Every once in a while, one of my friends will write in asking for advice. They do this secure in the knowledge that while my own love life resembles a train wreck, I'm stellar at bossing others around. So let this letter serve as an endorsement.
As a result of the years I spent with the ex-wife and the cold flat rage leftover from the experience, I recently realized my attitudes are growing increasingly misogynistic. I talk like a 15-year-old fan of gangster rap: Ho' this and Bitch that. I find myself saying things like "I'm gon' mack up on that ho'" or "That's one connivin', jive-ass skeezer." And I laugh at jokes like "What did Santa Claus say when he saw your mama standing with your sisters lined up on the street?"
"HO! HO! HO! HO! HO!"
Although I enjoy the novels of Iceberg Slim as much as the next guy, I was always up on my Shulamith Firestone, Germaine Greer, Michelle Wallace, Andrea Dworkin, Monique Wittig, and bell hooks. I can talk post-mod feminism as well as any cultural theorist. I've always considered myself a sensitive and empathetic guy who knew how to listen to women, but now I talk like one of those crazy-ass hustlers on that "Pimps Up! Hoze Down!" special on HBO. For now, the problem isn't interfering with the social interactions I have with the women in my life—including my new girlfriend. But it is a problem. And it could get worse. I'm concerned. How do I deal with the rage I feel toward one triflin' ho' so it does not affect my attitudes toward the other half of the human population?
I know your ex-wife, and she was one of the most heinous cunts I've ever had the misfortune of meeting. Remember the day my ex-boyfriend died and she gave me unsolicited advice on how I could get rid of that pesky double chin I was sporting at the time? Or how about the day OJ Simpson got acquitted? Knowing full well I'd been brutalized at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, she called me up cackling with glee, saying that justice had been served. None of your friends could ever understand why you married the slag in the first place, but knowing how smart and wonderful you are, we figured you must've seen some quality that eluded us. Either that or she was an amazing lay (a suspicion you've since quashed).
But now you've thankfully ditched the bitch and moved on to greener pastures. You're worried because you're still feeling residual anger. That's because you had one of those mature break-ups where nobody does anything horribly cruel, nobody breaks any dishes, and nobody gets any closure (all right, I hate that word too, but it fits). You have every right to be furious with her.
As for worrying that this fury may taint your dealings with women in the future, I think that's only a concern if you keep it inside you. I hereby grant you six months special dategirl dispensation to laugh at all the sexist jokes you hear. If you want to make like you're a bad-ass, he-man-woman-hater, go for it.
When the now-dead ex broke my heart, it took me a couple years before I would even speak to a man I wasn't already friends with. I needed to grieve and seethe before I could even think about getting involved with another one of you hairy-assed heartbreakers.
But you got a lovely new girlfriend in record time—meaning that you fast-forwarded through the getting-over-it segment of the breakup. But the end of a relationship is like a death, and you go through a bunch of stages whether you want to or not. If you skip one, it just comes back to bite you on the ass later. Consider yourself bitten.
Post-breakup pissed-offedness is completely normal. The fact that you're worried about becoming a hate-filled misogynist is a good thing—that awareness will certainly help you avoid becoming one. You have more female friends than most men and treat your girlfriend like gold, so I wouldn't be too concerned about misdirecting your anger. I'm thinking that a small helping of revenge might help lessen the ire in your heart. Just a hint—those police tip hotlines can provide hours of fun: "Yes, officer, I'd like to report a certain drug dealer...."
Ah, sweet revenge. Write firstname.lastname@example.org or Dategirl, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave Ste 300, Seattle, WA 98104.