We know it can be incredibly hard out there to be a man.
Hey fellow men…Dylan here from Life on the Swingset.
I want to take a moment to express a little empathy. It can be incredibly hard out there to be a man.
We’re living in an age inspired by the speed of the internet. Our goalposts of acceptability and common respectability on social issues and on how we relate to others in the world change on what seems like a weekly basis at times. Our perception of our gender as a responsibility hasn’t kept up with the evolution of gender as identity and of sexuality as more fluid than we were ever told was possible.
We are being forced to resolve the changes in the world with what we think of as our masculine role. Equality means a shift in power. Equity means a shift in resources. The things we’ve always been taught to be afraid of are popping up all around us.
After my friend and co-host, Cooper S. Beckett, wrote a stream-of-consciousness letter last week following on the heels of personally devastating experience, Coop and I sat down for an hour to talk—clearly and calmly—about how we have each seen women experience harassment and navigate rape culture.
I’m 100% conscious of how a couple of dudes talking about women can come off… but out of 241 episodes… I thought we could take a little time to sit down with our fellow men and level.
Women largely get ignored by men and it sucks. Nothing Cooper and I said should be eye-popping or a surprise but… I guarantee we might have turned a few of your heads or noses while we chatted, gender notwithstanding and I’m hoping that some of that coming from us might make it more likely for some of you to help others listen to women.
The women of the Swingset are putting together an episode (or two) to discuss topics from this episode… and will probably point out how a couple dudes talking about women’s experiences got it wrong. That’s ok, we’ll own that. Until that comes out I wanted to put a spotlight on a few people.
Writer and Filmmaker De La Fro posted an article titled “No, You Are Not a Nice Guy” that really disassembles the male entitlement / transactional nature of what some guys call “being a nice guy.”
There are some damn wonderful people on everydayfeminism.com and I found a three minute spoken word piece by contributor Desiree Dallagiacomo and Mwende Katwiwa aka: FreeQuency titled “American Rape Culture” that illustrates just how insidious the language of rape culture has been in popular music.
Our own Crista Anne, our rainbow-colored pleasure revolutionary, through her mission to reclaim her orgasms ended up enduring an intense and sustained amount of harassment for daring to speak loudly and unapologetically. She writes about that harassment at cristaanne.com/harassment.
Ella Dawson has dared to write and speak about her experiences navigating sexuality with herpes and how as a result of that she’s also endured sustained harassment. She posted an article, “Everything 2015 Taught Me About Harassment” that really puts a fine point on it.
We spend a lot of time on the Swingset breaking down our experiences so you can learn from the journey.
We aren’t filtering what we’re going through and neither are these women and there’s value in it.
They’re unapologetic. They’re strong. They deserve to be listened to.
That they’re speaking uncomfortable truths and they’re laying raw misogyny out for all of us to see doesn’t make it complaining… it makes it necessary.
You can always write us at [email protected] and leave us a voicemail at 573-55-swing (7-9464).
This article originally appeared on LifeOnTheSwingset.com.
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