuss with my guy friends? Or the pleasure I feel when they discern that I'm "an exception," "one of the cool ones," "not like the others." How else to explain the intensity of my dislike for Paris Hilton and her ilk, and the schadenfreude I feel when she "gets what's coming to her." Is it still choice feminism if I deride the choices of other women to dress as they want, act as they want, say and do what they want? Or am I only pro-choice when it's a choice of which I approve, looking down at them from my height way up here on my pedestal.
Several months ago, Carolyn Hax, the venerable advice columnist for The Washington Post, gave a piece of advice to a young woman who had written in about her boorish male friends and her feeling of invisibility. Hax's answer spoke directly to me, to the asshole I can be: "Yes, being a cool chick among people who make that distinction is mistreatment, because the implication is that your coolness makes you an exception among women. That is misogyny."
Her answer, to be honest, was a condemnation of my silence, my complicity, and, yes, my cruel and depraved indifference to other women.
Part of that attitude, I think, stems for a mild gender dysphoria with which I've always struggled. No, I don't want to be a man; nor do I think I was born in the wrong body; but I have always felt more comfortable around guys, more at ease with my male friends than my female friends, less awkward and more natural with their mode of existence. I've finally reached a point in life where I'm comfortable with myself as a person. Perhaps it's time for me to become comfortable with myself as a woman. Maybe now, after this terrible admission, I can drop the judgmental bullshit, which serves to mask my own insecurity at my own inability to be feminine or girly enough, and finally become a real feminist; that is, someone who really believes that women are equal and whose actions and words support that belief.