Friday, November 15, 2013

"Dateable girls know how to shut up" and other terrible advice

A public high school outside of Dallas got some attention (from a few websites, and oh, hey, a few more, and omg, are you serious? I think the internet just exploded, way to go Richardson ISD) for bringing this guy to speak to the high schoolers. (in their defense, they were like, he wasn't supposed to talk about his book or stuff like that... I guess just his hair and...stuff...)

I first learned about this guy and his ridiculous book, Datable from Sarah Moon in her fabulous series, You Are Not Your Own. She talks about his book (and ridiculous books like his) which are full of examples of benevolent sexism, an insistence on traditional gender roles, and the dehumanization of women and men. And she explains how these tendencies are highly correlated with a likelihood to accept rape myths (things like victim blaming, the idea rapists can't help themselves, etc.). Not to mention he just says awful, gross, misogynistic stuff.

Let's start with how the girls should just shut up. For example, he has a quiz. Spoiler alert, I failed it.

It's like, are you honest? Do you ever talk about yourself? Respond when guys talk to you? WRONG! NO! You will die alone with your cats. Which is weird, because, that is actually not what happened. But, I dunno. With hair like that, how can he possibly be wrong about anything?!

And then he says terrible stuff that like this (image below). Comparing a woman to a piece of meat? Something you devour and or throw out? Something with no emotions? Something without the ability to consent or feel pain? Common denominator here: a THING, not a person. As Sarah Moon points out, this is dehumanizing. This is threatening. It is also associated with rape myth acceptance.

Dateable via Sarah Moon

In Dateable....the first image shows a drawing of a woman’s body (dressed in an “immodest” shirt that reveals her midriff), and of a steak stuck through a meat hook, next to the words, “…If you dress like a flesh buffet, don’t be surprised when he treats you like a piece of meat.” 
The imagery is violent and threatening and the message is clear: stay in your appropriate gender role (by dressing modestly) or you get what’s coming to you (and what’s coming to you is violence, physical or otherwise) when men start to treat you as meat. 

Dateable via Sarah Moon
And again, Sarah nails it here
Not very subtle, are they?
The message here is that women, you are safe as long as you are submitting to traditional gender roles, you’re safe. Step outside of those roles, and you can’t complain when you get hurt.
This guy basically tells women, shut up, be "a lady" (as per his weirdo definition), do what he says, or else. (cue threatening jaws music). Or else you wont get married. (um, false) Or else you'll be a bloody steak hanging from a hook. (seriously, dude?) Or else you'll be in serious danger. The biggest danger, in reality though, is that if/when something awful does happen, dudebros like this guy probably won't believe you. Instead they will likely blame you. Tell you it is likely your fault. What were you wearing? Why were you out at that hour? By yourself? Talking? Being quiet? No matter what, for some reason it is (in his eyes) your fault. Stuff like that doesn't happen to "Good Girls." And when the victim is blamed, the actual perpetrator is free to continue to victimize. And research seems to show us that, unfortunately, they most likely will. 



  1. How the hell do a-holes like this even get published??? Or have anybody listen to him, and find his ideas so good that he should be allowed to talk to high school kids?? If I saw him near school grounds, I'd call the cops because I just saw a creepy pedophile! He looks like a 45-year old trying to act young, and be "hip" to show "I'm just like you, kids!" That's creepy... oh so creepy.

    1. Seriously?!? If he can get a book deal, my four year old is pretty articulate, somebody publish her!! She isn't even creepy like this dude!