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The Sexist Pencil Sharpener v. the Sexist Knife Block

November 27th, 2007 by Glenn Sacks, MA for Fathers & Families

Feminist blogger Jessica Valenti, author of Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters, is angry over the pencil sharpener pictured above. On Feministing.com she writes:

“What better way to start the week than a stark reminder of how the world sees women? (It seems the perfect woman is almost always dismembered and frequently being penetrated.) Just f***king kill me now.”

I don’t blame Valenti for being unhappy over the pencil sharpener, but I wonder if she would be as offended by the knife block pictured. The knife block–sold as the “All Men Are Bastards Knife Block”–seems far more offensive than the pencil sharpener:

1) The knife block depicts extreme and painful violence.

2) The pencil sharpener depicts a conventional, common sex act which women enjoy.

I’m not saying Jessica would reject any complaints about the knife block–perhaps she would agree with men’s activists that it’s offensive. But it seems that Jessica and many other feminists tend to see popular culture as “offensive to women” when, in reality, popular culture is far more anti-male than anti-female. This is particularly true when depicting violence–a dozen men can die in a movie or cop show and scarcely anyone blinks, but when a woman dies, it’s a big deal. To pick one example, see my blog post Pirates of the Caribbean & Male Disposability.

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