Wednesday, August 2, 2017

calling all men

The other day on Facebook, someone posted a sexist comment on a friend's timeline, something to the effect that he was sending him a dozen naked pitounes for his birthday.  Beyond the comment being insulting to the man, I thought it especially humiliating for his wife.

The comment was met with a few likes and guffaws by men but the large majority of the man's friends remained silent.  Only his wife attempted a humourous reply to the effect that pitounes would be promptly disposed of.

I was outraged and wanted to get up on my soapbox. But I knew it would do no good, just as the wife's comment did no good. I felt helpless and simply "liked" the wife's comment.  Weak.

I spoke to a male friend and asked why other men didn't speak up.  He said it was the woman's battle to fight, that she needed to defend herself; that it would take something away from her dignity if men intervened on her behalf.

Hm.  I imagined the woman flailing her skinny arms about in protest while a dozen churlish men laughed in her face.  It didn't look very dignified to me, let alone a battle she was winning.

We think it is the victim's battle to fight oppression.  It is not.  It is the bystanders'. The victim's cries can be strong and rational and brave but, unless others stand with her and outnumber the bully, the oppressors win.

You need power to fight power!

When it comes to sexism, men have the power.  Period.

Men, without you as allies, feminism will remain a muzzled and muted truth.  Would you please flex your muscles and mouths and stand up for us!