Back when feminism was becoming a mass movement back in the early 70’s, back when it was still Women’s Liberation, a lot of its success as a cultural movement was because feminists coined good, powerful slogans and terms that really spoke to people. People accepted and adopted them because they aligned with people’s own experiences.
One that was very effective was the term “male chauvinist pig”. (And by the way, the use of “pig” is one big reason I have no time for feminists decrying term like “cougar”. Supposedly it’s disrespectful to liken women to animals but fine when you do it to men.) A male chauvinist pig was three things mainly: 1) he was someone who thought that men were somehow superior to women and so 2) he thought that women existed to serve men and that 3. Women were therefor at his sexual disposal, in any way he chose to claim it.
A term that came into use about the same time was “sexist pig.”
These terms were effective shaming devices, mostly because that kind of behavior was already considered basically unacceptable and always had been – “cad” – with an extra dollop of hip disapproval. It really did in fact play a big role in changing the culture for Mad Men to what we see today. And that difference is undeniable, in case anyone wants to argue the point.
Men as well as women can be the victims of sexism – in fact denying that is itself sexist – but there is a lot more resistance to calling that out, perhaps because that behavior is not already considered basically unacceptable. That can change, but it will take work. It will take people using these terms when they see sexism aimed at men.
I am not using the term “female chauvinist pig” in the sense that Ariel Levy does. In the end her use of the term is a little superficial. She criticizes women for mimicking male chauvinist sexism without criticizing women’s female chauvinist sexism. Female chauvinism comes out of the same patriarchal worldview as does male chauvinism – chivalry, toxic femininity, toxic framings of macho masculinity and gender essentialism.
So with that in mind, you are a sexist pig if:
Objectification of Men:
1. Ownership of men
1.a You are a sexist pig if you think it’s your place to decide who is and isn’t a “Real Man”.
1.b You are a sexist pig if you assume you know more about relationships or think your style of emotional expression is more genuine and valid, and that he should adopt it or else he is a Neanderthal, stoic thumbhead.
1.c. You are a sexist pig if you think or say something that shows you think you can mind-read men. That is a claim of ownership. So if you assert that looking at pornography makes men rape, you are a sexist pig. If you say that fathers complain about Parental Alienation only because they are abusers and fear losing control, you are a sexist pig.
1.d. You are a sexist pig if you think you understand a man’s life better than he does. If when a man explains how he has been hurt by something, you find some way to explain it away or minimize it, you are a sexist pig.
1.e. You are a sexist pig if you objectify men by borgifying them into Class Man and make sweeping statements meant to apply to or describe all of them. So if you insist that all men everywhere have privilege that no women anywhere have, you are sexist pig. If you insist that minority men can be oppressed only because of their ethnic minority status and never simply because they are men, you are doing the work of the KKK and denying their manhood, and you are a sexist pig as well as a racist.
2. Female Supremacy
2.a You are a sexist pig if you think that men are really all just little immature boys and women are the only grown-ups. If you think “The best man for the job is always a woman.” you are a sexist pig. If you think men’s hobbies and interests and sexual choices are childish, or if you find some way to demonize these pursuits you are a sexist pig.
2.b You are a sexist pig if you find yourself wishing he were just more like your female friends.
2.c You are a sexist pig if you think, or worse yet say, “Women civilize men”, “men are nothing without women”, ”‘women are more moral then men”, etc. etc.
2.d You are a sexist pig if you thnk men are inherently violent and men are not, and that men start all wars and women are always the victms in war. You are a sexist pig if you think woen are more peaceful than men, or that when men make war, it is because they choose to.
2.e You are a sexist pig if you think women are the moral judges of society
2.e.1 You are a sexist pig if you think that women’s norms of behavior are morally superior to men’s standards. (Gynonormativity)
3. Male Disposability
3.a You are a sexist pig if you think that the measure of a good man is how happy he makes a woman.
3.b You are a sexist pig if you think it is a man’s job to give a woman an orgasm but that the woman doesn’t need to do anything for the man’s orgasm because “he gets off pretty well already.”
3.b.1 You are a sexist pig if you think that a woman’s sexual gratification is empowering and or to be celebrated while thinking that a man’s sexual gratification is objectifying of women, creepy, “wanker”ish, or of any less value than a woman’s.
3.c You are a sexist pig if you insist that everyone see vaginas as beautiful but think that penises are “icky”, “gross” or funny.
3.d You are a sexist pig if you think that Male Genital Mutilation is acceptable for any reason.
3.e. You are a sexist pig if you think a man is responsible to provide for a woman, including the children she has by another man.
3.f You are a sexist pig if you think that something is worse if it happens to a woman than if it happens to a man. So:
3.f.1 You are a sexist pig if you erase or diminish something men suffer but equating it with some lesser harm that women suffer. If you respond with rape statistics for women when murder statistics for men are mentioned, you are a sexist pig. If you respond with stories of how women can’t find soul mates when a man says he can’t even get a civil response when he approaches a woman, you are a sexist pig.
3.f.2 You are a sexist pig if you think that women suffer worse in war than men do. Even if you acknowledge that “Well, men do get killed disproportionately in war, but then women get left behind as widows and women get raped in war, and that’s worse”, then you are a sexist pig.
3.f.3 You are a sexist pig if you think that Female Genital Mutilation is somehow worse than Male Genital Mutilation.
3.f.4 You are a sexist pig if you think it’s worse when a woman gets raped that when a man gets raped.
