Monday, November 8, 2010

A Review of "Worthless Women" and the authors who create them

I recently ran across a popular blog posting called “Worthless women and the men who make them” written by Single Dad Laughing, a well-traveled blog about a single father (who incidentally has been divorced twice before the age of thirty) and his son. In noticing the title I decided I had to read the article, anything that started out with “worthless women” was bound to be interesting.

Allow me to sum up this badly written and absurdly long blog post written by a man who obviously knows quite a bit about women (sorry for the sarcasm). Single dad laughing makes the claim that women only think of themselves as worthless; he proposes that the reason for this is that men too readily enjoy the “fake” women that grace our media. His solution to this problem of errant looking? Men should stop looking. Now all of this appears palatable doesn’t it? That’s when we encounter the underlying message that tears down his argument, he believes that it is ONLY once men stop behaving this way that women can change the way they view themselves. As he states in regards to the ability of women to change this view of their self-wroth by themselves, “I don't know how it is possible so long as we, as men, stop and look. So long as I stop and look. In fact, I'm certain that it is not. A woman can tell herself that those images are fake until the sun goes down, but at the end of the day, her self-talk will barely matter….If men never stopped. If men never looked. Do you honestly think women would have this problem? Think about that. Would these magazines even exist if men weren't interested in the fakeness splashed across their covers? Women would not care. They would feel no need to live up to a digital standard of beauty because there would be no reason to do so. Not if it was something we didn't want” (Single Dad Laughing Paragraph 47 and 67).

One, I think his tone here of “I am God’s gift to women because I’m the only man across the United States who has realized this” is offensive and self-righteous. Second, and my biggest issue with this post, he completely negates the ability of a woman to change for herself! It is only through a man changing his viewpoint of a woman that she is able to change the way that she sees herself. Does anyone else see a problem with this ideology? I believe that people are individuals and that it is only through the self that change is possible; pushing women back onto the pedestal of helplessness is no example of progressivism and isn’t doing women any favors.

Now, I see that his intentions here are probably good, he means I think to change the negative media that demands women be tall, leggy blonds with a 26” waist and D-cup bra. I agree, however, my ability to see myself as worthwhile isn’t dependent on a man’s ability to do so and I think telling women that you are only beautiful when a man tells you that you are, is just a destructive and backwards and damaging as telling them they have to achieve your standards of beauty. It pushes women once again into the spot of the dependent, and worse yet, as the mental dependent of a man.

The fact of the matter is this man operates within the same faulty logic as do the people he is decrying. Later on his post, despite his claims that this negative view of women’s bodies is mostly the fault of men, he still throws the blame back to women and says, “And what do you say, women? Throw us a freaking bone? Give us something we can believe in? Give us the women we so desperately want to cherish? "Real" women with "real" love for themselves? All you have to do is stop. And look. Look at reality. Look at what you want. Look at what needs to be changed. Look at the problems you're making worse instead of better. And, never, not even once, let those self-loathing statements listed above enter your thoughts. Certainly never let them escape your lips “(Par 78).

First off, don’t tell me what to do, don’t ever tell me what I can and cannot think. Secondly, you demand that I give you a real woman? So if a woman does struggle with her self-image suddenly she is no longer a “real” woman? She no longer has any self-worth in your eyes? Weird, I thought that you were arguing against that idea.

Next in his post he demands that men “need” women to be this way. “We need you to be beautiful. Because beautiful you are (Par 70).” So first he asserts that men must change women, however in order for men to make this positive change, they “need” women to be “real” and “beautiful”. I think that here he does men a disservice as well. He seems to believe that men are also incapable of viewing women differently by themselves, men too cannot change without first women changing themselves. His solution is therefore not really a solution, merely a catch 22 where neither gender can ever change the way they think about women. If the world were to follow this model nothing positive would ever be achieved because before people can think better of the other, the other must think better of themselves and before they can do that, the first people must first think better of the other.

Now to add the cherry on top of his logical fallacies he once again demands that despite his previous claims, it really is the fault of women if men think badly of them. He says, “I can't believe I am going to say what I am about to say. I can't believe I actually do want what I am about to ask. But I do. Desperately. So, I'm going to throw it out there. I think we need women to wear clothing that shows a little less instead of a little more. We need women to wear pants that are a little looser instead of a little tighter. We need women to put their boobs back inside of their shirts. I feel crazy even saying it (I'm a single guy for crying out loud), but maybe if women gave everybody a little less to compare, this whole thing would be a little easier for us all, no matter what our chromosomal make-up” (Par 72). Apparently if I would like Mr. Single Dad Laughing to change the way I view MYSELF I must first change everything about MYSELF. I need to stop wearing clothing that might be a little tight, because that would make everything easier for HIM.

I have a question though Single Dad Laughing, if I don’t wear clothing that meets YOUR explicit instructions, does that mean I’m worthless?


  1. I love how his post has gotten under all of our skins and is generating this discussion. Women who put on more clothes in order to protect men from their own lascivious urges (those poor, carnal creatures) are still dressing for men, not themselves.

  2. Especially since the very men who ask women to wear more often turn around and ask women to wear less too.

  3. This is a ridiculous post! (Not yours, his). It makes me somewhat amused. I have seen the self proclaimed champions of women here at BYU (let's be honest that particular population is high around here), and your best thought, in my opinion, is the concept of women changing to make it easier for men. Genius! If a man wants to make life easier for himself than he has the power to change himself. As a man thinketh, so is he. The self worth of men and women are just as independent of each other as the self worth of an individual should be independent from even those closest to them.

  4. One more quick thought. I think this relates well to the NYTimes article you mention a few posts earlier. The Taliban has this man's ideals pretty much figured out, don't they? Changing women, either their belief system or their appearance, does not change the fact that men who have not changed themselves can be wholly destructive. Again thanks for the post.

  5. What bothers me most is the author's lapsarian lament. He talks about going back to a time before these problems, before the Internet and Marilyn Monroe. By equating the problems with the media, he is excusing (or ignoring) many of the other harmful forces at work that existed and have existed for a very long time (like men patronizing women, for example). It is always much easier to point to a boogeyman. And point he does.

  6. If it didn't feel too evil, I'd respond to this post with one about the church activity I attended last night. We learned not only how to apply makeup (too heavily) but also that we can only be and feel beautiful once the makeup is on our faces and that women who don't wear makeup can't catch men since men "fall in love through their eyes and women fall in love through their ears."

    And now my life makes complete sense.

  7. It really irritates me when I read comments and posts from people talking about how great and wonderful Dan Pearce is. His posts are full of logical fallacies, inconsistency, and incoherent rambling. He drives me nuts. Glad to know I'm not the only one.