Equality. In its most basic form that is the goal of feminism. Equality of the sexes, of sexual orientations, of race, of ability, of age; boil it all down and we just want equality. However, I’ve noticed there seems to be an uneven balance we rail against violence against women, rape against women, social constructs against women and we blame men and the patriarchy for its facilitation. Well, we’re partially right, patriarchy is a problem it does need to be torn down and there are many men who help keep it in place. What we seem to forget is that there are nearly just as many women who play into the patriarchal mindset of our society. More importantly by seeing every man as a perpetrator we refuse to see them as possible victims. Yes, women have higher rates of incidences of domestic violence and rape occurring against them. Yes, patriarchy is detrimental for the advancement of women. But women are not the only victims, men can experience domestic violence, rape, and the negative causes of patriarchy. Just because these acts happen more towards women doesn’t mean that we should ignore that they happen to men as well. To me that’s like saying that the suffering of one person is more important than the suffering of another and that’s just not true.
We make jokes about how tough men should be, how they should act, what they should do, but god forbid someone makes those jokes about women. We get all out of sorts and up in arms, screaming about sexism and oppression. But we don’t make a peep when it happens against men. It’s not just in our daily conversations either it’s in popular culture and media as well. When “Snooki” from Jersey Shore was punched in the face by the unknown guy everyone was in an uproar speaking how you don’t put your hands on a woman etcetera etcetera. That’s all well and good, but when later that season Sammi “Sweetheart” punched Ron, her then boyfriend, in the face there was no outrage. Another more recent incident was in the film This Is The End where at one point Jonah Hill’s character is raped by this shadow demon, but it was done in the name of comedy so that makes it okay right? I wonder if people would have been laughed as hard if it was a woman instead of a man…somehow I just don’t think they would…at least I hope not. Even still we make the arguments that patriarchal is horrible for women, but did you know that the more patriarchal a society the lower the life expectancy of men?
To sum up we need to look at specific actions as being inherently bad regardless of who the actions are perpetrated against. Domestic violence is domestic violence. Rape is rape. Sexism is sexism. Patriarchy is patriarchy. It doesn’t matter if it’s man against woman, woman against man, man against man, or woman against woman these acts are despicable regardless. By calling out acts that only happen against women we self-proclaimed feminists are participating in sexism just as much as anyone else.
What are your thoughts? Are we being sexist by not paying attention to men’s issues? Why are people still laughing about rape/violence?