When women run the world, what will we do with those pesky males?
I have encountered several different angles on the question of being a Feminist while still pursuing less radical womanly things. Especially parenting.
I read an entire essay about how one woman dislikes males so much she can’t understand why any woman would have a son.
She said it’s misguided to tell women we can counteract the patriarchal culture that tells boys they are entitled. That a mother’s love goes unappreciated and just lays the foundation of their entitlement.
She and some commenters shared anecdotes of little boys being awful to illustrate how boys are allowed to be bad.
Okay, so teach them better.
But we wouldn’t want to give women an illusion of power to influence their own children.
Has this woman never heard of archetypes? Sigh
I read one by a self-proclaimed ex-Radfem who found herself spiraling into fear and hatred to the point she states, point-blank, that Radical Feminism is driven by hate.
She raised several good questions but didn’t answer any of them, one being whether a group is responsible for the behavior of the extremists in their ranks. I would argue that we are, but I’m not sure what to say to someone who has completely written off half the human race.
Hating someone because they remind you of someone who hurt you is not fair. Or healthy. Or productive.
If you hate males, fine. Avoiding them is probably best. If you don’t want to have children, we’re all better off if you stick to that.
But it’s weird to me that those of us who have taken the opportunity to do what thousands of generations have done, without which there would be no future generations, are made to feel like the outliers. Like we owe others an explanation.
Yeah, I fell in love and had a child with the man I love. That’s right, he’s a man. Our child will be one day, too. I still think women should be liberated from the oppressive system that reduces us, one way or another, to our breeding status.
And none of this cancels out the horrific stories and statistics about male violence. Whenever a specific example of a man who isn’t an asshole is brought up, it is immediately shot down with variations of the adage “anecdotal evidence is evidence of nothing.”
I wrote an entire post about how we need to examine our motives and influences in our decision-making, especially along sexual lines. But if we do and come to a conclusion that doesn’t involve somehow removing men from our lives, no explanation seems good enough for some hardliners.
I believe strongly in the major tenets of Radical Feminism. Female oppression is alive and well and must be opposed. Gender roles keep people in boxes that support patriarchy. When I read in black and white that we are what we are and not conforming to expectations was normal, I realized I had always known this. But finding it written out crystallized it in my mind.
I see Patriarchy in my life every day. I have two teenage daughters and they seem to have it worse than we did 20 years ago. I want to work toward a world where boys are taught to focus on their work rather than girls being punished for showing their knees. (Through ripped jeans! In the 90s we would have been lost without our ripped jeans! These girls were WEARING PANTS.)
And I understand that my personal positive experience doesn’t change the fact that many women are relegated to half-lives because they might have a baby.
But I’m also practical at heart. Eradicating males or turning them into some kind of slave class is (aside from being cruel and hypocritical) completely impractical!
This, beyond anything, is my frustration with Feminism of every stripe (except those who are supposedly Feminist but don’t believe patriarchy exists. So what is Feminism to you, some kind of sparkly ruffle book club? What do you think we’re doing here??) We are great at pointing out the flaws in the system and articulating and scrutinizing them.
But no one has any real solutions.
And teaching our sons better is apparently a waste of time.
This is so frustrating because how are we to fix anything?? Slowly elect a few more women to Congress and hope they aren’t as corrupt as their male peers? I have never seen any evidence that women are less corruptible than men. And it occurs to me that the image of Woman as stalwart defender of morality has a very Puritanical feel to it if you sit with it for a minute or two.
We are all still digging out from under entrenched ideas about what women are and are not, what we should and should not do. If political lesbians want to opt out of this struggle entirely I can’t blame them. It’s difficult and confusing and why can’t we just be human and leave it at that??
Because we came in on the middle of the story. We have to play the hand we’ve been dealt. I have two sons who I am going to hold to higher standards than their peers will. No one ever said doing that with academics or manners was a waste of time.
And I’m damn sure not going to do nothing.
As a kid I was part of the Great Bussing Experiment, where inner city kids were bused out to the suburbs in an attempt to, among other things, accustom us kids to people who were different from us.
And it seems to have worked, at least for me. I score low on racial bias and, because of where I grew up, breathe a sigh of relief when I see some darker faces in a crowd. Being an urban Yankee in the South is weird sometimes.
I’m not immune to the other conditioning I receive but I’m conscious of it as an issue. My mother is a closeted racist and I think quite a bit of progress was made between her generation and mine.
And our only alternative is to not try. We have to do something more than nothing. Sorry, straight women, you’re never going to figure out why sex is unsatisfying or how to identify men who aren’t total assholes, because we’re just going to send them all to an island and never speak of them again.
Our only alternative is to excuse ourselves from the fight which, to me, is disrespectful to the women who fought and died so we could read well enough to decide it’s not worth doing.
I also read something a while back that I keep turning over in my mind because it’s so weird. About how semen is a hypnotic agent and women who are exposed to it regularly are docile and controllable. How the Y chromosome is defective and those who carry it are barely better than beasts. How every man is a powder keg of testosterone waiting for his opportunity to rape.
And it read almost exactly like what MRAs write about women. It’s easier to write those off because I am one. I can simply ask myself if X is true or not. It’s harder to wave away screeds about the evils of men because I have seen them do things I couldn’t understand. I have known many who felt no qualms about their right to view as many naked women as possible. I have known a few who did awful things.
A few who did awful things. This is key: most of the terrible crimes are committed by a few repeat offenders. Most men are not rapists, which seems to contradict the idea that they are all just waiting for the right opportunity.
At 15 I was embarrassingly swayed by male attention. This is how I found myself alone one afternoon with an 18-year-old acquaintance. We were in his attic bedroom and no one else was home. He was persistent about touching me and it didn’t occur to me until much later how badly this could have gone.
But when he reached the edge of my experience he stopped without my saying a word. He sent my confused teen self home, and never pressured me for anything more.
A very long story and 17 years later, I married that boy. He’s a sexual abuse survivor too and we discuss this kind of thing quite a bit.
Men’s vanity and insecurity have crippled humanity by crushing the spirit of half our population. As women and leaders we must do better. Men should be held accountable so that one rapist doesn’t have the opportunity to spoil the well for everyone. As a counterpoint to teaching girls to speak up, we must teach boys to listen.
And hey, if entire subcultures in this country can insulate their children from all of science, I feel like I have some hope of teaching my son that women are people.