Man-Bashing Won’t Fight Our Cause

Since I’ve engaged myself more proactively in feminism, my involvement has opened my eyes not only to where women sit in society today, but also where men fit in.

 


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As Max Olesker wrote in his article in the Guardian on Sunday – How To Be A Man In 2015 – the world that men now inhabit has seen some radical changes for them, too.

 

I am a relatively new feminist. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in equality before, but like a lot of young women, for a long time I made the assumption that someone else would fight for it for me. I was what you would call a ‘silent’ feminist.

 

My voice is a little louder these days.

 

But I wouldn’t call myself an extreme or staunch feminist. I like men and I am not anti what they represent – in fact I like the differences between the sexes. Just as you can’t brandish all sharks as man eaters, I believe that you can’t label all men as sexists or sexually exploitative.

 

My husband is a belated feminist. Fortunately, as a result of his work with women, he has achieved an understanding of and an appreciation for them through experience. He has also been berated for any questionable judgment calls about women on the home front when either myself or my twenty-something daughter catch him.

 

Our seventeen-year old son is a work in progress.

 

Feminism is a complex subject area and one that provokes a lot of passion. And although I do not defend man’s tortoise-speed progress to come to the table of equality, I am aware that education and change don’t happen overnight. Ill-formed ideologies about women, that have been entrenched in men since time immemorial, alas, cannot be shaken off as quickly as we women would like.

 

And men are entitled to a period of adjustment, except in the case of violence towards women. But man-bashing won’t fight our cause.

 

We are seeking mutual respect; therefore women need to demonstrate that respect, too.

English: "Mind the Gap" goes feminist.
English: “Mind the Gap” goes feminist. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

We need to educate, not war.

 

Understandably, some men, who already consider themselves feminists are confused by the animosity of certain groups of women towards them – it’s not that they’re confused about equality, but by the accusatory attitude that all men are made of the same stuff. What is equally confusing is that not all women share the same ideals of how equality should look.

 

Because women are all different; just as men are.

 

Men don’t have to grow long beards, sport man buns and eat kale to be acknowledged as modern feminists, but many men are now afraid to commit any man-focused crime.

 

What goes on in their heads and hearts is what women really care about.

 

I think a lot of modern, educated men are feeling victimized, downtrodden and threatened by this new wave of feminism and there could be a backlash if women keep pounding at them. Many feel that women expect them to shed their masculinity completely.

 

Which is not what we expect at all.

 

Men and women can be different without having to be at war. Read ‘Men Are From Mars…’ or watch the polar-opposite antics of the two genders in I’m A Celebrity… – and celebrate those differences. They’re not ALL bad…(frustrating sometimes)…but not all bad.

 

Imagine if men and women were paid equal wages and shown equal respect from society, then both sexes would have an equal choice in how to live their lives. The woman who decides to pursue her career after giving birth would be able to: the man who wants to become a nail artist could do so, too. Couples would be able to make decisions about their careers and childcare based on their skills, passions and ambition; rather than salary.

 

Not all men exploit or abuse women. Not every man whistles or shouts obscenities at women in the street. The majority of men don’t beat up their wives, use their physical superiority to intimidate them or innately feel that women should feel grateful for what society has given them.

 

Sure, harmful and archaically sexist attitudes do still exist but they will die out as each new generation is born and educated and society progresses with equal opportunities. More and more women are working and there is the potential for even more in the workplace if governments would address the cost of childcare and workplace inequalities.

 

Which is progress. So perhaps we should refrain from griping and taking a pop at ALL men about gender traits or ‘mantisocial’ behavior, which don’t truly affect our goals and ultimately are just ‘different’ to ours. We want men on side, working WITH us, so we can unite our energies towards the issues about equality that will really make a difference to women – NOW.

 

Bullying tactics never worked. Let’s leave name-calling in the playground.

 

Most educated men are with us. They already see the benefits of having women in the workplace and not living in a man’s world, but if they feel threatened by a woman’s world, they could run straight back to the cave.

 

4 thoughts on “Man-Bashing Won’t Fight Our Cause

  1. Applause. I don’t think most men are waking up in the morning thinking ‘how can I maintain my male privilege by locking women out of the workplace today.’

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  2. > Imagine if men and women were paid equal wages and shown equal respect from society, then both sexes would have an equal choice in how to live their lives.

    This is the case today, and has been the case since the 70’s at least which is when this ‘gender pay gap’ myth was first disproven. As long as the men and women in question have the same qualifications, work experience, employment record etc they are paid the same wage, and women in their twenties actually tend to be paid a bit more.

