A feminist will now explain to you why this is totally how it is:
This is what it’s like when you realize how deeply sexism and misogyny are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. And once you see it, you can’t stop seeing it. It’s everywhere.
I used to compare societal sexism to those Magic Eye pictures from the eighties. It’s hard to see the picture at first, and you have to sorta teach your eyes to make out the image hidden inside the graphical noise. But once you figure out how to see it, you can always see it. It’s always there.
You “sorta teach your eyes” to see the picture? That is a good analogy, but perhaps not for the reasons she intended. What you are seeing in those Magic Eye pictures is an illusion. You can train your eyes to see a hand that is reaching out of the picture at you, but there is no hand. You can train yourself to see a patriarchal hand of oppression pressing down on you, but there is no hand. You have trained yourself to see something that is not there.
And you know what? You can substitute a lot of words for “patriarchy” in that comic and it still represents the attitude that a lot of people have: try reading the comic again, but substitute a different word, any word: racism, sexism, misandry, heteronormativity, feminine imperative, homophobia, classism, White privilege, et cetera ad nauseam. Sometimes I’ll read the day’s headlines at a site like Feministing, and then maybe I’ll read the day’s headlines at a conservative news site like Townhall, and then maybe I’ll read the day’s headlines at one of the manosphere aggregators, and then maybe I’ll read Christianity Today, and I jump right into the debate, developing my own reactive argument, but I’m always left with a vague feeling of, “Hey wait minute! This is all bull$h-t. This isn’t what real, lived life is like.”
Feminists are notorious for spotting misogyny where none exists; their Magic Eye lets it rise right out of a normal situation. No one else can perceive it, but they can. Homosexuals are nearly as bad, seeing homophobia in the most innocuous things. Because we are responding to their insanity, sometimes our own arguments begin to take on a similar tone, as if we too had a Magic Eye that allows us to see oppression everywhere.
If we’ve developed a Magic Eye that lets us see our pet -ism just everywhere, in everyone, we might want to check our glasses, lest we end up sounding as crazy as feminists.