No, it’s not that F word, even though the thought of feminism may lead some to want to shout out that infamous one of the four-letter variety. Speaking as an adult male, feminism is absolutely necessary. It shouldn’t be in 2016, but as always, not everyone is mature enough to progress with the times, which is why I consider myself a wholehearted male feminist. Without prefacing this for too long, I’ll get right to it. Here are my 10 things that need to stop, especially if you are one of those people who can’t stand the thought of feminism:
1. MEN, quit with the “make me a sandwich/kitchen jokes.” Call me crazy, but I’ve never found these jokes funny. Maybe it’s the content itself or the fact that it seems very primitive to me. In being a fan of shows from the 50’s and 60’s, I understand that this is how things were back then, but we are long removed from those days. I also get that many today very likely learned this behavior from past male generations. But there is nothing “cute” about implying that women have their “place.”
2. LADIES, please stop dismissing sexism or calling other women “too sensitive” when they complain about it. I completely understand the “crying wolf” syndrome. That basically means that there are those out there who would blindly call everything “sexist” when it really isn’t. That doesn’t help the cause. However, this notion of people being “too damn sensitive” is overblown. People are allowed to be sensitive to what they choose and believe me, there are a LOT of things that are wrong with this country, but sensitivity isn’t one of them. As far as women and sexism, it happens and needs to be addressed, not dismissed just because you “don’t want to hear it.” Men can be idiots toward you plenty without you adding to it because you think it makes women look bad for someone to speak up. Standing up for yourself or for other women is NOT a weakness, but ladies, it’s disappointing to see you putting other women down for what I feel is legitimate and should be supported. Again, you don’t have to call everything sexism, but don’t dismiss it all, either.
3. MEN, quit saying that males are feminists because we are “just trying to get laid.” This one is so stupid that it’s just funny. So the only reason I’m a feminist is because I “need to get laid”? Good to know. I’ve been married for almost 17 years, but when all else fails, let me jump on here to write a blog post about feminism so I can get laid. No way I could possibly just be someone who feels sexism IS a problem in our society and I feel like standing up for it in one way I know how. Couldn’t be that. Better yet, I plan on sending this to a few professional actresses just to get their opinions on it. Surely this is my “plan” to get laid by them, right? I can just picture it now…an actress from my favorite show reads this and goes to her executive producers: “Hey, can we stop filming for a few days? I just read this amazing blog by one of my fans and it was SO great that I want to go to where he is and screw his brains out.” Yeah, I’m really holding my breath on that one. To those who think this; what grade are you in?
4. LADIES, please stop limiting your circle of supporters to just women. I’ve written about this a bit on Facebook and Twitter, and a few times, it has been said to me that I really “can’t support a cause I don’t understand.” Excuse me? So just because I don’t necessarily experience it every day means I can’t support it? Then again, it doesn’t even matter whether I experience it or not. I’m just the “wrong” gender? Also, I have followed pages on social media geared toward feminism and I feel I’m being ignored simply because I’m a man. Ladies, there really are men out there who care. No, we can’t say it’s something we deal with all the time, but we still would like to be here for you. Please let us. We’re not out to “get” anything from it or prove our dominance in any way. We just want to show that you’re not alone. It doesn’t “water down” the strength of the cause just because men want to support it.
5. MEN, stop standing by and watching or listening to other men exhibit sexism. I’m 36 years old, so I’m well-versed on the peer pressure from other men, the “locker room talk” and all that. A lot of men out there are nervous about speaking up to other men when it comes to sexism. You don’t want to be the stick in the mud. You don’t want to be the party pooper. You don’t want to show that you “aren’t a man.” I get all that. Peer pressure isn’t the easiest thing to deal with. However, we ALL have someone in our lives in which we know for certain that we wouldn’t be happy with this kind of behavior being exhibited on. If you can speak up then, you can speak up now. It has nothing to do with manhood. The hell with “man cards.” Just stop all that. Because once it happens to someone you love or are close to, it’s too late try and raise up at that point. And if you can’t think of someone this would apply to, try the woman who gave birth to you. I’m sure she’d have something to say about it.
