“When men feel inconsequential, it’s easier to blame women than it is to confront patriarchy-the true source of the diminishment and lack of meaning in so many men’s lives. When men feel unloved and disconnected, it’s easier to accuse women of not loving them well enough than it is to consider men’s own alienation from life. It’s easier to think of women as keeping men from the essence of their own lives than it is to see how men’s participation in patriarchy can suffocate and kill the life within themselves. It’s easier to theorize about powerful, devouring mothers than to confront the reality of patriarchy.
Beneath the massive denial of men’s power and responsibility and its projection onto women is an enormous pool of rage, resentment, and fear. Rather than look at patriarchy and their place within it, many men will beat, rape, torture, murder, and oppress women, children, and one another. They will wage mindless war and offer themselves up for the slaughter, chain themselves to jobs and work themselves to numbed exhaustion as if their lives had no value or meaning beyond controlling or being controlled or defending against control, and content themselves with half-lives of confused, lost deprivation. What men lack, women didn’t take from them, and it isn’t up to women to give it back.”
Allan G. Johnson
I was on the subway today and I overheard a conversation where a guy was bitching that a woman had been promoted over him. He claimed that it was something the company was doing in order to maintain an equality standard while he was overlooked despite the fact that he was perfect for the job.
I never worked up the courage to say anything, but it made me think of the quote above while I was sitting there waiting to make it to my station. They got off at the next stop and I just ran over their conversation in my mind, comparing it to what I knew of corporate culture. I came to the following conclusions.
1. If a white male who has no disabilities or setbacks could make them more money than someone who is differently abled, female or of a different race then they would say “fuck equality” and go with what made them more money.
2. Most corporations do not have an equality standard or at least not one which is legally enforced. While they are not allowed to discriminate based on race/gender/disability/sexuality/religion/etc, they are also not required to hire a certain percentage of people from each category in order to remain diverse.
3. Corporate culture is extremely hard on those who are not male and/or white. Not to dismiss the hard work that people put into it because everyone works hard, but females and those who are different creeds often have to work harder in order to prove their worth. They are also more often subject to casual racism, sexism etc in the work place, but less able to broach the subject and defend themselves without disrupting their place in the workforce.
4. Despite there being more women in the world, the global percentage of female executives is at 10%.
I had a fight with a friend once because he said there was no need for feminism, but I disagreed. We are not equal and there is still a long road ahead. I’m not as eloquent on this topic as I should be however and thus, I would like to direct your attention to this post on why we need feminism still.
Feminism and feminists have become demonized as ball crushing, man hating women who are bitter and most likely lesbians. They are depicted and portrayed as people who are likely to tear your throat out if you’re a man just so a woman can get in front of you in line, but the truth of the matter is that most people are feminists. If you think that women should be allowed to vote, you’re a feminist. If you think that women should not be subjugated, owned as property or have their genitals mutilated in the most painful ways imaginable, you’re a feminist. If you are against rape, forced pregnancies, domestic abuse against women and a ton of other things then you are a feminist because before feminism women were not allowed to be anything.
Women were once property and a burden to the family at best and an object to be used/abused however the males saw fit at worst.
This is changing in most places around the world, but it is not changing fast enough and there are still places where being born a woman is the unluckiest thing that you could possibly be.
Yet there are still people (and some of them are among my friends) who will roll their eyes when they hear the words “Male Privilege” as if it is something that feminists just made up for the sake of sticking it to the hapless men who have no control over what society does.
It’s past time for this to change.