Dear “Esquire,” Female Contempt Does Not Define Men

An Esquire piece called “The Contempt Of Women” is the latest boys rule, girls drool attack on women. BuzzFeed Shift editors Amy Odell and Hillary Reinsberg discuss the piece over IM.

Amy: Ok, “the rise of men.”
This would have been better if it was about the erection it almost implied it was about
Hillary: I’m confused by the alleged relationship between “the rise of men” and “the contempt of women.”
Amy: Well I think this piece has a coherency problem (meaning: it lacks it).
So it’s hard to know what he’s trying to say aside from: women pop culture figures (like Girls characters, Sex and the City characters) don’t value men for the right things.
But BOO YA MEN RULE.
Hillary: Well it feels like someone basically told this guy that articles about men vs. women are a hot topic right now, and he was like… okay.
Amy: Yeah — the Atlantic approach almost. Tackle a hot gender issue (only the Atlantic does it much more thoroughly and better).
But if women really harbor contempt, is it totally unwarranted? Look at the FRENZY caused by free vibrator day — I think that’s a sign women aren’t getting what they want, at least sexually.
And frankly no one wants to watch a show about WONDERFUL relationships.
A lot of people hate wonderful relationships.
Hillary: No one really wants to talk about wonderful relationships at all
It’s like, good for you, but keep it to yourself.
Amy: So, in that way, it’s hard to talk in real life OR on TV about how great men are.
Hillary: That wouldn’t be funny! Or sad! Or anything.
Amy: And as for men being widely portrayed as dumb lugs, women are ALSO portrayed as idiots a LOT in movies, TV, etc.
Hillary: The examples he provides of “dumb men” are incredibly outdated.
Homer Simpson? That show has been around since the late ’80s.
Amy: I’m surprised he managed not to mention Mad Men.
There’s a show where a man actually became a better man?
Like he was horrible to Betty, married Megan, and then was faithful and doting to her for the most part?
That relationship wasn’t perfect but he became a better man. The portrayal of him never felt UNFAIR, I guess.
But Betty (and even Megan at times) looked like a crazy monster.
Hillary: 50 Shades of Grey is similar in that male development. First this sexy, wealthy man is idolized despite being a total jerk. And then he falls in love and becomes nice.
I’m not sure how realistic or common that is, but if I were a man, I wouldn’t be complaining about that portrayal.
Amy: Yeah and ultimately the whole book sort of celebrates what men can do for women sexually and, I guess, emotionally.

STRINGER / Reuters

Amy: There’s also this this line in the piece: “Women in power are not meaningfully different from men in power.”
I would argue that they are.
For the same reason, higher up in the piece, this writer says Barack Obama is more special than Michelle gives him credit for, as the first African American president.
When a person from a group that does not typically hold great power gets power, it’s meaningful!
Hillary: Oh! Then there was this bit where he says that Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF and one of the most powerful (and really cool) women in the world, isn’t compassionate enough.
Hillary: And his reasoning is that she told the Greeks to “pay their taxes.”
What should she have done? Given them a hug?
Amy: Issue press releases full of emoticons?
Hillary: In fact, I think women in power are actually forced into embracing a soft side.
Even if they don’t want to.
Amy: Yes — because people don’t know how much female-ness should factor into female power.
Amy: Also what i’m getting from the last part of this story.
Say, the last quarter.
Is that stupid sexist men have no place in the future?
This bit: “There’s a crisis for idiots. The Tucker Maxes of the world are doomed. That’s not the end of men. It’s the beginning”
Which makes you wonder about, oh I don’t know… the guy who wrote this piece!
Hillary: Oh, what a shame.
What will we do without them?

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