We Men Are The Problem, Not Women

When we men create and maintain an environment of sexual hostility to the point where women fear what we might do to them, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men turn a business situation with a woman into an inappropriate attempt at getting sex they are not interested in having with us, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men don’t respect women’s boundaries, when we treat “no” as a challenge & not as a firm rejection of our undesired advances, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men don’t take female victims of rape & violence seriously and go out of our way to protect perpetrators instead, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men condemn women for their sexuality, whether they’re straight, gay, trans or bi, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men refuse to accept that women are our equals in our personal & professional lives, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men demand sex from disinterested women in any social situation & resort to vicious name-calling and/or violence when we’re refused, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men pretend that women somehow threaten our rights for wanting equality & respect in all aspects of their daily lives, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men only see women for their sexuality and not also for their intelligence, grace, humour, resilience, ingenuity, integrity, kindness & compassion, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men dismiss good ideas & real safety concerns from women in the workplace, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men slut shame rape victims & make hurtful “jokes” at their traumatic expense, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men think we can “correct” lesbians by raping them, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men stay silent when we witness the disrespect of women, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men protect prominent men who rape because we love their cultural contributions, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men rape & murder transgender women because we find them “weird” & not “normal”, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men refuse to call an inquiry into the rapes, murders & disappearances of Aborginal women in Canada, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men demand women “smile” when we see them out in the street & then get mad when they don’t, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men tell women to shut up because they “talk too much”, even though we men are the ones who talk too much, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men make it impossible for female rape victims to seek justice by not thoroughly investigating their cases, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men refuse to check our bad behaviours towards women because there’s no real pressure to do so, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men send rape & death threats to women online for having opinions of their own, especially if they’re the opposite of ours, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men bully young women who do porn to commit suicide just because of their sexuality, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men condemn women for having more sex than us, even though this is a blatant double standard, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men make it impossible for women to say no when we corner them into satisfying our needs, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men force women into performing sexual acts or they’ll lose their jobs or professional standing in highly competitive fields, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men misrepresent feminism as a threat to our way of being, when it actually benefits us, too, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men tell women to arm themselves from rapists instead of telling men to stop raping women, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men tell our daughters to always be vigilant against men, but never our sons to not rape women, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men keep making excuses for the behaviour of sexists, mysogynists, harassers, rapists, beaters, carjackers, muggers & killers, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men don’t believe we require enthusiastic consent from a woman in order to make love to her, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men terrify and shame our female rape victims into suffocating silence so they don’t expose our crimes, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men tell women it’s their fault they’re harassed, groped & raped, when it’s clearly not, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men call other men “gay” for being kind & respectful towards women, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men terrify famous women like Sophia Bush into keeping a loaded gun nearby while they sleep in their own homes, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men stalk famous women like Lorde and Kate Middleton because we get paid for taking invasive photographs of them at their most vulnerable, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men consume such photos of famous women in magazines and on websites without considering the consequences of what we’re financially supporting, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men judge women for the sexual choices they make, even though we make the exact same ones ourselves, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men demand women cover up their bodies because we can’t handle our attraction to them and find them distracting, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men define our masculinity by the way we dehumanize women, and not by our acts of kindness and respect, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men can’t tell the difference between complimenting a woman and sexually harassing her, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men tell women to hate their bodies and themselves, and still expect them to have sex with us, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men get revenge on the women who dump us by slandering their good name & sharing their intimate photos with the online world in order to humiliate them, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men expect women to serve our every need like robotic slaves, we men are the problem, not women.

When we men only value women by how much we can pay for them to have sex with us, instead of connecting with them in honest, strong, loving relationships, we men are the problem, not women.

A woman should be able to live the way she wants without ever having to worry about the threat of us men.  But that’s not reality.  And it’s not their fault.

It’s ours.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, May 25, 2014
1:16 a.m.

