Dear Apologists

Disclaimer: I dare not pretend that I suffer the same level of mistreatment as WoC, trans-women, women with visibility disabilities, or gay women do.  My experience is that of a white, straight-presenting (married to a man) woman with a high-functioning invisible disability.  I am clearly privileged in more ways than one, and I am not trying to insinuate otherwise.  However, I feel that my experiences are valid and should be shared, regardless.  I will stand aside for the other marginalised groups when they choose to speak.

Dear Apologists,

Sit down.  Shut up. And listen.

We are sick unto death of hearing why this comment or that action are okay, that everything has a rational explanation.  Within your exclusive club of white, cisgenderl, heterosexual, Christian males from upper-middle-class families, none of our experiences affect you, and so we shouldn’t be so upset.

Pray allow us to explain why the asinine little comments you espouse all day, every day wear us down.  Pray allow us to show you how your stupid asides add up, until we get so overwhelmed, so angry, that blog posts like this one emerge.

So shut up, grab a pencil, and take notes.

‘If only more people would cry out against the porn industry the way it has the single comments of a fallen man over a decade ago.  I don’t believe there is anything more detrimental to the heart and mind of a man than pornography.’

  •  via Facebook

I want to take the enormity of this stupidity apart, section by section, and I will.  But first, allow me to emphasise that these comments are legion.  They don’t belong to isolated instances of male entitlement.  They don’t belong to the worst of the worst.  They are everywhere.

They are found in the ridiculous euphemising of Trump’s ‘lewd’ statements.

They are found in the false equivalence that if women enjoy reading books, they probably enjoy being sexually assaulted.

They are found in the loss of funding for a Take Back the Night event because of a pole dancing exhibition at the event.

Image result for lawc meme take back the night

They are found during breakups, in the phrase, ‘I deserve x from you.  I put a lot of time and emotion into this relationship’.

They are found in conversations like this one, where a man is more offended by being passed over for a job he is probably not qualified for, than he is by the fact that he probably raped someone.  (So offended, in fact, that he must threaten his ex-girlfriend with a civil lawsuit in order to regain his lost masculinity).

Everywhere we look, we find people of privilege saying, ‘Look, it’s really not as bad as you want to make it out to be.  I mean, I’m hardly affected at all by this; why don’t you just calm down and really think about how you may have brought this upon yourself?’

So here is the bit that you, Apologists, need to stop and consider: Just because something is not an issue for you, sitting on your high throne of those you have conquered, does not mean it is not a problem.

Now, to discuss just how prevalent Male Entitlement really is.

‘If only more people would cry out against the porn industry the way it has the single comments of a fallen man over a decade ago.  I don’t believe there is anything more detrimental to the heart and mind of a man than pornography.’

 If only more people would cry out against the porn industry the way it has the single comments of a fallen man over a decade ago.

Translation: ‘Look, Trump has said some regrettable things, but we can wash our hands of it by claiming that he has fallen.  Besides, this most recently regrettable thing he said occurred over a decade ago! How could anyone really be upset by violence that occurred so long ago?  Jesus says we must forgive!  If we want to understand how a man like Trump ends up promoting rape, we must look at sex workers, whose industry tempts all straight cisgender men!’

My response: If you are concerned that your relationship with God will be marred by pornography, perhaps you should avoid websites that advertise porn.  They are pretty easy to spot.  The myriad Xs in the site address don’t actually refer to Chi, or Christ, although I could understand how you might get it confused the first time.

I don’t believe there is anything more detrimental to the heart and mind of a man than pornography.

Translation: ‘It is my personal, well-informed belief as a white cishet able-bodied Christian man that men would not become rapists, adulterers, or atheists if sex workers were not flaunting the existence of sex in their line of sight.  How am I supposed to be a good, honest, Christian husband if pornography exists in the universe! Trump isn’t wrong; he’s a symptom!’

My response: You are Freud’s dream patient.

_________________________________________________________________

Here is the big thing that Entitled Men of all Privilege levels seem to forget:

Women talk to each other.

We warn each other about men who are abusive, or who show tendencies towards abuse.

We warn each other about how Joe’s hands wander, or Matt needs four drinks in order to ‘loosen up’ and start treating you like a human being.

We warn each other to be careful around Steve, because it wasn’t technically rape but it was just this side of it and Jane was left feeling pretty shaken up afterwards.

We warn each other that Mike pretends not to hear the safe word the first two times it’s said in an S&M situation.

We offer emergencies when dates don’t feel on the level:  ‘Oh, shit, my sister’s dog just got hit by a car, I’m so sorry, I have to go!’

(And even then, we apologise, we downplay our own sense of unsafety, lest the man lash out)

 Women talk to each other.

But more importantly, women listen to each other, because we cannot trust you, the Apologists, the Entitled Men, the Privileged Class, to listen to us.

Brushing off the experiences of women in support of men – any man, be it Trump or your brother Jimmy – only emphasises how disconnected you are from the unpleasant world that those who are

  • Non-white
  • Non-cis
  • Non-hetero
  • Non-Christian
  • Disabled
  • Or Female

 

must inhabit.  You are essentially sticking your head in the sand because it doesn’t affect you personally, and so you see no reason to expend energy pretending to care.

And for those of you who do legitimately care, you phrase it within the sphere of having had a female relative at one point in your lives.  Your mother, your wife, your daughters.  It is always, ‘As the father of two daughters, I find Trump’s statements abhorrent’ – never, ‘As a fellow human being who happens to inhabit a fairly fortunate 50% of the human population, I find Trump’s statements abhorrent’.

So, Dear Apologists, this is the message we, the female half of the world’s population, need you to hear:

Stop talking over us.  Stop trying to explain to us our own experiences.  Stop excusing the evil of other men, simply because you share chromosomal similarities.  Stop glazing over the very real issues women have to endure, day in and day out, in order to live in the same fucking world you get to enjoy with far less effort. 

 If you’re not going to go to bat for us, then remove yourself from the entire fucking pitch.

 Sincerely,

Women

 

 

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