WE NEED TO TALK !
There has never been a better time than now. And it has taken eons for us to reach where we are today. It required sacrifice, persistence, resistance and perseverance of countless women and help of many sensible men to get enough people to accept the existence of Misogyny and understand the meaning of equality.
I wrote this article as an easy guide to Equality, Gender norms, Patriarchal setup, Feminism and the sociological implication of the gender prerogative.
ARCHIVED•Post originally published on August 3, 2017
This article covers : • Women and equality • Gender norms & roles • • Patriarchy & its role in Misogyny and Misandry • Toxic stereotypes and children • Sexism Enablers• Victim blaming/shaming • Male abuse erasures • Women Empowerment • Patriarchy • Incels • Sexual Entitlement and ‘enforced monogamy’ • Sociological implication of the gender prerogative • Feminism in different ‘world’ settings • Feminism Vs ‘Anti Men’ argument • Movement Vs labels
We need to talk about gender equality because we constantly find ourselves surrounded by questions regarding women empowerment and equality of sexes.
In no country are women in equal. In fact, the World Economic Forum projects it will take 170 years to reach gender equality globally, and 158 years in North America. That means it will take five more generations for us to see gender equality – or my great, great, great, great, grandchildren.
- Gender equality “does not mean that women and men will become the same, but that women’s and men’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female.”
- Gender equity means fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs. This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different, but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations, and opportunities.
When we talk about opportunity, we’re talking about ensuring opportunity is not limited simply on the basis of gender. We are talking about correcting for gender biases so that economic outcomes improve for all.
On the path to gender equality, we need gender equity. In order to have gender equity, we need to change the narrative and focus away from fixing women and put it squarely where it belongs – fixing the system. A system that has generated a leaky pipeline and suppressed economic opportunity at all levels – individual, family, company, and country.”
When we talk about Gender Equality, it is important for us to talk about the gender prerogative and its Sociological implications. How people continue to use gender stereotypes that are result of old societal biological, sociological, anthropological and psychological imperatives and try to continue reinforcing them as an excuse for the Gender norms in modern society. Some norms even dating back to the stone age and the times of early human hunter gatherers. And confuse the norms being part of normal neurological behavior of the females & male humans. This has huge sociological as well as economical, biological, psychological implications on Women and the modern world as a whole.
And also ‘The H2O Argument regarding the movement – Feminism vs other labels’ because we constantly find ourselves surrounded by questions about equality labels and the existence of Feminism and its actual role.
The topic of Feminism is important because Feminist campaigns are the main force behind major historical societal changes for women’s rights, particularly in the West, where they are near-universally credited with achieving women’s suffrage, gender neutrality in English, reproductive rights for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contracts and own property, the right to vote, to hold public office, to work, to earn fair wages or equal pay, to receive education, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage, and to have maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to ensure access to legal abortions and social integration, and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. Although feminist advocacy is, and has been, mainly focused on women’s rights, some feminists, including Bell Hooks, argue for the inclusion of men’s liberation within its aims because they believe that men are also harmed by traditional gender roles.
And it is surprising to see that even though the Movement gave power to the voices of women (especially in the west), most people including a lot of women have misconceptions, confusions and lack of basic information about the Feminist movement. And often avoid being called Feminists and have so many questions regarding it and labels of Equality viz. ‘Equalist’ ‘Humanist’ etc
Some of the frequently asked questions are :
- Why do we need to give more importance to the women and their respect, their rights & their issues? Are they special!
- Who and what are these Feminists? Are feminists really ‘men-haters’ who believe in suppressing and taking the rights away from the male population?
- Why do we even need Feminism? Why are we using feminism if we argue that we want equality, why not be an ‘Equalist‘ or a ‘Humanist‘ instead?
“WE, THE WOMEN”
Women have been punished simply for being. Simply called crazy, hysterical just for being a normal flawed fellow human with hormones roller-coaster as a side-effect of the ability of human creation. This is an important subject to look at from the prospective of understanding how the men tried to find fault and figure out things wrong with women, who were otherwise supposed to be quite, calm, submissive and with no sexual appetite. Rather than simply celebrating and ignoring it as a normal of being a human, a woman just like any men with emotions, aspirations, temper and sexual needs, everything was done to ensure that the ‘demon’ or the ‘craziness’ was diagnosed and controlled. And the aftereffects remain in this new society even after centuries & decades of ruling them out as Misogynistic dogma.
Hysteria. Such an outdated simple term yet carries the proof & history of sexism and mistreatment of women. Hysteria was the first mental disorder attributed to women (and only women) — a catch-all for symptoms including, but by no means limited to: nervousness, hallucinations, emotional outbursts and various urges of the sexual variety. In the 5th century BC, Hippocrates (i.e., the founder of western medicine, in what may not go down as his greatest achievement) first coined the term “hysteria” — from “hystera,” or uterus — and also attributed its cause to abnormal movements of the womb in a woman’s body.
