If you all remember from years ago, the Atlantic published a terrible article titled “The End of Men” which was basically a total bitchfest run rampant with blame-shifting—about three quarters of it consisted of complaining that men can’t get laid anymore because women have restored too many rights, including our right to refuse. Remembering this, along with recent ripples in the feminist blogosphere in response to a similar article by a concerned anti-feminist and previous events involving myself that occurred elsewhere incorporating the myth that sexual harassment accusations are unfair to men, I typed up possibly the most furious and ramble-y piece, and am displaying it here.
When a woman is sexually harassed and undergoes severe character defamation, made more than possible by patriarchal slut-shaming (regardless of whether these sex partners are real or imaginary or whether it’s anyone else’s business) there is nothing she can say to the man harassing her that would be equally damaging… except perhaps to accuse him of sexual harassment, which ideally would destroy his character to the same extent. Feminism leveled the playing field, and that’s where these men have an issue.
So instead of recognizing that they are not entitled to a woman’s consent, that they are not entitled to her attention, and that according to the feminist ideology men may also enjoy the benefits of full autonomy when they decide to consent to the sexual or romantic advances of some women over others according to their own personal preferences, men insist that women—thanks to feminists—are unfair to men when women are receptive of the advances of men they find attractive and not receptive to the men they don’t; sometimes even, if the undesired advances persist despite a woman’s clear indication that they are unwanted, may accuse the men of sexual harassment. So unfair, men whine and complain, that it’s only sexual harassment when the man is unattractive—utterly neglecting to acknowledge that the deciding factor is the woman’s consent, not the man’s attractiveness, because unlike what men believe, the world doesn’t revolve around them and how attractive they are! And especially not feminism.
There are no double standards that privilege women. When you are an honored member of the sex that has been dominant since the beginning of time and sporadically you find yourself NOT on the top–because, let’s say, you’re conventionally unattractive–that is not oppression, it is BACKFIRING. Because you set the standard for conventional attractiveness for both men and women. When you say that attractive men are physically strong, or stoic, or violent and you happen to be none of those things, that is a fault of the patriarchal system you set up yourself, not feminism. You’ve screwed yourself over with your own damn system, and you still insist on playing by its rules. If I can find men attractive whom the patriarchy deems unattractive, and you can’t do the same with women and instead insist on dating conventionally attractive women—well, you want to have your cake and eat it too. Which is very interesting, because that’s what you accuse feminists of doing.
There are no double standards that privilege women. Men die at war because THAT’S how YOU made it. They commit suicide because they failed to achieve the rigorous standards of masculinity that YOU established. (And women attempt suicide just as frequently.) They get their kids taken away in divorce because YOU don’t value nurturing parenting skills in men and they end up completely unaware of the extent of their abuse. They pay alimony, because YOU promote the idea that men have to earn a higher salary, and you fix the system so they do. And they fair poorly in school because YOU hate femininity so much, that once women integrate themselves into “male territories” like the classroom it immediately becomes uncool. This happens in every area. Men used to dominant literature, music, and poetry, until they had competition and they were too disgusted to even try… and so they labeled those areas as “inferior.” And at the professional level? Men STILL dominate those areas. And the system STILL disadvantages women. Seriously, every author I read in high school in English class was MALE. Except the author of The Awakening, which is a TERRIBLE book. Don’t give me bullshit about how boys aren’t interested because the classroom has evolved to cater to the learning styles of girls. Boys and girls do not learn differently: all individuals learn differently regardless of sex. There are both lectures and labs in science courses, roughhousing may not be allowed in the classroom but it is allowed in the grass on the field, and as I said practically EVERY “great American” novel we read in English was written by a MAN. What the hell more do you want? You know what the problem is? You SUCK at raising boys. You set impossible standards for masculinity, and you’re just bitter that feminists have had the audacity to try and free themselves from their assigned roles while the system you created yourself is forcing you to stay in yours.
Feminism is meant to achieve equality by liberating women, and out of its good graces it encourages men to liberate themselves by expanding the definition of male roles along with female roles. Don’t come bitching to us when you don’t want to do the work. Your problem is with patriarchy.
