I support #YesAllWomen. I’ve been Tweeting in support of it for a good 2-3 days now. However some of the stuff being talked about goes both ways and I think there’s a lot of people who just don’t know that.
This was a tweet a woman sent out and it is a legit problem for women: “Because I’m asked “What are you a lesbian?” When I say “No.” #YesAllWomen”
But that’s also happened to me. I was into this girl big time and I didn’t want to sleep with her too soon to make sure it was more than just about sex so because I didn’t sleep with her on the first date she told me I must be gay. As if me, a man, could ever resist the sexual advances of a beautiful woman. I must be a big time faggot.
There is also something to be said about men being expendable and women being protected. Even women who say they want equal rights will scoff at the idea of protecting a man from harm. “A real man wouldn’t need a woman to protect them”, “What are you a pussy having a woman fight your battles”. Are you really a feminist if you want equal rights but aren’t willing to take a bullet for a man but it’s expected that a man should take a bullet for a woman at all costs? That doesn’t sound like equality to me. It just sounds like men are supposed to be disposable heroes.
There’s a huge problem with the gender roles and it’s hardwired into our brains at birth. Whether people like it or not sexism is taught to everyone the moment they take their first breath and reinforced throughout your life by your surroundings. Most parents will treat their baby girl and baby boy completely different. They are pushed into their roles of femininity and masculinity and the expectations of females are lowered to that of men. It starts with parents who expect their daughters to be weaker than men and gets reinforced in school with different requirements for physical testing. It’s expected that a girl will take Home Ec and the boys will take shop. If a guy takes home ec he must be a fag and if a girl takes shop she must be a dyke. It might be a little different now in 2014, or it could even be worse but that’s how I remember it growing up in the 70’s and 80’s.
Gender roles are inherently sexist because they dictate what you can and can’t do based on what is between your legs and other than the act of giving birth I don’t see why there should be gender roles at all. Gender roles impose limits on both men and women and automatically cast men into a protector/perpetrator role and women into the needs protection/victim role. That’s wrong but that’s what this culture perpetuates and propagates. We’re all guilty of it.
We say things are changing because women do in fact have more freedoms and power in todays world but I can’t help but think it looks like women have even less respect because of it. We see all these high powered females in the media who are now lawyers, judges, politicians, police officers, fire(wo)men and so on. Women are everywhere now, in every industry, doing the jobs that used to only be for men. That’s great. Yet we still have beauty pageants, porn stars and reality TV shows where women are paraded around and judged only on their looks and are usually fighting over men. And women love it just as much as men. It isn’t just men who are tuning in to Real Housewives(or whatever) to watch super dumb women fight about super dumb shit. I’d venture to say that shows like that are kept alive by their majority demographic of female viewers. Men aren’t the only ones consuming porn. Where I usually differ on my opinion with other people is that I don’t see those things as inherently bad. I don’t see porn actresses, models, prostitutes, or whatever as setting women back. It’s the preconceptions of those people and imposed individual morals that are setting not just women back but setting all of us back. If a woman wants to be a porn star, a housewife or a scientist why the hell should anyone care if it isn’t harming you. Get down with your bad self with whatever you want to do in life.
That’s when it gets interesting to me though because it’s also women that are buying into it, entering beauty pageants, being sex workers and 100% reinforcing it but then women will only denounce men as terrible people objectifying women and that only men are trying to make laws that govern female reproduction and try to control their bodies. I’m pretty sure no one can slut shame a woman like another woman can. It’s just assumed that it’s men though and that women have each others backs but that is far from the case. Take at look at these lovely ladies:
Congresswoman Candace Miller has always fought to protect the unborn. In June 2013, she presided over part of the debate over H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. She has publicly supported and co-sponsored many bills in the House including the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, the Child Custody Protection Act, the Weldon-Stupak Human Cloning Prohibition Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the RU-486 Suspension and Review Act and the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.
Ann Wagner represents Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District. Since being elected in 2012, Congresswoman Wagner has been a tireless pro-life voice in the House of Representatives. Wagner is a longtime pro-life leader in Missouri and the first woman ever to serve as Chairwoman of the Missouri Republican Party.
That’s just two women out of several that are working very hard to deny women their reproductive rights. Obviously some men are fighting against women’s right too but I would love it if everyone stopped blaming men only and started blaming the real culprits, people of both genders. Here’s a list of several more women in power fighting against womens rights: http://www.sba-list.org/pro-life-women-leaders/national
So as I read and support the terrible stories that the #YesAllWomen movement is bringing to light I can’t help but get mad at the same time because half of them have it all wrong. That’s not diminishing the stories. Those are important and need to be heard but if peoples activism ends at the hashtag and no one truly examines the issues in depth then no one learns anything and we have all lost and just go right back where we were. I also get mad knowing that when I am walking down the street and a woman is walking towards me from the other way and I look at her with my head held high and smiling and friendly and warm as I usually am and she is looking straight to the ground with a blank expression that I am being pre-judged and labeled as something I’m not, a perpetrator, an attacker, a rapist. Men are simultaneously expected to be the hero and the villain. This is why it’s important that women learn to protect themselves. Not all men know how to fight. I don’t anyway. I’ve been in like 2 fights my whole life. Yet it is expected for men to fight better than women. Women say they shouldn’t have to learn how to defend themselves and that men should be taught to not hurt women or be taught to respect women. I agree with half of that. Men should be taught those things for sure(all people should be really). Women should also be taught that they can stand up for themselves. Not learning to defend yourself may as well be saying you expect a man to do it for you. We live in a world where crime will always be happening and crime is not always about rape or violence on women. Sometimes crime is just crime and people want something you have. Like money.
I remember the Daniel Defense pro gun ad that was news earlier this year. All men and women talked about were gun issues but no one seemed to care about how it depicted the genders. Men as protectors and women as helpless. They show a man talking about protecting his wife and child with guns. Because you know, he’s a man. That’s what men do. Protect women and children because they’re weak. Women are being taught they’re weak. Men are being taught women are weak. It’s so second nature to most men and women that they don’t even see the cultural sexism through gender roles punching them in the face in their everyday life. That commercial is a perfect example of what culture is teaching men and women all across the world. https://news.yahoo.com/video/pro-gun-ad-won-39-185949224.html
Women do need to learn to defend themselves. I am not saying with guns but with anything. Take a self defense class. Learn to fight. The person breaking into your home doesn’t have to be a rapist. They could just be there to steal your shit and you have two choices. Hope someone is there to protect you or learn how to protect yourself. It’s no different for me or anyone. We either learn how to protect ourselves as men and women or we hope someone else is there who can. Personally I’d rather not count on anyone else for anything. But I know I can count on myself.
All in all, sexism and gender roles are interesting to say the least but I think we need to stop looking at ways to fix men or fix women and start looking at ways to change what is being culturally taught to humanity as a whole with how gender roles are. It ain’t good and that ladies and gentlemen, breaks my heart. It’s all very heartbreaking and I’ve only scratched the surface of the depth and scope of cultural sexism, feminism, misogyny and misandry. I didn’t even mention inherently sexist religious patriarchies which do nothing but teach people women are inferior and weak. It teaches both men and women that women are weak and then those men and women turn around and teach other men and women that women are weak. Are you seeing the problem yet? It isn’t just men. It’s all of us. You and me and him and her. There’s no question, we all need to be better. Not just men. Not just women. Men and women, together.