Other possible titles for this chapter could be:
- “Satan Makes Them Do It.”
- “No One has Free Will. Satan or God Decide Everything Always.”
- “We’re Not Quite Sure how to Construct a Rational Argument.”
Today’s post might be just a touch snarky, as I’m a little bit tired of their nonsense. There are two glaring problems with this chapter, but before I jump into them, I want to begin by highlighting how self-contradictory John and Stasi are. Because they adhere to gender essentialism, they are incapable of recognizing the problems that come with thinking about people that way, and it forces them to make arguments that aren’t internally consistent.
Something that happens in this chapter makes me feel all sorts of conflicted, because I want to be heartbroken while I also want to smash things. It’s funny how often the two go hand-in-hand in my life nowadays.
But a young, rebellious, unwise woman set loose with a Eurail Pass and a bleeding heart attracted cruel attention. While traveling through Italy, I was sexually assaulted, and although I was furious at the man, deep in my heart I felt somehow worthy of assault … Later, in the south of France, I unwittingly put myself in a dangerous position. After enjoying a few too many drinks … I accepted a ride back to the hotel from the men we had been drinking with. You must be shaking your hear as you read this, knowing what was coming. I am. Their offered ride did not lead us back to the hotel but instead to a private location where I was raped.
Internalized misogyny logic: trusting that men aren’t rapists means getting raped is all your fault, you foolish girl.
I understand this perspective. It’s where my head was for three years after I was raped and assaulted– I believed in all the lies of my sub-culture; “men only go as far as women let them,” and “you can incite a man to rape you by being sexually impure,” as well as many others. Stasi believes that women can be at fault for the sexual violence perpetrated against them– both passively and actively. The fact that Stasi is spreading these lies around as a rape survivor is shattering, but it also makes me angry. There are so many toxic messages in this book I am desperately sorry for all the men and women who have read it.
However, contrary to this paragraph, Stasi and John go on to make the argument that violence against women exists because Satan hates women for the following reasons:
- He used to be beautiful. Now he isn’t, and he can’t stand that women are pretty.
- He is a murderer, and he hates that women can make babies.
Neither ones of these makes sense, but Stasi and John are convinced that this is true because they believe that 20th century white middle-class American stereotypes about gender apply to everyone who has ever lived. To them, men are not beautiful, which just baffles me. Also, apparently, human females are capable of asexual reproduction. We definitely make life all on our own and we don’t need sperm to do it. Nope.
They also go on to claim that Satan targets women because we are “the weaker of the two [sexes].” I was a little surprised that they made this argument, because its premise is that women are either morally or mentally (or both) inferior to men. If Satan targeted the woman because she was “weaker,” it necessarily means that women are more easily deceived, have weak moral wills, are not as autonomous, aren’t as capable of expressing agency, and are more easily corruptible than men. That’s some pretty blatant misogyny.
What also frustrates me is that they frame the way that Satan targets women as “an assault on femininity.” That’s just more of their gender essentialism speaking, but heavens does it make me want to tear my hair out. Being feminine and being a woman are not the same thing, and this belief centers the white, heterosexual, American perspective as the standard. But, to them, “femininity” and “womanhood” are not just synonyms, they are the exact same thing.
John closes out the chapter with six pages of blaming Satan for his sexism. After describing a woman’s soul as “a bloody mess,” he spends a lot of time talking about how, as a manly man who mans very dudely, he doesn’t like taking the time to understand women. But that has nothing to do with sexism or misogyny or patriarchy. Nope. It’s because Satan wants to use him to get back at women for being pretty.
So, these are the conclusions of this chapter:
- Rapists rape because Satan made them do it, but they only rape foolish people who sort of deserve it anyway.
- Misogyny and patriarchy are really just Satan attacking women cuz we’re pretty and are capable of being preggo.
- It just makes sense for Satan to attack us. Men are more moral and more intelligent.