It was once a common medical diagnosis for women. Even though it was categorized as a disease, hysteria’s symptoms were synonymous with normal functioning female sexuality. In extreme cases, the woman may have been forced to enter an insane asylum or to have undergone surgical hysterectomy. As historian Rachel P. Maines points out in her book “The Technology of Orgasm,” the symptoms of “hysteria”—a catch-all diagnosis for a slew of vexing lady problems that dates back a couple millennia— Fainting, anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability, nervousness weren’t the only hallmarks of female hysteria; certain core aspects of female sexuality, desire and sexual frustration were also on the list. “excessive vaginal lubrication” and “erotic fantasy” were also both considered symptoms of the disease. Oh and — “a tendency to cause trouble for others.”
It is beyond horrifying that this witch-hunt in the name of science started from 5th century BC, until the American Psychiatric Association dropped the term hysteria in 1952. 5th CENTURY B.C. – 1952 — to finally admit that women weren’t sick, they were simply what women are supposed to be. Let this sink in for a minute
Sadly, we’re still feeling the impact of this highly-entrenched medical diagnosis today. It is no longer recognized by medical authorities as a medical disorder, but still has lasting social implications. The “crazy” and “hysterical” labels are hard ones for women to completely shake. First it was the term ‘hysteria’ that was used to insult a woman’s emotional intelligence and brush off her concerns and issues. Today, it is ‘paranoia’. Only the face of misogyny has changed, it has taken the shape of a much casual and classy facade. However, the deep rooted sexism, stereotypes and rape culture continues. The truth is even today society is unable accept the fact that women have a voice and can raise it too.
Here’s the current state:
- If there’s only one woman in your candidate pool, there’s statistically no chance she’ll get the job
- Men are promoted at 30% higher rates than women during their early career stages
- 90% of women leave the workforce because of other workplace problems (rather than having a child)
- Women are paid 79 cents on the dollar of their male colleagues (that drops drastically to 39 cents for the top 2% of wage earners in the U.S.)
- More men named John run FTSE 100 companies than women
- In a study of 21,980 firms from 91 countries, just over 50% of firms didn’t have any female executives (only 11% of firms had all female executives)
- 50% women in STEM fields will eventually leave because of hostile work environments
In addition to women attaining 57% of bachelor degrees and above in 2015 (that trajectory is projected to continue), they are also the majority of university students in nearly 100 countries. Women are an educated cohort, particularly in the U.S., but they are not making it up the talent pipeline. Why not? Gender bias is causing a leaky pipeline.
- Have we ever thought about why despite decades of medical and scientific advancement we have yet to invent oral contraceptives that has less or no side-effect?
- Have we ever though why the Govt. in countries that call themselves economically better spend less attention and almost zero funds towards providing HPV vaccinations to prevent cervical cancer for free or for nominal charge. Why few countries medical budget and insurance covers Viagra pills and not sanitary products and contraceptives for women?
- Have we ever thought why even after decades there are no preventive or effective medication for UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) while majority of the women experience it at least a few time in their life. When we know that it causes extreme pain and discomfort, and can even cause infertility in women or kidney failure!
- Why the sanitary products are taxed as luxury items when menstruation are part of women’s life and these products are basic medical necessities, lack of which causes serious infections and major health issues?
- Why are we less aware about female anatomy and the fact that most women who suffer from PCOS and major hormone imbalances require contraceptives not to prevent conceiving babies, but for hormonal balance and bearable menstrual cycle?
We never stop and wonder why is there lack of attention and awareness about important social and medical struggles of women. We never wonder why most of the times even Doctors do not take their concerns or pain seriously, simply telling them that they are imagining it. They are misdiagnosed frequently and sent away home.
- When women’s reproductive rights & contraceptive rights are discussed & taken away from them even though it is their body, their choice.
- When women’s are treated as children who can’t make their own choices & health decisions.
- When the men sitting in their offices give more funds & energy to a medical issue of erectile dysfunction rather than taking care of laws to take care of women’s reproductive health & mental well being.
- When the men in lab coats ‘research’ and come to a conclusion that women’s ‘G-spot’ doesn’t exist, that women can’t orgasm or ‘ejaculate’ rather then saving those funds for other researches & simply coming to women and ask about their bodies…
Is when we know that we need to talk about it. We need to stand up and shout for everyone to hear that it needs to stop. We need to teach our kids to ensure that it isn’t repeated.
- Women face challenges, discrimination & looked down as simply being less than a man. Not equal to.
- In a society where a man is bossy he is called a Tough Leader but if a women is she is called a Nasty Bitch.
- If she talks about a topic or subject men automatically assume that they have more knowledge than her, they tend to talk over her, interrupt her and if she proceeds to tell them that she knows it better (or has a degree or job in it) she is called arrogant.
- A woman’s moral values are calculated by her cloths & the timings of the clock.
- A woman has to do double amount of work to prove herself in the workplace, to be taken seriously & fights sexism, misogyny & harassment at workplace at the same time.
- Every time a woman gets an appraisal or a promotion people around her question her ability & assume that its because of her looks.
- When a woman is assaulted or raped people question her cloths, the timing she was outside & her truth.
Women have walked alongside men since the time of human existence and yet there is such lack of awareness and basic knowledge about a woman, her anatomy, her issues in the society, that it should infuriate people.
Mutual respect. Mutual dignity. Consensual affection. Personal space. Setting up boundaries, protecting them from others & ensuring that we do not violate the boundaries of others.
