By: Athena Brown
I got up super early this Saturday morning and began scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. I remember back when I was a kid, and getting up early instead of sleeping in meant being able to see Saturday Morning cartoons characters. These days it’s kinda the same. I get up early, and I certainly still see characters! Like this one:
>> When my (now ex) long-distance boyfriend asked me this question during a (literal) Netflix and Chill session, I was so stunned that I nearly dropped my phone.
^^^ First of all, the entire foundation of 3rd Wave Feminism is that men secretly hate women! How is it shocking when that question comes headed back your way?
And second, your boyfriend asked you that? I don’t think this was a question asked totally out of the blue. If he was with you long enough to end up being your bf and having a “netflix and chill” session, there’s probably some history to this question (as we’ll see in a bit).
>> It was not the first time a man had asked me this question.
^^^ Well “hint-hint” baby cakes. If you’ve been getting this question a lot lately, you might wanna clue in.
>> And despite the fact that I’m not one to ever be silenced—especially by such a cheap, clichéd trick
^^^ Yea we’re only like 2 paragraphs in and I’m already starting to see why he might have asked you this question about hating men. Seriously alarm bells are going off and we’ve only just started.
>> My partner, who’d asked me to teach him more about why women need safe spaces
^^^ Why do they need safe spaces?
Is it because of male privilege / patriarchy / objectification / violence / wage gap / men saying “how-are-you” is cat calling / men looking at you the wrong way is “male gaze” /men hold doors open because they think you’re weak / men feel rejected when you turn them down because they feel “entitled to your body” (because feeling rejected isn’t just a normal human emotion) / a man can’t explain himself or it’s “man’splaining” / a man can’t even sit down without it being “man-spreading”?
(Interestingly enough, men paying for your dinner is rarely called sexist – and according to this article hyperlinked here, acknowledging that women are getting something for free is considered misogyny. Strange how the script get flipped around like that when it involves women getting free stuff.)
>> “What if most men really are Ben Jordan? ‘Nice’ guys who love their partners but only in ways that keep themselves comfy?”
^^^ How DARE those men want relationships where they’re comfortable!
>> “That’s why The Story of Us is my favorite love story,” he said, beginning the film analysis part of the Chill session. “It’s just so real.”
^^^ For the record, I stopped watching TV about 15 years ago, and have only seen a handful of movies since. Have no idea who Ben Jordan is. Have never seen “Story of Us”.
>> “I think you’re saying that because Ben Jordan (Bruce Willis’ character)
^^^ Oh he’s a character. Okay, thanks.
Here I was actually googling Ben Jordan, thinking he must be some kind of actor.
The next few paragraphs are referring to what happened in a movie of some kind – not gonna bother looking up the movie or reading through the plot, because it won’t make a difference. She’s decided to interpret what she sees through the 3rd Wave narrative. I’ve written on how narratives work before:https://4thwavers.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/science-vs-story-telling-how-do-you-know-whats-actually-real/
In short, if the woman character accepts the man, it was patriarchy making her forcefully accept him when he wouldn’t change. If she doesn’t accept the man, it’s patriarchy punishing her because he won’t change. If the man changes the way she wants, it’s patriarchy being condescending to her because men change to fit her needs (we can even then say “damsel in distress”). If she can’t find a man – oh so women need men? If she does find a man – oh look a man’s right there to solve her problems! If she doesn’t want to find a man – look at how much she struggles because there aren’t any good men! If she does want to find a man – oh so women need men?
Another brilliant and short example of how narratives work, from the link above:https://4thwavers.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/changing-feminist-narrative.png
Narratives allow you to superimpose your conclusion onto virtually any situation without needing a shred of facts or evidence. When you repeatedly interpret every situation as being the fault of maleness (‘patriarchy”), then it’s no wonder people ask if you hate men.
Because you do. You’re just dressing it up with pseudo-intellectual terminology.
>> “What a nightmare,” I continued, “to be stuck in a relationship with someone who will never sacrifice or change for your benefit but will expect you to do so for him while you suffer in silence.”
