Enjoy This Cranky Old Man Who Still Can’t Believe They Untie Women From The Stove

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 9:15 EDT
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Via Lindy West at Jezebel comes this column by Jack Engelhard  of the Washington Times denouncing all those meanie feminists with their meanie rules about treating women like professionals in a professional setting. It’s truly a thing of wonder. It reads like someone just took notes off a rant that Engelhard shot off during a family get-together, one perhaps aimed at younger female relatives who he resents because they’ve neglected their female duty to pretend he’s smart, so instead he’s going to exploit their unwillingness to argue with their elders to make them uncomfortably. Naturally, Engelhard is mad about Obama apologizing for his inappropriate remarks regarding Kamala Harris’s looks during a political event, and is happy to feign confusion and attack strawmen in response.

Women’s lib only began a few decades ago.

Please, give us a chance to learn the rules. Give us a minute to catch our breath.

Of course, as he makes very clear in this piece, helping you “learn the rules” through traditional teaching strategies like gently critcizing people who break “the rules” or explaining what “the rules” are and how to follow them. We are to be utterly silent in the face of sexism, and eventually it will go away because somethingsomething, that’s why.

But one morning we were told that it is okay, even required, to tell a woman that she looks marvelous. Next morning, hey, we can go to jail for this!

Being gently rebuked by women is the same thing for a man as going to jail. I know it’s hard for you ladies to understand this, but believe me, having the subhuman servant class suddenly start talking back with incredibly traumatizing for Engelhard. The past few decades have been a Kafka-esque nightmare where women, who he thought were silent appliances put here to be shiny and serve, having started issuing complaints and demands. You scoff, but imagine how you’d feel if your coffeemaker one day stood up and said, “I’m sick of you treating me like I’m just here to make coffee and otherwise be ignored. I’m leaving you, because I am a person, goddammit!” Now you have a better idea of how bewildering it is for Engelhard to have the sex-and-baby dispensers that clean up after you tell you that they’re people. And that this means they should be treated with respect in professional settings. Who lets a coffeemaker be the attorney general anyway?

If our culture has become so neutered, soon we may be forbidden from watching Guys and Dolls.

Forget South Pacific and that roaring number of gratitude, “there ain’t nothin’ like a dame.”

Engelhard seems to be under the impression that the only reason female bodies started showing in the workplace is to make things more visually appealing, like having your offices put in more windows and plants. I mean, it can’t actually be that they’re here to do work and be treated like colleagues, right? Men are workers, and dames are there to be nothing like men, and so can’t be there to work. Next you’re going to tell him that he can’t admire the view out the new window for fear of making people think it’s just a window.

Granted, some men should be “fixed” (racetrack term for castration) but the normal American Joe is simply doing what comes naturally.

Dare we say the following in this climate of political correctness? Boys like girls.

Sometimes – and this does come as a shock – girls like boys.

That is how we make American babies. Love happens. Sex happens. Why the attraction? Don’t ask me. Ask God.

Because “sex happens”, it is therefore appropriate all the time in every situation to make it about sex. But I imagine Engelhard doesn’t want men who are attracted to men to make every conversation they have with him about sex. So really what he’s saying here is that because men can have sex with women, that is what women are for at all points in time. She may look like she’s typing away at a TPS report at her desk, but in fact she’s killing time between sexual penetrations. It’s no more offensive to treat her that way than it is to open the fridge and take a peek at what’s in there between meals.

Someone suggested that women would be safer from sexist remarks if they dressed like men.

I’m sure “someone” said that. Sure of it.

Do we want all our women to resemble Alan Colmes and Rush Limbaugh? Really?

Dammit, they’re “our” women and we will decorate them how we like and use them how we like. What part of “our women” do you stupid feminists not understand?

I have to imagine it even galls conservative women at times to see a piece like this, because being women, they can’t get away with writing something so poorly argued, hysterical, and whiny and expect to get away with it. Being this incredibly stupid and expecting people to praise you for your intelligence is a privilege still reserved for white men, and Engelhard is basking in it.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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