misogyny is defined as the hatred, dislike or mistrust of women. it's something that is quite alive and kicking today in our society. and by our society, i mean western society. sure, men don't stone their wives for adultery, but there is an uneasiness that sort of persists just under the thin layer of political correctness. most notably, single guy culture seems to be brimming with it.

this is a topic that a friend and i began discussing one day through emails. and it's quite fascinating. as a single guy, hanging out in clubs and bars, you really start to get a feel for what it is like for other single guys, specifically marauding groups of single guys, which is where this type of behavior is the worst. you've seen the types: wannabe dominant alpha males who strut like peacocks; emphasis on cocks.

it seems to me that the more i hang out in groups like that, the more subtly my own behavior changes. because when in these types of groups, all of a sudden, women aren't women or girls or even chicks... they're "bitches." as in, "what a hot bitch." or, "check out that bitch." now why is there a need to call a woman a bitch? or a slut? how do you know she's a slut? personally, i don't believe that there are bad words. words are words, it's what you make of them that makes them bad or good. and i don't think the majority of guys think ill of women or want any harm to women, but there is something just so dark about single guy culture. because in that culture, it tend to be women that are to blame for most of the problems. suddenly a woman is a bitch or a slut because she refused the drink you offered her. the problem is never the guy, who may be a sleaze, or the reality that the woman getting hit on may have different preferences or may already have a boyfriend. no, the problem is always that woman that turns you down, or rejects you. i mean, obviously there's something wrong with her if she doesn't want you?

and not all guys behave like this, but i've been with enough guys, and have enough male friends to know that it's much harder to look within oneself, to find out that perhaps women aren't the problem, but you are. and there's also the aspect of betrayal. when you have a group of single guys, there's that saying, "bros before hoes." and when one guy suddenly breaks off after getting a girlfriend, suddenly that's a betrayal to the guy code. the funny thing is, i believe every guy secretly wants to break away, to find that special girl. maybe we don't want to admit it, but perhaps we all need a little saving now and then? there's probably a good reason for why married men end up living on average longer than single men, right?

now i'm not a psychologist, but just from my own observations and interactions with friend and neighbors, i find that women tend to turn inward and beat themselves up where as men tend to exact their frustrations out on something else, anyone else. perhaps that's why when some women are in abusive relationships, they feel that they're the problem, that perhaps they did something wrong to make their normally loving and gentle boyfriends or husbands physically hurt them. whereas with some men, instead of trying to figure out what's wrong with themselves, they start the blame game and sometimes you get a guy that ends up shooting up a school or office space. because all of a sudden, it's society's fault that they can't get a job, or it's the supposed feminization of western culture that is to blame for why they can't be happy, or it's a woman's fault because they were passed over for a job promotion or entry into a prestigious school. honestly, when's the last time you heard of a woman picking up an assault rifle and walking into a classroom and shooting everything in sight?

now i don't presume to know the minds of others, i only say what i've noticed in the behavior of certain men i have come across in the pub and club scenes. i don't know if it's the alcohol, but there seems to be a boiling frustration with single men. most of my male friend are married now, and they met their signifiant others fairly early on, either straight out of highschool or in university, so many of them haven't lived the single life for very long, and certainly none of them have been hanging out in bars or clubs. i'm not talking about these guys; i'm talking about guys that have actively been on the "hunt." Prowling from bar to bar, club to club, looking to get "laid." there is an uneasy, predatory reality about this kind of culture and lifestyle. as a defence, women's react by putting up walls that are hard to get through, which may present them as "bitches" or "hoes."

personally, i know i have felt such frustrations, and i am just as guilty of putting the blame on others when the blame should be on myself, so i'm no better. the really interesting thing about all of this, is that these same guys do turn out to be some of the best fathers and husbands around once they meet the right woman. is this type of behavior simply about uncivilized single guy culture, or is there something more to it? is there such an easy "cure" for it as meeting the right woman? it's an uneasy reality that i think deserves to be explored.

at any rate, years ago i wrote zero sum, a book about misogyny that turned out to be a failure, because it ended up celebrating the things i was trying to criticise. i knew it was a failure when the types of guys i was criticizing, ended up liking the book a lot. now, i often asked myself as to why i ended up writing it that way i did. certainly, i was going through my own female frustrations at that time. was it some deep seeded subconscious thinking of mine that i just needed to get out? a train of thought that got the betteer of me and basically highjacked the writing process?

at any rate, with the recent loss of my latest book, giants, i have started to go back to my rough draft of zero sum and i am attempting to rewrite it. the things i was trying to criticize - corporate politics, single guy culture, misogyny - are things that i have a better understanding of now, since i have seen first hand and experienced what it is like. i will probably use a lot of the same themes, but i will be rewriting it, as an entirely new piece.

i'm pretty busy as of late with studying for exams, but i have managed to write bits and pieces of dialogue. the following is a snippet of a discussion between a male and female office co-worker taking the elevator together. there really is no other context, it's just dialogue, and i don't know if i'd ever really use such an interaction, but it's the first thing i've written since accidentally deleting giants so i figure it's worth posting.

she says:
- where are you getting off?
he says:
- where ever you are i suppose. so long as we go down together.
- ah. elevator humour. funny.
- it wasn't meant as a joke.
- sure it wasn't.
- whatever.
- you shouldn't take that tone with me.
- what tone?
- that immature exasperated tone. the one that's drowned in apathy.
- i am not apathetic.
- you're just pathetic then?
- i'm just indifferent.
- never mind. it's all greek to me.
- at least what i said was the truth.
- what are you implying?
- nothing.
- you're not fooling anyone, buddy. you're not better than the rest of us.
- well, you know what they say: boys rule, girls drool.
- god, why don't you act your age?
- why don't you act your weight?
she glares at him, mouth open. the elevator doors slide open. he steps out a few steps, stops, and turns to her. she's still glaring at him. he rolls his eyes and puts his hand out to her.
- c'mon, let me buy you a drink. whatever you want. look, i'm sorry for hurting your feelings. or offending you, or whatever. forgive me for my sins. just let me buy you a drink and i'm sure your opinion of me will change, yeah? if not, at least you get a free drink out of it. c'mon, i'm being a gentleman here. and it's not to get into your pants, because you're already wearing a skirt, and even though sex is the number one priority for a breed like me. it's a shame really; there's cancer and aids and genocide, but all a guy wants is to get some head, yeah? but it's not about that, even though you'd probably be good at it since you're a white-bread conservative, so let me buy you that drink. let's call a detente. i'm waving a white flag here.
- wow. you're seriously some kind of fuck, you know that?
- funny. my mother used to say the same thing.