Tracy Clark-Flory put a twinkly post up about the possibility of creating sperm in a lab and the both baffling and yet predictable media response to the possibility that women could reproduce without men at all:
Take the following headlines the research spawned: "A world without need for men," "Sperm from stem cells put men on notice" and "British scientists grow ARTIFICIAL sperm in a lab (so who needs a man?)" and "Chaps doomed as lab grows sperm."
From what I can tell, all these came from the right wing press, so it isn't hard to figure out what's going on here. The more invested members of the dominant class are in maintaining their oppression of others, the more they have elaborate, paranoid fears that the Other will rise up and kill them one day. I have no doubt, hailing as I do from Redneckia, that the gun nut culture---at least the NRA paranoid version, not just people who like to own guns and shoot them at targets, but have no interest in worrying that Obama is going to take their guns away---stems from a deeply embedded racism. That's why there's so much nonsensical talk about the statistically low dangers of home invasion while you're at home. Guess what race they imagine the home invader to be. It's not conscious, but the ever-present fears of black criminality in this particular set of white people goes straight back to their own stranglehold on white privilege, which is so strong they assume that it will all end in violence.
Why else do you think the fears that Obama specifically will take their guns have such a hold on their imagination? You got that fear with Clinton, but not even close to the same degree. I'm lucky that I don't spend much of my time around racist rednecks, but friends of mine who have to for work will say that yeah, it's a fear they talk about non-fucking-stop.
I see the same thing operating here in this fear that women are plotting to overthrow the patriarchy by eliminating men altogether. Though, of course, the paranoid would never say it that way. They're invested in the self-delusional belief that there's no patriarchy and that they, in fact, are the victims here. This mix of wanting to hang onto your ability to dominate women with all your might and your self-rationalizing belief that women are the ones with real power leads to this bizarre conclusion: Women hate being under the boot, but they are using their immense power to organize to eliminate men altogether. A feminist conspiracy that was able to rid the planet of all men would be powerful indeed, and if they had that power, knowing feminists, they'd actually use it to get equality instead. But to the right wing mind, this is not a possibility, because they think being a man is about domination. Maybe this fantasy of women making artificial sperm and getting rid of men completely reflects this belief that without domination, there is no such thing as manhood itself.
I dug into the comments section at Salon, because I know that there's a ton of troglodytes that live and breath for hating women, most of the time because they obviously feel insecure and think it's easier to hate women to make themselves feel better than do what it takes to feel secure, which in most of their cases would require doing hard shit like developing a personality. I figured that a bunch of men whose obvious misogyny probably does make them personally repulsive to a whole bunch of women they meet would be enraptured by a fantasy about how all women hate all men, and would get rid of us if we didn't need sperm.
Indeed, I found the misogynist peanut gallery there didn't even question the idea that this is what women want. I suspect for a lot of mouth-breathing misogynist dweebs that spend all day in internet comments freaking out that they let women write, it's comforting to believe that manhood in general is as repulsive and rejected as they are.
Misogynist #1 assumed that women would get rid of men the first chance we got, and too bad, because The Children cannot be raised by women, but need a man to impart his sweetness and light, albeit from a proper distance as a woman does the not-raising-at-all-work of actually tending to a child.
I can't see bringing a kid into this world at this point... not with how fucked up things already are and what portends.
Misogynist #2 assumes as well that women hate all men as much as he hates women, but believes that women exploit their power over men for more than sperm-stealing.
until sperm pays alimony and child support...
...i guess we'll still be needed
With anti-feminists who spout this line, I'm coming around to the idea that they personally are of no value to women outside of filling legal support obligations to children that were reproduced when those women were in more gullible, desperate, or needy phases in their lives, that they would allow someone who radiates misogyny to reproduce with them. And again, these men prefer to think of their repulsiveness as a characteristic of manhood, not a personal failing.
Misogynist #3 spouts the same line:
Let's be honest. Women hate our guts. Always have, always will.
If we didn't buy them stuff or pay their bills, they'd off us in a second. As I've said before, we're just pack animals for them.
In the fantasy world of misogynists, women do not hold jobs, have checking accounts, or even quite understand how to use money. There is also a strong suspicion that women have as little interest in sex as we have in having our own money. Or, in Misogynist #4's opinion, women have no real interest in sex with men, either.
When women get scare men want them more but I think if men were irrelevant to the functioning of the society women would lose interest altogether. It is not at all clear that a male body is intrinsically compellingly interesting to women simply because it is a male body (and mind).
Again, you see this insistence that all men are basically alike, which is their way of saying, "I cannot help being a megaton asshole. That's how men are." That this single asshole personality for all men theory is not true is irrelevant---we are talking about men who believe that women are seeking to eliminate men altogether, that women have no real interest in sex, and that women have no use for money of our own.
I'll leave you with Misogynist #5, who already believes that there's a war going on, and his "tribe" of men must retreat to the fortress to fend off the Amazonian invasion:
This is what single motherhood and the feminization of the education system has wrought. The reality is there is still a large number of men being raised by men....unfortunately for liberals, the men will all grow up to be republicans, and you won't see these men in cities....at least not until they are in their 20's. I for one, will continue to promote fatherhood and maleness to my tribe, even if I'm the last democrat doing it.
The thread continues like this, with misogynists claiming that their assholery and repulsiveness, both sexual and social, are inherent to all men, and that just as women try not to be around them personally,* women want to be away from men permanently.
*At least women with healthy self-esteems. I'm sure many of these guys get laid, have dates, have girlfriends, and most have ex-wives. The patriarchal system of self-esteem shredding in women seems like it's almost demonically designed to get dates for men like this.