RSVP for #StopSexism Weekly Calls Every Monday
I have a question. A question that is brought on by what I perceive as quite rationally disordered.
If society’s rules and norms can be said to be the product of average behaviours and interactions; how people interact, what virtues that people hold and the expected behaviours or reactions to situations.
These norms and social rules are what people bring up as examples when they comment on their encounter with different cultures and cultural practices.
If indeed, a society can be said to be a product of average interactions then that must mean that the average person in any society ‘makes’ the culture. The culture is literally made by the random person on the street, at the beach, at the mall, at the square, at work, at home, at school. A culture is made by people just living their average lives with certain expectations and certain rules of interaction that guide their communications, contacts and relations with other people.
If all that is true then…
Well, first let me say one more thing.
I have met many men in my lifetime. Spoken to them, shared rooms with them, had lunch with them, had them as bosses and friends and peers and classmates. I have had men significantly influence my life and there are men who I have only ever dealt with in small and circumstantially meaningless interactions like silently standing at a street crossing waiting for the green light come on.
Of all the hundreds if not thousands of men I have come across and shared words with, I have met very few (I could count on both hands) that have ever expressed an openly sexist disposition directly in clear and certain words. Most have expressed the opposite disposition, saying things that allude to them supporting women and supporting equal treatment, rights and humanity for women-kind.
These are my average interactions with men. But then if a culture is made by the average guy … the self-expressed non-sexist, non-hateful guy that supports all efforts of feminine liberation that seeks to make women equal and respected members of society that don’t suffer domestic abuse or public shame parades. Then how do we live in a sexist society? How do women still experience disproportional gendered violence mostly at the hands of men?
If sexism is generally thought of as a thing that must be removed with great urgency, and people in general, don’t consider themselves as sexist, and people generally don’t like that sexism exists…then why does it still exist?
Most of the men I have met and spoken to have expressed being very concerned about the lives of their mothers and sisters and women cousins and women friends. They show even greater concern for their daughters or future daughters if they don’t already have any. They say they get really nervous for their girl children living in this world This shows that they understand that there is a discrepancy in the treatment of girls and boys which follow both into adulthood to how men and women are treated.
How is sexism still a reality?
It’s not just sexism that makes me wonder about the philosophical positioning of a society and the reality of its members. It is also much closer to home for myself in relation to my masculinity and my sexuality.
Nearly everyone I have met has the opinion that men should be able to be carers of children if they so choose. Many people hold that men are human beings with the full range of the human emotional spectrum. Men, ourselves, don’t think that men are mean and callous and inherently prone to violence. We men, understand that our violence is just a game of society that we play at the risk of seeming useless as men.
But we men are the first to berate another man for choosing to stay at home with the kids, women are less impressed with an emotionally expressive man. We men are also quick to shame, ridicule or even not recognise a man’s masculinity when they don’t present themselves as threatening or able ‘to put up a fight’.
Those men that are concerned for their girl children in the world aren’t really concerned that their child is going to fall into some ditch in the forest where they will be lost forever. Those men are usually concerned about what boys and, when the grow up, what other men will do to them.
Do we really think men can be men without being violent or not?
Do we really think men can be fully human beings or not?
Or is our make humanity just different?
What is going on here guys?
Regarding sexuality, I have met a few people who have clearly expressed a disdain for gay men and being around gay men. Okay, most have expressed regarding non-heterosexuality as ‘not how it’s supposed to be’ but they quickly add expressions of supporting the freedoms of gay men to work, live and love in comfort. To walk down the street in confidence that we are safe being openly gay…but that is not true is it when we look at society.
It’s not that ‘some are homophobic’, it’s that there is a culture of homophobia that is so pervasive that gay men have literally made ‘appearing heterosexual’ a desirable trait.
I have read the words of parents of gay children express concern and fear for their children. Fear for the discrimination and fear for the social abuse their children will have to just face and a lot of the time alone. And it hurts those parents that they feel they are ultimately powerless to shield their children from the general social homophobia.
Are people just lying and trying to make themselves more socially appealing by not expressing their real perspectives of other people and their suffering or is the current state of affairs reflective of how we define support for other people?
Do we have a broken interpretation of what support means or are we just lying to ourselves and those we say we support?
If it’s true that only SOME of us are sexist…then why are all of us sexist?
We are proud of our SOCIAL INTEREST GROUPS—WEEKLY PHONE CALLS to help #StopSexism—as well as groups and calls to help some of the most difficult challenges the world has today. Calls are for Members Only. Not yet a member of The Good Men Project? Join now!
Join The Good Men Project Community.
The $50 Platinum Level is an ALL-ACCESS PASS—join as many groups and classes as you want for the entire year. The $20 Gold Level gives you access to any ONE Social Interest Group and ONE Class–and other benefits listed below the form. Or…for $5, join as a Bronze Member and support our mission.
Register New Account
*Payment is by PayPal.
Please note: If you are already a writer or contributor at The Good Men Project, log in here before registering. (Request new password if needed).
An ANNUAL PLATINUM membership includes:
1. UNLIMITED ACCESS to ANY of our weekly calls, Social Interest Groups, classes, workshops and private Facebook groups. We have at least one group phone call or online class every day of the week.
2. You’ll see the website with no ads!
3. You’ll receive a PLATINUM MEMBER commenting badge and listing on our “Friends of The Good Men Project” page.
Price for ANNUAL PLATINUM membership is $50/year.
An ANNUAL GOLD membership includes all the benefits above — but only ONE Weekly Social Interest Group and ONE class.
Price for ANNUAL GOLD membership is $20/year.
Not ready to go the whole kit and kaboodle? Support our mission anyway by signing up as an ANNUAL BRONZE MEMBER. You’ll still get a BRONZE commenting badge, a listing on our Friends page, access to our exclusive Facebook groups and you can pop into any of our weekly Friday Calls with the Publisher when you have time. This is for people who believe—like we do—that this conversation about men and changing roles and goodness in the 21st century is one of the most important conversations you can have today.
Price for ANNUAL BRONZE membership is $5/year.
We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable. Our mission is to challenge the stereotypes around masculinity, to advocate for equality, and to be a voice and a catalyst for change in the issues that disproportionately affect men. Our heartfelt gratitude for believing in our mission and wanting to be a part of this important conversation at The Good Men Project.
Photo: Getty Images