When it’s Your Personal Misogynist……

I avoid interacting with males for a variety of reasons. I live with the one, and that is more than enough male interaction for me. The harassment and assault that I have dealt with have been committed by males well known to me, some of them I knew for years. So males have shown me that even the decent ones, the nice ones, the old ones, the kind ones, all of those innocuous seeming males will become gropey opportunists when and if they think that they can get away with it. Males give a splendid appearance of humanity, but appearance is ALL it is. 

And that is why I treat all of them as potential predators. Males have shown me who they are. And after years of believing NOTALLMENZ or maybe I just encountered an unusual amount of gropey assholes or maybe it was something that I was doing, I finally just fucking believe them. I wish that I had paid attention to them sooner.

So what do you do when he is YOUR personal sexist, misogynist asshole? How do you disentangle yourself from him? Can it even be done?

My father raised me mostly alone, my mother died when I was young. My brother is a little older, and also a complete dumbass waste of space. My father encouraged him to join the military because he felt that my brother was just too fucking ignorant to do anything else. According to my dad, the military is the dumping ground for idiot males that are unable to think for themselves, take care of themselves, or develop any useful skills.

I was smarter than my brother. Facts be misandry! My dad offered to pay for my college and part of his encouragement for me to go was by reminding me that not everyone was blessed with intelligence (he thought my brother was proof of that, lol) and that I shouldn’t waste it. He taught me that males are liars and that I should never, ever depend on one. And that if I decided that I wanted kids, that to not depend on a male for that, ESPECIALLY not for that, because males will just decide that they don’t want the responsibility and walk away.

My dad raised me as he saw me. He saw me as a human, a person, an individual with wants and unique needs. I never felt less than. He always told me that I could do anything that I wanted, that independence and self sufficiency is the most important thing ever, and that I was more than capable.

So I am going to be 40 something this weekend. My dad is in his mid 80s. I haven’t spoken to him since last year, I think it was around this time. 

I just can’t. Because he has become a horrible sexist asshat.

And it is kind of killing me.

There were actually 2 incidents that were decades apart. The first happened when I was in my 20s. I moved out at 16, my brother soon after, and I was visiting my father for a holiday as I was living in another state. I was maybe 22, or so.

The mother of 1 of my friends in my dad’s town was having a hard time, having had breast cancer (that she did recover from) and recently being divorced. My dad was looking for someone to clean his house, and this woman cleaned houses, so my dad hired her.*

She was cleaning his house on my visit. While we were having a cup of coffee, she mentioned that my dad offered to take her to Vegas. That didn’t surprise me, I mean, my dad was a whore.** He had a lot of relationships with a lot of women and everyone seemed happy and it was not my business. 

So she asked him if she would have her own room. He told her no, that she would be staying with him. She asked him directly if he expected her to have sex with him, and he hemmed and hawwed about males having “needs”.

So she turned him down. A male could have given her a trip to vegas as a gift, and he would have had the privilege of her excellent company. She was dirt fucking poor. And THIS was the offer that my dad made to her.

You know what? I don’t even have to go into the 2nd incident. This one is enough. 

I knew she was telling me the truth. I knew it immediately. THIS is what my dad thinks of women. Everything that he ever said to me about being just as good, just as capable, was erased in that moment. Because I knew that if he saw ONE of us for sale as a commodity, that he saw ALL of us for sale as a fucking commodity. I couldn’t phrase it that way at the time, but I understood that he treated her as a potential prostitute just because she is female. And I understood that treatment, having received a lot of it, as lots of women can attest. 

That is a special kind of asshole move. What kind of male says to himself “HEY! I GOTS ME A BONER, AND HERE IS A FINANCIALLY POOR FEMALE RIGHT HERE! I WILL OFFER HER A TRIP THAT SHE COULD NEVER AFFORD IF SHE WILL LET ME FUCK HER. I BE A KIND AND GENEROUS MAN FOR GIVING HER A *CHOICE*, YES I AM!”

