I think feminism should hurt men.
The reason there is so much irrational fear and anger surrounding just the word itself, that it instantly starts a man’s stomach turning over. It makes them feel sick, and they feel so guilty and ashamed that all of a sudden they start getting flurried and flustered and red faced and spittle forms at the corners of their mouths. Maybe they don’t perpetrate discrimination themselves, but the issue still brings up so much emotion in our stomachs that a lot of men can not deal with that pain. It’s something that they would rather ignore, or not talk about, and so the cycle goes on. The average guy on the street doesn’t control whether or not women get paid less than men, he doesn’t own an advertising company that shames women into buying beauty products, and he doesn’t rape women, so he immediately goes on the defensive. “Not all men” is something every woman has heard, and every man has thought. I certainly have. Because even though equality shouldn’t even be an issue that needs to be discussed, be it race, gender/identity, sexuality and so on, the powers that be still perpetuate all these differences and pit us all against each other. Divided we fall.
For example, the Federal Minister for Education in Australia, Chistopher Pyne, said this in an interview on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) “7:30” program, in relation to the Australian Government’s proposed de-regulation of university fees and student debt repayment structures.
SARAH FERGUSON: However, do you accept that there is a hit in the way that you’ve set up the loan repayments that hurts women and poorer people more than it does high income earners? Do you accept that’s the consequence?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: No, absolutely not. And I don’t accept it because what will happen at universities is that vice chancellors and their leadership teams will know that they should not charge and will not charge higher fees for courses which are typically going to be studied by people who’ll be nurses and teachers and therefore not earn high incomes over a period of time. Now, women are well-represented amongst the teaching and nursing students. They will not be able to earn the high incomes that say dentists or lawyers will earn, and vice chancellors in framing their fees, their fee structure, will take that into account. Therefore the debts of teachers and nurses will be lower than the debts, for example, of lawyers and dentists.
This is a *Federal Minister for Education* saying that the de-regulation of university fees will not hurt women because they don’t study subjects that cost a lot of money, such as law and dentistry as he uses as examples.
Now, 58% of Dentistry and 61% of Law graduates are women, according to the Federal Department of Health & The Australian Human Rights Commission, and you can come to your own conclusions about the state of Australian politics at the moment, and the subsequent social climate.
So even though the average guy is not a rapist, he is a cog in a system that oppresses women. I am a part of a system that oppresses women. He knows it, I know it. With this kind of attitude being presented by our rich, white, male dominated Parliament, it’s easy for men to feel guilt for their position, which they only attained through genetics at birth. They know that they’re a lot stronger, weigh a lot more and are more powerful than the average woman. They know the things that other men have said about women in the street, women they’ve been sleeping with. Then they have to go home and kiss their girlfriends, their wives, their mothers, their sisters. Their daughters. So even though, yes, they’re not perpetrators, their guilt makes them so irrational, so angry
That boiling surge in their stomachs only comes from the deep seeded guilt, that comes rushing out of nowhere quicker than they can deal with it. I follow a lot of feminism-oriented blogs, and some of the things I read are terribly upsetting. There’s a lump in my throat and a pain in my guts when I read a lot of those things, especially about sexual assault and the fear of it. Why does it upset me so much?
Because I know that it’s right. All those articles are right, and all men, especially those guys with red faces who are so angry and emotional that they can’t talk, know it. That’s why so many men try to derail any conversation, any blog, any forum thread, to do with women’s rights. They would rather ignore it so they don’t have to touch on that monster living in their stomachs, and therefore the system goes on, perpetuated through ignorance and deliberately trying to not understand.
Most guys have never worried about getting raped. Alone after a bender and walking home, they’ve thought about being bashed, mugged, whatever, yeah sure. But raped, sexually violated? I doubt it. It would never pop into many a man’s head, so they will never even understand the concept that is, potentially, an every day reality for women who have to walk, catch public transport, or have to travel early in the morning or after dark. Ninety nine percent of men will never have that constant fear in the back of their mind.
