Friday, June 21, 2013

Men, it's your turn to support each other

I was reading this article about how sexual assault has become frighteningly common in boys' bullying of each other. Naturally, I was horrified, but not surprised. It won't surprise me when people finally start paying more attention to this that they find out that this problem is shamefully pervasive, but still have a really hard time caring. Humans never fail to be uncaring and cruel to each other.

I am not saying this to minimize sexual assault against females; I would NEVER do that, but I think male victims of sexual assault, particularly young ones, are put in impossible positions. They have insurmountable roadblocks in seeking help. The subcultures that many men and boys have set up for each other are not pretty. Even with the pervasiveness of the victim blaming and slut shaming of women, when women are hurt or assaulted, we have a MUCH larger support network. No matter how many hateful, obnoxious people try to blame us, the larger majority of our culture realizes that sexually assaulting a woman is a despicable thing. There are enough of us that expose misogynists when they try to blame us or absolve our assailants. There is public outcry when these awful things happen to women. We don't always win, but at the very least, we always have a team in this league. Boys don't.

It starts when we're little. Girls are taught that it's okay to have feelings. Girls are allowed to cry in daddy's arms when we fall off our bikes or when Suzie steals our Barbies and breaks our crayons. It doesn't even have to be daddy. We can cry to mommy, big sis, Aunt Gertrude, Granny, the teacher, the softball coach, the principle, the police, other girls, and countless authority figures. Boys can't. 


The same father (or mother) that would let his little girl cry and snot in his sleeve for an hour would turn around backhand his little boy for doing the same, telling that boy to toughen up and "be a man." Boys learn very quickly that they better "be men" (translation: be violent, cold, uncaring animals) if they don't want to be executed for the crime of expressing pain. Since so many boys and men have been programmed this way, they are often unsympathetic to each other when they see something they know in their hearts is wrong. "I had to be a man and endure, he has to be a man and endure. It's good for him. It'll make him tough." As a result, male victims have almost NO ONE sticking up for them. They can't go to a battered men's shelter. They can't tell their closest friends. They can't go to the police. They can't tell other influential authority figures. They often can't even go to their own families!

This is NOT feminists' fault, as some "men's rights activists" will try to say. It's not because women have become so self entitled and spoiled and accustomed to worship that we've elevated ourselves to such a high pedestal in society that we expect other people to take care of all our problems for us and anyone who doesn't think so took the blue pill.....It's because, over the course of history, women often had no one to turn to but each other. Since so many girls have been taught that it's okay to cry in someone's sleeve and to feel hurt, we also learn that it's okay to help somebody who cries and is hurt. As a result, women have busted our asses to create a loving, nurturing support network for each other. It's time for men to do the same. 



Men, you owe to yourselves, your sons, your brothers, your friends to fight the sources of these problems and support each other! That is what "being a man" really should mean.....not guzzling buckets of meat, using and abusing women, attacking those you feel are weak, putting up a tough guy facade, constantly trying to fulfill the desire to conquer, insisting that all men used to be treated as kings, calling women cunts on the internet, and blaming feminists for all your problems.

Image stolen from thephoenix.com, who may or may not have stolen it from someone else.

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