I posted this to Facebook yesterday, in the midst of the many #metoo posts going up.
“ok…here’s my little chip-in. It oughtnt to be much because this aint my pain. but it is my fight. this is all from my understanding, not purported to be fact:
we’ve had some serious gender strictures inculcated on our culture for a looooong time. Like, since forever. That means even the figures who young men in America once idolized as being absolutely good–like Superman!– were relative reflections of a society that deems women a secondary character, e.g. Lois Lane.
So i believe young men struggle to find a mythos to subscribe, and my momentary solution is this: sanctify yourself, sanctify being a listener, sanctify being open and honest and admitting your mistakes. try to help create a new type of hero which exists alongside a liberated heroine. And let’s just call them both heroes, eh? no need for those disparaging suffixes/word-alterations.
we need to work together”
I did this with the hope that I wasn’t being performative–that I wasn’t trying to demonstrate “wokeness” to gain points for attractiveness to the opposite sex. I did this because I am ashamed, for the years I spent not really understanding that all women were asking for was to be treated the same as any other human being.
And I feel that consciousness of performativity may always be there, inside of me. Because I was raised to think of myself as the primary sex (as well as race) and the protagonist of the universe, that as a white male I’m almost literally Jesus Christ, a gift to the world.
The hard part for men is acknowledging that skew of the lens. But it’s also very freeing, if you’ll allow me to selfishly incentivize with notions of personal redemption.
This is not going to happen overnight, is my main point, I guess. And I’m not considering myself part of the “resistance” or the “enemy.” Because the whole culminative point of this is that we are the same. And yes, there are biological differences between woman and man, just as there are biological differences from man to man. We are the same.
So, those posts by men in response to #MeToo might never escape at least an intimation of #mentoo-ness, i.e. a feeling of threat from the rebellious cry of a marginalized people, the interpretation of a call for help as an insult to an identity so calcified and sanctified that you think it must be right. But it’s not.
So sadly this is not the time when we are perfect.
But gladly, this is the time when we fight–ourselves!!!