3.f.5 You are a sexist pig if you think that sexual abuse of girls is more harmful to girls than sexual abuse of boys is to boys. If you excuse a woman having sex with a minor male on the grounds that as a male he has privilege and is in the position of power, you both a sexist pig and a rape apologist.
3.f.6 You are a sexist pig if you think that false rape accusations are less of a problem than rape. If you think that women never lie about rape or that that normal presumption of innocence should be set aside in cases of rape or that any aspect of due process, including facing one’s accuser, then you are a sexist pig.
3.g You are a sexist pig if you slut-shame men. If you think a man showing sexual interest in a woman, in and of itself, is creepy, pathetic or oppressive, then you are a female chauvinist and a sexist pig. If you think that a man should have to prove himself worthy of a woman’s company, you are a sexist pig.
3.h You are a sexist pig if you virgin-shame men. If you think men who can’t get laid or are socially inept are “losers”, you are a sexist pig. If you think that female masturbation is empowering but male masturbation is a sign that a man can’t get a woman for sex and that makes him a “loser”, you are a sexist pig.
3.i You are a sexist pig if you gay-shame men (as well as a homophobic scumcrust). If you approach a man or force yourself on him and he rejects you, and you ask him if he’s gay, you are a sexist pig.
4. Agenda-driven Denialism
4.1 You are a sexist pig if you think that men commit an overwhelming majority of Intimate Partner Violence, or that they initiate most IPV.
4.b You are a sexist pig if you deny that women use false accusations of IPV to obtain biased awards of child custody, and that statute law enables this and courts tolerate it.
4.c You are a sexist pig if you think a woman should have the right to have her man removed from the home merely on her accusation of IPV without further evidence or process.
4.d You are a sexist pig if you think women don’t rape men, or that they rape men at a very much smaller incidence than men rape women.
4.e You are a sexist pig if you deny the reality of the female sentencing discount or attempt to misrepresent it. If you attempt to justify it with “Well, men commit more crimes” you are a denialist sexist pig.
4.f You are a sexist pig if you dismiss a man’s complaints of harm or injustice with “You’re just angry and bitter.”
4.g You are a sexist pig if you use gendered anti-male shaming language. So:
4.g.1 You are a sexist pig if you dismiss a man’s complaints of harm or injustice with “You just hate women.” If you use “misogynist as an all-purpose slur to dismiss arguments, or if you deny that misandry is “even a word” then you are a sexist pig.
4.g.2 You are a sexist pig if you dismiss a man’s complaints of harm or injustice with “Stop whining, you crybaby.”
4.g.3 You are a sexist pig if you dismiss a man’s complaints of harm or injustice with “Man up” or “Suck it up” or “Deal with it like a man.”
4.g.4 You are a sexist pig if you dismiss a man’s complaints of harm or injustice with “You’re so immature; you need to grow up.”
4.g.5 You are a sexist pig if you dismiss a man’s complaints of harm or injustice with “You frighten me (you brute)”
4.g.6 You are a sexist pig if you dismiss a man’s complaints of harm or injustice with “You sound like one of those right-wing MRA types.”
4.g.7 You are a sexist pig if you dismiss a man’s complaints of harm or injustice with self-recusals such as “I’m not like that!” or “It’s sexist to say women do that!”
4.g.8 You are a sexist pig if you dismiss a man’s complaints of harm or injustice with “You’re creepy/unstable/deluded”.
4.h You are a sexist pig if you if you deny that men face systemic and institutional sexism.
4.i You are a sexist pig if you deny that women can be sexist.
4.j You are a sexist pig if the expression “female chauvinist pig” or the use of “sexist pig” to describe a woman affronts you.
4.k You are a sexist pig if you use the term “male privilege” without using the term “female privilege” or deny that it is valid.
4.l You are a sexist pig if you think women should generally get custody of children in a divorce. Additionally you are a hypocrite if you claim to care for children and then turn around and deny that children need both their parents raising them equally.
4.m You are a sexist pig if you say men cause wars and then deny how women benefit from wars.
4.n You are a sexist pig if you deny that society privileges women with unobstructed access to men’s bodies through both custom and law, in ways that it does not privilege men. You are a sexist pig if you use the term “rape culture” to describe men’s sexual approaches to women or society’s attitudes to women’s bodies.
5. Double Standards
5.a You are a sexist pig if you think women are entitled to their own female-only organizations but that men’s organizations must be open to women.
5.b You are a sexist pig if you think that a woman having sex with a drunken man, too drunk to give consent, is not rape.
5.c You are a sexist pig if you think a woman should be able to avoid parenthood by abortion or by leaving her newborn in an amnesty drop box but that a man should have no equal legal right to avoid parenthood renouncing the child.
5.d You are a sexist pig if you think that a woman has the right to obligate a man to 18 years of supporting a child purely on her own decision without regard for his wishes.
5.e You are a sexist pig if you simultaneously say “Well, he should have kept it zipped…” and also insist on a woman’s right to end a pregnancy or to unilaterally decide on adoption.
5.f You are a sexist pig if you think man advocating for men’s rights deserves to be physically attacked.
5.g You are a sexist pig if you think that women are pure vessels of light that would never lie, or cheat, or oppress anyone, and cannot do any of that anyway, and that men are brutish, violent thugs that have to be controlled by surveillance and held instantly suspect whenever an accusation arises.
So this is a start on the list of ways to be a sexist pig. Please feel free to nominate others and please feel free to offer supporting citations; the list is living document.
- The Woman Card - May 2, 2016
- Frat boy bachelorettes and the invasion of gay bars - April 15, 2016
- “Not my kid….” - February 22, 2016