Monday, January 22, 2018

Man-hate, or Human-Love? #MeToo #TimesUp #Feminism

Sometimes I hear people ask, "Why all the hating on men?"

Which puzzles me, until I figure out what they're talking about. And it's true, sometimes I've used the shortcut, "Ugh, men!" to express frustration with some men's behaviors.

So let me clarify.

When I say:

I don't like being raped =/= I hate men.
I hate being pressured to have sex =/= I hate men.
I hate being pressured for certain kinds of sex after I've said no or not tonight =/= I hate men.
I don't like being hit on by my creepy boss or clients =/= I hate men.
I don't like earning less money for the same work as my male counterparts =/= I hate men.
I don't like being expected to do more housework and/or childcare than my male partner =/= I hate men.
I don't like being catcalled =/= I hate men.
I don't want to be spooged on by strangers on social media = /= I hate men.
I don't want to see your dick or dick pic, unless you ask first and I say yes =/= I hate men.
I don't want to be groped by strangers on a train, in a club, or at a party =/= I hate men.

Are you following where I am going with this?

When I say, "Ugh, men," I am expressing my frustration with those behaviors, and those who would normalize them.

But here's the thing. Criticizing the BEHAVIORS I don't like, criticizing the entitlement attitude that leads men to voice their delight at being able to "grab 'em by the pussy" doesn't mean I hate MEN. Many people, including me, understand that many cultural norms have guided men (note, #NotAllMen™) along these paths, and that changing them is a lot of work.

From the Women's March, Jan 2017
Asking men to do the work is not being a man-hater.

Asking them to understand that they are not ENTITLED to: sex, relationships, money, or any other thing, doesn't mean we don't want them to have the thing. It means we are beginning to say, "Not by hurting another human, can you have the thing."

Feminists like me LOVE men. We believe they are not mindless automatons, driven to harmful behaviors simply because they are men. We believe they are capable of being, and often ARE, mindful, tender, thoughtful, considerate, sexy, kind, gentle, protective, loving, respectful. And so much more.

I've been so blessed to love and know many fabulous men. I've also known some who were terrific most of the time, and occasionally did some shitty things. I've met some damaged souls who might have meant well, but were dangerous to my well being.  And known a few sociopaths.

If we want to help men - what's the current trendy catchphrase? Find their best selves, we have to stop justifying the shitty things they do, stop with the "Boys will be boys" nonsense, and help them to see that the entitlement train has left the station. And that #TimesUp for them to deal with it.

Social change is scary, but #TimesUp and past for women to be treated with dignity and respect.

Do you love men?

Do you hate the entitlement attitude?

Your thoughts?