“NOT ALL MEN…”
- Every time an infant or minor is raped or assaulted rather than collective outrage towards the rape culture there are men who start saying “Not all Men”
- Every time a woman stands up for herself & the discrimination, people call her hysterical, ask if she is on her periods “are you hormonal/PMSing? That time of the month huh?” , call her names & call the poor condition of women a myth.
- Every time a women speaks up and makes a logical argument they aren’t treated with a counter logic or an intelligent discussion but rather personal remarks are thrown at her ‘comments on her looks, her character’. If they do not agree to a woman they proceed to emotionally violate her. “I don’t agree with you so I do not approve of your existence. Bad woman. You are ugly anyway!”
- Every time a woman talks about women empowerment in a developed economical setting she is asked to shut up because “there are countries where women have it bad”. Every time a woman talks about women empowerment in a developing/underdeveloped economical setting she is asked to shut up because “Even developed countries are no better” & that “there are countries that women have it worse.”
To counter an issue raised by arguing that there are other more important issues to talk about doesn’t make that issue less important. There are always going to be places where women have it worse till we do not change our prerogatives & attitude towards even the issues that look ‘not important enough’ but are important for women around us.
A man gives the reason to respect women or understand their issues by giving statements like“I have a sister, so women empowerment is important for me” or “As a father of two little girls, I have realized how important women empowerment is and how terrible toxic masculinity is” or simply, “Now I understand what an misogynist or sexist I was in my youth.” Well, when men need to have an important woman, or women in their life as sister, daughter etc to finally realize that women are actual human beings is when we need to get up and scream at the top of our lungs that…we are raising our boys wrong.
WE ARE RAISING OUR BOYS WRONG
Because you do not need to have a biological or emotional bond with a woman to know that women are humans too and their rights are important, or that they are suffering because of patriarchy! Isn’t Compassion a human trait?
By enforcing the idea that a woman is a bond or a relationship, dehumanizes her. Leaving her only as important as the men in her life think she is.
You DO NOT need to have a mother, daughter, sister, wife or any friend to understand that women need to be treated with dignity and respect. All you need to know that women too, just like you are humans. And just like you they want to enjoy equality and respect. Just like you she feels fain & gets hurt. Women are humans first and then the other bonds come late.
HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT INCELS?
Incels (a portmanteau of “involuntary” and “celibacy”) are members of an online subculture who define themselves as being unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one, a state they describe as inceldom. Self-identified incels are almost exclusively male and mostly heterosexual. What incels want is extremely limited and specific: they want to be able to have sex on demand with young, beautiful women.
Yes, It is a horrible thing to feel unwanted—invisible, inadequate, ineligible for the things that any person might hope for. But to think that you are entitled to have sex, that you own the sex that you crave but seem to never get is a product of female evilness, rather than — waiting for the right person who would want you the way you are — or evaluating your personal behavior that rubbing off women in a negative way, enough to stay away from you. If you can’t get laid, blame women, hate them and create cult and conspiracy theories around women as ‘bitches’, ‘femoids : A snarl word for women, generally used by incels, to refer to women especially in the context of sexual objectification. A combination of female and humanoid implying a “less than human” status.”
Basically, treating women like they are dirt because you think you are being ignored is an example of entitlement. But it gets scarier. Further in the article Jia Tolentino explained — ” Men, like women, blame women if they feel undesirable. And, as women gain the economic and cultural power that allows them to be choosy about their partners, men have generated ideas about self-improvement that are sometimes inextricable from violent rage.
Several distinct cultural changes have created a situation in which many men who hate women do not have the access to women’s bodies that they would have had in an earlier era. The sexual revolution urged women to seek liberation. The self-esteem movement taught women that they were valuable beyond what convention might dictate.
In the past few years, a subset of straight men calling themselves “incels” have constructed a violent political ideology around the injustice of young, beautiful women refusing to have sex with them. These men often subscribe to notions of white supremacy. They are, by their own judgment, mostly unattractive and socially inept. They’re also diabolically misogynistic. “Society has become a place for worship of females and it’s so fucking wrong, they’re not Gods they are just a fucking cum-dumpster,” a typical rant on an incel message board reads. The idea that this misogyny is the real root of their failures with women does not appear to have occurred to them. (They assume that men who treat women more respectfully are “white-knighting,” putting on a mockable façade of chivalry.)
We can’t redistribute women’s bodies as if they are a natural resource; they are the bodies we live in. We can redistribute the value we apportion to one another — something that the incels demand from others but refuse to do themselves.”
The very idea of ‘INCEL’ is based on entitlement. That they are entitled sex from women. And since they can’t get laid, they call for a witch hunt against all women. A lot of women, actually voluntarily or involuntarily stay celibate. A non-availability of sex doesn’t make women feel entitled for sex. Nor do they go to lengths of forming perversive forums and commit mass murders.
Women have heard enough of ‘misogyny don’t exist’ ‘gender discrimination doesn’t exist’ that today ‘women have more rights than men’ that because of women finally fighting to achieve equality and empowerment, men are suffering. We have all heard people calling Feminism evil. About how it has no place in the real world.
