Consider, gentlemen, why you should not be offended.
If, like me, you are a white male, you have a certain amount of privilege you likely do not even recognize, and totally take for granted. Sure, you may have something about you that garners ridicule, scorn and maybe teasing – but that is nothing compared to what most women face directly or indirectly regularly.
Of course this is a generalization, but it is a VERY important generalization. Men are rarely subject to catcalls, to having to rebuff advances because of a simple glance, to having to ignore someone starring at their breasts instead of their face. We do not have to consider how much cleavage we expose or how tight our pants are or the length of our skirt in order to maintain “propriety” or “decency” or what-have-you.
I have written before about the political and socio-economics of the inequality between the genders. I asked the rest of the men I know to take a stand, and stop supporting the politicians and the outlets of discrimination and such.
Today I am asking you to take this a step further. We have to no longer be passive in social settings, we have to be active. We have to take a stand and show how much we believe in equality between both of our genders (and all gender identities).
We cannot brush off commentary about how a woman is dressed, we cannot just ignore catcalls and inappropriate jokes that help perpetuate the inequality of our society. We have to alter our own perceptions to be better attuned to the rampant and ugly and entirely artificial divide between man and woman.
I am not asking you to practice political correctness or to call out any random stranger you encounter on the streets or across the internet. I am asking you to consider you own words, your own attitude, and to speak out in support of all the women who have had to contend with harassment and a double standard we are wholly incapable of experiencing.
The message of #yesallwomen is not anti-men. It is not meant to offend, it is not meant to attack…it is intended to show us something that we cannot possibly fathom from the comfort of our artificial patriarchal majority. It is meant to call attention to the out-of-control misogyny in our society. It is meant to expose the double-standard in social conventions, and to call attention to a problem that, frankly, should not exist.
If you, like me, wish to see the extension of equality between everyone, no matter gender identity, then there is no reason to take offense over yesallwomen. We should be in support of this idea. We should stand in agreement, we should speak up and offer our endorsement, to show that the message is getting through, and we want to spread it further.
We all should be asking – What else can I do to help?