Men complain that when women abuse them and they call a shelter, the woman who answers the phone assumes they are the abuser. Well that sucks–but that’s because YOUR patriarchy promotes male violence. You want women to stop assuming you’re rapists and murderers? Stop raping and murdering.
28 women in the US are raped every hour. Every hour. THIRTY-FIVE PERCENT of men report that if they could get away with it, there’s a likelihood they would commit rape. Eight percent admit to committing the legal definition of rape (when the word rape itself wasn’t used in the study, just described) and out of that eight percent, 84% insist it definitely isn’t rape.
Men don’t know what sexual harassment is. They don’t even know what rape is. 70% of victims don’t just say ‘no’ but STRUGGLE and fight back. And the men still continue. 20% of men say that they’ve become so sexually aroused before that they could not stop themselves from having sex even if the woman didn’t consent.
And out of all of those, between 62% and 84% of survivors are FRIENDS with their attackers. There’s a lot of hype about being raped by strangers, but you’re way more likely to be raped by a man you know. And that’s partly why only 5% are ever reported. It’s nearly always a man the woman cares about—or, if they share the same circle of friends, the friends will evitably side with him and sexually harass her until she is too fearful to take legal action and too convinced that it was her own fault because maybe she is just a slut like they said. And so maybe she deserved it; maybe she was asking for it. That’s what we live in. A rape culture.
Most women NEVER report sexual harassment. And when they do? It fucking serves you right. And when there’s a false allegation (0.2—0.8% of the time) there is outrage and it explodes into national news the way other crimes never will. Supposedly because an innocent man’s life has been ruined. Your life is not ruined because of feminism, it is ruined because YOUR system SIMULTANEOUSLY promotes life-destroying violence like rape through male culture and ruthlessly pursues severe justice for criminals who don’t treat women as preciously dainty. But only the right women. The right victims. Not women who sleep around, not prostitutes (shoplifting! not rape, amirite?), the women who comply with patriarchy. Delicate women in pretty white dresses who don’t drink or fight or anything else that’s only allowed for enjoyment by men and instead just HAPPEN to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Well here’s the reality: every fucking woman is always in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is nothing you can do to prevent rape. Except stop raping.
Chris Brown punched Rihanna in the face and the joke was on her. Can you IMAGINE if he had done that to Taylor Swift? Taylor Swift, perpetually virginal, white, singing about fairytales instead of cheating and bdsm. But men concerned with men’s rights hardly occupy themselves with confronting the patriarchal constructs that enable them to oppress each other, like racism or heterosexism; instead, they blame feminism.
When men are the victims of violence, they are also nearly always the perpetrators. Men rape other men, and whose fault is that? The rapist’s—and patriarchy’s. Not feminism. If a man rapes another man to impose his masculinity, that has its derivation in patriarchy because masculinity is a patriarchal construct. It is patriarchy that contributes to the circumstances which led to his rape so that he would be rendered “feminine” and thus “inferior.” Feminists can liberate women because we are women; we can encourage men to do the same, but we cannot force you to build your own shelters, to dismantle an impossible standard of masculinity that devastates and destroys, or to uphold the values of respecting life and autonomy. When you don’t, blame yourselves. Not feminism. Feminism takes nothing from you except what you never deserved in the first place.
Liberate your own damn selves. Whether or not you can get laid is the LEAST of my problems—and it should be the least of yours. You are reactionary. You’re so paranoid of losing power you never even deserved to have in the first place, you don’t even recognize how exclusively you are still the first sex. The fact that you can’t sexually harass women anymore is not undeserved oppression, it is a loss of UNEARNED privilege. Don’t worry though, you still have more left than you deserve or apparently can even comprehend.
8 thoughts on “Disadvantaged Men? Blame the Patriarchy.”
AMEN TO THAT
Brava, Nahida. Awesome post.
Yes. Shout it from the rooftops, sing it in the streets. Male privilege in action is a sickening sight.
Love love LOVE this post!
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Could not agree more :)
Beautifully written! Brava!