The men who hate women

By Duganz

I’m intentionally referencing the original title of Steig Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” because it is the most upfront and real statement about the west. We – Europe, Canada, and the US – are societies that hate women. Yes, we let them vote, work and dress as they see fit, but that doesn’t mean we love – or even like – women.

Don’t believe me? Read on.

This week two bits of news really got to me. One:  A boy named Joel Northup said he couldn’t wrestle a girl named Cassy Herkelman because “Wrestling is a combat sport, and at times it gets violent, and you get put in moves and holds that are comprising… I just don’t believe it’s right that a boy and a girl should, in this manner, wrestle.”

This is what Northup’s Dad, a pastor named Jamie, said, “Even though there’s no specific Scripture that addresses wrestling with girls, there is the biblical Christian principle of treating women with respect and dignity… and not looking at them as objects to be defeated on the wrestling mat to be, in some cases, groped or slammed.”

How the fuck is it respectful to not take her on? There is a difference between groping a woman in public, at random, and competing against a strong woman who throws on a singlet and an earguard, and says, “Bring it.” To not do your best against that woman is to call her weak and feeble; it is to say that she is not a man and therefore lacks critical worth as a competitor and person. (Side note: Look at how proud the father of Cassy Herkleman looks in the above photo.)

This was the second story I found appalling: Harry Reid wants to end legalized prostitution in Nevada. He says it’s because Nevada should be known for more than vice and that parents “don’t want their children to look out of a school bus and see a brothel, or to live in a state with the wrong kind of red lights.” But, let’s be honest, it’s cause Reid thinks god doesn’t like it.

And I get not liking or agreeing with prostitution. I wouldn’t want my son or daughter to work as a prostitute. I am appalled that there remain so many women, men, girls and boys, in forced prostitution around the world.

But what happens in Nevada is not forced, and any woman or man working as a prostitute has other options. (Ever heard of the turnover rate at the average Las Vegas resort/casino? Jobs are available.) A woman or man making the conscious choice to sell her or his body, and, yes, mind, to a fellow adult is not a slave, nor is she or he a victim. Sex workers who work by choice without coercion (an addict is coerced; an abuse victim is coerced) should have the right to do so without the weight of such an asshole as Harry Reid – a man or woman who somehow finds other vice-laced money perfectly fine –maligning them for political gain.

And while above I am being pronoun sensitive to both genders, Nevada’s prostitutes are overwhelmingly female. Reid’s anti-prostitution stance is anti-freedom, and anti-woman. His views are deplorable. He has no business being a leader of a free society if he feels that certain members (women) are incapable of handling freedom.

Both Northup and Reid are bigots, and take their bigoted views from religion–Northup from his father’s Evangelical teachings, and Reid from his faith in the Church of Latter Day Saints. Both men feel that their relationships with god, and the scriptures they believe in, allow them to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. Worse, they patronize the intelligence of women.

A woman can’t wrestle because we respect them. A woman can’t be a sex worker because we respect them. We re doing this for your own good!

Neither gives weight to the ability of women to choose wrestling as a sport, or sex work as a job. These men look down at women with hate and malice, and a righteous streak of infallible bleakness. Men like these pigs can dress it up as they wish, but the point is the same: Women are less than men.

Here in the western world we like to look eastward and say that we are better to women then the Afghan Mullahs, or the Ayatollahs of Iran. We do not mutilate our women as they do in many African nations, or in China. Our women vote. Our women work. Our women are free…

We give our women slack, but we still hold the rope. And oh how righteously we tug it when our women get out of line. Well, I’m calling bullshit. Women are the equals of men. A woman has the right to give her body to whom she chooses, and how she chooses. And a woman has the right to beat the shit out of some snot-nosed little pissant that thinks her place is anywhere but where she wants it to be.

I’ve gone on enough, and my wife is telling me it’s time to go make her breakfast. We’re doing our best to level the field even if 15-year-olds from Iowa, and the leader of the Senate Democrats feel like we shouldn’t.


  1. Wow, what an awesome post! <a href=""likely related.

  2. Pete Talbot

    Duganz, while I agree with your first point (Northup v. Herkelman), I’m wrestling (pun intended) with your second.

