RSVP for #StopSexism Weekly CallsNow, I’m as problematic AF when it comes to my #MalePrivilege. I struggle every day to do no harm, impact > intent, and as they say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Some days though are better than others.
Yesterday, wasn’t my finest hour.
I tried to explain how to combat misogyny.
Yep. I was that guy.
A man explaining the role misogyny plays is the equivalent of white liberals who try to instruct black folks on their oppression. The ones who are fighting the racism “of those OTHER White People”, while smugly putting themselves at the center of the discussion, their hand out for the award. All the time, without owning their roles in the status quo or acknowledging their privilege. I didn’t want to be one of them. I had the self-awareness not to be offended when women asked me not to attend their meetings.
In all my heart, I believe in looking for #intersectionality between ALL people who struggle. Intersectionality is a term coined by American civil rights advocate Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw to describe overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination. Intersectionality is what we must look for in order to dismantle the systems of oppression.
It’s not about payback. It is not about one group LORDING over anyone else. That’s not what women want, nor people of color, nor LGTBQ folks, nor disabled folks. Everybody just wants to sit at the table for a fair share.
Social Equality. I’ve never once heard a cogent argument why this a bad thing.
The only ulterior motive I have is to raise my awareness of the struggle women suffer on a daily basis. For years I thought, “Hey, I’m black! I’m oppressed! I get it!” as I listened to more and more women. BOY, was I wrong! I have so much more to learn about women’s unique challenges. The first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem.
Well… “Hi, my name is Alex and I’m a recovering misogynist.”
I’m addicted to #MaleSupremacy which is one HELL of a drug!
I can only imagine what kind rush #WhiteSupremacy must give.
I have to do better. We ALL do.
If I don’t raise my awareness and kick my addiction to #MaleSupremacy, what use will I be as an ally to my wife, daughter, friends and loved ones who suffer in a sexist society? How can I teach my son to fight against misogyny if I don’t know how to fight it myself?
If I ignore women’s plight, why do I as a black man who suffers from systemic racism deserve to breathe easy?
I wonder when the idea will catch on that Social Equality isn’t pie. You don’t get less Social Equality if someone gets more. Social Equality doesn’t have to be a rare commodity. As a matter of fact, the closer we can get to an equilibrium, the greater there is for all to enjoy.
Social Equality is the only antidote to the toxicity of the “isms”. It doesn’t mean you love everybody. It’s a state of affairs in which all people share the same status, including civil rights, freedom of speech, property rights and equal access to goods and services.
In the case of sexism like it or not, CIS straight men are the dominant group, and as the dominant group, we must do the heavy lifting to change the status quo. Toxic masculinity is not women’s fault.
Dealing with #mediocrewhitemen (definition forthcoming) who think you owe them some kind of interaction is tiring as fuck! Hats off to you ladies.
I’m doing all I know how to do to work on my male fragility that keeps me from being up to the task of combating toxic masculinity within my sphere of influence. In the extreme, fragile male egos can be dangerous. We see examples daily.
Women are assaulted, even killed merely for turning down a man’s advances, this toxic masculinity is an imminent threat to women. You may wish to argue degrees, but don’t dismiss it out of hand.
I’m asking all men of good will to join me in raising our awareness.
When we turn that corner, when we acknowledge issues of inequality in our society and have the courage to own our shit and address injustices, when we learn and teach ourselves and our sons, our burdens will grow lighter, the continuum of oppressed and oppressors breaks down.
Life could be so much easier. Social equality is worth fighting for in my humble opinion. Social equality simply can’t happen if half the population are treated like second class citizens.
I recently wrote an article that seemed to strike a nerve. I wrote an apology to women for the constant barrage I witness second hand daily from strange men, “CIS Male Supremacist Society: It Always Starts With Flowers“, it has sparked an interesting debate between folks who acknowledge that CIS Straight men enjoy privileges in this society that women do not. And, those who think the entire premise is pure hogwash.
No surprise how they broke down gender wise in this debate.
Now I’ve been male my whole life. I suffer from #malefragility when I am called out on my very real #maleprivilege. Even as woke as I claim to be, it still happens. Yesterday, I got schooled by women I respect and appreciate. I got schooled because I was putting myself in the center of the discussion. We men, as woke and pussy hat wearing, as feminist as we want to claim to be cannot make ourselves the center of the argument, we must listen to what women are saying about their realities.
We can NEVER fully appreciate a woman’s dilemma in Patriarchal society.
We are like fish when asked, “How’s the water?” They answer, “What’s water?”
We are oblivious to the privileges we enjoy.
Then, to go as far as to deny to a woman that oppression is happening to women confirms it is happening to them and is adding insult to injury.
Men have even tried to gaslight me! “But, I’m one of you. I know the score.” Sorry dude, old Jedi mind tricks won’t work.
No kind of lipstick we try to put on this pig can cover how devalued women are when we engage in harassing and then gaslighting them.
When we fight tooth and nail to deny the harassment and oppression women face daily, or worse when we try to make it all about us, we perpetuate the very behavior we insist doesn’t exist. It makes my head spin.
In reading the responses to my support of women (go on, the disconnect is fascinating) I was accused of what I guess is some form of male heresy.
I broke some “bro code”. I threw my gender under the bus to earn brownie points with those addle-headed females, or so I was told.
I was even told women do the exact same things as I listed when I asked men to try to empathize.
I may be wrong, but I highly doubt there are packs of females catcalling males, women Uber Drivers that are creepily over-friendly and make CIS male passengers uncomfortable, or that guys are concerned in the slightest that some random woman roofied his unattended cocktail.
Could it have been that a blanket apology could have prompted such enthusiastic denial?
I had an experience I’d like to share to illustrate my point.
#mediocrewhiteman, when I say mediocre white man, I mean “a bombastic but woefully under-informed white man who is convinced of how much smarter he is than you.” Facebook is crawling with them. But, I digress. I had an extraordinarily #mediocrewhiteman insist on editing my original post, he made a posture of going deeper into my embasement of our shared male gender. Was he trying to out feminist me? I refused his bait, I said good day several times. Then, after I finally blocked him on FB, he messaged me on Google to ask, “What’s MY fucking problem?”
Yep. I have my very own creepy mediocre white man stalker.
Let me make this.clear.
I don’t know this person.
This is a person that had the caucasity to first say, “Dude, I’m on your side.” And, claimed to be an ally.
Then, when rebuffed, he repeatedly let his true colors show, instead of moving on with his life.
It wasn’t a good look.
I said before, it always starts with flowers.
Can you even imagine? I bet ALL the ladies out there can.
I knew in writing that piece I was going to get pushback. And, this one cat now stalking me in cyberspace is only the tiniest inkling of what, unfortunately, I suspect if you are a woman, you deal with multiplied x 1000, which ironically was the topic of my original article.
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