The Projection of Hate – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Rolling Stone and Right Wing Sex Panic

Posted in Editorials on July 19th, 2013
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Misogyny is a part of many right wing ideologies – religious fundamentalists and Red Pill/MRA/PUA types share it. And it strongly correlates with being generally politically conservative – if you look at the legislation agenda of the Republican party, it would seem that the only thing they care about is oppressing (women’s) sexuality.

One aspect of this worldview is the belief that the only thing that matters about a woman is her appearance. Religious men might cloak this in talking about a woman’s “ability to be a wife and mother” but often they simply mean her capacity as a sex object first and baby machine second. Red Pill types are far more blatant about this. Their constant drumbeat is that physical attraction is the only reason a man would be involved with a woman on any level. The generic Republican crowd expresses this when they insist that feminists are ugly, when they made a big deal about Sarah Palin being hot – to them how attractive you are is evidence of how well you conform to their ideas.

And no matter how poorly they react to a woman based on her appearance, they are more obsessed with women’s sexuality. Efforts to control it, either through sexist comments, legislating reproductive services or using “game” take up a lot of their time and attention. They are vigilant.

I think this explains some of the panic over the Rolling Stone cover featuring Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. There are several different reasons people are offended by the cover. I even empathize, a little bit with people who say that criminals shouldn’t get so much attention, that they shouldn’t be rock stars – that if they want infamy we should give them anonymity. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

Amanda Marcotte wrote about how people are totally losing their minds over the cognitive dissonance that a terrorist could be handsome. There are some people in the world who actually believe that real life is a fairy tale and that the good people are always good looking and the evil people are always ugly. And they can’t handle the cognitive dissonance.

But something else, I saw in the reactions to Marcotte on twitter was something far more sinister.

They are all filled with incoherent rage by the tweet:

The responses I’ve highlighted above don’t simply fall into the “don’t glamorize criminals” category or even the “obviously villains are ugly, SHUT UP THEY ARE!” category. This line of reasoning goes:

1. Amanda Marcotte said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is handsome.
2. Therefore she thinks he’s a good person AND she wants to have sex with him.

It doesn’t really follow, at all. But I would say that this conclusion does fit in with their warped misogyny. Men who objectify every woman they meet are projecting that women must do the same; if a woman says a man is handsome, then she must feel about him the way he feels about attractive women…!

This also fits with their warped view of female sexuality and the “theory” of “hypergamy.” Many men are obsessed with why women like “bad boys” instead of “nice guys.” Simply stating that an evil man is handsome must be proof of some deeper attraction, they think. And here, right here on twitter is a woman, nay, a feminist – admitting it! She must be punished! Don’t let her get away!

It’s not pretty to look at. But there is so much of it to see.

5 Responses to “The Projection of Hate – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Rolling Stone and Right Wing Sex Panic”

  1. Clay Farris Nafff Says:

    I think you’re onto several valid points, but you’re wide of the mark on others. In particular:
    – I never thought to find myself defending rightwing religious men, but you tar them with too broad a brush. Yes, there are some despicable misogynists among them (especially in leadership and media roles), but that is by no means true of all. I fundamentally disagree with their values and worldview, but I know that many have loving, decent relationships for all that.
    — It’s true that “nice guys” worry about women chasing after “bad boys.” This is an ancient trope, and like so many other culturally persistent phenomena it can best be understood through the lens of evolutionary psychology. In sum: “nice guys” thrive in a high-functioning civilization, where institutions systematically weed out “bad guys”. The order is reversed in anarchic societies, where the ruthless and powerful dominate. Women’s *evolved* psychological imperative is to discern what kind of man best serves her reproductive interests. The *-* in the last sentence is meant to signal that you should not think I have a reductionist view of women. To the contrary, I know that women are far more complex and free — which is why I credit them with the ability to recognize these competing impulses, consider them in an ethical framework in the context of our society and choose wisely. (Just as men can and should.) In short, it should be possible for a woman to say that Dzhokar is physically handsome and morally loathsome, and for us men not to get all rattled about it. But, both need saying.

    Regards,

    Clay Farris Naff

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    Hi Clay. I meant to include this link. These are the kinds of “nice guys” I was talking about. The ones that aren’t nice at all but only pretend to be nice because they think it will win them sex. I’m a big fan of genuinely pleasant and kind men.

  3. DonnaFaye Says:

    This is definitely looking like a smear job on Rolling Stone (left leaning jounalism) and sexism. Evo psychers insist women don’t put as much importance on men’s looks as men do on women’s but when a woman does acknowledge a man’s handsomeness they seem to think she’s incapable of separating her aesthetic considerations from her moral ones. If Tsarnaev were an attractive woman her picture would be plastered everywhere and men would be openly joking about wanting to “hit that”. But no one would be insisting that such men acknowledge her moral loathsomeness because we just trust men can make those distinctions.

  4. Elizabeth Says:

    “If Tsarnaev were an attractive woman her picture would be plastered everywhere and men would be openly joking about wanting to “hit that”. But no one would be insisting that such men acknowledge her moral loathsomeness because we just trust men can make those distinctions.

    That’s brilliant.

  5. Ceetar Says:

    “People always equate beauty with good, but it just ain’t so. Amongst the Winter Court were beings of haunting beauty, mesmerizing beauty, disarming beauty, flawless beauty, maddening beauty, bloodthirsty beauty. Even in the mortal world, a lot of predators are beautiful, and if you’re quick and motivated enough, you can admire that beauty while they kill you and eat you. ” – Jim Butcher, Cold Days

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