    I suppose that if a woman really wants to get into the sex trade, well, who am I to say no. But I believe that most prostitutes are in the trade exactly because “men hate women.” At some point in their lives, these women have been so demeaned, probably by a man or men, that they’ve lost all sense of self worth. So, why not become a whore? That’s how they’ve been treated all their life anyway.

    Also, because of fewer opportunities for meaningful employment at a decent wage, their options are limited (another “men hate women” example).

    Having traveled a lot in developing nations, I find that the poorer the country, the more prostitution. What does that tell you? These women don’t choose prostitution because they want to; they have to. They often have children to feed; another great argument for worldwide access to birth control, but that’s a subject for a different post.

    Addiction plays into prostitution, too. I doubt there’s much research on the number of prostitutes who are drug addicts, but I’m betting the number is pretty substantial.

    So, considering all the reasons that women are in the sex trade, I can’t condemn Sen. Reid for not wanting prostitution in his state. These women aren’t Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” but, for the most part, sad, exploited females who would leave the business in a second if there was any alternative.

    • Poverty in a foreign land is not the same as employment in Nevada. Nor is “sex trade” a fair description of legalized and regulated bordellos in Nevada.

      I’m not talking about a girl hooking on the “bad side of town.” I’m talking about women who are choosing to share their bodies with men or women who pay them.

      The women in the Nevada system are not addicts. They are not diseased. They are women making a choice. When you say that Reid has a point because OTHER places have really sad examples, you’re missing the point. Reid isn’t saying we need to shut down Gary Glitter’s Thailand Bonanza. He’s saying we need to shut down a regulated and controlled business that no one needs to buy or take part in.

      The sex trade is a different, and sad issue that I am in no way referring to.

      • Pete Talbot

        Duganz, you really think there’s a difference between the women in the sex trade in Thailand and the prostitutes in Nevada?

        Maybe how much they charge but they’re all still women who wouldn’t choose this profession if not for some sad circumstances.

        “The women in the Nevada system are not addicts. They are not diseased. They are women making a choice,” you say. You know this as fact, Duganz? You know that they haven’t been abused or exploited at some time in their lives and just decided to start selling their bodies?

        You’re using contrary reasoning and couldn’t be further from the mark with your “men who hate women” post that equates prostitution with women’s rights.

        • lizard19

          it might be helpful to consider that sex can be used as currency in all kinds of ways, and just because someone (man or woman) is upfront about directly profiting from it, that shouldn’t necessarily place them in the “sad story” category for why they do it.

  3. I don’t think it’s a matter of hating women. It is a matter of strictly constructed gender roles that still haven’t quite been broken. It’s not designed to harm women, and in many cases is designed to help them, while making certain unfair assumptions about them as well.

    The same gender roles that make men forfeit wrestling matches to women are the ones that mean that a rude woman in a rough bar may cause a fight without getting beaten up. And as much as I believe in gender equality, I am certainly more aggressive towards men than women and I know that the sight or thought of a woman being hit affects me in a much more visceral way than a man being hit. It’s not due to ‘hatred’ of women at all – but I agree that it indicates that gender roles remain very real.

    Similarly, while I think prostitution should be legal I don’t think its illegality is due to the fact that most sex workers are women. For one, prostitution was made illegal with help from many pioneering women’s groups. On the other hand, people who may be legitimately described as hating women, such as Augustine, were in favor of legalized prostitution.

    Nonetheless, I agree that the role of women in society has caused them to be viewed as victims, without agency, which is a large part of the reason prostitution is so frowned upon. It’s not merely a case of men hating women, but rather of men AND women who continue to believe in strict gender roles.

  4. lizard19

    this is a potential messy can of worms, mr. duganz. very gutsy post.

    that impossible ideal—equality—is a nice notion to work towards, but we will never move towards a more equitable society until we really figure out and appreciate what differentiates us from each other.

    because difference is good. variety, diversity, fecundity, those are all good things that any society should recognize and strive to respect.

    one of the differences is between boys and girls; men and women. there are distinctions between the two that should be understood and celebrated, both physical and, i would say cultural.

    one of the cultural distinctions the wolf touched on is, i think, a common one:

