I have a newer appreciation for my sisters in the world. I am truly sorry to anyone I have been sexist or misogynist towards. Last week I got mansplained to by a guy trying to tell me I was using a machine at the gym incorrectly. I was following the directions perfectly and even read them back to him in a condescending tone. When he continued acting like we were cool, I said: “I’m really not here to talk to anyone.”
I had to hold back from cussing up a storm because this random idiot had to screw up my workout flow to satisfy his own mind that he was superior to me in some way. I can’t begin ever to imagine what women deal with on a daily basis when people like him are around. I don’t want my girlfriend, sisters, mother, nieces or grandmother to have to deal with that. Or having men in high places decide what women are allowed to do with their own bodies. Or getting no maternity leave in America. Or getting 79% of a man’s pay. This list gets long. And old.
“If I had a dick, nobody would try to tune my drums for me, rearrange my setup, or try to teach me. This happens commonly not just a random occurrence. You’d think musicians would be more conscientious, but it still happens. I don’t mind at all someone showing me their techniques or tips that work for them. I’m always open to what works for other people and learn from them, but when it comes to messing up hours of tweaking for my personal gear and ergonomics, it is far from helpful. They wouldn’t dare do that to another man’s instruments.” – Stephanie P.
I get sick and tired of hearing about men acting negatively towards women. Now that I am older and more mature, I realize I have been one of those men at some points in my life. I am not violent, but I have a “smart mouth” and my ego is always my worse enemy. I am trying to become a better person in general. What can we do to help the men who don’t want to change to become better and more understanding people? We can’t put them all in a situation where they are as uncomfortable as a woman being catcalled or touched without permission or molested or raped or beaten. We have to call out the bullshit when it happens especially when men can let other men know what is okay and what is not okay. Find the root of the problem. “Boys will be boys” only helps boys. It hurts girls.
“I was called sweetheart once while a man ‘tried’ to explain something to me politically. Then I called him ‘darlin’ when I corrected HIM and stated facts that made him look like a cretin. I patted him on the shoulder as he did me at the beginning and said ‘now you know.’ It was ridiculous all around, and I hated to belittle him, but sometimes putting someone in their place is the best lesson they can learn.” – Audra E.
I am sad and sorry to be always hearing about rapes on college campuses, rapes around Memphis, rapes around the world, rape kits still not solved or dealt with, women getting hit or burned or thrown. The list gets long. And old.
Why do men do these things to women? Does it all boil down to a man’s ego? We are different from animals. I don’t pretend to know everything about evolution, but I hope the male side of humanity can evolve to a place where they can at least attempt to understand what the women go through every day. When she gets called a slut for a wearing a short skirt. Or she “deserved it” because of the high heels or crop top she wore. Or the amount of alcohol she drank. Women getting circumcised (one of my favorite films “Shaft in Africa” touches on this subject). Women being enslaved. This stuff sickens me and has to change. But I still don’t know what it feels like to be in a woman’s shoes. Well, except for that one time but that’s another story for another day. Most of what I’ve said here isn’t perfectly obvious to half of the population of Earth. What should be common sense is actually rare sense.
“It’s always super obvious to me when someone realizes that their long-held beliefs are wrong, but they refuse to let go of them because it would make them feel uncomfortable for a few minutes. Because it means they would actually have to think and rethink and then think again about decisions they’ve made that have contradicted this new, uncomfortable truth.” – Natalie B.
Listen to the women in your life. Don’t talk over them and truly value their opinions and their stories.
Men, be good examples for your brothers. It’s less about holding doors for women and girls and more about opening doors for them.
“I grew up in an incredibly religious household. Religions breed misogyny and distinction; which is weird because Jesus was a far cry from a misogynist. But ideas of the ‘perfect wife’ were drilled into my head before I could even read. I remember noticing that Christians raise their men differently than their girls. The men are taught they just need to be strong and have a good job to support their family, and a woman is to have all of these homemaking qualities, serve and nurture your husband and basically be his mom. We were always taught sewing and cooking, while the boys could go in camp outs, learn knot tying, or survival skills. I remember pointing it out numerous times and just being told that “that’s how things are and I should be happy and grateful that I had a purpose.'” -Rhiannon F.