Catherine Alter proves once again that men have no monopoly on misogyny (“Bitch Hunt,” 10/25). Neither does the right-wing media. Washington City Paper’s decision to publish the asinine, but appallingly offensive, “Bitch Hunt” is distressing but not that surprising. The article, laden as it was with hipper-than-thou smarm, fits perfectly with City Paper’s burgeoning sass-over-insight style. Most of this kind of stuff (e.g., the Patti Smith review a few weeks back) is pretty harmless. “Bitch Hunt,” however, promoting a familiar but malignant brand of sexism, was not.
Most of us are acquainted with the kind of sexist jiujitsu on which Alter builds her “theory.” Woman rejects come-onwoman gets vilified. Allying herself with the kind of losers that play this game, Alter and her cohorts drape their hate-mongering with a thin veil of derivative wit and pop sociology. I had to laugh when one of her experts, who’s clearly experienced his fair share of rejection, proclaimed “these women need help!” I shuddered, though, when Alter quoted without comment a familiar axiomif she doesn’t want to go out with guys, why does she dress like that? This tired but dangerous logic taken a few steps further has implications that resonate with many womenparticularly victims of rape and sexual assault.
I imagine this article will be a salve to a lot of bruised male egos. Sadly, it will also fan the flames of sexism that women from all walks of life (even those that Alter didn’t deign to include in her definition of the “Washington woman”) face every day.