We have all known people like this a some point in our lives, and why? Because a lot of men feel entitled, and blaming women for men’s violent outburst and excusing men’s inability to handle rejection as another excuse to blame women, keeps us for making this world better and safer for women to live in. Because for a women, saying “No” to the advances of most men can cost her — her life and that of her loved ones sometimes, being hurt in domestic violence, or rape or gunned down, or acid attack etc. Women everyday pay the price of standing up to themselves and saying “NO”. — Women have been so afraid to say ‘No’ to men because we all know that for most men its not just simple rejection, you can lose your life because you said no. This has to stop.
This is what happens when you grow up thinking women as sub-human…you actually start believing it. So much so that you go to lengths to deliberately hurt them, calling their request for personal space and choice as their inability to feel any emotion.
Men like Jordan Peterson and others who say that they are entitled to women are dangerous.
The argument of enforcing monogamy on women as a solution to decrease aggressiveness of male is not only wrong since they enforce the notion of victim blaming — majority of people somehow find a way to drag women as part of the problem…no matter how tragic or serious an issue is — but also has no validity biologically & morally. Because this reinforces the notion that women need to be controlled – sexually and socially, but men on the other hand don’t need these boundaries. — Biologically: Apart from being the one to carry and produce new ones, the female species have the imperative to mate with males who are not only mentally stable, physically stronger but also genetically better. To do so no species including our human ancestors were monogamous. — Sociologically: The monogamous structure started to be followed between male and female species after the individual groups started to turn into ‘societies’ and emotional imperative started to over ride the biological one, in order to bond and trust better , to ensure the groups stayed together and safety, even after the females had already reproduced. — Morally: It is unfair to hold only female responsible to uphold the morality of a family or a society, in order for the society to continue. Both men and females hold equal responsibility to stay morally fair. — And to assume that ‘enforced monogamy’ has any deep seeded biological imperative of human females as a necessary requirement is both incorrect and promotes the misogynist idea that women are not humane enough to have the right to live a life apart from reproducing, and that they the autonomy of their body belongs to men instead.
“You cannot have a real conversation with people who don’t believe in facts. It doesn’t work, they don’t want to listen. They make up things to fit their world view. Legit, pull things from thin air and call it a fact. It’s fact because they believe it to be. It doesn’t matter how much I talk or what evidence I can show. They will still be “right because they know.” I grew up in the alt-right community. They don’t give two shits about what you say. You will be seen and treated as less if you look or believe anything different.” — (a wonderful comment on a video about Racism and Alt-Right by this person : Victorya Ann
“Enforced monogamy” – men’s entitlement to women’s sexual attention – combined with rage over rejection – is deadly. Men who appear to be intellectuals superficially, are dangerous because they genuinely believe that what their argument is correct and use psedo-science to try to back it up. When in reality they have deep seed misogynistic and patriarchal thinking and a feeling of male superiority — which they would never publicly or personally self- identity or agree. They are also dangerous because predatory men or those who are misogynist or those who believe that male species are not to be held morally responsible…use these arguments as a backing to their sexist behavior.
Just because someone is a man (or a woman for that matter), they aren’t entitled to anything sexual. People get to chose and decide if they are interested. We need to move away from this feeling and behavior of entitlement. We can do better.
Both men & women are humans. They both have the same biological imperative to produce new life with better genes so that future generations can survive, and they both have the social imperative to protect the species as a whole for those who already exist. Both if them need to be held with equal moral standards. One shouldn’t just get a pass from morality just because they happen to be men. We are no longer hunter gatherers or cave men, that we can give toxic masculinity a pass. Every one is entitled to freedom, happiness and dignity. Men have the seed for new lives, but it is the women who grows it inside of them as part of their own body, and then further nourishes them after birth. Every species owes their females more respect and appreciation, and not treat them as vessels of sexual gratification & child birth.
Males are source of seeds, they are providers and guards. They hunt, they provide to their groups, they guard their own. They are physically stronger. — Females in every species are leaders, teachers, nurturers and protectors. They lead the groups, they teach their new born the key of survival, they nurture the species and help it grow, and they protect their children and their groups. They are psychologically and internally stronger., they have greater emotional intelligence; something extremely important for their survival — This is how we were created, most of the species that exist, not just humankind. It is important for us to understand that, rather than be a victim and enabler of patriarchy.
We are the top of the food chain because we hold the key of compassion & empathy. We are humane. The more we give and excuse of toxic male behavior as – biology- and entitlement, the more the society shall disintegrate. Because after thousands of years, women are finally reclaiming their rightful place that they we stripped off.
How hard is it to teach our children to accept rejection with dignity? To live with humility and respect each other!
It is time to raise our boys right. Lets teach them that it is not okay to feel entitled to a woman’s affection. — And raise our girls better too. Lets teach them it is okay to say ‘No’.
“DON’T BE A BITCH. SAY THANK YOU AND SMILE.”
We grow up being told to ‘smile’, being told to take ‘compliments’. We grow up being catcalled & stalked. We grow up passing men in the street who discuss obscenely about our body parts & what they want to do to it, loud enough for us to hear and being disgusted, offended and frightened for our safety. They intend for us to hear & they do not care. We are simply cattle sexual play things or pets. Our personal space & dignity constantly violated and when we stand up for ourselves, against the harassment we are called a Bitch, a snow flake. “Grow up, and learn to take compliments. Don’t be a bitch about it. Or your life will be harder if you act like this.”
