The battle of the sexes is another of those senseless wars fought on behalf of ego, which has been fed by propaganda. Goebbels couldn’t have done it better. Men think this about women, and women think this about men–and it’s all based on situational comedy and romantic comedy films, something someone read in that gender health magazine or pander to women weekly, machismo monthly. It’s about taking sides, and shutting down the most important piece of communication between people: listening.
The rhetoric flying back and forth empowers both sides to behave with impunity. However, there is one area in which it is reasonable and necessary to defend the heart of things: Feminism. Feminism isn’t about women being placed in power above men. It’s about equality. Yes, I agree the name of it is misleading, but current generations didn’t select it–neither did Marxists, Socialists, Communists, Corporatists, Masochists, etc. The name is almost always selected by an outside group, and probably by those in opposition to a movement. So, don’t get hung up on names. Feminists aren’t here to collect your manhoods. They’re here to guarantee equality for all genders. The idea of gender, remember, is finally expanding to better encompass the reality of human identity.
As stated above, the war between the sexes allows both sides to behave with impunity, but there is one behavior which is unacceptable: victim blaming. That’s not exactly what the author of the next article calls it, but that’s what it is. The article is a story about a man who blames women for not making it easier on him to hit on them. He blames women because he can’t get laid. He blames women for the way the movement makes him feel singled out and a monster. As the author states, all of this is in the man’s head, which is troubled, proof in the confession that he sees a therapist. Troubled minds aside, this man’s status as professor and wunderkind marks him as an authority figure to most other men. Sot he things he says hold weight. The blame he places on women therefore gets carried forward. So the misogyny continues, with implied permission.
The important part of the article, and this is what makes it so powerful, is that it’s coming from a man also of perceived authority. His words that you’re imagining this victimization at the hands of women while actual women are experiencing actual violence at the hands of men. The two are not similar, and do not stand as equal complaints. What happens in your head can be ugly–real ugly, but if it doesn’t come out of your head into an action–then nothing! It was a mere thought. Women are being literally raped, not raped in their heads by things they see or read–and men are doing the raping. It’s a harsh reality for men, but they’re the ones who can stop it. Just because you’re awkward and shy doesn’t mean you get to shut down a movement meant to bring equality to all genders and stop the sexual assault of those deemed unequal and objectified by society enabling their assaults.
The way the author puts–is exactly the words I’ve been trying to come up with to defend feminism for a while, and I am glad I read it. I am glad that a man is standing up, and despite his experiences with rejection, saying this is unacceptable guys.
The Plight of the Bitter Nerd: Why So Many Awkward, Shy Guys Mistakenly Blame Feminism