Something that is constantly overlooked when people talk of gender issues is the vast swath of men who do not take part in this whole “Patriarchy” thing. If we happen to have ambient privilege from it, that’s not something we created or relish in. It’s certainly not something we can be blamed for. It’s like hating someone born into a rich family for their money alone…it’s what they do with that privilege that counts.
Do they use it for self-gratification, or do they recognize it and do what they can to help others with the resources they have?
There are a ton of men who were raised by women, often single mothers. These women taught us to honor consent and to view women as equals. Most of us carry these teachings throughout our lives and never viewed women as inferior or even “other”. We see people as people, period. Equality is ingrained in our psyche and we were brought up by women who didn’t play victim, but who pushed through adversity to care for their child and then raised him right so he would not be a source of adversity for others.
Yet, we are forgotten in the gender battle. We’re either lumped in with “men” because we were born male, or we’re merely oblivious to “the real problem”, which, by the way, we often see to be self-perpetuated through constant focus. After all, those who play the gender issue card everywhere they go are more likely to be treated as the victim they insist on being, simply out of spite for their disregard at the progress that is actually happening.
All forms of bigotry are fading with time. They still exist and they are still problems, but they are gradually lessening as society (at least more secular society) is embracing equality and rejecting bigotry. When those who reject bigotry are lumped in with the bigots, well, then you create a backlash. It’s like someone going to shake your hand and treat you as an equal and you slap it away, saying that it’s a false gesture. When this happens, one shouldn’t be surprised when the response is “Well, fuck you too!”
After all, when we were raised to not be part of the problem, and we are consistently aware of this and make every effort to not be part of the problem and then are treated as the problem, then you’re really just shooting yourself in the foot. There needs to be an awareness about the great number of men who are not the problem and who are allies in equality. However, we won’t accept marginalization either.
If you reject allies, then you’re enforcing your own victimhood. What if slaves told Harriet Tubman to go fuck herself? Or if the Jews rejected the help of German citizens who risked their lives to help them escape? Perhaps those are more extreme examples, but that’s the kind of stupid stubbornness that’s happening.
Those of us who were raised to see all humans as equals deserve to be recognized as part of the progress that’s happening, rather than pushed aside as an anomaly. It’s still insulting when you make a generalization about men and then say something bordering on condescension like “Oh, well, not you, honey, you’re not one of the bad ones!” Well then, don’t say “men”. Be more specific. You’re intelligent. Use your words more wisely.
If you heard a guy say “Women are crazy gold-diggers!” and you’re not like that, even though the crazy and gold-digger doesn’t apply to you, the fact that you’re a woman and the phrase began with “Women”, wouldn’t it still rankle you? Then the guy says “Oh, but you’re cool, you’re not a typical woman!” That’s still a condescending and sexist remark. That’s what I mean. That’s the kind of shit that has to stop.
Accept your allies and friends, because isn’t the end goal for all of us to get along and treat each other as equals without animosity? Isn’t that the point of the whole gender issue?
If not…if your interest is to simply “fight back” or get revenge, then call yourself something other than a feminist. Just accept that you’re just another sexist and you have become your enemy. You make Rush Limbaugh look correct, and embarrass not only your gender, but your species.
© 2015 William Suphan
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