We teach our women to get approval. Learn to get respect in a society. To keep our mouths, dresses, ‘virginity‘ & lives in check. To ensure we aren’t labeled defectives. When we should be giving equal energy to teach our men to let women be. To teach men to respect women as a human not an object or a possession that requires perfection or has expiration.
If women smile less we are called arrogant. If they smile more we are labelled as sluts. There is no middle ground for women. That maybe they are just an ordinary imperfect human who needs to be treated with dignity & their personal space respected, is something no one pauses to think.
Why don’t we let women behave like men or men behave like women if they want to. Why don’t we strive to behave more humane instead? What is so wrong in being a women!
Every time you come across women ‘preference’ law that is put in place to protect them from crimes like rape, assault, domestic violence etc and your argument is “but there are so many false cases filed by women, laws being misused by them that men are the one who are suffering.” — it means that because we still have people with this thought process is the reason why we need Feminism.
“Equal Rights does not mean fewer rights for you, as a man. It’s not a pie.”
“HEY! BUT ALL WOMEN…“
Well let me tell you something : “I have faced a lifetime of harassment from men, even when I was a child & even more when I am an adult. When I was 12 year old I was stalked & harassed by a grown man. When I was 14 year old I was inappropriately touched & kissed by a middle aged man who was in a position of trust because I knew him. On my 16th birthday I was stalked & almost abducted by a man driving a big ass car. Moreover, there are innumerable instances where I have declined advances of men who then proceed to call me names because they are too fragile to handle a rejection. And the list goes on. It has come to a point that today I do not even remember the amount of men who have inappropriately tried to violate my personal space & disrespected me.” #MeToo
So I ask you this : Do you want me to put the entire male species into the category of ‘ALL MEN ARE : dangerous animals, who lack self control. Each one either a rapist or a potential one.’ ?
No, right? I know what you would say : #Notallmen. (A statement that men give everytime there is an outrage towards men on rape, abuse and other violent crimes against women.) But run at the collective #Butallwomen.
Irrespective of my wariness against men, I do not put everyone in a box & label them as evil. That is what maturity means. In the same way the amount of women who misuse the efforts of empowerment that we give them are a minority – like a bucket of water in a huge pond. Not all women are good. Women after all like men are only human : Flawed & Imperfect. Not all women are necessarily good humans, but all suffer from misogyny.
It is simple : Hold people equally accountable, if they break the law. Have a good law enforcement system and punish people regardless of gender. Feminism is holding people accountable for their actions, regardless of gender. That women can be domestic violence perpetrators, or rapists or murderers, or simply bad human. So people who fight for equality never say ‘All Men’ or ‘No Woman is Evil’ .
So why is it so hard for people to comprehend that there is a social stigma against women. That these laws are here to fill a long existing gap that has been in favor of men for a long time. In a lot of countries Marital rape is still legal. And, in some countries, rape survivors are imprisoned and punished too. In a lot of societies the first thing that people think of when a rape happens — “Who will marry her” rather than — “Is she okay“. These young girls and women suffer a lifetime of punishment and stigma because of someone else’s crime against them. While the spotlight never stays on the rapists for long. And yet we cry wolf when a country moves in a positive direction and brings better laws to empower women! These laws are not a special favor towards women, instead, they have been long over due.
Majority of women suffer in our society, suffer the unthinkable and keep quite because we make them feel ashamed for being a victim/survivor and more because we question their truth. We use abuse erasure & victim blame instead.
“THE PATRIARCHY HAS FAILED THE MEN…TOO.“
Patriarchy also hurts the male population as much by binding them in a perceived ‘masculinity‘ while they need to constantly prove it or be ashamed. That without the societal idea of ‘masculinity’ a male is a less of a human…’women like, feminine‘. A society where anything related to the female gender is looked upon as a defect, a weakness.
- TOXIC MASCULINITY AND MENTAL HEALTH :
More men lose their life to suicide than women. More men attempt to end their life. Because since a long time we have taught men that “Real men don’t cry”
There’s no denying that the patriarchy is set up to benefit men. However, gender norms are just as rigid for men as they are for women, and the consequences can be deadly. Some have argued that the high rate of completed suicide for men could be traced to the cult of masculinity, which causes men to be less likely to seek help for emotional problems
We haven’t taught men to deal with their emotions. That it is okay to feel. And so more men are ashamed to get help, to talk to someone about their emotions. They don’t know how to handle those emotions, and in turn try to suppress them. What would you do if you are overwhelmed with emotions, that you have no idea how to deal with? Does you tears make you less of a man? No. but we never tell them.
More men end up channeling those emotions and turning it into anger. Because as a society we have taught them anger is being tough. As a society we set men for failure from the moment they are born because we enforce the idea of toxic masculinity, a false idea of ‘manliness’ into them. We turn them into angry men who destroy toys and then girls, rather them teaching to control and channel their emotions into positive things like women. We put pressure on men to succeed, we place a preconceived notion that men can’t want to be a stay at home dad and take care of children without worrying about bills, because we enforce the notion that you are not man enough to take care of your family as any woman would. We pressure them into working in jobs that makes them unhappy and taking a break if they are overwhelmed.
