My last post saw a number of interesting comments and I wanted to take a second to answer them. You can read the comments and the original post by following the link if you’re interested.
Thank you to those who were willing to share their opinions, and I sincerely appreciate it.
Let’s get started.
I wanted to begin with a comment from Tildeb. Tildeb thought that there is a very patriarchal system at play, and so I asked them to point me towards systemic patriarchy by saying this:
“point me towards systemic patriarchy – one that is systemic in the West. I can think of only one and that’s maternity leave in the US. Other Western countries have maternity leave but that could be argued to be a systemic oppression of women rooted in the system of laws.”
Instead of pointing me towards a systemic law (I still don’t think one exists and women in the West are treated equally with men by law) they decided to go with the feminist talking point about ‘fear sexual assault’.
Then they asked me a series of questions, which I’ll answer here.
Put another way, would men tolerate a sexual predator environment and all its avenues of maintaining it if they were the prey? Would men tolerate so many judges blaming them for ‘enticing’ sexual assault or would they demand that the law against such assaults be systemically enforced?
I’m not sure where this sexual predator environment exists. What are these avenues maintaining it?
No, men would not stand for judges blaming them for being sexually assaulted, but there are bad judges out there and you can find a slew of specific cases where you could legitimately argue that the judge was a knucklehead and gave a light sentence or berated the victim.
And guess what, judges can also face trial for blaming women who are victims of rape.
This isn’t new and yes, I think our justice system has to be reformed in places. But that’s not as much a feminist issue as an issue with our justice system as a whole.
And yes, I think stiffer sentences should be carried out for sexual assault.
I don’t think so. But check it out for yourself: ask a woman how she feels walking down a street, any street any time of day. Now ask a man. Those two answers are worlds apart.
Okay, I did.
Both said you should take reasonable precautions, which is the same answer I would give and all of us felt reasonably safe walking at any time, although less so depending on where we would be walking at what time.
Do you think about sexual assault every time you get dressed or undressed?
No, and neither did the two women I asked. If you’re thinking about being assaulted every time you get dressed or undressed, I think that’s unhealthy.
Does the horror genre kill of men every time they have sex in the plot?
Every time a woman has sex, they get killed in a horror movie? I don’t think so. How did Sidney make it through four Scream movies?
After having sex, Sidney and Billy are attacked by the killer, who seemingly murders Billy. Sidney escapes the killer and seeks help from Kenny, but he gets his throat slit by the killer. Sidney again flees
Looks like a whole bunch of guys get killed. Misandry!
I think you’re reading too much into this. Not everything is a feminist conspiracy.
Do you automatically evaluate all others on their potential of assaulting you in a sexual nature – at home when you answer the door, at work when you enter a room, at a restaurant or theater or store?
No. And neither did the two women. That sounds paranoid.
Do you try to park your car according to your (not your car’s) physical security, choose your exercise paths running or biking based on staying in sight of others in public places…
No. But like any responsible adult, I take precautions for my own safety. Sometimes I take risks and I know there are bad people out there who would like to hurt me, but I’m not going to let them dictate how I live my life.
The women I asked said they are not victims and do not like being treated like children. Both walk home late at night sometimes. Both said people should beware when travelling through certain stretches of the city late at night. Both said they don’t believe in the patriarchy.
I have another coworker who told me about how their brother in law was walking home the other day. Someone stopped their car on the side of the road (a complete stranger) and clothes-lined him. He fell and hit his head off the sidewalk and suffered a brain aneurysm.
There are bad people out there who want to hurt people for no reason. Being a man doesn’t exempt you from that.
Are you whistled at most times you walk down a street, accosted by cat calls on a hot day if you’re wearing something ‘revealing’
No. But in my experience, women are more subtle about it. They still talk about men. They still comment on our looks etc. They just don’t publicize it on the street very often.
women asking you for sexual access most time you venture into public
So women walk down the street and strangers just walk up to them and demand sexual access? Huh?
Please tell me where you live so I can avoid that part of the world.
women you don’t know and in public places inappropriately touching you, invading your personal space in sexually suggestive ways, inappropriately reminding you that you are a male and worth their unwanted sexual attention… and then insulted if you demur?
Yes. I’ve had all those things happen to me. I’ve been insulted for saying no. I’ve been shamed for saying I’m not in the mood.
I was once at a party and got severely intoxicated. I fell asleep on a bed. When I woke up a woman had my penis in her hand and she was playing with it. I told her to stop, and she kept trying. I finally got up and stumbled to the living-room. She told her friends and they followed me calling me names, as if I should be the one ashamed.
I could tell you more stories but I think that suffice.
Have more than half of your male friends been sexually assaulted?
I don’t know. I don’t poll them and we don’t talk about it. None of them know about that party story either. I do know of one friend who passed out at a party and woke up with a condom on.
Do other men give you advice on avoiding attracting the ‘wrong’ kind of aggressive female? Do other men criticize your hair and makeup for its effect on women?
Yes. Dating advice is hardly new territory.
Yes, people criticize what a man wears or how his hair looks etc. Of course they do. As well as weight, whether they smoke, how active they are, how smart they are etc.
Are you looking for a utopia where no one ever does or says anything dickish?
You – like most men – knwo very little about what it’s like to be immersed in such a sexualized world every moment of every day of your life where you are held equally accountable by laws that supposedly ‘protect’ you for the unwanted sexual attention and actions of others as you are criticized for not being attractive enough, not doing more to make yourself both more and less attractive all the time, shown in every media why you are a sexual person first and everything else after.
Yes. We live in a sexual world. Men experience this as well. Men movie stars tend to be attractive. Men models are attractive. Both men and women are told they should be attractive. That’s not likely to change in the future. Like it or not, we are a sexual animal and we are drawn to traits we find attractive and both sexes generally want to attract the attention of the opposite sex.
Go on any dating site, for example, and you’ll find loads of women with very precise figures for what they want in a man. Everything from their job, their education to their weight and size.
This is not your world. But it is one small part of the patriarchy world, a world that exists and from which you are privileged simply by the nature of your gender not to have to live in.
Well, I do not feel privileged and I think you’ve bought into a semi-religious cult that has no real direction now that it has achieved its initial goals. Instead of criticizing actual abuse against women, they often attack video games and movies. When questioned, they go on about this patriarchy and privilege and so forth, but generally offer very little of substance besides buzzwords.
Yes, we face problems and our system isn’t perfect. Yes, there are issues to be addressed but I see no reason to believe that feminism is the right mechanism to get it done, because as Ruth pointed out in my first post, feminism doesn’t take into account 50% of the population. They are only interested in women and women’s issues.
My point is that now that we have men and women on equal standing as far as laws go, let’s get to work on all of those issues together.
Fuck looking at whether someone is a male or female to decide whether they matter or not.
If sexual assault is an issue (and it is) then let’s reform the system so that everyone benefits. Not everything is patriarchy, and not everything is due to men being violent assholes.
So there’s my answers to your questions. I hope there are no hard feelings. I just wanted to thoroughly answer your comment and felt this was the best format to do so.
Next post I’ll address The Arbourist’s comment.
As always, thank you for reading and feel free to leave your thoughts below.