|Photo by T. Chick McLure|
This is a great article, especially if you are a man: Jessica Valenti (one of the finest feminist writers of our time)'s piece Dear Men, Feminism Needs You.
Her basic argument here is that feminism will not succeed until men decide that they also care about equality for women, all on their own.
"It’s too exhausting, too demeaning. It’s absurd that a woman should have to persuade someone else of her humanity (which is, remember, what feminism is actually about)."
Now, I am not at Ms. Valenti's stage of exhaustion, and so I don't mind it when the men in my life ask me to explain a particular feminist issue to them or help them see what they can be doing to help the cause. I think that, while it's unfair in general to expect the oppressed group to teach the oppressor how to stop what they are doing, it's sort of psychologically necessary for people to hear things from the source.
The part I wholeheartedly agree with her on is that women shouldn't have to keep pointing out reasons why there is a problem in the first place. Even if men aren't clicking through to the articles, they read the same headlines as we do: the teenage girl who was raped and her thong was deemed consent, the man who choked and masturbated on an Indigenous woman and was simply told "this can never happen again" by the judge, the frat president who will pay a $400 fine for his rape conviction, Brett Kavanagh winning the he said/she said "investigation" and being rewarded with a seat on the Supreme Court and getting every complaint against him dismissed (do these headlines still make you think that being accused of rape will immediately "ruin a man's life"?), the fact that only 52% of Americans feel comfortable with a female president (a narrow majority is not exactly comforting), every other thing Donald Trump says about women, and the gender pay gap, not to mention any personal accounts from the women in their lives about creeps following them around, catcalls and inappropriate comments, harassment at work, and who knows what else.
The fact that so many men can see all the news, hear the stories from their female friends, and still need convincing that there is a problem... well, the ignorance becomes willful at a certain point. And if you're choosing not to see something that's hurting people you (theoretically) care about, let alone half the human population, it's understandable that they might be exhausted of the idea of changing your mind.
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