Furthermore, research has shown that fear of being seen as “weak” is so deeply ingrained that they drastically overcompensate when they feel threatened. Male overcompensation is typically played for laughs, but in reality, it can have terrible consequences. As the authors of the study point out, men who don’t see themselves as masculine are more likely to harass and act aggressively toward women and gay men.
- SEXUAL ASSAULT :
Although statistics show that men make up anywhere from 10 to 38 percent of sexual assault victims, sexual assault is often seen as something that happens to women, by men. Even when people do admit that male rape occurs, it’s often played for laughs: Prison rape jokes, congratulating him on getting “laid,” etc. The minimization and outright dismissal of male sexual assault doesn’t exactly encourage men to come forward after an incident, and it can seriously impede recovery.
We constantly tell men that if a woman initiates sexual advances, they have to continue it. That saying “no” would make them ‘less of a man’. That a man has to be sexually responding, and that its not harassment. That they have to feel good. That its okay for a woman to beat a man, and that if they don’t hit back they are ‘less of a man” instead of applauding these male victim of domestic violence for showing restrain instead. That it is okay if a woman is a abuser, we make the male victims feels ashamed to admit that they are being abused, we make them feel that they need to stay quite because of fear of getting mocked, that since they are ‘men’ — real men are tough. And we have male enablers, part of the patriarchy, who constantly reinforce these notion into fellow men.
When we do not acknowledge a male rape victim/survivor and instead joke that he must have enjoyed being raped by a woman because ‘men don’t get raped‘ or ‘he had an erection‘. When we question his ‘heterosexuality‘ if the rapist is a man. When we talk about “why we never ever had a sexy teacher” when we come across incidences of female teachers abusing male students. When we come across a male victim/survivor of Domestic Violence & call him ‘not man enough‘ or weak. We make them a victim of rape culture too.
“Men Don’t get raped” “Real men don’t cry” “Men don’t wear pink” “Anything stereotypical to femininity is dirty” — We are raising our boys wrong. We are reinforcing the notion that anything remotely ‘vulnerable’ is feminine. And that being feminine is dirty, even if it means bottling up your emotions. “Act like a Man” — reinforcing the idea into our children that being anything near stereotypical ‘feminine’ is being ‘weak’ — reinforcing the idea into our children that being anything near stereotypical ‘masculine’ is being tough & macho.
- SEXUAL AGGRESSION :
While women are slut-shamed at every opportunity, men are encouraged to bang everyone in sight, often whether that person is consenting or not. In fact, if men don’t express voracious sexual appetites at all times, they’re belittled for not being “manly” enough. The stereotype of male sexual aggressors is so entrenched that for decades, scientific research worked on the assumption that men are more sexual beings than women, and it’s only recently that this narrative has come into question.
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE :
Similarly to sexual assault, domestic violence is assumed to be a female concern. While women do make up the majority of domestic violence victims, domestic abuse can and does happen to men as well. However, the culture of toxic masculinity is so strong that some men may not even realize they’re being abused, because they aren’t used to violence being discussed in terms of female-on-male.
We have failed our girls, and we are failing our boys too. This is patriarchy. Lets bring it down.
CLAIRE WARNER correctly pointed out that in her article : 6 Ways The Patriarchy Is Harmful To Men, Because Feminism Isn’t Just For Women –
“As much as men may benefit from patriarchal societies on the surface, it’s clear that the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages.
Fortunately, there’s a movement dedicated to dismantling the patriarchy: Feminism. Fancy that! We still have a long way to go, but if we work together, perhaps we’ll find ourselves in a society that doesn’t discourage men from showing emotion or shame women for doing so.”
Feminism is not a dirty word that you are scared to use for yourself or a word that you throw it at people as an insult for them because they believe in equality. Feminism isn’t anti male, unlike the preconceived notion of some people because of its prefix ‘Fem’. It is to support women, not to pull down men. This movement is the reason in most of the places in the world women have an individual voice.
Now before you jump on the band wagon of the argumentative labels of ‘pseudo-feminist, feminazi, men hater’ and so one, let me stop you and make my most favorite statement of all times : “I can call myself a Potato. But calling myself a potato doesn’t make me one.”
Now, I love potatoes. But that doesn’t mean that I label myself one out of my personal disgust for eggplants (nasty vegetable by the way). Or simply become a potato because its chic & popular to be a potato. I can go on and on about how I believe the potato ideology but if I do not actually follow & respect it than how am I part of it!
Similarly, all women & men who call themselves Feminists or even Equalist however, hate men or bash women in the name of equal rights or use misogyny or misandry erasures to fulfill their personal agenda of hate are neither Feminist or Equalist. Also, all the MRA’s here : I am looking at you too. Take off your privilege & look around. You aren’t oppressed. Stop your misogyny in the name of equal rights. We all know that you do not see us as equals but as witches instead.
- Gemma Cairney’s beginner’s guide to feminism, including a recommended reading list, an exclusive extract from her book, Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be :
“A lot of people think it’s a little grumpy, but feminism is pretty awesome. It’s essentially a powerful belief that we live in a patriarchal society (a society essentially run and governed by men) and that this ain’t cool.
To be a feminist in the most basic of terms means to believe in equality. Some feminists campaign for it societally, domestically and professionally in a number of ways. Feminists believe that the objectification of women, which has very much been ingrained in us, is damaging, disturbing and undermining.
