I think life, and society, operates on some sort of a pendulum; swinging constantly from one extreme to the other. I think we’re on a swing back to the patriarchy and I dont like it.
It’s taken me a good while to try to compose my thoughts on this because, like everything even a little controversial, I am full of thoughts and opinions and Im going to word-vomit them all here so brace yourself.
This blog post started a week ago as a statement on domestic violence brought on by the Amber Heard vs Johnny Depp trial. It was going to be about men finally being able to have a voice when they face the same victimization as women do and how pleased I am that the sexes are finally equaling out and then I had a conversation with a friend during which I realized he’s one of the most misogynistic people Ive ever spoken to. It took me a day to sit back and process everything he said and what it means for the future of women if his opinions are popularly held and how all of that affects my original view of men finally having a voice.
Like most of my arguments it started with a meme:
Now, for some backstory, the US is in the process of overturning Roe vs Wade. If you dont know what Roe vs Wade is then I’ll give you a brief summary: Basically it’s a 1973 Supreme Court ruling that gave women bodily autonomy and made abortion legal. The US Supreme Court just voted to overturn that ruling and remove those rights from the US constitution.
The US just made abortion illegal.
As a whole country.
And Canada, ever the eager little brother, has already responded by saying they’ll look into it once the Supreme Court here has been filled, which means Canada is considering doing the same.
All of that is bad enough to process but then I spent over an hour being told that women werent as driven as men, that they cant survive without them and that men built the whole world. Apparently women’s only value is looks and they only want men who are successful.
There were no other options. All of that is just plain historical fact. End of story.
As a full grown woman I was a bit taken aback to be told what I wanted and didnt want in a man. That I might survive lost in the woods but a man would do it better and that apparently we wouldnt even have buildings or civilization if it werent for men. That the man who believes Roe (vs Wade) is the reason why men cant work, have families or find mates, is correct. That basically women having opinions and rights is what is ruining modern society.
What really set this friend off was my statement that women no longer need men, we choose them. That’s just the plain truth.
We dont need men. We wont die without one. We can pay our bills etc all by ourselves. We no longer need someone to look after us like we did when we had no other options.
And, lets be clear, historically, there have been hella powerful women. Many equal to, if not more powerful than, men. It really wasnt until the industrial revolution that women became labelled the weaker sex without opinions and value, Basically 300 years ago. Back when black people were also too dumb to run their own lives and needed owners. Prior to that, historically, women were on par with their husbands. Running homesteads, homes, and businesses. And, interestingly, at the same time, in most of Europe, black people were actually people.
What was I saying about a pendulum?
Now I acknowledge fully that the sexes are different. That each has strengths and weaknesses and that they function better as a team. I fully believe that there are more male CEO’s because they gravitate towards those kinds of jobs and women don’t, generally. In the same way there are more female nurses and midwives because they gravitate towards those fields.
But 150 years ago a woman couldn’t be a doctor. She was flat out not allowed to attend that kind of school. And that’s not a historical precedent. Through most of history women have been the healers.
At some point a man decided women werent capable and women just went along with it. My conversation with my friend felt much like how that conversation might have gone way back in the day except there’s nothing on this planet that will convince me women now need men to survive.
Apparently that makes me sound bitter and like a “ho.” So be it. I’ll still be paying all my bills and cleaning my own house and cooking for myself and surviving just dandy until I find man worthy of occupying space in my universe. I will survive just fine, which is good because lord knows my men choices aren’t exactly stellar. If I had to wait for a man to save me or for one to be in my life for my life to be livable I’d surely die.
Going back to what this was originally about because I do think the two are related I do think it’s fantastic that men are learning they have a voice and people will listen.
I dont have any personal experience so can only use famous cases that I know of but it’s very related to whoever told women they were weak and useless without a man. That same idiot told men they’re super strong and had to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and if they faltered on that super strong image they werent real men.
Where does that leave men who are assaulted? Completely without a voice and dealing with that trauma in stoic silence. And that is patently unfair and traumatic and cruel to expect men to have no outlet and no salvation in such situations. These actors who are coming forward now with their stories and being believed and supported literally makes my heart leap for my species. They set the example for normal men to feel like they to have a voice and that they can get help.
I love that men can be people in the same way that women have a voice and opinions. I love, with all of my soul, that men and women can be themselves and feel and express those feelings and exist on a level playing field.
Or at least I thought they could.
I was so excited to think that I am alive while that pendulum is in the middle and we might have actually found equality.
But I dont know if that’s the case anymore. We’re swinging back to women being sequestered and controlled faster than we equaled out.
Men found a voice and used it to silence women again.
And we’re quickly heading into Handmaid’s tale territory. At least in Handmaid’s, Canada was a refuge, it looks like reality might not go the same way. Right at the peak of my elation that carpet got ripped out from under me.