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Patriarchy

How many of you out there have either heard these words or said them to others? I’m willing to bet most males out there has heard it at some point and many women have told the males in their lives these words. It’s part of the social narrative, these constructs of what gender is and how someone should and should not act. Men are strong, men don’t cry, men are athletic, men demand respect, men settle their differences physically and most importantly men don’t show weakness.

Of course, this is all tripe. These social constructs are ultimately just that, constructs. And like anything constructed, it can be deconstructed. When these things are deconstructed, the seem silly and pointless. However, pointless as they may be they are still exceptionally harmful.

And of course that’s where Be A Man comes in. These three words are the epitome of how patriarchy harms everyone. These three words are toxic. These three words have done so much harm to so many men that I am ill equipped to describe exactly how. Fortunately for both me and you the good people at The Representation Project are. They are currently creating a film tackling this very issue. I urge everyone to watch the trailer for this upcoming film: The Mask You Live In.

Another bit of well crafted insight into some of the subtle rules that govern our society.

Let me assure you though, it has nothing to do with patriarchy, the gender binary or any of those things that feminists seem to talk about all the time.

Patriarchal Excuses

In a word, “No”.  As a tonic to what liberal porn-sick dudes would like you to believe, here is the long answer.

“Akin to art. LMAO

Porn is the antithesis of art. Porn destroys creative minds. Porn both reflects and creates a culture that stifles creativity and instead serves up (wholly unoriginal) female degradation on a platter, a truth that is immediately verifiable when we examine our culture. Porn teaches men to see women as fuck objects, and in our society, women are treated as fuck objects. Porn teaches people there is no rape. Our society treats rape as a joke. Porn teaches men that there is nothing you can do to a woman that will hurt her. Sexual violence, rape, BDSM, VAW, all thrive in our reality. Porn teaches women their sexuality is dirty, disgusting, and only relevant when found appealing by a man. Porn teaches women their bodies are inadequete, and surgeries to ‘correct’ female bodies abound.

There is nothing artistic about porn. Porn is capitalism + patriarchy, both of which are completely incapable of being creative except when dreaming up new ways to subjugate women, destroy cultures, and ruin lives—all to MAKE MONEY AND KEEP WOMEN IN SEXUAL SERVITUDE. 

 The fact that some people find themselves aroused by violent and sexually abusive imagery is NOT a positive benefit of pornography. It’s the opposite. The fact that you can type abuse into a search bar and be presented with a plethora of REAL WOMEN sustaining REAL INJURIES and pretend that it’s just masturbation, it’s just fantasy, is so fucking ignorant, and the cognitive dissonance it creates is the foundation of a society that can’t understand women beyond stereotypes. Men have learned and continue to teach that women are there to take care of them, as mother and whore, and women SUFFER.

Yes, porn is something that has an effect. But that effect is not ejaculation. It’s human trafficking, a global rape epidemic, and everyday suffering of human females everywhere. If that makes you come, you are a sick fuck.”

-Source.

“Two weeks ago a man in France was arrested for raping his daughter. She’d gone to her school counselor and then the police, but they needed “hard evidence.” So, she videotaped her next assault. Her father was eventually arrested. His attorney explained, “There was a period when he was unemployed and in the middle of a divorce. He insists that these acts did not stretch back further than three or four months. His daughter says longer. But everyone should be very careful in what they say.” Because, really, even despite her seeking help, her testimony, her bravery in setting up a webcam to film her father raping her, you really can’t believe what the girl says, can you?

Everyone “knows” this. Even children.

Three years ago, in fly-on-the-wall fashion of parent drivers everywhere, I listened while a 14-year-old girl in the back seat of my car described how angry she was that her parents had stopped allowing her to walk home alone just because a girl in her neighborhood “claimed she was raped.” When I asked her if there was any reason to think the girl’s story was not true, she said, “Girls lie about rape all the time.” She didn’t know the person, she just assumed she was lying…

No one says, “You can’t trust women,” but distrust them we do. College students surveyed revealed that they think up to 50% of their female peers lie when they accuse someone of rape, despite wide-scale evidence and multi-country studies that show the incident of false rape reports to be in the 2%-8% range, pretty much the same as false claims for other crimes. As late as 2003, people jokingly (wink, wink) referred to Philadelphia’s sex crimes unit as “the lying bitch unit.” If an 11-year-old girl told an adult that her father took out a Craigslist ad to find someone to beat and rape her while he watched, as recently actually occurred, what do you think the response would be? Would she need to provide a videotape after the fact?

It goes way beyond sexual assault as well. That’s just the most likely and obvious demonstration of “women are born to lie” myths. Women’s credibility is questioned in the workplace, in courts, by law enforcement, in doctors’ offices, and in our political system. People don’t trust women to be bosses, or pilots, or employees. Pakistan’s controversial Hudood Ordinance still requires a female rape victim to procure four male witnesses to her rape or risk prosecution for adultery. In August, a survey of managers in the United States revealed that they overwhelmingly distrust women who request flextime. It’s notable, of course, that women are trusted to be mothers—the largest pool of undervalued, unpaid, economically crucial labor.

Soraya Chemaly, How We Teach Our Kids That Women Are Liars

*ed. Removed second copy of quotation – Yep, more coffee required.*

The experience of society and day to day living is different for women and men.  This should be a simple concept to grasp as it lies at the base of every discussion when it comes to gender roles and society.  Gender socialization runs deep and wide encoding behaviours and expectations onto people who live in our society.  The enforcement of gendered roles and stereotypes begins at birth and ceases only at death.