What kind of asshole does that? In retrospect, if I had possessed the critical analysis that I do now, maybe I would have hurt his entitled ass. My naivete saved him some healing.

The worst part of this was when I asked him about it. I asked him if he did this, and he defiantly said “yes. I did.”. We were standing in his kitchen, which was so fucking clean, it was almost sterile, I was wearing a pair of his jeans. I was just kind of stunned, and we just stared at each other in silence, for a long minute. And I thought “I am wearing this man’s jeans. How is it that I am actually wearing his clothes? And he doesn’t understand?”

But see, I know now what I didn’t know then, and that is that he absolutely understood. He just. Didn’t. CARE.

He didn’t care what his actions said to his daughter about herself, her body, her worth or her place in the world. And he didn’t care for the same reason that dudes never care, and that reason is BONER.

I don’t know what he saw on my face, but after we stared at each other for a bit, he smiled and attempted to laugh a little. He was talking, I have no idea what he was saying, I still don’t. Forcing a little laugh and chatting at me. He was still doing that when I walked out of the room. 

We never spoke about it, I never mentioned it again.

If you have read this far, thank you. And if you have advice, what do I do?

I don’t have voicemail on my phone and he never learned to text. He has developed a Christian stance on abortion in the past decade, or so, which amounts to “abortion is not my business and it should be legal, but THEM SLUTTY SLUTS BE BABY MURDERS, THO”. I mean, he compares abortion to the holocaust.

Yep. He is THAT guy.

And he can have his opinion, but I have asked him repeatedly to not mention it to me. He refuses to honor that. He works it into every. Single. Conversation. 

Me: Hey, dad, how is your weather. 

Dad: it is hot. You know where else it’s hot? In HELL, WHERE THE WOMEN THAT MURDER THEIR BABIES GO.

And…..

Me: Bacon is delicious.

Dad: Sadly, my high cholesterol prevents me from having delicious bacon. Know what else is sad? MILLIONS OF BABIES MURDERED BY THEIR SLUTTY MOTHERS.

You get what I mean.

He sends me and my husband each a card on our birthdays and each of us 1 for Christmas. I think the last conversation I had with him was right after my birthday last year. My husband got his card late last year, and he called my dad to thank him. And he called my dad to thank him for the Christmas cards.

So my dad calls me a few times a week and I never answer. I just can’t. If I want to talk to a sexist, a misogynist, a male that sees me as an incubator, or a set of fuckholes, or a non human, I will go outside and talk to the first male I see.

I will wait on a female cashier even if a male cashier is available. I am as separatist as I can be. I don’t want to interact with males and I absolutely do not unless I have no other option.

And I don’t feel guilty about ignoring males. I mostly find it funny because they get so butthurt when they are disregarded.

But I feel guilty about ignoring my dad.

Part of me feels like he is an old man and I should just accept that he is going to harp on and on and on about abortion, that maybe he forgets that I told him to shut up about it.

But another part thinks FUCK THAT. He can respect my simple wish and if he can’t, then he can fuck off.

ALL parts of me feel guilt and obligation. His card to me came in the mail today, and inside, written in his old man scribble was JAYNE, PLEASE CALL ME WHEN YOU GET THIS.

I don’t want to. Why do I feel like I have to? Why do I feel like a horrible daughter? But he is just totally fine and ok with how he chooses to be a dad?

I feel like he is my personal sexist. My personal misogynist. My personal entitled male fuckstick that I can’t escape. If a male treats me in a way that I don’t like, then I dump them like the garbage they are. So why can’t I dump him?

Do you have this male? That you are so entangled with? And you can’t let them go?

Jayne

*I now have ALL kinds of feelings about dudes hiring women to do their shit work at shit pay. Not so at 22, I am ashamed to say.
*Most males are whores, I have noticed. It’s another male reversal. Even women that males deem to be (their definition of) promiscuous are not “whores”. But males definitely are. I mean, they rape corpses, babies, senior citizens, each other, and GLORY HOLES. Total fucking whores. 

