So, a post was recently shared on social media not too long ago and it got me thinking about the ever-present problem women face, a problem which is always around and has been around for a long time. The title of the post was ‘What would you do if men didn’t exist for a day’. Being a man I felt so bad while reading through the post where women shared how they would be free to walk streets at night without danger, wear what they wanted, and many other things I take for granted. One of my many thoughts but the most basic was how, when, who, and why?? I went through the motions and I realised my personal experience doesn’t dictate the reality many women or anyone to be honest really faces, a mistake which is too often made by people.
I’m writing this post to men just to share some ideas and highlight some fallacies some of us have towards posts like the one. The internet as we all know is filled with questionable takes, but some of us are really concerned but also clueless about what to do.
- Do not bring up the ‘but men’ argument up
The ‘but men’ argument seems to be a go-to line seen around discussions that deal with women’s issues, seen and used when confronted with information which evidently has men as the culprit. This argument is fallacious for a few reasons. First, it is a ‘whataboutery’ line of reasoning which makes whatever follows sound disingenuous. For example, ‘But men experience sexual assault at a higher rate thanks to prison’. While men do suffer from sexual assault, why did you only feel to mention it now, and only now, is this something you actually really care about? Or do you just use it as a tool? Secondly, arguments such as these fall flat as two wrongs don’t discredit each other, each exists and needs to be dealt with. However, at this point, we are speaking about women, so stop with the pseudo men’s rights arguments.
2. Check your friends
You may think this is simple, “of course man obviously!” I hear, but you would be surprised how men will let things slide to not cause trouble or rifts in friendship groups. It happens time and time again and it is this kind of behavior that allows misogynist views and tendencies to thrive on. It can be small things said in conversation, attitudes and stories told about situations with women which you just let slide, all these things build to the larger problem.
3. Assist women because they are human beings
Help women because they are human beings and not just an extension of yourself, it shouldn’t matter if you have a daughter, sister, or a mum. Your reason for firmly defending women should be solely based on the fact that human beings deserve fair and equal treatment and this should be the moral standard.
4. Create a better men’s movement
Shocking yes, but a men’s movement is needed. Men from what we can see are not doing too well altogether, suicide rates are highest amongst men and many are generally suffering from patriarchy themselves. What it means to be a man is fractured, our behaviour is shaped by a sick environment that has led societies around the world producing broken men. It is up to us to put ourselves back together and not use women as free expense therapists, although this is easier said than done something needs to change (and no Jordan Peterson should not lead us).
5. Read read read
Invisible women by Caroline Perez is a good starting point, it lays down the facts on various topics that affect women(we men love facts). Verify and check and you’ll have a clear picture of what is going on & how insidious inequality is for women. I understand reading can be a drag but audiobooks assist and so does YouTube. Loads of amazing content creators are out there who dive into this subject and more, all you have to do is look.