I’ve been saying it for years now: rape culture exists, women are objectified, misogyny is an every day problem. I’ve been labelled a man-hater by those who don’t want to admit that they’re part of the problem. Even in the wake of the tragedy in Isla Vista, CA, this past weekend, people (men, mostly) are still refusing to believe that this is the result of a culture that objectifies its women and promises them to men at a young age and then tells them there’s something wrong with them when their “nice guy” tactics aren’t having women throw themselves at their feet. Even though the Killer Who Shalt Not Be Named On This Blog left a clear manifesto that stated the reasoning for his killing spree was because women weren’t even giving him the time of day – let alone sleeping with him – and there were men who were (unknowingly) getting in the way of his conquests… even with all of that information, people are still refusing to believe that these killings were fueled by misogyny.
“Mental illness” is being thrown around, as a way to excuse what he did. In reality, there are many mentally ill people who don’t go out and kill people, and there are legally sane people (notably Jeffrey Dahmer) who do go out and kill people. Mental illness isn’t an an excuse nor is it the cause.
This is also being hailed as an isolated incident, and that’s grossly untrue. Men, find the women in your life. Be it your mother, your sister, your girlfriend, maybe your teenage daughter. Ask them if they’ve ever been harassed or assaulted by a man. The answers may shock you. Personally, I’ve dealt with guys like He Who Shalt Not Be Named On This Blog on a near daily basis since I hit puberty. He manifests in the men who catcall you (or grope you in public) and expect you to take it as a compliment. He manifests in the droves of lonely dudes on internet dating websites who put too much effort into messaging you, only to lash out at you with insults when you’re not interested or fail to respond. He manifests in that predatory guy at the bar who won’t take no for an answer, and who only leaves you alone after you declare your status as another man’s property. Because they respect you more as some other man’s property than as your own person who just isn’t interested in them. These aren’t isolated incidents. These are every day men that women have to deal with in nauseating amounts. They put their desire to interact and date with us over our personal comfort levels and our disinterest and then cry about being labelled as potential rapists. And for those of us who try to speak out about it, we are met with droves of men who feel the need to separate themselves from the rest with “but not all men!” when in fact, they are exactly like the rest of them. And if they spent more time calling out their fellow dudes who exhibit creepy, predatory, and objectifying behavior as they did whining about “misandry,” maybe we could actually enact a positive change in our culture.
Anyway, I digress. The slaughter of this past weekend is NOT an isolated incident. Many, MANY men lash out with insults and threats of violence when faced with a denial. Women have been blamed for men’s shortcomings since the beginning of time, and men are taught that we owe them our attention and affection simply because they exist, when we really, actually, don’t.
So men, while it may be a blow to your fragile ego, remember that women don’t owe you shit. You are not entitled to their attention or their body, no matter how nice you are to them, how many gifts you’ve given them, or how betrothed you are to them. Even being married for 50 years doesn’t entitle you to someone else’s body, because long gone are the days where you could buy your wife from her family and women were considered property, not people. And while it may be frustrating to be lonely, while you see everyone else around you getting into relationships and finding love and sex, no hurt feelings ever, EVER justify hurting someone else. You will get a lot further with women by respecting them and their space than you ever will by taking what you want and leaving casualties.
Other relevant articles:
- A comic on the double standards faced by men and women, or “why I need feminism”
- Why It’s So Hard For Men To See Misogyny
- The Price of Toxic Masculinity
- Not all men: How discussing women’s issues gets derailed
- An open letter to privileged people who play devil’s advocate