9 thoughts on “When it’s Your Personal Misogynist……

  1. My dad was also good to me growing up. I can talk to him about feminist stuff and he understands the arguments even if he doesn’t agree…he was in a strong labor union his whole working life and I think that helps him get my point on feminist issues. For example when I say things like “all men benefit from rape whether they want to or not” he gets that I am making a class-based point and not a personal attack, although he doesn’t agree. It also really helps that he does not think men should have any say rules about abortion and it should be 100% up to the woman. And he is honest about my mom having done most of the work with raising us (although I remember him being there just as often, I am sure I’m giving him extra credit based on being male). When he had a calendar that featured women in skimpy clothing with classic cars, I complained and he insisted he only looked at the cars. I drew blouses and pants on all the women with a sharpie. He laughed, and this year he has a calendar with only the classic cars. That is the level of sexism we’re talking about with my dad. It’s there though.

    We have had a lot of angry arguments and I have seen him move toward the right at times, especially when it came to Obamacare. But in the end, I accept him and even like him as he is. He is my last surviving blood too. He is important to me.

    I mention this only because you talked about your dad being good to you…there is a documentary I watched on Amazon: http://www.thebrainwashingofmydad.com/
    This woman discovered that her dad had been tilted to the right by the media he was consuming. I don’t remember all the details, but I watched it shortly after the Trump election and it made me feel a little better. I started talking to my dad a lot more about feminist and leftist issues after I watched it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have seen that doc, it was on Hulu or Netflix, I really enjoyed it. I remember laughing at the end, where she and her mom basically turned off his notifications to right wing news and he didn’t really notice. And when he stopped listening to it, he stopped being a big old asshole.

      I am glad that you are at a place where you can accept him.

      I hope that at some future point, that women will have the children that they choose to have, and leave males completely uninvolved. I have no reason to believe that males will ever treat little girls as anything but different, less than, other than human. I wonder what that would be like. To be raised as an individual without submission, objectification and service pounded into us, from birth.

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      1. Female on female reproductive tech is already here (the Kaguya method). We can just breed this scum out of existence. This thought is the only thing that gets me through the day.

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  2. This is how it was with my maternal uncles, and finding out they hated women was quite shocking. I am lucky with my dad, he purposely rejected all that shit because of witnessing the intense misogyny of the Catholic church and eastern European culture (for my mother it was Sicilian culture). When I was like 12 he even bought me a book called “The Moon Over Crete” about a girl who goes back in time to ancient Crete after being sexually harassed at school. I still have it. He also is very worried some man might try to take over my sister’s all-female band. But my uncles – it was so deeply disappointing that they began to say things like “It’s a man’s world, a woman will never be president” and “the devil is a woman.” I am very lucky I didn’t internalize this as many women have.

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  3. This indeed is a very difficult situation to be in. Because I value my relationship with my family (and to survive childhood), I learned to basically shut everything out. I just don’t really hear any of it. But at least I probably won’t have to deal with things like that, they’re far too afraid of God’s punishment, and failing that, there is social convention keeping my male relatives from ever saying things like that. I mean, I even use the formal pronouns for them, and using words like ‘dad’ or ‘mom’ are just out of the question.

    In your situation, I would try to minimise contact with him, and perhaps even tell him that you very strongly disagree with his ideas and that you don’t agree with his ideas at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The day I can’t be kind to someone who needs it – even someone who has brutalized me – is the day that they won and I lost my humanity. My dad beat and raped my mother until she kicked him out and never paid a dime in child support. He molested me and my older sister and then somehow subsequently married one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever known. Through her love, he became the man he should have always been. I don’t have it in my heart to hold on to hate. It completely robs me of my joy. I do minimize contact with known sexual predators and make my position on sexism clear when called for. I don’t know the answer. I just know that if you treat him as shitty as he treats you, you’ve lost the most beautiful part of you. Someone once said, if you’re still mad at your parents, their still raising you. Just sayin’. Much love.