    The same gender roles that make men forfeit wrestling matches to women are the ones that mean that a rude woman in a rough bar may cause a fight without getting beaten up. And as much as I believe in gender equality, I am certainly more aggressive towards men than women and I know that the sight or thought of a woman being hit affects me in a much more visceral way than a man being hit. It’s not due to ‘hatred’ of women at all – but I agree that it indicates that gender roles remain very real.

    in domestic abuse cases, i would hazard a guess and say most people would agree women are the predominant victims of domestic abuse. when a heated domestic dispute turns physical (and impossible for the cops responding to discern who was the prime instigator) how often does the man face de facto suspicion.

    if that bias exists, doesn’t it imply men are more physically dominant, therefore more guilty when domestic violence occurs?

    and doesn’t the whole idea of “women and children first” imply the need for an inequitable designation based on vulnerability. but damn it, if a woman can compete in wrestling (which i believe HELL YES they can) then why not be a equal partner in protecting their young?

  5. Pete said: “Duganz, you really think there’s a difference between the women in the sex trade in Thailand and the prostitutes in Nevada?”

    Yes. And that’s not to say that a prostitute hasn’t had some trauma in his or her life. Much like it’s not to say that a dock worker hasn’t had trauma in his or her life. Trauma may or may not be the reason for someone to become a prostitute.

    But as Lizard says, a prostitute is not automatically a “sad story.” It would, I assume, be a person by person situation.

    As far as knowing that the women are at Nevada brothels by choice, I know this because they are regulated by the government. I know that all government is far from perfect, but Nevada doesn’t mess around when it comes to regulation.

    • Pete Talbot

      Let’s not trivialize trauma here by comparing dock workers and prostitutes. That’s thin. And you’ve got to be kidding about Nevada government regulation of brothels, right? I’m sure the women’s wellbeing is the state’s highest priority. I mean, Nevada has such a great track record and reputation: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

      • I’m not sure the comparison to dock workers is that off. Maybe not dock workers – maybe miners. I think of it in that way. Yes, sex workers choose their line of work, but so do vermiculite miners and bare-knuckle boxers. Limiting people’s ability to perform professions that they choose to do but which are decidedly bad for one’s health or safety has been an established role of government since the 19th century. I think Duganz is probably right in defending legalized prostitution, but I also think it needs regulation and we shouldn’t let ‘they chose their profession’ undermine the responsibility of society to protect them. Especially since Nevada has the highest rate of unemployment in the country, the availability of other jobs is definitely not a given.

        • And I didn’t call for anything less than safe regulation that protects johns, janes, and their friends beneath red lights.

          Good call on the mining there Wolf. Why do we allow one unsafe activity for people with limited options, but not all?

  6. Pogo Possum

    Keep up the good work Duganz. With a little hard work you could get a “legalized prostitution” plank in the Montana Democratic Party Platform. That should make the 2012 election cycle a little more interesting. I am pulling for you.

    • lizard19

      legalized prostitution would be a better jobs bill than anything the tea-ocracy is trying to do.

      • Pogo Possum

        Quit yappin and start actin Lizard…..Either help Duganz get this puppy on the Democratic platform or launch it as a State Initiative in 2012. Show those crazyTea Party folks how to get things done.

        • lizard19

          a bill to legalize prostitution would seem almost tame with all the wacky shit that’s gone down in Helena.

          • Pogo Possum

            Your still yappin Lizard. You should be out there help Duganz collecting signatures and making signs.

            How about “Support a Hooker, Vote for a Democrat”.

            • Pogo Possum

              “Democrats……fighting to help your children to be prostitutes.”

            • Pogo Possum

              ” Working For Hope and Change Through Prostitution”

              “Prostitution is a Right, not a privilage”

              “Support Our Prostitutes – Bring Them Home”

  7. Sex between consenting adults in legal (well, in most states). Selling is legal. Why is selling sex illegal?

    • I actually learned a lot researching my response to this post. I think the reason prostitution is illegal goes back to the turn of the century idea that the best way to get ride of bad things in society is to outlaw them. Alcohol, drugs and prostitution all fell into that category. The people, largely women, who worked to outlaw these things were well meaning but I think overestimated the power of government to change deviant behavior.

      • I would wager that prostitution was illegal far earlier than the turn of the 20th century and I would also wager that it has it’s roots in the religious idea that sex is somehow bad.

