I’m sure that many of you have watched at least one (if not 10) of these social experiment videos exposing female harassment.
Now before I continue, I realise that the title of this post alone is enough to infuriate even the most fickle of feminist supporters, but this trend of criminalising 50% of the human population is beginning to digress into nothing more than a passive aggressive sting in the sides of misogynists and male feminists alike…
it’s no longer serving an educational purpose, it’s only riling up both sexes.
As men, our understanding of how it feels to be a woman in 2014 is only limited by our capacity to empathise with the stories and accounts of sexual harassment and rape available to us through history, the media, online or through people we meet or know… so by that logic, the depth of our understanding is totally dependent on how much valuable information we have access to.
I proudly call myself a feminist, I’ve grown up in a family with strong feminist values, but more importantly, I’ve been raised by women who understand the importance of instilling these values in young men. Like any man I’ve fallen off the wagon at times and undone much of the work the matriarchs of my family had put so much effort into. But it’s testament to the value of a great home education, the fact that I was able to shake off my demons and march to the right beat in the end.
Unfortunately, young men today are immersed in ‘lad culture’ which is perpetuated by characters like the in-over-his-head ‘Dapper Laughs’, the WAAAAAYYY over the top Dan Bilzerian, and the inexcusably foul Julien Blanc. As if these types of men were not harmful enough, there are also ‘female role models’ who insinuate that it’s okay to treat a girl like a rocking horse. Pair an overly-sexed up media with the pre existing patriarchal paradigms that have always existed, and you have a very highly concentrated beam of ignorance headed for your tots!
MR DAPPER ‘MOIST’ LAUGHS
There is certainly great value in exposing the sexually enthralled male fiend, or ‘lad’ who is sadly now an archetypal figure. However, pointing fingers merely directs us to the culprit, it says nothing of how to deal with them.
I don’t believe for a second that any woman is responsible for any form of sexual harassment or abuse she may be subjected to, whether she walks the street covered head to toe or totally naked is irrelevant, she’s here, she’s free… what the fuck has that got to do with you?
But I’m sorry, asking an objectively attractive female to document the number of ‘cat calls’ she gets during a leisurely stroll around areas known for lecherous men, is like throwing a newborn baby into a cage of lions… they don’t know any better. These are men hardened and conditioned by the misogynistic mainstream media and the ancient traditions of patriarchy. Shouting them down is futile because it’s our society that neglects to educate them properly. This does not absolve these men of blame, but it does insinuate that the problem is institutional, not solely individual. To me that’d suggest that educational reform is in order… perhaps incorporating ‘gender sensitivity’ into school curriculums early on… or if you want to bypass all of that bureaucratic bullshit, the Internet provides us with unlimited creative options in helping to educate young people in new and entertaining ways… I’d start there.
If these videos have done anything, they’ve made me so much more conscious of how I communicate with women, which is a great result on some levels, but apparently even making eye contact makes me a potential rapist in her eyes… I am more than aware of how being male and living within a patriarchal society contributes to ‘rape culture’, even if it is by default and is driven by fear… but I mean as if my brown skin and beard weren’t already creating enough preconceptions about my character as it were… we all have shit to deal with.
I’m positive that this post may draw sentiments such as ‘why don’t you propose a solution?’ or ‘you have no right!’…But I firmly believe that causes like this need to be led by those who are plighted by its inequalities… I don’t think a man can lead this revolution against sexism any more than I think I can learn the history of my people from British historians… If your oppressor frees you, you’ll still remain under their thumb… freeing yourself from your oppressor will kick sexism in the bum… Remember that shit.
I’ve collected a few really positive and insightful videos about feminism, for contrast and inspiration.
This is a TED Talk by blogger Courtney E Martin, discussing the three essential paradoxes of her generation’s quest to define the term ‘Feminism’ for themselves.
The next video is a rap written and performed by Madiha Bhatti, who has clearly had enough of the chauvinistic sex fest that is today’s mainstream music industry, and does not mince her words… She quite rightly calls her piece Mu(sick).
The final video features Indian actresses Kalki Koechilin and VJ Juhi Pandey with a very satirical message, speaking out against the poor attitudes to rape shared by many cultures… most notably in India.
Consider this feedback from a feminist who just so happens to be a man, and really wants to see some shit turned around!
Go get ‘em!