6. LADIES, stop making excuses for sexist jokes from men. A few months ago, a former friend of mine posted a link to a story about a woman who reported men who would send their penis pictures to her. But she would send those pictures to their wives and girlfriends. A male posted on my former friend’s page to say something to the effect of, “I really had to refrain from posting mine on here. You’re welcome.” I sent a private message to her and said that while I felt I may have been out of line, I didn’t think that was appropriate. She response, to the effect, “If you’re on the outside, then yes, it was a horrible comment to make. But he’s my best friend; so I know he’s just joking.” Right. Joking to you and all your friends who would see it, along with seeing that you don’t have an issue with it. I can tolerate jokes in private and all, because after all, not everyone can see them. Hard to be able to say much about those. But when it’s public like that and ladies, you don’t say anything, that just shows that you’re okay with it. So another man comes along, does the same thing and you raise hell. Then he says, “Well so and so did the same thing.” What can you say? “Well he’s my best friend.” Let’s see how well that blows over.
7. MEN, stop being afraid of or threatened by successful women. Many will NOT admit this, but a lot of men out there are intimidated by a strong, successful woman. Now let me explain something. I mentioned above, my favorite actress from my favorite television show. As an aspiring writer, I would love to work with her one day. But upon meeting her for the first time, there is no question that I would be intimidated a little. Maybe nervous would be a better word, but that’s not what I mean here. What I’m referring to is feeling that a woman aims to be strong and or successful just as a shot to your manhood, or feeling that you’re in competition with her in any way. You’re not. You two can co-exist. I feel like these kinds of feelings are what lead to hostility in the workplace or thoughts and mindsets of wanting women to be inferior to us, just to protect our egos. This certainly does not help.
8. LADIES, please stop faulting women for “waiting too long” to speak up about sexual assaults/rape. Let me briefly talk about Bill Cosby. I don’t think I need to get into all of what has happened with him and the ladies involved. You know what I have discovered to be the saddest part of all that? It’s not that men were putting all the women down…it’s that I’ve noticed WAY more women doing that. Women were saying things like, “Why did she wait so long?” or “They just want to take him down” or “The money must have stopped coming in” or “They must be lying.” First off, none of you know what you would have done if you were in the shoes of any these ladies, so stop sitting on social media and pretending you’d have it all figured out. Second, many don’t believe these women now, in 2016, when Cosby really isn’t in the spotlight anymore. The money isn’t what it was and there isn’t a ton to gain from coming out now. Yet, back in the 80’s, when NBC dominated Thursday nights, Cosby was at the top of his game, and you would have believed them then? I highly doubt that.
But reactions like these are the reasons women either wait so long or never say anything. It’s one thing for men to be quick to dismiss them, but for their own sisters to do it, especially when there really isn’t proof one way or the other? I can’t imagine what that must feel like to them. Of course, they’re not going to be in a hurry to say a lot then. As for “why they’re all coming out now;” many may not be strong enough to do so alone. Once one woman is brave enough to do so, that is what may give others the strength to tell their stories. It is truly ignorant to believe that women from all over the country are really getting together and concocting stories just to take someone down. I’m not saying to just automatically believe it, but the automatic dismissal is just heartbreaking. God forbid something like this ever happen to you. I would never want to wish that on anyone. Imagine if you screamed at the top of your lungs and no one believed you. If you were positive of that in the beginning, would you really be anxious to tell anyone?
9. MEN, stop saying, “If that happened to my daughter…” It doesn’t need to happen to our little girls before it’s a problem. I understand that some don’t really “get it” until they have daughters of their own, but the notion that NOW is the time to raise hell about it is ludicrous. If you know enough to have a problem if your daughter is involved, then you DO know that something IS wrong. So it takes your innocent little girl to go through it before you feel it’s important enough to address? I know…it sounds so much tougher and manlier to boast about how you would “kick the ass” of anyone who is sexist toward your daughter. But if you don’t feel even a fraction of that when it happens to other women, then you’re wrong. Period. Remember, those other women are someone’s daughters as well.
10. LADIES, don’t be afraid to KEEP TALKING. Self-explanatory. People (men and women alike) will try every trick in the book to try and shut you up. Social media trolls are probably the worst. They have the um…”courage” to type anything and everything to try and derail what you are saying or doing. Don’t let them. Most of what’s said would never, ever be said to your faces. Keep that in mind. Many post either just for a reaction or because they are truly miserable. But keep fighting the good fight. Don’t let anyone silence you. Keep in mind what I said above; to not exhibit the “crying wolf” syndrome. Be sure it’s legitimate, because if it isn’t, or the reaction is hasty, you likely won’t receive a ton of support and you’ll be wasting your time. However, if you feel it is, please…KEEP TALKING.
I’m sure there are MANY more and if you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them. Thanks for reading.