        • It had its roots there, but those same religious mores rendered it necessary. Sex was viewed as so closely linked to reproduction that hiring a prostitute was considered by the church to be a less grave sin than masturbation. Prostitution was defended by Augustine (through an unflattering analogy to sewers) and officially regulated by most Christian countries. Prostitution was largely legal (though frowned upon) in the US until the turn of the century, just like alcohol and drugs.

  8. mr benson

    Well, I don’t think most men hate women. We’d just rather be fishing.

    Regarding wrestling, there are women’s collegiate and olympic wrestling programs now, and I’d really like to see MSU bring wrestling back as a collegiate sport, for men and women, separate but equal if you will. I think ole Doc Belshaw would approve.

    Youth wrestling is a sport with which I’m very familiar, and I have heard many reasons for parents forfeiting rather than have their sons wrestle a girl; religion, not wanting to have sons develop a “beat on girls” attitude, the possible scarring of male egos when losing to girls, getting teased by their peers, the ealier maturing of girls, a few others. None involved hate for girls or women, but, rather, love for their sons.

    Generally, you don’t see boys parents standing up and insisting on barging in on field hockey and girls volleyball. I wonder if you’d find that quite so admirable?

    At some point we will regret what we are doing to boys in this country.

    • I’d love to see wrestling exist for both as well B, but it doesn’t. But I object to your reasoning.

      When you say that parents are keeping their kids from wrestling girls because of “the possible scarring of male egos when losing to girls,” my skin crawls. There is nothing more hateful that you can toss at an individual than to sap their personal freedom by degrading them.

      “Can’t let J’nior fight a girl! No sir! Dat girl is a big woman who could beat my ‘ittle boy. I bess protect hims so his fragile ego is left intact!”

      What a crock.

      If you think it’s okay to teach a kid that he should have little respect for women, so be it. I would let my kid wrestle against a girl, and I’d cheer him on and tell him to be a good sport if he wins or loses. In other words, I’d treat it the same as I would against any opponent.

      As far as boys playing field hockey and volleyball… well, I think that’s okay. Both games are a blast. Why can’t we have gender equality in sports? I don’t think it would be a bad thing.

  9. Pronghorn

    You ask, “Why can’t we have gender equality in sports? I don’t think it would be a bad thing.”

    Because historically we never have, still don’t, and obvious physiological differences between the sexes would exclude a great many girls and women from competing in many sports. Title IX was revolutionary for females, but even so, women haven’t gained parity in sports, in wages, in government representation, etc. etc. Any why is that? Because we live in a patriarchal society that continues to view & oppress women as a minority in spite of the fact that we constitute 50.7% of the population (2009 Census info). And that’s why prostitution is not, IMO, a harmless, free will decision. Prostitution is a construction of a patriarchy that devalues and demeans women. Women who engage in Las Vegas-style prostitution are the oppressed throwing in their lot with the oppressor–I imagine you can find many other examples in history where this has happened. It’s done for survival, perhaps, or because the oppressed population is so co-opted by the dominant class that they fail to see the reality. Just my two cents.

    As for girls competing with/against boys, the highly-respected Women’s Sports Foundation has this:–Girls-Playing-on-Boys-Teams-and-Male-Versus-Female-Competition-The-Foundation-Po.aspx

    • “Women who engage in Las Vegas-style prostitution are the oppressed throwing in their lot with the oppressor…”

      That is an assumption on your part. You cannot confirm that each and every woman working as a prostitute is an oppressed victim. You’re projecting an image, and saying that it is the ONLY one. I appreciate where that care comes from, but there are sex workers — prostitutes, BDSM workers — who choose to work as such. They should not be looked upon as victims, nor “protected” by having their income taken away.

      As for sports. I have seen the Browning, Montana girl’s basketball team play and I guarantee that those girls would physically destroy a great many men’s teams. Women are tough and deserve to be respected on the courts, fields, and anywhere else they so choose to be.

  1. 1 The Men Who Hate Women | From Eternity To Here

    […] Seriously. Read on.   […]

  2. 2 Montana Blog Roundup 27 February 2011 | Intelligent Discontent

    […] wrote a really thought-provoking post about American attitudes towards womyn, using the Iowa wrestler and calls to end legalized […]

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