Now, I know of some women who disagree with “college feminists”, and applaud a woman who teaches self-defence and weapons training as a “real feminist.” But the problem is, and this isn’t anything new to anyone, that the woman teaching self-defence and weapons training shouldn’t have to.
I don’t agree with shaming skinny women, women who wear make up or anything that could be construed as something the patriarchy says is acceptable, any more than I agree with shaming women who don’t conform. A woman who cares about her appearance is no less a feminist than anyone else, no matter her body shape. Veganism, pagan spirituality, sobriety and a myriad of other life styles are marginalised by the “posers” for lack of a better word, people who thirst for the status in being the most extreme. While feminism is not a “life style,” there are elements that have succumbed to that marginalisation in the views of the greater public, so much so that women shame other women, no matter where you might personally stand on beauty.
It’s a sad commentary on this whole fucking society that the word “feminism” polarises even women. Men know that the principles of Feminism right. Even if they’re not consciously aware of it, deep behind the mists they know that their place is easier, and in terms of physical attributes, most men could overpower a woman. This is where the statement “not all men” is refuted. Yes, all men. All men know these things.
It is a very confronting thing to face. I know that my girlfriend could not overpower me, could not get away from me, only by some stroke of luck of getting a weapon or kick up the middle. She would struggle to get out from under me if I fell asleep on her. She catches a bus, and has a short walk home from the bus stop. It makes me sick to think about it, and yet I shouldn’t have to think about it, should I? I wouldn’t worry anywhere near as bad if my partner were a man, that much I can tell you. But I won’t look away from anything that makes me want to turn my head. I want the world to be safe if I have daughters, I want the world to be safe now for my friends and family and loved ones.
That is why Feminism does, and should, hurt men. It should make them feel that awful pain. Men need to learn the truth, and recognise it for what it is. Not say “not every male”, but become the needed change. Actually become “not every male”. Many men would rather be openly sexist and misogynistic, then deal with the real issue inside themselves. I make no excuses for any man who does this, but I do apologise for them. I mentioned earlier that I have said “not all men”, but only as a product of my ignorance, not as a legitimate argument to rise up and defend the honour of men everywhere.
I also know that no one tells them that it’s okay to feel guilty, that it’s okay to be wrong. To get it wrong, and when you’re facing the facts, it’s okay to still not always understand. I still get it wrong, I am still not getting it 100% right because I am not a woman, and the issue is so fucking deep that I don’t have enough words to get through every aspect. I am nervous about posting this, because it’s not complete, it never can be. But men need to start speaking out about this, and stand up to the demonising and marginalisation of the struggles of our sisters. To be able to recognise these mistakes, and learn and change and grow from it, that is where the breakthrough comes. Unlearning social attitudes towards women is difficult, especially when there are almost no mainstream avenues for support and information. The same goes for any other struggles for equality. We are all members of the human race, and all citizens of the Earth, and the more we squabble amongst ourselves, the more we are fractured and easily controlled. The more we are exactly where the government and the media and corporations want us. Oblivious, and divided. I have often spoken about the uniting of humanity, and this is the first real thing I’ve written directly concerning women’s rights.
The principles of Feminism should make every man’s heart hurt so bad that he cannot bear it. It should burn a hole in his love for any woman in his life. It hurts because it’s the truth, and it should be fought for like guerrilla warfare. Every street, every house, every single individual who wakes up and sees the message is important. It should hurt so bad all he can do is change his ways and affect that change around him everywhere he goes.
Ideas change society, and when we stop having them, that’s when we become drones. That’s why blogs, social media, essays and conversations are important. I only hope we don’t have to wait for all the old, rich, white guys who control government and media to die before we see the change
Every man’s life is poorer for women living in fear and living as second class citizens. .
I am openly against any society where there is a need for equal rights movements to exist.