^^^ But again, if he does change for you, then he’s pandering to your whims and that’s how patriarchy hurts everyone (or feel free to make up your own narrative).
The narrative here is made even more painfully obvious if we switch the roles. What if a man wanted a woman to change, and she didn’t, and he was stuck putting up with her? I can already see Laci Green making a video on why patriarchy expects women to change when a man want’s them to!
>> For all the unpaid emotional labor I spent trying to “work” with him
^^^ ……. so this whole entire relationship, you were secretly acting as his therapist. This guy was just a pet project for you to see if men could be taught and trained properly.
And because you spent your “emotional labor” trying to “work” with him, he’s now supposed to agree with your narrative.
Again just imagine if we flipped the genders, how misogynist that would be.
>> trying to help him understand that the microaggressions I faced in the world weren’t tiny, insignificant problems
^^^ Yea they’re not tiny. That’s why they’re called *MICRO* aggressions. Somebody looks at you the wrong way for a half second, and that’s clearly a sign of patriarchy. A very real thing. Not micro at all.
>> I’m hesitant to apply the law of broken clocks here. In fact, I’m certain there are many men who offer reciprocal love and emotional support to their partners. They exist!
^^^ You know, I’m certain that somewhere out there, there’s a woman who isn’t a fragile little snowflake, who can handle herself in any situation, and doesn’t live off making excuses.
………. now if I posted that anywhere else besides here, how many screen shots of it do you think would be taken of it, and used as proof of misogyny?
>> But on a larger scale, where are these men when romantic love is off the table? Do they get that our society is so deeply invested in preserving patriarchy that groups of old white men throughout the country are succeeding at stripping women of their legal rights to govern our own bodies in the year 2016?
^^^ There is of course no patriarchy in the US.https://4thwavers.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/the-complete-and-final-resource-on-patriarchy-in-the-us/
>> While there are some men who may disagree with anti-choice legislation, who’s ready to grab a pick axe and dismantle rape culture with us?
^^^ For rape culture to exist, it would have to mean that the majority of men are not only okay with rape, but are potential rapists. Tell me again how you don’t hate men? Also:https://4thwavers.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/a-response-to-rape-culture-part-2of5/
>> While some men may think Black women making $0.64 to the dollar of what men make isn’t fair, who’s ready to chip in that $.36 to even it out?
^^^ I like how “black” is capitalized. Also already linked the wage gap myth earlier.
>> Yes, some men think it’s great that the women in their lives have thriving careers and won’t change their names after marriage, but who’s actually interested in doing the hard, long work of decolonizing heteronormative relationships?
^^^ No one. Because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a heteronormative relationship.
A straight white dude is perfectly fine dating a straight white woman. There’s utterly nothing wrong with that.
Do you just… hate men?
>> The leading cause of death for Black women and girls ages 15-35 is domestic violence or intimate partner violence.
^^^ http://www.cdc.gov/women/lcod/2010/womenblack_2010.pdf <– it’s the first google result that comes up.
Homicide ranks number 2 on the age group mentioned, but this includes *all* homicide – only a percentage of that would be from domestic violence, and not all DV would end in homicide. DV also happens to men at roughly the same rate as it happens to women.
Moreover, many of these homicides are not happening because all men are vicious animals who have to be taught not to kill women. They’re happening because black’s just happen to live in poorer neighborhoods (a result of racist policies that existed in the 1930s and 40s – one of the few actually demonstrable examples of white privilege), and poverty-stricken areas have higher crime rates. http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5137 <– Another page that took just seconds to find. If you live in a poorer neighborhood, then all crimes – including homicide – is likely to happen more often. >> James Dixon just pleaded guilty to beating Black transwoman Islan Nettles to death because he thought her being trans threatened his “manhood.”
^ Now tell me how my individual examples prove nothing about women, but how your individual example is clearly evidence of patriarchy. That’s how narratives work, after all!