Asks the blogger at Above the Field. He can and he should, he answers himself.
Yesterday I read of a sexual assault in Washington DC that occurred not long ago. A bicyclist cruised up to a woman and stuck his hand up her skirt, violating her very being before riding away laughing. It would be easy to pass this off as an isolated incident of some pervert getting his kicks, except that this particular woman victim (Liz Gorman) wrote a blog about it, and hundreds responded with their own stories of similar experiences and worse.
Thank goodness this woman and others like her are speaking out instead of staying silent. Thank goodness they’re upsetting the status quo. Thank goodness they’re waking people like me up to what is going on around us every day.
Not “playing the victim.” Not whining, not making a big fuss about nothing, not refusing to do anything for ourselves, but just speaking out instead of staying silent about microaggressions, and upsetting the status quo that tells us to ignore sexist bullshit and Just Get On With It.
I fear for our future when I see adolescent and college-age guys being spoon-fed rapacious porn and jocular yet overtly sexist advertising that just feed into their levels of testosterone at that age. Couple this with how we continue to muffle women’s voices about sexual needs and desires, and we are raising another generation of coarse, close-minded men who rally around Daniel Tosh and don’t think twice about their sense of privilege or entitlement. Basically: bad lovers, bad fathers, absentee husbands. I grew up knowing the experience of having an adulterous, alcoholic father, and far too often I was an absentee husband in my own failed marriage, far more focused on career than relationship. That cycle needs to stop.
I fear for the daughters of men like that. I really, really, really do. I fear for the daughters of men who have contempt for them because they’re not boys.
The stereotypical male is a sexist pig. He sees women as merchandise to be gazed at, and groped at. He sees himself as the master of his domain, and sex as HIS enjoyment, or even as his conquest. He may know of boundaries, but often feels they don’t apply to him. He laughs at sexist jokes, he gawks at pretty ladies like a slobbering schoolboy, and he is enabled and empowered by an advertising industry that gears its print and television ads at him – because, after all, the stereotypical male is the head of household, the breadwinner, and the decision maker.
I know this firsthand. I ran numerous websites and published a sexy cheerleaders calendar years ago that pandered to this demographic, and did it well. I gave no consideration to the fact that I was feeding the sexism machine, subjugating and objectifying women in the interest of making a buck. After all, the models I worked with were professionals who were thrilled to be on the sites or in the calendars, and my target demographic was those stereotypical white males who buy the merchandise.
It’s time for feminism to be mainstream. It’s time for open-minded, forward-thinking men to realize that equality means embracing feminism. Feminism isn’t a bad word. It’s simply a cry for fairness in an unfair world dominated for far too long by a small segment of white males who have convinced too many of us that speaking out is wrong, that having a voice is a privilege rather than a right, and that somehow they know what’s best for all of us.
Welcome aboard, comrade.