UPDATE:  A commenter recently noted that women in the trans community don’t like to be referred to as transgendered.  They prefer trans or transgender.  So, having thought about it, I’ve decided to drop the “ed” from the 15th sentence so that “transgendered” now says “transgender”.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, January 3, 2015
4:47 p.m.

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Published in: on May 25, 2014 at 1:17 am  Comments (12)  

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  1. Men like you who pretend no women has ever done a man wrong are toxic to the greater cause of gender equality becacause our shamless pandering gets in the way of any honest dialogue. We are truly equal and both sexes tend to do the same sorts of things in the same context . For women it may be easier in that men tend to be the one doing the intiating and facing rejection. The trade off is the risk of unwanted advances. These dayes many young woemn are far more agggressive. Rescent studies show young men suferring sexual coercion at rates comparable to that of young women. We need to get out of the dysfuntional box of gender stereotyping male bashing and all the other hate filled crap that passes for feminst activism these days. Telling men they are defective is just wrong. That;s a nasty wway of manipulating people into doing what you want but you don’t realize how much it hurts them emotionally. Men might talk about it les but the feel it when you try and shame them like this for just being male.

    • Men who disrespect women should be shamed for their awful behaviour. The fact that they’re often not is why everyday sexism remains a horrifying reality for women worldwide. Neither you nor I will ever understand what it actually means to be a woman: to worry constantly about attracting unwanted attention from creepy guys that scare them, to avoid offending men who might react angrily to a rejection, to be frustrated by professional glass ceilings, to worry about some asshole spiking their drink in order to take advantage of them sexually and on and on and on. It’s not my “shameless pandering” that’s getting “in the way of any honest dialogue”, it’s attitudes like yours that suggest that “both sides” are to blame when the real reason women live in constant fear is only because we men made them feel that way. Do men in general fear being raped, beaten & murdered by women? Of course not. Because women don’t treat men the way we treat them. We dismiss their intelligence, invade their personal spaces, mock their ideas, bully them for their sexuality, hurt them physically & emotionally, threaten them online and off. Why? Because they’re women.

      I’m not pretending that women are perfect. But we aren’t, either, and we should stop pretending we have no responsibility for the way women in general feel about us. Of course, I’m not talking about every guy. That’s not the point I was making. The point is not every man has harmed a woman but every woman, in some, shape or form, has been harmed by a man. It could be through harassment, systematic sexism (preventing qualified women from being promoted to better jobs), condescension, abusive language, violent acts, whatever the case may be. If you ask any woman you know whether they’ve dealt with sexism in their daily lives, every one of them will have an example ready to share with you. The question is are you willing to listen? Are you willing to understand why women feel this way and why guys have to police each other to make professional and personal environments much safer and more comfortable for women the world over?

      I’m not male bashing, I’m not being nasty, I’m not manipulating anybody’s feelings here. I’m stating indisputable facts. We men aren’t “defective”, but we are tone-deaf to the concerns of women, how they feel and what they think. If we are “truly equal” as you note, the way we treat women has to change in order to make that statement a reality. And having an “honest dialogue” is exactly what we need right now.

  2. Whenever I read how men have made/make the everyday-life of women worse, I can (almost) always sit back and tell myself “they are not talking about me here”. Never acutally consciously been sexist or, let’s say, anti-woman and I even asked female friends to point out wrong behaviour (only minor things have been pointed out to me so far, so yay).

    But, thanks to the internet, nearly everyone on earth has access to writings like these and are confronted with the wrong-doings of men. And maybe sooner or later, people I have never met before might treat me hostile or, eh, “not human”…You got the point?
    And that’s what I’m afraid of; People treating me like garbage because I share the same attribute as another group of people who seemingly behaved like assholes towards another group of people…

    Of course, your writing and the ones of others spread awareness etc. which is needed, but still…

    I’m just worried with the side-effects of “men are”-texts since I never identify myself with these “men”…

    • There won’t be any side effects because men don’t have to deal with constant harassment nor rape & death threats from women. Unfortunately, women have to worry about it from men because we refuse to rein in our own side. That’s what needs to change. If being rejected by a woman is the worst thing that happens to you, consider yourself lucky. Follow the Golden Rule (treat women the way you want to be treated; in other words, with respect) and you’ll enjoy your life more.