Feminists do not believe that men are evil or that women are better than men. They believe that women are equally as valuable and important in society as men and should be treated as such, and not be valued or judged by their looks – or feel that they have to dress any particular way – or judged by their ability to reproduce, but by their equal contribution to the workplace and beyond.
Feminism makes sense. Calling yourself a feminist does not tag you as a man-hater or someone who does not like to be feminine – it tags you as someone who believes in equality. Women can be beautiful and powerful, they can be leaders and carers, they can be loud and wild if they choose or just one or none of those things if they choose. Women are almighty dynamic. Being a feminist means you are a champion of the rights of other women to achieve all that they are capable of. Many men are feminists too.” And they should be.
There are major issues faced by women in this sexist society. And along with that there are issues faced by men at the same time too. Why don’t we sit together like mature beings, take off our privilege and hate, acknowledge the problems & work together to eliminate them? How hard is that! But instead women, are told to shut up.
“Oh honey! Don’t be a cry baby. Don’t wave your victim card, Don’t wave your woman card. Shut up and grow up. If you do not learn to ignore it you are in for a very rough life.”
Women are constantly classed by men on how to react when most men are too immature to accept a rejection and understand personal space and mutual respect. “Don’t be so sexist. Act like a mature person. Understand personal space. Don’t be creepy . Open your mind. This world is changing. For good. If you do not hold yourself accountable and become a respecting adult, you will be thrown off and will fall flat on your face in a sexist puddle of your making. And you know, masculinity is a fragile thing”
No person should shut up or stay silent. Women should speak up against misogyny because if they don’t, society will continue to think that women are okay with this kind of behavior. And men should speak up too, because to stay quite when you see a section of your society disrespected and treated as below human…is equal to you being an oppressor yourself. A man who speaks up and is not complicit can make a great difference.
We have been stripped of our rights for so long, stripped of our dignity that we have women in ever generation that are desensitized to sexism. That they are brainwashed into believing that they only rightful place of women is under the thumb of men, under control. They are brainwashed into believing that that is the only way for the survival of society. That the women are the only one that needs to have morality & sexuality in check. And they are complicit.
These women become the enablers of sexism and female oppression themselves. Most of the times disrespecting and degrading the new generation of young women, similar to how they were degraded by the generations of women before them. Especially societies in Middle east, South Asia this is clearly visible and in societies in developed patriarchal countries like America, UK etc they take a more casual form.
This social structure of patriarchy and this ‘H20 argument’ by those who don’t understand the importance of Feminism & its stance of women empowerment is toxic. And I have seen women who have been desensitized and brainwashed into it. Women who side with the patriarchy and play the Devil’s advocate. I have had enough of this!
It is important that we as women are no longer complicit, that we do not become enablers and helpers of misogyny. And it is our duty to teach future young girls the same. And teach our young boys not to stay silent about it. We need to break this vicious cycle if we want our society to flourish.
“NO, I AM NOT YOUR BABE.“
SHATTER GENDER ROLES
Women have been controlled in every way possible.However, No woman should be punished for a man’s apparent lack of control.
Men and women aren’t the same. Our bodies are different. Our minds are. Our brains are. We are two sub-species of a modern human species. We aren’t ‘equal’. We are different. And we need to acknowledge this difference & embrace it. We aren’t superior or inferior to each other. We are the same. With different faults & abilities, with different bodies, with different physical and emotional challenges. We aren’t equal & yet we are equals. And we need to understand this. We need to look around and uplift women and empower them because since thousands of years we aren’t treated with equal rights & dignity.
From a scientific & sociological point of view :
- Gender roles are inherently sexist since it promotes the caveman stereotype of what a woman’s work is & what is that of a man without disturbing the comfort level of the misogynistic patriarchal society. Gender roles were only feasible when we humans were cavemen. The women would huddle inside the cave taking care of infants and the men would slave outside risking their lives to hunt food & protect their group. • There were no modern technologies that would make it feasible for interchangeable roles.
eg: if a women had to go out and hunt not only would it increase the chance of her being attacked or killed by a wild animal…how would the men feed the infant that could only survive on breast milk or rear them since their instinct was more brutal (to survive) than emotional (something that was really important to protect the group). — Or another eg: To increase the population of groups cavemen would often steal or force women from other groups to mate and reproduce. They were not civilized and like any wild animals did not know how to control sexual urges.
• The biological elements of a body are not only influenced by the physiology of a body but also the mind, which in turn is heavily influenced by the external environment, which in turn influences the behavioral patterns of a being in a group. The only basic instinct of a human body is to breath, to drink water, to eat food, and satisfy sexual desire. Apart from that specific gender roles and power structure is a learned behavior and has no connection with ‘biochemical’ nature of the human species.
• Women aren’t meant to be less powerful than men, or less able despite the physical and psychological differences. Men aren’t meant to be the leader of the pack. A guard doesn’t equal to a strategist or a leader. Just because a subspecies’ biological imperative is to ‘guard’ because of their physical strength doesn’t make them a strategist or a leader. The protectors can either be soldiers or can be leaders. Leadership and strategist skills exist in both male & female subspecies. Also, physical and psychological strength & emotional intelligence can be found in both subspecies, in some more than the others; but in both subspecies nevertheless.
