306. What Grinds My Gears

Idina Menzel throughout the years:

Wicked [2003]: “…And if I’m flying solo, at least I’m flying free!”

Frozen [2013]: “…Yes, I’m alone; but I’m alone and free!”

Yes, we get it already. Geez, woman.

(the above had nothing to do with the topic at hand. Just another stupidly fascinating thing this author found postworthy)


You know what really grinds my gears? Sweeping generalizations.

No, I’m not being pretentious. Yes, I’m being pedantic. Yes, there is a difference; and yes, I just gave a class-A example of how pedantic I am.

I was in a reasonably good mood tonight, if a little tired from the day’s activities, until I logged in on Facebook and found a link shared by a friend: an article titled “A Gentlemen’s Guide To Rape Culture”.

Hey, one does not simply ignore a title as catchy as that.

(by the way, since the subject is preceded by the singular “A”, it should be “Gentleman”; not “Gentlemen”, which refers to the plural)

I read the bold statement that started off the article: “If you are a man, you are a part of rape culture.”

And then I read the rest of the article with my middle finger held up against the screen in metaphoric defiance of the writer’s stance.

Look. Mate. I get it that you’re trying to write an impactful opening line, and “If you are a complete douche, you are a part of rape culture” just doesn’t quite pack the same punch. I get it, okay? But in your quest for the impactful opening line, you’ve dumped the blame of rape culture onto the collective heads of some 4 billion men out of the 8 billion people living on earth. Since I was born with a Y-chromosome and have a particular set of defining traits that defines my sex, I am unconsciously or subconsciously perpetuating violence and discrimination against women?


(all around, I can already hear the voices in the distance going, “If you were truly innocent, you won’t be so defensive about it, mate!”)

Does it not count to my merit, the 99% of my life not devoted to making women feel vulnerable and threatened? The times I stuck up for the girls – not because they were weak and needed to be protected, but because it’s what people do for each other – do they not count? Are all these things wiped away in the overwhelming incriminating factor that is my manhood?

No disclaimers. No apologies. If you’re a man, you are a part of rape culture. Full stop. Now here’s what you need to do, as a man, to cleanse yourself of the original sin.

It’s a load of horseshit if I’ve ever known one.

Of course that wasn’t the original intent of the writing. But we’re rattling off based on presumptions, aren’t we? If I, as a man, am promoting rape culture through my failure to address the problem; then Mr. Writer-Of-Article, as a writer, is publishing horseshit through his failure to acknowledge the obscene generalization that is his opening line.

I mean, is it so hard to admit to a margin of error? You could have redeemed yourself with a qualifying statement – as easy as inserting “chances are” right after the comma, but you didn’t. You could have said that your experience isn’t comprehensive, and that’s forgivable. Hell, you could have just acknowledged your sweeping generalization, and I would have accepted that.

But no.

You went ahead and wrote that dumb-ass opening line for all the world to see. And it’s spreading through the internet, misspelled word in the title and all. And it’s telling people, hey, look, it’s cool to generalize, as long as you get a punchy sentence out of it. I mean, who cares for factual accuracy right?

Thanks a lot, bud. Thanks a lot.


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