    But the entire premise of the wage gap is flawed in a any case. Privilege is not measured by how much you earn, but by how much unearned income you receive from others. Women receive far more unearned money than men, which comes from the state (who get it from taxing the most productive in society), and from men directly (husbands, boyfriends, men in bars etc).

    With women receiving more unearned money than men then it stands to reason that men would have to earn more than women, just to achieve the same income and standard of living. That’s just basic maths.

    In simple terms women choose, on average, careers that are more fulfilling, more flexible, less demanding, and less financially rewarding because they can AFFORD to do so. If a career (or branch within a career) pays less it is often because there are more non-fincnaial rewards, such as lower entry costs, or more flexibility, more ob transferability etc.

    If more women chose to financially support their men (by sacrificing their lifestyles and going for those really demanding, but high salaried jobs) then men would finally have the same options as women, and we’d undoubtedly see more men opting for less stressful, less high salaried careers……. and if their wives were earning enough, we’d see more men becoming househusbands. And the more men dropping out of those demanding, high salaried careers the more room for women to fill those positions.

    Coffee shops and kitchens would then be full of men gathering to gossip and shop while their wives were busy trading stocks in the city or performing brain surgery or working out at sea in a trawler.

    > The woman who decides to pursue her career after giving birth would be able to:

    Don’t forget babies require full time care for at least the first 5-6 years of their lives. If you (and your partner) don’t want to provide adequate care to a baby you really shouldn’t be getting pregnant. Young children put into ‘day abandonment centres’ suffer measurable trauma.

    We understand that abandoning your desk for just one afternoon will likely result in a loss of revenue for your business, perhaps lost clients and probably disciplinary measures or even the sack from your employer……… yet we treat babies and toddlers as somehow less demanding and less critical than your average business, and something we can just walk away from when we have better things to do. They are not. They are more demanding and require a HIGHER level of care.

    > the man who wants to become a nail artist could do so, too.

    LOL

    “Hello, I was wondering if I could buy you a drink?”
    “Er… sure… thanks that’s very kind. So what do you do?”
    “Oh, I’m a nail artist”
    “Really?”
    “Yes I love it. I get to express my artistic side all day, chat with women. It’s a very relaxed and friendly environment… of course, I only earn £25K but, hey…”

    ” ….er….. could you excuse me for a moment.. ”

    (“Taxi!!!!”)

    > Not all men exploit or abuse women. Not every man whistles or shouts obscenities at women in the street. The majority of men don’t beat up their wives, use their physical superiority to intimidate them or innately feel that women should feel grateful for what society has given them.

    I know…. it’s almost as if the systematic oppression of women by men that feminism claims exists is a lie made up by feminists who must perpetuate the myth of male power, male superiority and male privilege, because to acknowledge the truth that men are in fact no more powerful, privileged or superior to women means accepting the awful truth…. that men owe women nothing 😦

    Feminists – as the true inheritors and defenders of the old patriarchal system – start out with the premise that men owe women free stuff and special treatment just for being women (He for She) and then they work backwards trying to justify that premise by promoting their male power fantasy at every opportunity.

    > More and more women are working and there is the potential for even more in the workplace if governments would address the cost of childcare and workplace inequalities.

    ‘Governments’ do not exist. Only people exist. What you are advocating here is your right to have a child and then force everyone else to pay for that child under threat of being caged and shot if they refuse.

    If you remove ‘government’ from the equation you will have to make those demands in person by literally pointing a gun at everybody, or find some other third party of thugs to act as your ‘representatives’ and point the gun and extract the money on your behalf.

    Here’s an idea….. if you can’t afford to raise a child, don’t have one. Wait until you can afford it.

    > We want men on side, working WITH us, so we can unite our energies towards the issues about equality that will really make a difference to women – NOW.

    What rights – specifically – do you think men have that women do not have? Can you name five? Or even one?

    > Let’s leave name-calling in the playground… / …but if they feel threatened by a woman’s world, they could run straight back to the cave.

    Oh dear.

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  3. Re above: “If you can’t afford to raise a child, don’t have one.” If that was a valid, accepted truth no one would ever have children. Having a child in 2015 is completely different to having a child back in the 60s and 70s when families could manage on one wage.

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  4. Since losing my wife after 60 plus years of marriage (two years next week) I feel I having been living in a bubble. The injustices I now see happening to women is outrageous. What happened to simple dignity and respect of your fellow human being? Feminism is admittedly a term I relate to the 60’s while my daughter was growing up. But only now really understand its meaning and necessity. As a global society, men have proven that they are incapable of running the affairs of humankind. I believe it is time for women to take over and direct us into a new direction.

    Like

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