Has a major bastion of systematic Patriarchal oppression long gone unnoticed and unmonetized by Third Wave Feminism? The Feministuardian’s own Jessica A. V. Marcotte takes aim at this ubiquitous modern problem.
What the fuck. I was on the subway the other day, tweeting on my iPhone 6s about how Apple is a misogynist boy’s club for technocrat shitlord autists for not making a feminist-friendly iPhone whose touch-screen accommodates long fingernails when I noticed something truly. Fucking. Appalling.
Hours later, I am still literally in shock.
At first, I couldn’t figure out what the hell I was hearing. Though at first barely audible over the clatter of the D-line, the more I listened, the more I could hear it all around me. It was this raspy, deep, almost rhythmic noise, this damp hissing, that turned up my creep-alarm straight to 11.
Without thinking about it, I’d grabbed my all-purpose anti-rape kit (sadly unused to date) and was searching for the pepper spray in the tangle of whistles, tasers, and TEACH MEN NOT TO RAPE stickers.
Perhaps the pepper spray finally made me understand what the HELL that ear-raping racket was.
Look, we all know men have a lot to apologize for. Manspreading, mansplaining, sexual harassment, street harassment, family dinner, not paying for tampons and birth control, all forms of rape, murder, suicide, corporate greed, wrapping presents, children, the media–but this has got to be the sneakiest fucking form of pure masculine entitlement I’ve ever encountered. It’s so fucking sneaky, I think I might be the first woman to actually realize it’s going on, but the most cursory examination will show you that it borders on violent sexual harassment.
I’m talking about fucking manbreathing. Every single day, billions of these sick fuckers are breathing, in and out (and isn’t that itself just so rapey, so like those walking dildos?) gulping and sucking up valuable oxygen. It’s practically atmosphere-rape. And for what purpose? To make more of themselves. The oxygen they breathe in actually goes to fuel things like cell growth and repair, basic bodily functions, and even life itself.
Socially, manbreathing doesn’t spring from a vacuum. It’s yet another daily way women shoulder the burden of systemic, institutional sexism. Statistically, it’s also the most pervasive form of oppression: One out of one men is a manbreather…and one out of one women has been victimized by it at some point in her life. For some, it’s a nightmare that never stops; my husband breathes all day and all night.
Every rapist is also a manbreather. Same with every woman-beater, every genocidal maniac ever, every one of those fucking neckbeard, fedora-wearing, basement-dwelling, micro-peened virgin mama’s boys MRAs. Every. One. Of. Them. The scope of the problem makes me ill.
People ask why right now is such a dangerous time for women; I may have single-handedly saved Feminism in 2014, but this angry male respiration thing had been under my nose the whole time, waiting to explode.
That’s not even the worst part. They’re actually sitting there, excreting in public. They’re shamelessly breathing out disgusting bodily waste right in front of us, all the time. You know what wastes they’re exhaling? Fucking CO2 and water vapor…two of the biggest greenhouse gases on the planet.
Congratulations, men. Your loud, angry, dangerous Patriarchal manbreathing is destroying the goddamn environment and putting everyone in danger.
Could any more egregious expression of toxic masculinity possibly exist?
Well, I’m going to put a stop to this shit right now. The New York Transit Authority still hasn’t corralled men into special harasser’s cars, but that’s fine–because those harasser’s cars would just need non-oxygenating retrofitting, to literally and symbolically show men the airless box of sexism that our Patriarchal culture places women in every day.
It pisses me off, but I can already hear those “MRAs” (as if they needed rights in this male-optimized culture) bleating about how air is a biological necessity, and forcing men into de-oxygenated cars is somehow sexist (uh, no–sexism requires prejudice and cultural, institutional dominance) or that breathing is a biological reality.
Sorry, ‘bruh.’ Breathing is just another cultural construct, but nice try with that reductionist derailment. Besides, all of society is a male safe-space; is it really too much to ask that they be put–for starters!–in airless subway and train cars to protect women’s ears from involuntary auditory penetration?
It’s not just trains and subways, either, though hermetically-sealed Schroedinger’s rapist-only cars will be a major blow at the Patriarchy. Manbreathing is everywhere. It happens billions of times a second, 365 days a year. Every women within 50 meters of a man is at direct risk of encountering it, and someone has to get the word out: it needs to be stopped. NOW, take note: this is what you were made for, your Mt. Everest. Subways are just the beginning: buses, plains, trains, restaurants, hotels, public buildings, even outdoor spaces need to follow suit. Maybe even family homes.
No doubt more sniveling trolls will crawl out, offering tired excuses when the public is made aware of the urgent need to address this supposed “biological reality.” What, it’s necessary to sustain life? That to restrict it in special ventilation-free harasser subway cars is unethical, “misandrist”, and murder? One can only imagine the rants on AVfM or other Far Right misogynist sites, the impotent whining that always comes when bold, independent women challenge another bastion of male power.
You know what? Stop. Just fucking stop. Check your goddamn precious male privilege, and really examine yourself for once in your life. Are you worth that air? Do you truly need it? Do you even know who else could be breathing it? Women. Children. Non-binary genderfluid individuals. Transfolk. Otherkin. Headmates. The LBQT community (sorry, no G–even gay men manbreathe.) People of color. The disabled. The elderly. The list of people your manbreathing is holding goes on and on, but not one of you fuckers has ever spared a second’s thought for them.
Social breathing room is something you’ve denied us far too long, and you have no right to go around, just taking as much oxygen as you want, day in and day out, without considering our needs.
We can only hope that, as men’s air supply in their special non-breathing harassers’ subway cars run out, their last words will be “Need…air.”
So do we, assholes–and now you know how we feel, denied for centuries our souls’ free right to breathe as women, with our own hopes, dreams, rights…and lives.
Stolen at great personal risk by Matt Karlsson (aka ExpatMatt) from inside the Femistaurdian’s high-security vault.
*NOTE: Occasional single sentences and phrases are taken nearly word for word from the published writings, statements and Tweets of Ms. Valenti and Ms. Marcotte. Believe it or not.