Extreme Patriarchy-Induced Rage (now decaf!)

Quality ranting in today’s instant-messaging:

I should probably not talk to people while I am cutting back on caffeine for the summer.  Also it’s possible I shouldn’t make a major life decision while pissed off about travel and things.

#2: why are you pissed off about travel?
#1: because it sucks ass to get to and from Blighted Town.  It’s super-expensive and massively inconvenient.  Also I maybe shouldn’t make a major decision while detoxing off caffeine.  did I mention we went to another wedding this weekend
#2: ick, caffeine detox
  no wonder you haven’t been up
#1: my favorite person in the dept is leaving here because her hubby can’t get a job here.  and I feel like the seniors in the dept hate me and they’re not retiring
#2: nobody could hate you
  maybe they have bitch faces
 #1: wrong. they are crazy mad insane people and they hate me because of no reason. But they do.
if they have bitch faces, they must also have bitch sentences.
#2:  ha!

#1:  sorry, I’m really really ragey right now due to my mom’s IMing me in the other window about how people screw her over and SHE LETS THEM

#2: my mom is IMing me about how she’s almost done with her revision for a book chapter.  She’s working on the citations

#1: see, my mom is IMing me about how her male authors don’t do the revisions on the book chapters, so she has to, because her boss accepts sub-par work from authors.  my mom does the citations for men. Because her boss lets it be that way.
  my mom, BTW, is not a secretary.
#2: My mom used to be more of a pushover, but since they were assholes when she got breast cancer, she’s gotten less doormatty.
#1: I don’t understand why I have to produce publishable work in order to get published, but other people don’t!
 #2: Because you’re a young woman?
#1: other people get my mom to fix it for them!
#2: It isn’t fair. Though I bet you could get your mom to fix things for you.
 #1: my mom wouldn’t fix MY papers when I was a KID IN SCHOOL! she made me do it myself!  she did proofread part of my dissertation, but she damn sure didn’t do the citations for me.
#2: obviously she’s only a doormat for men.
  hm, your mom is part of the patriarchy?
#1: patriarchy combined with lack of caffeine makes me extra-ragey.
 #2: Perhaps I’m being too mean. [#1 doesn’t think so]  But seriously, I’m glad my mom isn’t a doormat anymore.
#1: mostly, my mom’s BOSS is patriarchy. My mom knows this is wack but refuses to change. She is patriarchy too, but less so.  I wish my mom would quit being so patriarchy. She raised us to do better than that.
#2: you should tell her that.
#1: WTF second-wave feminists who taught me that I’m as good as a man but apparently don’t actually live that.
#2: “Mom, I’m sorry to have to say this, but you’re setting a bad example.”
#1: I’ve tried.  but she also has low self-confidence about her awesome skills and ability to get a different job if this one lets her go. Which if they have any brains they won’t because she works like a workhorse and for cheap.
#2: ridiculous
  but I suppose it provides health insurance
#1: how the F*CK can we make OTHER people pay us what we’re WORTH when some people think it’s totally ok for a woman to get treated like a doormat? As long as there are some doormats, the rest of us get trampled too.
#2: it is true.   we get blowback for not being not doormats
#1: IT’S PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT MAKE MY STUDENT EVALS GO DOWN
#2: exactly!  My mom says she wishes your mom were her editor.
 #1: my mom doesn’t seem to understand why I’m so mad about her job. It’s because she’s teaching men that a woman will do their work for them, and then I have to deal with the little shits in my classroom.
#2: yup
 #1: I told her that but she doesn’t believe it’s anyone’s fault but their parents. HELLO you are a parent too.
 #2: My mother agrees with you.  I’m sorry that your mom is a tool for the Man.
#1: maybe your mom and my mom should swap jobs for a week. My mom can write things. Your mom can be an editor that’s not a doormat.
 #2: She wouldn’t though.
 #1: the pay isn’t good enough!
p.s.  Sorry Mom, I know that patriarchy is a system, not just you.  There are many systematic forces going on here.  I love you even though you annoy me.
Grumpy Readers, Does it bother you when other people are used by the system (and have given up on trying to stop being used)?  Does it matter if the person is a loved one?

23 Responses to “Extreme Patriarchy-Induced Rage (now decaf!)”

  1. Dr. Koshary Says:

    This entire post needs to be preserved for posterity somehow. Future generations need to read this stuff.

    I am painfully undecided about which is the most awesome sentence in this exchange. This:
    patriarchy combined with lack of caffeine makes me extra-ragey.
    or
    WTF second-wave feminists who taught me that I’m as good as a man but apparently don’t actually live that.
    or maybe
    I’m sorry that your mom is a tool for the Man.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      #2 felt guilty immediately after making that comment. (#2 was raised Catholic and knows she’s supposed to honor parents.) But alas, now preserved for posterity.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        #1 would also like to reiterate that blaming women for being caught in patriarchy was not my intent. But, see above re: lack of caffeine.

      • Dr. Koshary Says:

        Oh, I get it, I do. Take it from a practiced anxious child that it is possible to honor one’s parents at the same time that one critiques one’s parent’s flaws.

        And, as has been noted, there aren’t many people walking around who aren’t tools for the Man in some way. Patriarchy is insidious; we know this. I doubt anyone reading this thought that #1 was blaming women for patriarchy. Blame ≠ citing unwitting collaboration. :)

  2. becca Says:

    I think it bothers me *most* when that person is a loved one.

    But we are all used by the system in some ways, and you can’t fight every battle at the same time.

