I’m a female misogynist.
I can’t really help it, but even if I could, why would I?
I live in a patriarchal society and my misogynistic tendencies, in the main, benefit me.
I use the word “bitch” regularly in all contexts, and I am unlikely to stop.
What I will not do, irrespective of your sex, is gaslight you when you tell me that you do not want me to use that word around you; and I do not believe you owe me an explanation of why that is.
If I like and respect you, I will absolutely try my hardest to remember not to use that word around you. Not because I have to, because I want to, because I like and respect you.
If I think you’re a c*** then I’ll keep saying the word, probably increase the usage, hoping you’ll piss off.
What I will not do is debate your right to dislike the word, or your right to think I am an arsehole for using the word, because these are both, unquestionably, every person’s rights.
I will continue to behave like this, relying on the incredible social and educational privilege handed down to me by mumsie and pops, and on the female privilege of males being largely prevented from sparking me out in public.
There are a lot of cocky little shits like me, from all walks of life and in all industries, poker no exception, but what I find fascinating/cruel is the amount of normally quiet shrimps that wiggle out of the dirt when a female does something.
When a well-known poker male does something (achievements or shithousery) he will obviously get a bit piled, everybody’s getting piled for anything, it’s 2022. Other well-known accounts will pile a bit; it’s all a standard pile of human bile.
When a well-known poker female does something (achievements or shithousery) the shape of the pile is different, and the pilers are often an army of total no-marks who don’t put their name to their account and were utterly quiet when a male was doing something.
As well as dealing with the normal pile, females deal with the creeps that men don’t have to fend off. The DM “fu bitch” for no apparent reason, or “bet you sucked cock to get that” just under a post you made bragging about something you did as a female.
I’ll never suggest to any woman how she should deal with this extra pile, but I will never be surprised if the outcome is a woman being ultra-sensitive to the use of words and having her eyes overopen to it. Sometimes, the hyper-alert leads to a quick reaction, and I think that’s what happened to Ebony on Joey’s show. (You can call that shit out as much as you want but at root that instinct is more or less the explanation for our species’ evolution so you’d better bring the big guns.)
She thought she, and women in general, were being referred to as bitches. Flying past in a whizz of comments, the misinterpretation is entirely mitigated.
I find Joey’s reaction harder to mitigate. You don’t have to have many chats with the mod who made the “bitch word included” comment, to know this is often how she speaks, or that she has an absolute heart of gold.
I wanted Joey to defend free-speech by saying, “yep, I let my mods say whatever they want in the chat, I filter them at source for having good hearts, not micromanage the chatbox for their specific words. If they use them, there’s good reason, let’s find it out and ask the mod what she meant”.
I didn’t want him to be defensive about the word “bitch” being used by one of his mods in any context just because he thought he maybe had to. And I certainly didn’t want him to flip it round on Ebony for her to explain why the word was offensive for her. If the word “cheese” was offensive for her and you want the ratings of her on your show then you need to accept that no-one says “cheese”, or accept she will be pissed off.
You cannot have it both ways. You can’t keep saying something that someone hates and expect them not to think you’re a twat.
Your only choice is whether to care about that or not.
Ebony isn’t the bad guy because she doesn’t want to ad-hoc deliver a life-changing lecture on the long-term impact on the individual, society and culture about the normalisation of gender-relevant slurs; and that is the way the interview spiralled, and that’s Joey’s fault.
Not because he is a man, but because he is the host of the show.
People who have worked for large companies in management roles over the last decade will recognise the creeping of the phrase “equity over equality” in terms of Diversity employment.
This is a case of Ebony being offered the equal position to appear on a prestigious and well-loved show with everybody’s favourite Uncle Joey, after a huge win, but not being offered an equitable position of the host understanding what it’s like to have success in poker and be the same sex and gender.
Joey knows only success as a male, and that’s hardly his fault. He can’t be expected to do a 28-day trans-experience retreat and have a fuckin epiphany.
So, what can he do?
He can clarify the meaning of the accused aggressor. Maybe he does agree with the comment, and maybe he has no option but to offend Ebony and risk losing her friendship.
Or maybe the comment was misinterpreted, and he would have been instrumental in clearing that up, and the interview ending on a better note.
He didn’t know to do that, cos he is a man, and the majority of his guests are a man, and none of ‘em get “FU bitch” in their DMs when they win a local bowl, let alone 1.7milly.
All the men are less sensitive to this.
All the men are less sensitive even to comments male-specific, like “I bet you have a tiny dick”, because the volume of these comments landing with males is lower than the gendered equivalent for females.
If Joey cares about being the host who can adjust to his guests to offer them an equitable position in the hotseat of his show, then this was a learning point, and there are more to come.
If he doesn’t care about that, I defend his right not to.
The only thing I’ll ever try to destroy is someone’s pretence to care, without any adjustment of behaviour.
It seems like a fine line, but it’s a very clear one for me.
I believe Joey does genuinely care; he’s employing women over 45 as his mods in 2022, which I promise you is atypical behaviour for males of his demographic.
I do not believe Joey should be “cancelled” (whatever the FUCK that even means) because he dropped a bollock most male interviewers (and some female) would have dropped in his spot.
I do believe some of the higher profile poker males should do a bit of an investigation into this, please try to see how it gets to a point where a woman as intelligent as Ebony is hyper-alert to the contextual use of a common word like “bitch”.
It’s a big job to do, and male privilege dictates you do not have to do it, but please stop looking to women to hand you that shit on a plate. Some of us are nowhere near understanding the details, implications and strategies for the insidious way our culture punishes our own gender- don’t give us your extra work because a developed understanding of the landscape of male oppression under the patriarchy is decades behind.
Acknowledge you don’t give a shit or do the work, I support either choice, but there is no middle-path here.
An easy way to start is when you see one of those @replys to a woman doing something that Twitter “hides” but you just have to press to look at it: Look at it.
See the snivelling, lightly abusive tone and language, probably slightly sexualised or about appearance, highly likely to be negatively-genderised.
Then look at the timeline. See how these accounts (anonymous, but I would bet my tits they are run by males) consistently @reply women’s success/opinions/thoughts/work with a greasy/creepy/sexualised/insulting reply.
But to men’s success/opinions/thoughts/work they @reply with sycophantic, simping behaviour.
If you are lucky you might find a third type of @reply and it will be them shooting a shot with a femme-looking porn account, which is also probably run by a male.
Then imagine how if they are happy for this to be public, what do you think the same slime accounts are sending by DM?
Then note how many of them there are…
The consistent and relentless nature of this quotidian abuse is where women, in all fields, dominated by men, need the ally support of an equitable approach.
In the long-run, it’s beneficial to straight men to attempt this psychological work and make the adjustments.
There is also work required by women, to understand the oppression that the patriarchy places upon men, to have more tolerance for men struggling to make adjustments. However, in this case, Ebony was the guest, not the host; she shouldn’t get invited to his home to play emotional mummy.
I don’t see a solve in the near future to the extra wave of attack females deal with when they do something. All we can do is hope more males teach themselves to understand, and fewer males participate in this behaviour.
I won’t hold my bitch breath.