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  5. Jayne,
    Very difficult sad/mad position to be in with your father. I went through a similar thing with mine a year before he died when I found myself in the position of being his end of life advocate when his second looong suffering wife suddenly died and left him sitting there mostly blind, tethered to a catheter, and on 14 different meds he couldn’t see. He lived 150 miles away. Other than an occasional phone conversation, usually with his wife, we hadn’t much contact. This was the guy who beat the crap out of my mother, my two sisters and me. Who terrorized us and regularly pointed guns at us. The father who told me 11 years after their divorce that if he had not moved away that he surely would have killed us all. I did what I could for him…arranging assisted living, managing healthcare long distance and often commuting to deal with behavoiral problems that more than once nearly got him thrown out. Helping him was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. He was born in 1924 the youngest of 10 and the only boy. He was brutalized by his alcoholic father and 5 of his older alcoholic sisters. They we’re shit poor because his father drank up every last dime. I knew all of this about him and didn’t forget how he carried on the family legacy of brutality with us. How he sent no child support for the first six years after he left and only started because his wife wrote the checks. What I can say is that during that time between his wife’s death and his own, I set aside my deep disappointment and rage at his behavior and just viewed him as a human being whose ignorance and experiences created their own kind of suffering that was his alone. I realized that nothing he said or did had any bearing on me as a human being. I have values that I worked hard to discover and develop because everyone in my family was too effen traumatized to do anything but react. My instincts and my values told me that it was right to do what I could do without throwing myself under the bus on his behalf. So I did that and when he died I had him cremated as he wished and fed his and her ashes to the fish in the bay where they pulled out more than their quota for years. I was relieved when it was done and most relieved to realize that how he treated us, me, said nothing about my value, worth or being. His spirit was long dead, crushed before I was born. I was able to see him, for the first time, as a totally separate being in the whole intergenerational shitstorm he was born into. It was somehow so liberating to see him as just one more clueless male who touched down somewhere in the mess that is humanity and as one whose existence, thoughts, actions, were not the final word on who I am. Never had been. I am not sorry I helped him nor am I sorry he died. I don’t make a habit of going out of my way to assist abusive men… I had a marriage that lasted exactly 37 days when the “prince” turned into a huge turd the day after we married. Betrayal isn’t something I stay around for additional helpings of when it shows up in partners or friends. I sometimes make exceptions for family. Sorry this got longer than I meant it to. Your father’s mysogyny is hard-wired from his generation. Feels like a betrayal to you and in a sense it is but might be worth overlooking as not really about you at all. For your peace of mind, not his. Sorry you find yourself in such an ugly position. Peace.

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    1. Wow. I truly hope that you can see yourself as I see you. Because you really are a total fucking badass.

      I am curious about your sisters, if they ever helped you out with your dad.

      No one could have blamed you for ignoring him completely. This is part of why I doubt if males are completely human, this huge ass entitlement of “I can terrorize or beat you, threaten you, ruin huge chunks of your life with violence that I choose to inflict on you, and one of you will STILL be there to take care of me when I need it.” Males know it. We know it, too. It is maddening.

      I read your post last night and I wanted to think about it a little. I know that I am mad. But after reading your post and thinking about it, I think I am mad because of the fucking force. It is the push that is infuriating me.

      What I mean is that I haven’t spoken to him in a year. I wouldn’t send a fucking card to someone that hasn’t spoken to me in a fucking year. I know that males are generally dense, but it seems like he could get the fucking hint. But nope, he is going to keep calling in an effort to force me to interact with him.

      I am so fucking tired of the societal push on us. I feel cheated. Like I see males for their bullshit and I can avoid it, for the most part.

      But we can’t escape it completely, can we? There’s always going to be that 1, isn’t there? And we are going to be roped into serving that asshole, no matter what.

      I am sorry, though. I am sorry that shitty burden was put on you, and I am sorry that you had to spend even 60 seconds of your life on that fucker. The immense kindness and generosity of spirit that you shared with him is amazing, especially when I am pretty sure he didn’t appreciate a second of it.

      Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Jayne,
        My older sister felt that my helping him was a huge betrayal. She told me that I was “very ill/didn’t know just how ill I was” for helping such a bastard. (She’s a therapist.) She never spoke to me again, but she did write him a letter a few months before he died “forgiving” him for his past behaviors. She is 8 years older and so suffered his cruelties for 16 years. I was 8 when my mother finally got away from him. My younger sister moved to Florida a few weeks after he died and she, out of allegiance to the elder sister, also does not communicate with me (she’s a social worker). This business of cutting off communication with family members for long periods of time (the silent treatment) is another inter-generational behavior that often comes with dysfunctional alcoholic families. It didn’t surprise me, and I get the feeling of betrayal, but I also see that they both just transferred their resentments from him to me. It was disappointing but not unexpected. It has been 10 years since he died. Ten years since I’ve had any contact with them. I tried to explain to them that what I did had nothing to do with them. Deaf ears. I also told them I didn’t expect either of them to help him and understood perfectly why they wouldn’t want to.

        He was already 82 years old and his second wife was 86 when she died. They both had memory issues and probably shouldn’t have been living on their own. But no one was looking. Both her adult children in their late sixties were active, serious alcoholics. I arranged her funeral and they showed up 15 minutes before the service. I had to dispose of all their mother’s belongings, then move my father into the assisted living home.

        Here is what I learned just by showing up during the last 11 months of his life. He suffered with serious OCD, panic and rage attacks. He had self-medicated with alcohol his entire life. Seven years before he had had a stroke and quit drinking and smoking cold turkey. He never got treatment for his mental health issues. They were serious. I have no doubt they were the result of the brutal childhood he had, and his stint in the army during WWII. I know something about living with PTSD. But his generation didn’t have “mental health issues” like we call them now. You were just fucking crazy and they locked you away and you were never heard from again. I understood then why we were forbidden to say the word “crazy” as children. He would beat the crap out of you if he heard you utter the very word. Finally, after getting called by the assisted living director several times saying that he was going to have to leave because he was throwing chairs at the other residents in the dining hall, I drove there and took him to the doctor and got him on anti-anxiety meds. I had mentioned this possibility to the director several times when I noticed his OCD behaviors. She ignored me. After he was on them his behavior did a 180 turn. The last three months of his life he called me everyday to tell me that he loved me and appreciated everything I had done for him. The assisted living director, on her own anti-anxiety meds, apologized to me saying she should have known better and not ignored my repeated requests that he be taken to his doctor for meds.

        The difficult thing was finding and holding the emotional and psychological boundaries between the old, ill man I saw before me and the raging maniac I knew as a child. I set other boundaries around him. I did only what I knew he couldn’t do for himself and simply said no to unrealistic requests…like when he asked to come and live with me after his wife died. And I actually felt compassion for someone I thought I had made my peace with years ago. But really, I found that I still had a block of ice in my heart where he was concerned and never once imagined that he was capable of genuine suffering. Not everyone is capable of turning their personal demons into angels, or even into something tolerable or palatable. Such feats were beyond him. Simply not capable of it. That block of ice melted for me and it was liberating to let go of that rage and hurt. Not everything other people do is about me. Fifty-two is pretty old to actually get this but when children have to raise themselves some things take really long to sink in.

        I don’t have children. Never wanted them except for a brief time in my mid-thirties but that passed. I had no good models for raising children and didn’t want to experiment by learning on the next generation of lunatics from my family. Also, my mom raised us alone and I wasn’t going to do all that hard work and then have the State grind them up in the next war. Women raise children, for the most part, and then watch the patriarchy grind them to dust. No way I was going to supply human fodder to the big killing machine.

        About the silent treatment–nobody wins. Take his calls. Or send him a card. He’s old. Won’t be around much longer. Think of how you’ll feel if you don’t and he passes in the silence. Because he is a product of his era, as we all are, doesn’t subtract from your value and worth as a woman or a human being. We want them to be better, to be more (especially when they’re “our mysogynists”) but some humans are just a dead end when it comes to relating to other human beings. They’re just too damaged to evolve or grow beyond what they were initially taught. Okay enough. You will make the choice that is right for you.

        Barb

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