Have you ever watched a child in a store throw a tantrum over something trivial? No matter how much the parent tries to reason with the little one, the crying only gets worse and then the stomping, the throwing and the insults start. I am beginning to realize that many of my gender, the one that is historically categorized as “strong”, “tough”, “brave” and “powerful”, are skipping that part of their life where maturity is supposed to set in.
I watched the other day on Facebook as a grown man threw a digital tantrum over the women only screenings of Wonder Woman. I should add that this “man” wasn’t responding to an actual story regarding said screenings, but instead a simple post from one of my male friends simply saying that he was excited for the movie. You could almost see the crying face emojis as he wailed and whined about how “discriminating” these screenings were (as if there weren’t going to be thousands of other screenings). After a few female friends chimed in with respectful and thought out responses, he then attacked their intelligence, their education and implied that women would make as much money as men if they went to school for careers that actually made money (one of these women helps people with mental health issues with her degree).
This is one story of many that has got me thinking over the past few months. I had given the subject a lot of thought in the past, but with how the recent election played out and how it has affected the world in so many different ways, the immediate response from women around the world was one of the most amazing things I had seen.
You see, men either don’t try at all or they try too hard when it comes to feminism. Unfortunately with the latter it almost always comes across as “mansplaining”. Why? Because subconsciously men always have to be better at everything, including being a feminist if they so choose. I am not saying that every guy who tries is meaning to be a jerk, but we are wired to be know-it-alls and the truth is that we will never know what it’s like to be a woman. We will never fully understand the importance of the feminist movement, because we’ll never have to go through what they’ve gone and are still going through.
Instead of explaining why I am a feminist here, I am instead going to talk a little with my dudes, my bros and my dude bros. There are several different ways that you make the male species look ridiculous, and at times even hideous, repulsive or worse. I am no dummy. Many of you will probably roll your eyes at me, but that’s okay. I am not rallying the troops. I am just trying to talk some damn sense into you.
Let’s start with you “nice guys”. I see you all the time on social media and every day life. You could be one of the worse culprits of toxic masculinity there is. You seriously believe that because you aren’t the typical jock, douche bag or bro and you read publications with more words than pictures that it somehow means you are more deserving of a damsel than anyone else. You can’t seem to let it go either. “Why is she with that guy? I could treat her better! I deserve her!”…you don’t deserve jack, buddy! This isn’t Robin Hood and the girl you’re drooling over while stroking your katana is not Marian. You’re not obligating yourself to go out with every person who holds a door open for you or asks you how your day was, so neither should she…got it?
Now, for the guys who decided that their trumped up opinions – on how a woman cuts her hair, does her makeup or when and where she should smile – means more than a woman’s opinion about her own appearance. It doesn’t! Flat out doesn’t! My God, is this seriously still a thing?
“You look better with long hair!”
“You shouldn’t wear so much makeup! You’re prettier natural!”
“You’re prettier when you smile!”
Take a minute and think about how extraordinarily awful that all sounds. You could literally just be 1% self aware and still be able to see how absolutely vacuous that is.
Finally please stop with the “Well, I may be a white guy, but I haven’t had it easy” BS too. You’re right. I totally get it. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth either. With that said, let’s use a sports analogy to break this one down:
White men are the New England Patriots. We have lied, cheated and stolen our way to the Super Bowl time and time again, but we almost always end up champions. Now, you may not be Tom Brady. You may not even be starting games. Hell, you might be on the practice squad, but you’re still on the team that’s been winning for years despite the corruption that follows the name. You’ve always been that step ahead, no matter what.
This is how we treat women. The people who carry us for months and then go through hours of pain to bring us into this world. Despite that, they’re the first to comfort us when we’re down, whether we’re a toddler or have toddlers of our own. When a woman makes her way into a male-dominated field, whether it be a large business or running for the Presidency, we judge them on their emotions. We say stuff like, “She shouldn’t have cried, that made her look weak.” We expect them to act like a man and still we let them down in the end. Why should they act like a man? We’ve had 228 years of men running this country. Ever thought that’s the problem? Maybe we need a little more emotion. Maybe we need that strength that only women have. The strength to create life and nurture it. The strength that isn’t afraid to show that they’re human. When humanity seems to be lost, maybe that’s exactly what we need.
I’m not perfect. I have been the idiot who has “mansplained” before. I thought I was helping, but I wasn’t. I thought the only way to fully get a grasp of feminism was to talk about how I felt about it, but I had forgot the most important part of it…LISTEN. We’ve had a long run guys and we’ve done a lot of talking, I mean A LOT of talking. So summon that so-called “strength” and use it to shut your damn mouth for a few minutes. Listen to women about these subjects. They’re the only ones who have any idea what it is like to be a woman.
Oh, before I finish – and if you need more (HERE):
It wasn’t until 1920 that women were respected enough to vote in elections.
It wasn’t until 1964 that women could not be discriminated from being hired in the U.S. because of their gender.
It wasn’t until 1972 that Title IX passed and girls weren’t forced to wear dresses to school.
It wasn’t until 1973 that a woman had full rights to her body.
It wasn’t until 1976 that the first marital rape law was enacted in Nebraska, making it illegal for a husband to rape his wife.
It wasn’t until 1986 that the Supreme Court found sexual harassment at work a form of illegal discrimination.
It wasn’t until 2013 that it was announced the ban on women serving in combat roles in the military had been lifted.
It wasn’t until 2016 that women could officially serve their country in any job in the armed forces.
You can miss one damn movie screening.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine