John Denny has taken a “tongue-in-cheek look at the women who scare him the most - in a good way.” Expecting to find the Blair Witch and that girl from The Ring, we instead found a list of women who are actually just really good at their jobs: Helen Hanna Casey is one of the most successful women business leaders in Pennsylvania…. Helen also makes sure the company gives back to the community – to the tune of $5.5 million to the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund. Or Ann McGuinn, a passionate, tireless leader of many causes, of whom Denny cleverly says: “There is only one person more scared of Ann McGuinn than me and that’s her husband Marty McGuinn.”
Given the tone of the piece, we must believe that Denny is joking - but this is a stale joke. Instead of adding smart commentary, or mocking other journalists who perpetuate this kind of thinking, Denny rests on sexism’s laurels and his piece comes off as pure chauvinism (women! powerful! ballbusters! scary! good one!). We’re certainly not the first ones to point this out, but calling strong women scary is the oldest trick in the book to diminish their power. This “scare” tactic is clearly rooted in gender stereotypes and perpetuates norms about who should be in control. Men who attain similarly lofty goals are not “scary,” they’re skilled leaders - even if their companies are big and scary. After all, who’s afraid of Bill Gates?
While if some might find it commendable that Denny bothered to make a list of Pennsylvanian women leaders in the first place, we would prefer that he had left the job to someone capable of honoring these women without diminishing their accomplishments, even if for a few quick laughs. Sexist articles like this one do more to perpetuate gender power imbalances than to right them.
Blogic decided to create our own list of scary men. These are the type of people who deserve to be associated with the adjective “scary:”
David Miscavige: Current leader of the Church of Scientology and affiliated organizations. His work included securing the church a tax exemption status, and being the “driving force behind … Scientology for the past two decades." His career has been riddled with multiple reports of emotional and physical abuse of his staff, forced labor and child labor, and embezzling. We’re scared of David Miscavige because he appears to be a control freak, has a lot of money at his disposal, and because he’s a personal friend of Tom Cruise (he even was Best Man in Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes).
Jared Lee Loughner: Few words are needed to demonstrate that the man charged with the brutal, senseless attack in Tuscon this past January is terrifying. We’re afraid of this man because he has no regard for innocent life.
Mel Gibson: Remember him? With Charlie Sheen taking up so much celebcrazy, it’s all too easy to forget the man who, perhaps most (in)famously, left racist, sexist and violent messages on ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva’s machine (click here to see the 20 worst things Mel said in that call, as presented by kittens). He’s also been known to make homophobic and antisemitic statements, and year later, still refuses to apologize for them. Also, that beard. Basically, we’re afraid of Mel because he hates almost everyone who isn’t like him, he’s famous and people apparently still like him, and he looks like a Robot Devil.
Paul Ryan: Rep. Ryan is a Republican in the House of Representatives who, unfortunately for the American public, serves on the House Budget Committee and the Committee on Ways and Means. Ryan’s fiscal “strategy” is based on taking the food out of the mouths of the average American family and stuffing it into the pockets of the wealthiest 2% of individuals and corporations. Ryan is a fierce proponent of trickle-down economics, and consistently pushes for both lower tax rates for the wealthy and less health care for the working poor. We are afraid of Paul Ryan because he wields enormous power in this country and uses that power to make life even more difficult for individuals, families, and communities most at risk and because he is the favorite potential presidential candidate among tea-party members.
That Creepy Guy lebvs Recently Saw on The Street: “Join the church of the places and why would you not my children only if you can’t see the truth of truths to stay true! Or else you will become [mumble mumble mumble].” Also, he was wearing a tattered choir boy outfit. It was dark out, and he came out of nowhere.