It’s funny to think that just four months ago I said, “I don’t get what Women are talking about. I don’t face gender injustice or discrimination. Women are doing just fine. Men face problems too.”
Oh, young Courtney, so much to learn.
First, let’s clarify that, yes, men face extreme challenges and stresses, especially men of races different from Caucasian and Caucasian men of lower-economic class standing. Besides racism, however, men usually only face violence or challenges because of the same patriarchal system that privileges them. For example, our patriarchal society tells men to be strong, tough, protective, and logical. Because the man is “supposed” to be the powerful head-of-the-household/breadwinner, when he is unemployed or underemployed and cannot financially contribute to “his” household, society sees him as less of a man, as weak and irresponsible. Similarly, he sees himself as embarrassing, worthless, and weak, which could lead to domestic violence in order for him to demonstrate his power that society says he needs. Thus, because of the unfair social expectations of men that our patriarchal society instills, men are left to feel defeat, shame, and violence when they cannot meet these expectations.
Now on to Women. Where do I even begin? From the English language to the Bible to the economic and political world, Women have been ignored, discriminated, abused, and made into clowns.
man. HUman. WOman.
…I’m starting to see a pattern…
The Bible refers to God as “He.”
Maybe Earth’s first Woman (created from a man’s rib cage…) really was an evil creature that deserved to be punished with reproductive organs (menstrual cycle/pregnancy) to continue producing saintly men while She (for all of time) is socialized to believe Her vagina is some treasure chest for men to chop open at their own will, but if She even dare tries to peek at Her own treasure She’s told there’s something wrong with Her. She is just some sick, disgusting whore who needs to be called names and made to feel embarrassed about Her natural body that has been hyper-sexualized and abused by men for men. And when a man aids in impregnating Her, She is forced to take full responsibility for the child. She is seen as immoral and impure. She will spend nine months dealing with Her constantly-changing body and an invading fetus growing inside of Her. Then, after She’s told her vagina is the most private part in all the lands, that it’s this sanctuary of secretive peace that no one can ever see or know about (not even Her since school only taught Her about the male erection, ejaculation, masturbation, and functions), that it’s this ugly triangle that is inadequate, smells, and needs groomed, She is then forced to showcase Her vagina to the world as an infant painfully comes out of it. And then, if the man who aided in creating the infant decides to move on, She will be seen as an unfit caregiver and mother, especially if She’s poor or not white. Poor Eve. She didn’t even know what She had coming. Oh, and I have plenty more to say.
And, finally (for now), to wrap things up (which reminds me, Women are expected to pollute Their bodies with birth control drugs, while if We even tried to propose a drug for men We would be just absolutely crazy and insulting. Women, Women, Women–always having to change Our bodies, identities, and dreams for men). Oh, I’m sorry, do I sound naggy? Or is that just the double-standard patriarchy puts me in (Women are either too mean or too nice but never anything in between, and They’re supposed to be sexy and innocent all in one… BLAH. Sorry, I’m getting a little dizzy from our society’s standards on how my behavior, body, and attitude should be.) Oh, sorry again, I got side-tracked because, of course, I’m a Woman. Maybe you should clarify that for me, since men always feel the need to anyway. Now, where was I? Economy and politics! Oh, the world of men! Look, this could be a whole encyclopedia in itself. “Gendercide, Or How Women Can’t Get Representation Even if They Slept Their Way to the Top Because that’s All Their Good for, Right?: An Encyclopedia of Women in the Economic and Political world.” We can’t even run for office without some overweight balding man telling Us Our legs are too thick or chest is so pleasantly and unfairly distracting. Excuse me, what? Am I running for office or Miss-Women-Degrading-America? I’m not saying we should judge a man by his appearance, but I most definitely am saying we should NOT judge a woman by Her appearance (and don’t even get me started on “why women are raped”). With Women holding only 4.5% of the Fortune 1000 CEO positions (which, Ladies, that’s not even a compliment since these corporations destroy the Earth and the world’s communities), there’s no way you can argue Women are given more opportunities to succeed than men. And don’t try to tell Us that We’re not in leadership positions because We don’t want them—you best believe We are hungry and fighting for them. When men’s health insurance covers Viagra to extend their pleasure-lives, Women aren’t even given modest health care for Their bodies’ ACTUAL needs. Not to mention the fact that most Women don’t even have health care to begin with since they’re forced into crappy jobs, low wages, and are not allowed representation in government for Our health needs to be heard.
Look, I’m not writing this to degrade men. Men are negatively affected by this system too. I’m writing this to encourage the potential of our world if we stop placing all of these oppressive social expectations on people. Brainstorm ways that you can start confronting and resisting patriarchy today. Reflect on your own disprivileges, thank your mother, stop your friends when they’re making a sexist joke, delete female-degrading music from your iPod, check your language (why say “You guys” to a group of Women when it would be socially unacceptable to say “You Girls” to a group of men?), and love your body, every molecule of it.
Here’s a video a brilliant and inspiring Woman shared with me, not because She is sensitive or caring but because She is logical and wants to share its important message. Share it with other Women and men. We’re all beautiful creatures of the Earth and deserve respect, appreciation, and love.