The paradox between male privilege and male misery is often used to argue that women’s oppression is balanced by a similar or even worse lot for men. Warren Farrell, for example, writes that societies such as that in the United States are both patriarchal and matriarchal, with each gender having its own areas of oppressive domination. As with other false parallels, Farrell draws attention away from patriarchy to men as victims who deserve sympathy as much as women do.
At the extreme, men’s woes are used to blame women for the price men pay for privilege, even though the price usually is exacted by other men. Men’s reluctance to open themselves fully to their inner emotional lives, for example, is based far more on fear of being vulnerable to other men or of being seen as insufficiently manly-not in control and controlled by others-than on worries about women. In similar ways, the competitive grind, insecurity, or fear of violence that many men experience is overwhelmingly in relation to other men, not women.
male privilege is “i have a boyfriend” being the only response that might actually stop a guy from coming onto you, because he respects another man more than he respects your actual opinion/lack of interest.
Female privilege is getting to claim a headache to avoid sex.
Female oppression is having to claim physical illness to avoid sex because men won’t take a simple fucking “no” for an answer.
Female oppression is men being so entitled that they think being denied sex is oppressive.
Nail, head, meet hammer.
“We live in a country where politicians call rape a “gift from God” and suggest that women regularly lie about being raped. Where a group of young men in high school think so little of sexual assault that they thought it was fine - hilarious, even - to post pictures online of a passed out rape victim, and to live-tweet the rape, joking about the victim being urinated on. We live in a country where media as revered as The New York Times finds it necessary to describe an 11-year-old gang rape victim as “wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s.” Where a woman can be fired because her boss finds her “irresistable” and a woman’s rape case falls flat because she isn’t married.
It’s time to acknowledge that the rape epidemic in the United States is not just about the crimes themselves, but our own cultural and political willful ignorance. Rape is as American as apple pie - until we own that, nothing will change.”
So if you – the oppressed – hurt someone’s feelings, you’re just like the oppressor, right? Wrong. Oppression is not about hurt feelings. It is about the rights and opportunities that are not afforded to you because you belong to a certain group of people. When you use a racist slur you imply that non-whiteness is a bad thing, and thus publicly reinforce a system that denies POC the rights and opportunities of white people. Calling a white person a racist fuckhead doesn’t do any of that. Yes, it’s not very nice. And how effective it is as a tactic is definitely up for debate (that’s a whole other blog post). But it’s not oppression.
Listen, I don’t think you’re an asshole who thinks it’s funny to do something that women find scary. You’ve been raised to think that this sort of stuff is all in good fun. Not by your parents necessarily, but by culture. You’ve grown up in a country where a Super Bowl commercial for Audi suggests that girls your age actually like it when a guy they don’t really know grabs and forces a kiss on them. (Seriously - they won’t like this.) You’ve been raised in a culture that positions women as existing just for sex, for humiliation, for objectification.
So please understand that I don’t blame you for partaking in the only kind of culture you’ve ever know. At least, I don’t blame you yet. Because here’s the thing - if you didn’t realize before that this kind of stuff is harmful and hurtful to women, now you do. So think of this as a chance to make a decision about what kind of man you’re going to be.
As you continue to grow up, you’re going to have plenty of opportunities (too many) to laugh at women’s pain, embarrassment or the sexual harassment and assault we face. These moments will define you. Will you laugh along? Share a video, like a status, laugh a joke? Or will you say ‘no’, tell a friend that’s a fucked up thing to say, and walk away?
In case you missed it, MRAs are trying to start #INeedMasculismBecause trending on Twitter, and awesome people are trolling the tag like it’s nobody’s business. This tweet here pretty much exemplifies, in my opinion, why men’s rights activism just shouldn’t exist.
Yeah, pretty much.