Zoey Freedman’s Daily Bruin column back on July 20 was mocked more for its editor’s note than its actual content, which was inane enough.
Freedman contended that the federal government should mandate that health insurers “also provide tampons and pads as part of their standard coverage.”
The column got a lot of coverage across the Internets, and as such a lot of folks surfed on over to comment on it. And many called Zoey out.
Her retort? “Responses to controversial post characterize gender inequality” is the title of her latest piece.
Quite honestly, I was blown away by the number of men who took the time out of their day to voice their opinions on this subject. I was particularly impressed by how many men focused their insults on my gender, obviously missing my point – or maybe proving my point – about the gender inequality still present in such basic areas.
I voiced my opinion on equal health care and I was told to get a hysterectomy or to get married so a man could take care of my needs. I was told to drop out of school because it seemed apparent that I wasn’t learning anything anyway. I was called a colorful array of degrading names aimed directly at being a woman. My opinion was even stated by some to be great supporting evidence to the reason for the income gap between genders.
Unfortunately, this type of criticism isn’t an experience unique to me, but it is an experience unique to women. When a woman voices her opinion or makes an assertion, she usually isn’t taken seriously and is instead faced with negative and even misogynistic remarks.
The overwhelming volume of comments didn’t focus their criticism on my opinion but rather, made it clear that I was just wrong and outright idiotic because of who I am innately: a woman. Because of these implications, these comments went beyond just being offensive to me as an individual, but to women collectively.
No one likes rude and/or profane comments, but Ms. Freedman must never have perused any (controversial) male-penned column’s comment section if she believes nasty responses — including references to looks, personality and family — are the exclusive burden of women.
If you don’t want to deal with online comments, don’t allow them. Or, better yet, just ignore them.
But if you do permit comments, and you write a head-scratching article with an even dopier editor’s note, don’t fall back on fatuous gender whining.