• Human beings are social animals, if we strip the external influence from them and only stick to the biological nature that is meant for basic survival, they will not exist at the top of the food chain as they are today. Personality is made up of behavior, and behavior is a response to a stimulus, both innate and learned behaviors. So to keep talking about innate doesn’t make a human whole. Gender roles aren’t innate behavior. Its high time people learn to understand the difference between instinct & gender ‘norm’
I know it is hard to shake off that inert sexist attitude that we grow up with, again some more than the other depending of the learned behavior from the different societies that we live in, however, like any learned behavior it can be unlearned and a fresh new outlook can be explored. Those societies who do not evolve and change their power & societal structure with time, they crumble.
• At the end, we can’t keep making arguments by saying — “But that’s not what we are supposed to be wired biochemically in terms of the gender sub-species differences” — Not only that would be scientifically and sociological inaccurate but also humans are the top because we evolve. We have evolved in terms of group and society and body and mind. And only if we continue to get out of our comfort zone, we are going to evolve better and our civilization is going to survive. The rules of the past were meant to survive in that time. Today, the present requires a different power balance to make it to better future.
Gender stereotypes and biology isn’t an excuse for us to follow through our irrational impulses that are only fit for wild animals and uncivilized hunter gatherers. Lets also stop making it an excuse to respect another person as being equal and important.
Women are meant to be leaders in AND outside their house. Just like any man. Saying that they get their perks by gender roles without understanding the problem with these stereotypes is equal to being given a palace and then being told that you can’t step out of it.
It is okay if you (as a woman) WANT to live your life in that palace and not stepping outside ever, it is also okay if you (as a woman) WANT to leave that palace, work on your own and build your own palace where you can come and go as you please. You should make that choice about yourself, not a social gendered role. You should have that choice.
Feminism is about fighting for the power to have a choice.
- Women Empowerment : As a rule of balance, in order to equal the scale …empower the oppressed section to uplift them, educate the privileged section so that they understand why the other section require empowerment.
Women have been constantly asked to shut up because talking isn’t ladylike. We have been witch hunted & burnt on stake because we were loud with our opinions, loud enough for people to think it as being unnatural. Evil.
What is interesting is that for most people actually believe that misogyny & sexism is a myth like Global warming is for a lot of people. Saying that this issue doesn’t exist does not mean it does not, but simply that you are too blinded by your privilege to look around, acknowledge a problem & then hold mature discussions to understand it & work together to eliminate it.
This world of patriarchy was built on the silence of women. So the last thing women need is to stay quite. Because if women around the world will not discuss this issue no one will know that it is even a problem. It is important for us to stay on the same page and acknowledge the poor condition of women & the need of women empowerment. If we do not acknowledge the existence of a problem, we can never truly solve it.
What we need to understand is that we all need to treat each other with equal respect because we are all equal, not superior or inferior. Equal. That does not mean that the male population or their problems are overlooked. While people must be taught to respect everyone we need to give more attention & emphasis especially towards women because in a patriarchal setting like this women get less respect than men. And Men too suffer because of constant pressure to live under the shadow of toxic masculinity.
Women empowerment is important and critical, because women need to be uplifted. They have been and are oppressed. Once we achieve that goal, we then will follow a 100% Equalist set up. Equality setup is putting the same weight equally and both the scales are equal. This is where women empowerment is important. the scales have been uneven since centuries, so we need to uplift women, put more weight on that part of the scale.
What we need to understand is that we can only follow an Equalist setup once we have uplifted the lesser privileged sections with the help of the Feminist setup. Without this we will never truly be equals. Moreover Feminism is a movement for Equality and freedom of voice and choice, on the other hand “Equalist’, ‘Humanists’ are labels to identify supporting Equality. The funny thing about label is identifying with one label or the other that falls under the same movement, makes you not only comfortable with it but also, part of the movement.
The H2O argument
I call it – “The argument that you have with a person when you are too quick to judge and when you call someone wrong, while being too lazy to understand that you and the other person are both talking about the same thing or issue. At the same time your inability to take off your rose colored glasses and a child like paroxysm to not even attempt to have an open mind to understand the problem in true sense that as a result makes you unfit for a mature & logical conversation, and instead makes you a buffoon!”
If you believe in Equality. If I believe in Equality. We both believe in the same thing. I call it Feminism and you call it Equality/ or other terms. Why does it matter. What is there in a term? You call it a ‘water’ or a ‘H2O’ it eventually means the same thing.
Feminism is Equality. Equality is not women supremacy. Equality is having equal rights. Equal respect of both sexes. Those who are afraid of Feminism, are afraid that men will be treated the same way women have been treated since thousands of years – with humiliation & oppression.
People have a problem with Feminism because when we come from privilege, equality feels like an oppression.
Feminism is simply misunderstood by people who some how believe in some form of equality, and is hated by people who don’t believe in Equality for women, or the right of minorities to have a freedom of choice. Feminism is not a dirty word. It is not something that you can twist around and throw it at people who are Feminist, thinking that somehow it would insult them. No. Because you are either a feminist or a sexist. And people should be ashamed of being sexist, not ashamed of supporting equality.
“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own” — Audre Lorde
(This article has been written from both personal and Sociological point of view on Gender Equality and Feminism)