    Anyway, with that situation, I don’t see it as a huge problem that one person should have to do the citations. I don’t even see it as a huge problem that person should be the woman. I see it as the huge problem that she isn’t given MOAR MONIES for her MOAR WORKS. *sigh*

  3. mareserinitatis Says:

    *sigh* It makes me so sad to read this. But I can certainly understand. :-(

  4. Cloud Says:

    I get the frustration, and I agree that it may be harder to watch someone you love put up with this sort of crap. But I find that I’m more forgiving of older women than of younger. The young women coming up behind me who breezily dismiss sexism as no longer a problem irritate the hell out of me. My mom’s generation of women- well, particularly in my field, I figure they may have fought enough fights just staying in their jobs. I know that I sometimes let a fight go rather than take it on, because I’m still tired from the last fight. And in the grand scheme of annoying fights with the patriarchy, I’ve had it waaaay easier than the generation before me.

    • Perpetua Says:

      @Cloud – I agree! I used to get frustrated with the women ahead of me, because I found them in general reluctant to mentor the female graduate students and sometimes actively hostile to the idea of mentoring (there seemed to be a kind of hazing mentality – I went through misery and so should you!) but then I started thinking about what it must have been like to climb your way to tenure in the 60s and early 70s and started feeling more sympathy for them. And yes, the postfeminists drive me bonkers.

  5. Anandi Raman Creath (@anandi) Says:

    I think it does suck to see this shit happen to loved ones, but you can’t force someone else to be ragey about something that doesn’t bother them as much as you. I fall into this trap a lot – I see lots of instances where someone is being taken advantage of, and I’m all “why don’t you DO something” and the other person just plain isn’t as pissed off about it as I am. It’s caused issues for me in the past so I try to speak my mind then just lay off the subject because I’ll just get madder if I dwell on it.

    Cloud’s point is fair too – sometimes people are just tired. Or it’s too much work after fighting about other, more important things.

    Re: younger women not seeing sexism as a problem – I get that. I think it’s not something a lot of them deal with, esp at entry level jobs or in college. It’s stupid of them (or anyone) to say it doesn’t exist ANYWHERE anymore or doesn’t happen to other people, but I get it when they say they haven’t experienced it themselves and don’t see it as an issue for them right then. By and large, I tend to feel that way but know that I’m lucky.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      But they have experienced it themselves, they just don’t know it. I know there are good reasons behind this, but everything makes me mad when I don’t have caffeine.

  6. chacha1 Says:

    Yes. It annoys me when people just roll over. Bullies everywhere prosper because people are cowards. Frauds everywhere succeed because people are cowards. Vile and pernicious religious fanatics rule entire countries because people are cowards. And the patriarchy is still firmly in place because people are cowards.

    It’s been some time now since women receiving college degrees started to outnumber the men. And yet I’ll bet our male peers are, overwhelmingly, our bosses.

    And so it’s really offensive when WOMEN in positions of power (female Republican Senators, I am looking at you) stomp on the neck of people who are trying to achieve the equality that we deserve as a matter of RIGHT.

    • Debbie M Says:

      I think lots of minorities get into power because they hold the majority view. It’s easier to accept a woman/black/gay person in power who doesn’t want to rock the boat or something. Bleh. I was shocked and horrified when I started noticing this.

      Yes, my state has one of those female Republican Senators. She’s even worse than the male one, a feat not easily accomplished. (At least I have a good Representative. No matter how many hundreds of miles they stretch out his district, he still manages to get elected, too.)

  7. Debbie M Says:

    I don’t really think much in terms of patriarchy. But this quote really struck me: “but she also has low self-confidence about her awesome skills and ability to get a different job if this one lets her go. Which if they have any brains they won’t because she works like a workhorse and for cheap.” My mom is super conscientious and is always going above and beyond the call to make sure that things get done right. But she hates, hates, hates job hunting (because of low self-confidence about her awesome skills), so whenever her company gets bought out by worse and worse people, she just stays on trying to make things work. She has to actually be laid off to start job hunting, and then she feels like a failure and a nothing (even more than usual). She should be making huge piles of money by now.

  8. Funny about Money Says:

    Having been exploited so often and so long, I no longer can work myself up into a state of rage over this kind of sh!t. It is what it is. Hélas.

  9. Revanche Says:

    Is it wrong that I had all kinds of patriarchy, career, mentoring, etc thoughts but got to the end with the conclusion that I wish I had a drug like caffeine that would make me less ragey in the face of patriarchal incompetent buffoonery because if you’re always angrier off it, you’d probably be more Zen on it?

    Probably the wrong conclusion to end up with but there it is.

    I totally get all “Let’s get you better” when I see people getting taken advantage of, especially loved ones, and my efforts depend on the severity of the situation and their willingness to do anything about it.

    Longtime friends who refuse to hear or act despite offers of assistance? I can only do so much. Acquaintances who are complaining but open to help? If I can, I offer. I’ve been on the receiving end of kindnesses in my time of need and whether or not it worked out, it was incredibly bolstering to have a friend or a stranger take a chance and go out on a limb for me.

    Also, can I have your mom? I’d not be a jerk. :) We work people hard but fair.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      “end with the conclusion that I wish I had a drug like caffeine that would make me less ragey in the face of patriarchal incompetent buffoonery” — yes, I love caffeine. The great thing about it is that it’s a mood elevator (and cheaper than therapy!). This is why I cut back on it in the summer, so that it will still make me feel fantastic in the fall when school starts again. It makes me feel like I can do anything! It’s also handy to have a cup full of it in a meeting: when I get ragey and feel like saying something snarky, I just take another sip. Ahhh.


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