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October 8, 2018 | by  | in Features |
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Why I Gotta Be Misogynistic Every Time We Kick It

My phone was connected to the bluetooth speaker in the kitchen playing the new Cozy Tapes Vol. II over the sound of a boiling kettle. I don’t often take in all the lyrics from A$AP Mob. They don’t deliver any Deltron 3030 or Kendrick Lamar lyricism that I have to dissect for weeks in between tracks; it’s often just songs filled with flexing about cars, jewellery, and women. I often just listen to the beat on songs like these, because I don’t believe the lyrics will change my life or the way I look at women in denim overalls. The treble in the track is increased and I can hear the vocals a tad clearer. A line by frontman A$AP Rocky rings out:
“My apologies, why I gotta be misogynistic every time we kick it.
Every time I visit something’s different”
The word “misogynistic” is a word I have never before heard in a hip-hop track. I zoned out for the rest of the album and actually thought about that line. Where did Rocky even get the idea to write about misogyny? Am I misogynistic everytime I kick it with my girl? It’s a word that we hear less and less, but an act I notice more and more.
Although misogyny is something that is prevalent in our culture today, I won’t be playing the role of the 56 year old tennis mum blaming the “rap music that the kids are blasting today”.
I also won’t play the role of Chad, and scream that men face prejudice too.

This article is more than the comments about women in the kitchen.
It’s more than the assumptions of women cleaning and cooking all night and day.
It’s more than the shaming of the sexual prowess of any young woman.
This is article is more than a definition of misogyny. Instead, it’s focusing on us dudes being misogynistic everytime we kick it.

It’s date night, and we order in takeaways from your favourite spot because I know you had a rough week. Sweatpants are on and the mood is set. This is probably the time I should put on some Al Green and casually turn up the volume; but tonight is your night. A candle is lit and your favourite smells of coconut and vanilla lift your mood, accompanied by a gentle Kaytranada mix. I relax as I’ve done everything I can to make a safe environment and tell you to vent. You start talking about your deep and intimate issues that somehow make me feel uneasy. I’m not twelve and periods don’t gross me out anymore, but for some reason my mind is jittering with mental sweat. I hurry along the conversation and attempt to finish your sentences. I bring up my phone and start to scroll, just to appear casual and comfortable with the conversation. I start to take snippets of your conversation and talk about my day and things I want to talk about. This continues for another 7 minutes. I think you feel defeated and head to sleep.
You sleep feeling unresolved and tense. I can’t sleep because I’m feeling guilty, but comfortable. Waking up the next morning, we have meaningless chatter and I start to wonder if we ever talk about your situations. I want to hear more about you and your relationships with the outside world, but I realise half way through the conversation that you already let me know. I just don’t take them seriously. This shit feels like teenage fever.
I analyse this situation more and more as the week goes on. I always have to ask myself if this is misogyny or whether I’m just impolite when anecdotes don’t involve me.
The only person I talk about these sorts of things with is Dayna. She helps me self-critique with love and allows me to vent freely.We’ve been friends for years and we catch up occasionally for coffee or drinks. Our conversation always end up talking about our love lives or commitment issues. She starts talking about the last guy she was with, gets into raunchy details. My brain tells me to become more aware of my surroundings as I signal her to quiet down her conversation.

Wait.
Why? Why would I tell her to quiet down? Who cares if she’s talking about the last dick appointment she attended? I’d let my male friends talk about their weird and nasty encounters with women loud and proud in a Maccas playground at 10AM. Dayna should feel free to talk about Jason’s game, just as much as he feels free to talk about hers.
It’s at this point I begin to self reflect. As someone who would define themselves openly as a keeper of human rights and equality between all races and genders, I’m doing a shit job of doing it subconsciously. Inprofessional environments I would never be so rude, but when I let my guard down over some green tea and caramel slice I seem to slip up. Are my misogynist tendencies internalized?

It’s a school night. You’re scrolling Instagram and come across an old friend you don’t talk to anymore. Comments on your photos from 2013 are filled with praise and compliments from her, but ever since your disagreement over one guy you hardly talk to her anymore. She uploads something which makes you slightly jealous and angry; something you’ll never fully admit. You call her a slut, and tell a slanderous story about her being an “untrustworthy bitch” when you were both friends. Everyone else in the room is male and inclined to listen, and refuses to argue with you. The words slut, whore, and bitch are more normalised in that environment, and the young men around you feel more comfortable using those words to describe women like that. You only used those words when you were angry. That doesn’t matter, the damage is already done.
Like many other people who will read this article, you’ll probably define yourself as someone who’s “not a dickhead”, if not a feminist. I know we focus on how to combat rape culture and the negative gender norms women face daily, and somehow we find ourselves in arguments with people who believe “women do it just as much as men”. I don’t have the answers for this, and I cannot challenge or critique a culture successfully.

Internalized misogyny and subtle sexism are issues which pass us on the bus, at the pub, or on the couch every day. In a casual setting we’re far more relaxed and I don’t want you to feel tense everytime a woman enters the room. Just as I do to myself every time I write, I need to remember I’m not perfect and critique my actions openly. The last thing I want to do is ruin your movie night or your morning brunch out by telling you well done and treating you like a pre-teen. You’re a grown woman on your way to a degree and a full time job, you should feel just as comfortable as me when we kick it.

There’s a lot of confidence that comes after a self-reflection like this. I can’t end this piece on a happy or sad note, because this is something that we all still battle for every day. This isn’t something we’ve solved at all, and this isn’t something which you’re going to give up. In your endeavour to look out for these signs, I hope you remember the verse and how it ends.
“My apologies, why I gotta be misogynistic every time we kick it
Every time I visit something’s different and every time I leave you know you miss it”

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