What about the men is a common refrain on feminist blogs. It seems speaking about womens issues is considered an affront to patriarchy. It does not matter what feminist blog you decide to read, at some point someone in the comment section will feel the overwhelming need to point out that men are oppressed to. Dear Lord how do these men manage to get by with the burden of owning and controlling over 95% of the worlds wealth? How do they survive daily beating their wives and raping women?
I am the first to admit that social construction is damaging to both sexes but I must question why it is necessary to continually make this an issue on women’s blogs? There are so many aspects of sexism that go unchallenged in our society because we have normalized the marginalization of women. Feminists have had to fight, and claw to get the smallest of validation for the difficulties of living life as a woman in this phalocentric world, and yet even in these small spaces, men have managed to continually interject themselves into the debate.
A feminist blog could be a place where men could begin to learn to unpack some of their gender privileges. A man that continually reads feminist blogs would learn how to look at the world with the eyes of a new born babe; not tinted with the social stigmatizations that regularly attach themselves to women’s bodies. Instead of seeing this as a learning opportunity, invariably they feel the need to say what about the men. Well let me tell you about the men. Today they are largely in control of all of the agents of socialization; media, government, education, religion, and the family. Today they rape and batter women. Today they can count on their sex to give them unfair advantages in most situations. Men are not struggling, largely living in poverty. Men are not reduced to their genitals and routinely treated as second class citizens. No, men are like a fine bottle of wine, only growing in value as they age. The what about the men question, keeps becoming an issue simply because men do not want to give up their male privileges. Equality would mean work, and that is something that they are not used to. It is much easier to act in the maintenance of inequality, than to stand against it. Equality would mean actually doing 50% of the housework, child care and elder care. That is right, taking care of the house means more than washing the car on Saturday and sitting on the driving lawn mower while you sip away at a beer. It means learning how to speak without invoking male privilege constantly. No more, calling women sluts, bitches, whores and cunts. It further means the unequivocal end of all violence against women. No more taking out your rage on your wife’s body. No more raping, while blaming the victim. Equality means owning every single act of misogyny and hatred, and pledging never again to violate women. The men that enter womens spaces do not seek to learn, or improve the lives of anyone other than themselves when they ask the question what about the men. They are trying to assert patriarchal privilege by insisting that the conversation revolves around them. God forbid, that women have some small corner of the earth where they can gather and seek shelter from the cruelties that patriarchy subjects us to on a daily basis. So in answer to the question what about the men, I respond you have the blood of women, we have been buried alive, set on fire, beaten, raped, denied equal wages and forced to become slaves to our biology, what else could you possibly demand of us?