A List of “Men’s Rights” Issues That Feminism Is Already Working On
Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of any gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.
If you really care about those issues as passionately as you say you do, you should be thanking feminists, because feminism is a social movement actively dedicated to dismantling every single one of them. The fact that you blame feminists—your allies—for problems against which they have been struggling for decades suggests that supporting men isn’t nearly as important to you as resenting women. We care about your problems a lot. Could you try caring about ours?
Excerpt from If I Admit That Hating Men is a Thing, Will You Stop Turning it Into a Self-fulfilling Prophecy?, by Lindy West (via lullabysounds)
Feminists do a whole lot more for men than many of the men whining that feminists don’t do enough for men.
Now that it’s not cool anymore to explain the differences between groups based on their ethnicity or race, and it’s not yet cool to think that institutionalized racism might be a fucking thing, people are turning to “culture” to explain why black people are still way poorer than whites, why they’re the most imprisoned, why their academic performance lags behind. The argument goes, white people aren’t responsible for problems in the black community, black people are. They’ve built a culture that values criminality, material goods, sex, drugs, and fun-having more than making grades or holding a decent job or staying out of prison.
This neatly explains all the problems anti-racists claim are indicative of lingering racism (or, very prevalent sneaky racism), and shifts responsibility from whites to blacks. It also avoids the speaker revealing themselves to be racist. It trades on the idea that everyone is equal, with equal ability and potential. But, like most racists’ attempts to co-opt anti-racist rhetoric, it falls hard because of a cynical lack of respect for the concepts.
At first blush, the culture argument has a pretty progressive attitude. As I said, it uses anti-racist language and ideas to look well-meaning, right-minded, and egalitarian. Blacks have the same capacity for success, the same brain chemistry, and so on. It works on the assumption that classical racism (ie, “blacks are inferior”) is factually wrong. The thing is, you’ll often see this argument being used to discredit anti-racist efforts: By trying to be mindful and kind to poor disadvantaged black people, you’re not holding them to the same standard you would whites. The phrase “soft bigotry of low expectations” sometimes comes up in this culture argument, and does a good job of encapsulating the basic sentiment.
“Soft bigotry of low expectations” was a buzz-phrase used by George W. Bush to sell No Child Left Behind. To justify NCLB’s rigorous standards, he said it was racist tonotapply them across the board, because, what, do you think black kids can’t do it? The phrase has been adopted as a format for snarky article titles and, more pertinently,as a bolster for the “black culture” argument. What it’s saying is that to be truly anti-racist, little dear, you have to treat everyone equally (in this case, meaning no special programs, affirmative action, outreach, etc.) and have the same expectations for everyone. It’s like colorblind racism: shut up about race, stop worrying about race, practice what you preach, and everything will be fine. But both of these positions rely on the pie-in-the-sky notion that blacks and whites are already on equal footing.
A recent study finds that poverty changes how your brain works. Being poor, preoccupied with clawing your way out of poverty, worrying about how you’re going to pay the bills, pay for groceries, pay for things more well-off people take for granted, imparts a 13-point IQ loss. This, say the authors, is equivalent to losing a night’s sleep or being a chronic alcoholic (add this to people who actually are alcoholics, and despair). It leads to a tighter focus on basic needs, impairs decision-making, and hampers the learning process. For people living in low-income areas, it would beunfairto hold them to the same standard. This isn’t to say someone from these areas can’t succeed or excel, but simply to point out that it’s ridiculous toexpectthem to be as upwardly mobile and successful as people in a better position.
This entire article is pretty perfect so far. [emphasis mine]
“A person of good intelligence and sensitivity cannot exist in this society very long without having some anger about the inequality - and it’s not just a bleeding-heart, knee-jerk, liberal kind of a thing - it is just a normal human reaction to a nonsensical set of values where we have cinnamon flavored dental floss and there are people sleeping in the street.”—
this makes me think of something antonio said just last night. we were talking about getting our cars detailed and cleaned because it’s been a long time, and lamenting the fact that the cleanness never lasts long because we don’t have a garage and our cars sit under trees that always drop stuff on them. and antonio said something along the lines of, “garages are ridiculous though”, so i asked him why.
he said, “there are people who live in huts, who have to struggle to get clean drinking water, and we have houses for our cars”.