Feminism doesn’t mean man-hating, it means equality. The word on the mean streets of the internet is that feminists don’t care about men, and don’t really believe in equality – they want women to get privileges men have been getting for centuries.
‘Feminazi’ is a disgusting name to call women and silence them. It is true that some feminists feel that way though. Unfortunately, some women really do hate men, and want them to suffer like we have for centuries. I’ve seen women make this mistake over and over again, and dismiss ‘men problems’ because women have it so much worse. But each new generation needs to be educated, and only has an indirect connection to our suffering of centuries we left behind before they are. If this education isn’t given, or offered, things like misogyny, sexism, objectification and hate will brew. So feminists shouldn’t hate, they should educate – even if people sometimes won’t listen.
Hostile attitudes towards men are 100% counter-productive, and make both parties hateful and intensely incoherent. There is no better way to learn and teach than debate with the opposite sex. Societal pressures like lad culture, the idea of gender roles, rape culture and many, many other issues affect men too. Perhaps in a weaker way, perhaps in a different way – but they affect them too and the recognition of this it absolutely necessary if intersectionality is to play a part in feminism and the fight for equal rights.
The idea of masculinity is the first blow to any little boy. They have to be boys, grow up to be men, they cannot run like girls, play like girls, their favorite color must be blue or green – they are taugh that in some ways, women are inferior. More often than not, they watch the usual set-up of a household as they grow up, and learn than mommy takes care of the family, and daddy brings home the money. Of course, nowadays being a homemaker is a choice, and there will never be anything wrong with that. But this is where education comes in. Son, daughter, there are different kinds of household and you can make a choice when you grow up.
Rape culture and misogyny also affect men. Along with masculinity, boys and men are pressured to objectify, hunt for sex, never say no – even if the girl is unable to consent – otherwise he’s gay or just weird. Steubenville is an example of this. I am not and will never exonerate those boys from gang raping that passed out girl, but they obviously, in their drunken stupor, felt like they should show off and take advantage of that girl. Otherwise, they were denying themselves something they had a right to, they’d be ‘fags’. But in the end, it was their choice to rape.
I’ve heard before, from many men, that the reason for rape and sexual assault is that is that ‘they can’t control their urges’.
This is problematic in that it offends other men who aren’t rapists. They can’t control themselves, so they had no choice – this is the root of man hating and victim blaming discourse. It’s the root of statements like ‘26,000 unreported sexual assults (sic) in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?’ by jerks like Donald Trump.
Men can control themselves. The difference between rapists and non-rapists is that rapists won’t control themselves. And why is that? Because of rape culture – because jokes, statements like Trump’s create the illusion that because men have urges, they are allowed to take what they want. Telling off people for telling rape jokes will always result in the following response: ‘Chill out, I was joking. I don’t think rape is right.’
To that, the answer that should be at the tip of the tongue is: ‘You might not think so, but rapists do. And rape jokes validate that’.
And this illusion isn’t just used as an excuse to attack women, but men and boys as well. It seems that men and boys are often forgotten in rape and sexual abuse statistics, in this battle for punishment of sexual abusers. But man on man abuse – as well as woman on man abuse – is a reality. And rape culture does not allow many men to say ‘Hey, I’ve been abused and I want to press charges’ – possibly just as much as female abuse victims.
In 2011, Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky abused eight underage boys in or around school property. This abuse is believed to date back to the 1970’s but the university attempted to cover it up even after rumours and charges were pressed to the university authorities in 1988. Sandusky kept his position all this time, and Penn State failed to protect underage boys from a predator. Why? Because men failed to speak up. They failed to protect their own gender.
If ‘men issues’ aren’t recognized within the spectrum of feminism, it will be impossible to achieve any equality. It will be impossible to protect children, teenagers, adults from the pressures we have to live with every day.
Camp or effeminate men are bullied. Butch or ‘manly’ women are too. Career driven women are considered ‘bitches’, ‘frigid’. Men who want to stay home and care for their children are being ‘emasculated’. Don’t be naïve and assume all kinds of people haven’t suffered as much as you have, that they haven’t been affected by prejudice.
Men and women have to co-exist in the same planet. If equality is to be achieved, there must be an agreement and a mutual respect and effort between sexes. Even if they are privileged, we need their help