      • If I only have to deal with rejection it’d be really relieved. But I’m afraid that there will be more…

        I’ll probably derail this with the following, but maybe showing the core of my fear might help you better understand where I’m coming from. You see, I live in a country which has a pretty bad history concerning the treatment of other people not living in the said country and being “elitists” (if i may use this word) when discussing how cool my homecountry is. Thanks to that, during my school-time, people concluded due to the backstory of my homeland that I’m exactly like the people who lived during the era when acting like a jerk to “outsiders” was “cool” without even trying to get to know me which was really problematic. Basically, my opinions where nullified and people treated me…I think “less like a human” is a bit over the top here, same goes for “descriminating”…but I cannot think of a softer term right now…Overall, I was disadvantaged due to my origin. What troubled me the most were thoughts along the line like “I had nothing to do with this” and “Stop putting me in the same bag as those entitled people who are probably all dead by now” (I was born ~ 60 years after my country decided to destroy their reputation and image). Due to this treatment i more and more started to get away from society and probably live a rather long time as a shut-in. Luckily, most of the people I had to deal with stopped acting like that and my opinion of society overall improved.

        This is the origin of my fear, and after several years I realize that I probably have to face my fear again because others thought treating their sex-wise counterpart like objects was all right and I’m again put into the same category of people I avoid (since their behaviour is against my morals).

        Of course I treat woman like I want to be treated; I treat everyone like I want to be treated, since my school-days I try to live up to the golden rule and year after year I improve. But witnissing people mistreating you simply because you share something irrelevant like the place of birth is discouraging…It’s just that I have the feeling that history will repeat itself only with diffrent variables this time which will put me and others at a disadvantage…For me and other innocent people of the world.

        I’m not denying that women are oppressed nor that they are disadvantaged in today’s society compared to men. It’s just how I feel right now.

      • I have a better understanding of where you’re coming from. I’m sorry that you’ve had such a rough go of things but glad your life has gotten better. Depression can be solitarily debilitating. As you know, isolating yourself from the world at large is the worst thing you can do because it cuts you off from the channels of support that can carry you through difficult times. I’ve learned that the hard way, myself. Let me reassure you that when it comes to fighting sexism and misogyny, men & women both benefit from the discarding of both. Feminists aren’t looking to replacing bad ideas with worse ones. They’re trying to lift both sexes up to their full potential in safer, more respectful environments. But as you’ve pointed out, racism also needs to be eradicated. And as feminists have noted, racism & sexism tend to go hand in hand. Staying away from negative people who don’t respect you is something we all should do. Thanks for your comments and all the best.

  3. […] massacre.  Many of the tweets I posted under that tag were compiled along with a few new ones in We Men Are The Problem, Not Women.  It led to some interesting exchanges with a couple of male readers in the comments […]

  4. I thank you for your willingness to take some hard responsibilities. The only thing that I would like to say is that the word “transgendered” is awkward and not used amongst the trans community. We prefer you say trans or transgender instead.

    Thank you.

    • Ok. I’ll keep that in mind from now on. Thanks.

    • I’ve thought about it and I’ve decided to change transgendered to transgender. I’ve noted the edit in a brief update. Also, I hope I made it clear that I’m merely making observations about how men in general treat women. I, myself, am not confessing to serious transgressions or anything of the sort (I don’t have anything to confess, really), as a couple of men wrongly believed on Twitter today & yesterday. I used “we” to speak generally, not specifically. Anyway, I hope that’s not what you meant from the first line of your comment. Regardless, thanks again for writing.

      • No what I meant was taking responsibility for changing male culture.

      • I appreciate that wholeheartedly. Thank you for the clarification.


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