I spend a lot of time walking on the dirt roads near by place, as well as on the old logging roads through the forest. Twice a year, I take a large garbage bag with me to pick up the litter – mostly beer cans and fast food containers, but often whole plastic bags of garbage have been tossed in among the trees. (Lately, I’ve had to take two large garbage bags.)
I typically wait until the fall, because it seems the summer people litter more than those of us who live here, and I typically wait until after the spring hunt, because it seems the hunters leave quite a bit of trash.
I have always suspected that men litter more than women, and I’ve come across a statistic supporting my hunch: males do 72% of deliberate littering and are responsible for 96% of accidental littering (http://www.greenecoservices.com/myths-and-facts-litter/).
Why is this so? I think it’s because ‘cleaning up after’ is seen as a woman’s task. This thought occurred to me when one guy slowed down as he passed me in his truck, while I was on one of my litter pick-up walks, and called out, “Good girl! Good to see you’re good for something!”* After all, wasn’t it Mom who cleaned up after them when they were kids? (Mom did the cleaning; Dad did the fixing.) Of course the generalization from Mom to all women is a mistake: “Mom cleaned up after me, Mom is a woman, so women should clean up after me” is the same as “Princess is a kitten, Princess is white, so white things are/should be kittens”. But I doubt these morons can think in a — well, I doubt these morons can think.
Of course a mistake is made too in thinking that when you’re old enough to drink beer and buy your own fast food, you’re still a kid who needs Mom or a woman to clean up after you. (No, wait, I’m making the mistake there – I’m confusing chronological age with developmental age.)
*Another man explained that no, that wasn’t it; the guy in the pick-up thought that since I was a lesbian (aren’t you?), I wasn’t fuckable. That is, I was useless, good for nothin’. That’s what his comment was all about.
[Hell Yeah, I’m a Feminist is a feminist blog, often radical feminist (radfem), always anti-gender and anti-sexism.]