A problem (among many) with this socialization is that it is inherently biased toward people that happen to have an XY set of sex chromosomes.  Concomitantly, possessing the XX chromosomes presents an entirely different landscape to grow up.  Let’s take a peek at some of the experiences of women(quotes from Everyday Sexism tumblr)  -

Alysia 2013-07-13 01:30 :  “I was sitting down with my friends eating lunch when a boy walked up to me with his friends and said to me “pop a tit you slut!”. I was wearing school uniform which was track pants and a jumper. His friends laughed. When I looked at the boy angrily his friend scoffed and said “Jesus, you’re moody!” I ignored them and they walked away. Once they were gone I said to my friends that I felt so intimidated and uncomfortable. One of my friends looked at me and said “well he told you to pop a tit, so he must think you’re hot!”

Anon – “On a college spring break trip, one of the guys thought it was appropriate to pat my rear. He was already walking away before I could do more than give him a sharp look.   The next day, he sidled up to me and slung his arm around my shoulders. It seems like such a little thing, but I barely knew this guy. We’d spoken only a few times in the past, and I froze. My utter lack of response-ironically enough-seems to be the hint he needed to back off. He didn’t bother me for the rest of the trip, but I still wonder why he thought any uninvited contact was okay?”

Lucy 2013-07-11 16:46 : “At a choir, a boy called me a slut and lifted up my skirt for all to see. It was mortifying. I’m 17.”

M. Scott 2013-07-11 17:26 :  “A man was touching the fronts of my two older (early pubescent) sisters’ t-shirts- he was pretending he was only interested in what was written on the shirts, not what was under them- but he was touching their breasts in reality, and doing this right in front of my mom! I was a lot younger and did not have a T shirt on, and I was clueless and felt a little jealous that the man was not paying any attention to me!! But because of the look on my mom’s face, I knew something was not right as I did not understand that he was fondling their breasts. Mom knew, yet she did NOTHING to protect her daughters! In retrospect I realize that she felt as helpless as my two sisters did.

We three sisters, decades later, learned that mom and her cousins had been fondled by her step-father and not one had spoken up then. Silence is like death.”
Kim 2013-07-11 09:19 – “When I want to go out in the evening, I’ve grown accustomed to asking my husband to ‘babysit.’ His own children. Who he lives with. When he goes out, it’s assumed I’ll be here.”
Dianne 2013-07-11 02:44 – “One of my male coworkers stopped by my desk on more than one occasion to tell me how his wife is no fun to have sex with after she had children (in graphic detail), asked me to do a sexy librarian dance, and critiqued my outfits every day, without fail…when I went to my boss (also male, mid-60s), he told me the co-worker I complained about was “really a good guy” and “didn’t mean it”…”

Huh. Seems a little different that what it is like to be male in society, no?  Going further, let’s understand that all of this cognitive baggage is going to effect a person’s performance negatively, and yes dudes, just because it doesn’t happen to you doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening.

Sara Chadwick 2013-07-11 01:07 – “A man approached me at the library to day. He made a joke about a girl (me), wearing a “Twins of Evil” (Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie) T-shirt. I didn’t understand, until he made a grabbing motion with his hands towards my breasts.

He only stopped commenting when I informed him that I have a boyfriend.”
Stephanie 2013-07-10 23:14 – “When i was 14 I was in drama class and some boys from my Drama class grabbed me and pulled me behind the curtains and started feeling me up and slapping my bum. I didnt want to make them mad and think that i wasn’t cool so i just casually pushed them away and tried to laugh it off but they took it like i was playing hard to get and started getting more aggressive and when tried to push them off of me i let out a groan and they said “oh my god she likes it, she likes it ” and then one of them turned me around and pulled me into him while the others watched . The final bell rang after they let me go. Im not sure what else would have happened if it hadn’t.”
Jeannie 2013-07-10 22:36 – “I have to put up with my uncles — not uncles by marriage, they are my own blood — calling me sexy, constantly trying to hug me, “tickling” me, and even grabbing my ass. I feel like I can’t fight back or speak up about it because every time I do, the rest of my entire family silences me by saying “Oh, they’re just being nice!” If they were simply trying to compliment me, I think a quick “you look nice today” would suffice. This has been going on since I was 16. I am 23 now. My family wonders why I avoid the annual reunion.”
Lily 2013-07-10 17:23 – Teenage boy – maybe 16/17? – “calling me a tosser and a slut as I walked down my local high street. I was nine.”

Vesper_Holly 2013-07-10 17:12 – “The weather has finally gotten nice, and my brother and I walked to a local ice cream shop. We’d had a fun night, when a car passing at around 30 mph felt it was necessary to yell “Tits!” at me out the window. By the time I realized what had happened, they were long gone. And, in under 10 seconds, my really great night was ruined.

I’ve noticed I usually have less problems with street harassment when I’m walking with guys. While this offers a measure of “protection,” it also makes it really tough to explain to the guys in my life why this is such a big issue, and why it can ruin a night. (At the same time, this “protection” also makes me feel like I can’t walk alone, either. Damned if you do…) It was really interesting to watch my brother slowly understand and process what had just happened. And then recognize how much one person shouting messed with me.”
  How can you avoid this shit as it is waiting for you outside your door *every frakking time* you step out of your house?  One can’t, of course.  You steel yourself the best you can and get on with your day.
    I spent 1200 words trying to get across the point of the gender differences and inherent sexism in our society, yet watch as Tatsuya Ishida does the same thing with a four panel comic.
2013-08-29keys

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