Quite Possibly the Most Sexist Phrase in the World
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Recently, I've only been able to catch up on my blog-reading very, very late at night (it's 2:59 am as I type this).
In some ways, I think that's a good thing, because much of the crap I've seen being slung around about Sarah Palin has been just mind-boggle-ingly awful from a feminist perspective, and being too tired to get absolutely infuriated is probably better for my blood pressure.
The phrase most often seen that galls me?
The phrase that I have come to see as Quite Possibly the Most Sexist Phrase in the World (QPMSPW)?
You're probably asking yourself: "Why, Portly, why? Why is this simple, innocent expression of natural human lust QPMSPW?"
Well, can you say "feminist deconstruction"?
I thought you could.
Let's proceed, shall we?
A. Aside from the quite obvious de-personalization implicit in the chosen pronouns: I'd (I would -- implying me, an individual who is human) -- hit -- that (that thing, that object, that being so devoid of humanity that they don't deserve a pronoun denoting personhood), there is also the subtler subtext of violence that becomes apparent if you simply change the pronouns ("I'd hit her/him", "I'd hit you").
And hey -- if you think I'm being too feministy-picky-sensitivy about language -- well, hell -- let's just forego item A., and move right on to item B:
B. This phrase: "I'd hit that" -- is nearly always -- nearly 100% of the time -- a followup to some extreme criticism of the person in question. As in: "Her politics suck ass and but ...... I'd hit that," or "She's a screaming right-wing nutcase, but ....... I'd hit that," or, "That said ......... I'd hit that". (These are all true-life comments from at least three different blogs I follow -- and these are the milder examples of what I've seen).
So, examining the real meaning of item B, what is actually being said is this:
"Even if I find someone to be completely and totally morally repugnant to me -- even if I think and say that their attitudes and politics are toxic waste and horrifically awful and unthinkably bad and terrifyingly wrong, and absolutely, positively, palpably dangerous to my nation and my world -- if that person fits the cultural definition of teh hawtness closely enough, I would still willingly tangle my very body up with theirs in an act which would place me in the most intimate proximity to their toxic-awful-bad-wrong-dangerousness . . . . . . ."
(Oh, and I forgot to add the last part of the sentence)
". . . . because that's just the kind of complete dick-for-brains idiot that I am."
(Oh, and I forgot to add the other last part of the sentence)
" . . . . . . . . and I'll just keep saying it over and over and over again, because even if people don't admit it, underneath it all, everyone actually does get that the quickest way to neutralize a woman's power in this culture is to reduce her to a FuckObject whose only note-worthy quality is fuckability or non-fuckability, and if I say it often enough (even though I know that I have a snowball's chance in hell of actually having any opportunity to 'hit that') then everyone around me will remember that women are just here to be our whores and our mothers. Never our presidents. Never our bosses. Never anyone who might ever have any personal agency to say: 'No thank you, I'm not interested in you 'hitting' me'."
(Much shorter PortlyDyke: When you say that you would have sex with someone who you hate and abhor, you look like an asshat.)
Posted byPortlyDyke at 2:59 AM