In Celebration of Gender

Like many, I am disgusted by recent events in social media. Yes, a man committed a heinous crime, but the mob crowd is acting like we should go out and lynch all men. It’s ridiculous. You can’t even point it out because just saying “not all men” is somehow anti-woman.

At first, I was guilty of ignoring the whole thing. I wanted to blow it off as some knee jerk reaction of a few, but after my husband pointed out to me how extremely obnoxious, hurtful and sexist many of these comments were, and how widespread it had become I felt bad. Even I was guilty of making a sexist flippant comment on one of his posts in a misguided attempt to minimize what was happening. And I didn’t even realize it. I was an ass.

I did a simple search on “notallmen”. What I found disturbed me. As I was reading this ongoing diatribe about how every woman (EVERY? Really?) feels afraid all the time of nearly every man (which is ludicrous), I couldn’t help but compare this to racism. It is gender bashing. If you don’t believe me, just read one of these opinion pieces (and all the accompanying comments) and any time you see the word man or men, insert “black”. You will come out with statements like, “I am afraid of any black man looking a second time at me.” “I have to lock the doors of my car as soon as I see a black man for fear that they will overpower me and rape me.” This is a bully/victim mentality – women are being bullies here because they are trying to demand a privileged place in society while trying to portray themselves as victims. It just doesn’t wash.

Feminism doesn’t work. It is exclusionary. I used to subscribe to it, this notion that I could do anything a man could do, and better. But, that’s just bullshit. I can’t scale a burning building and carry a 200 pound person to safety. I can’t and no amount of steroids, training, or body building will change that. We have differences, and yes there are exceptions to every generalization, but so what. That’s not the point. You can’t point out the few exceptions where an exceptionally physically strong female does XYZ as some way to prove the point of equality and then turn around and use the reverse argument that all women are afraid of men because a few exceptionally asshole men act that way. Humans are animals. We can all be assholes and we can all intimidate each other and do unsavory things. It isn’t always about gender and I’m personally fucking sick of other women thinking that they speak for me.

Now, what is being lost here, is the true message of diversity. Not that we need to make others feel bad, or go overboard in misguided attempts to level the playing field. Pretty soon the playing field is going to be so level it will be underwater.

Not every person is the same, but to trying to ignore or minimize your own or others good traits because they are politically associated with some perceived negative aspect of a given gender is not right. It isn’t right when women ignore their softer side, it isn’t right when women villainize men for their stronger traits (even when they aren’t being used for violence), and it isn’t right when straight men bully gay men for not being “tough”.

Instead we should embrace each other’s differences, starting with our own. I appreciate my femininity just as I appreciate my ability to be logical. I also appreciate men’s ability to be strong, yet gentle, to be decisive and determined. It doesn’t mean that I am putting down women or that I believe that women can’t do those things. I simply appreciate it in men because they are good at them and I appreciate that they can exist side by side with women and we all enhance and augment each other.

In the words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”

racism sexism speciesism
racism sexism speciesism (Photo credit: ThinkVegan)
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