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Jessica Valenti’s ocean of male tears

The now iconic picture of Jessica Valenti on a beach in her “Male Tears” sweatshirt sparks rage not only in the hearts of men’s rights activists but also in the hearts of feminists themselves. Valenti has long been on my radar, but it is only now that I feel I could really write about her. The first time I became aware of Jessica Valenti, I was watching a video in which she described the way women were oppressed, all the while being more privileged than nearly everyone in the Third World.

It became apparent that this woman was the epitome of female privilege. Many of you are probably not familiar with Jessica Valenti, nor should you be. She is the author of several well-known pieces of feminist literature, the founder of feministing.com, and a frequent contributor to news sites like The Guardian and The Washington Post. She is far higher up on the feminist totem pole than people like Rebecca Watson or Suey Park, for example.

Valenti is a professional feminist. She’s made a career out of her ideology, much like a religious leader. She has a master’s degree in women’s and gender studies. So, of course, we can expect her to be a super-concentrated form of batshit crazy. What surprises me is that she doesn’t have the intelligence or the tact to hide it.

She is so far detached from reality that in a recent article she attempted to make a case for free tampons and sanitary napkins because women should never have to pay for those things. The issue with that logic is that we have alternatives. We can teach women to sew washable pads; in fact, the feminist company Lunapads did just that in African countries. The same company is a distributor of the DivaCup, which replaces tampons.

Meaning that angry First World feminists have the option of dishing out $120 for both a DivaCup and several washable pads so that they never have to buy feminine hygiene supplies again. If the average person spends something like $10 a month on pads and tampons over a lifetime, that comes out to something like $4,800 per person, which simply isn’t feasible for the government to dish out. Replace that with pads you make yourself or cloth pads and a DivaCup and the amount is significantly less.

So technically it would be cheaper to teach women to make their own sanitary napkins or to distribute menstrual cups. Then there’s the fact that poorer countries have poorer governments that could never afford such things, and many of the people who would be most helped by free feminine hygiene supplies live in remote villages, adding on the costs of transportation for distribution of these supplies. But Valenti cannot see how detached she is from reality—which is obvious to everyone but her.

She is a well-off writer who travels around a lot and probably eats at restaurants with tablecloths. Valenti is someone who would not know oppression if it bit her in the ass. Yet she can talk at length about how we need to make tampons free and how having to pay for your bodily functions is oppressive. Should we make toilet paper free as well? I can’t help that I need to urinate and have bowel movements, and that happens more frequently than menstruation. There are now birth control pills on the market that remove the need for a menstrual cycle or can limit it down to a couple of cycles a year. But I can’t take pills that remove my need to have to take an occasional dump.

If I were to go around saying that having to pay for toilet paper is oppressive, people would look at me like I was nuts. The reason that no one calls Valenti on this broken logic comes from the desire of the general public to be socially progressive, and for them that means catering to the needs of women. So no one will mention the giant, wrinkly elephant in the room, and it just stands there getting bigger and wrinklier by the minute.

But then we’re talking about a woman who wrote an article shaming anti-feminist women entitled “Punching Gloria Steinem: Inside the bizarre world of anti-feminist women,” in which she cherry-picks and portrays all anti-feminist women as stupid, selfish traditionalists who are harming all women by virtue of not supporting the sisterhood.

It’s like she lives in this consistent world of delusion where she is oblivious to the progress of women in society, where no matter what women accomplish, it will never be enough. Yet she is a shining example of what women can achieve. With a master’s degree in feminist bullshit 101 and enough perseverance, you too can land a job at a legitimate news source. You can wear a sweatshirt showing your complete lack of empathy for half the population and still keep your job. You can make an average of $50,000 to $70,000 a year and still claim that you are oppressed.

Well done, Jessica. You certainly have my nomination for deranged mentalist of the year. Because when you are a privileged woman like her and you go out of your way to show that you have no empathy for the problems of men, you are rubbing salt in an open wound and kicking people who cannot fight back. It’s nothing short of sadistic.

This is the woman who they say is responsible for bringing feminism to the Internet. This is a woman who writes daily columns for The Guardian and contributes to other newspapers on a regular basis. What does it say about society when people like her can be openly sexist and face no consequences, when a man in her position would be looking for another job?

It says that Jessica Valenti and women like her are the single best argument against the existence of a patriarchy in the First World. Their existence in high positions of power show that not only are women not oppressed but they also often stand on pedestals, placing themselves beyond criticism. If a man in the media says something sexist, he is fired. If a woman in the media does the same, she is a hero.

You have to admire Valenti’s honesty, though. Some terrible human beings hide their bigotry. She wears it on her sleeve. She stands as an example of just how blind these women are to the true state of the world, fueled by the delusion that their actions are in some way helping the people in the world who need help the most. They see what they want to see, never looking at the bigger picture of human turmoil, satisfied with their own explanations, and deaf to the voices of those who would persuade them to reason. This is Jessica Valenti, and she is what a feminist looks like.

 

Rachel Edwards

Rachel Edwards

Rachel is a former host of Honey Badger Radio, a recurring member of the Tales from the Infrared crew. She wanders around the web researching feminist insanity, poking people with a large stick, and keeping everyone in the silly place. When she isn't doing any of those things she spends her time doing even more blogging, grooming her rather large fluffy cat, nerding out with her favorite people, and burying herself in various fandoms. Pinkie Pie is best Pony! (You spelled "Fluttershy" wrong. -- Zen)
Rachel Edwards

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