Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Equal Rights for Men

Equal Rights for Men ( source )

by Jodi Kasten

There are many, many ways I can think of that women are not yet equal to men. We still only make a fraction of what men do on a per-dollar basis. (76 cents I believe?) We are not allowed into full combat in the military. We are judged on our ability to be mothers and housekeepers before our ability to do our jobs. All of that is real and I am the last person to say there aren’t a million other reasons that women have not yet attained equal status with men.

However, I have a bone to pick with my female counterparts. Feminism is all about each woman having the right to choose her own path. We should be allowed to do whatever we want in this life and not be judged by society’s arbitrary sex roles, right? Absolutely.

What about men? Do they enjoy this right?

Some examples:

Bob and Jane are a middle class couple. They have two children. They get an amicable divorce. There is a custody hearing. Both of them are good parents. Both of them want to be the primary custody holder. Who gets the children? Seriously, every single time, unless Jane lights up a crack pipe in the courtroom she will get physical custody. Bob is expected by society to be happy with every other weekend and two weeks in the summer. Don’t believe me? What would you think if you heard that a woman only saw her children every other weekend and a few holidays? I PROMISE you would think, “What did she do to lose her kids?” But, with men, that’s just the way it goes, right?

What message does it send to men about what sort of fathers they should be when it's made clear by the courts and their ex-wives that their most important contribution as fathers is a timely child support payment?

Even in less weightier arenas men lose out. If you drive by a house with a dying lawn, is your first thought about what a crappy homeowner the WOMAN is who lives there? Doubt it.

How about at work? Women can openly talk in the break room about the hot new guy in Receiving. What kind of pigs are the men who talk about the hot new manager who happens to be a woman? If a woman asks a male co-worker out on a date, the worst that can happen is rejection. For a man, the worst that can happen is the loss of his job and a sexual harassment suit. Is that gender equality?

Women can wander the world and hug every child they see without suspicion. If a woman gathers the neighborhood children together to organize a community garden, she’s a saint. If a man does it, people wonder if he’s a pedophile. Don’t believe me? Imagine you’re in a toy store and a woman shopping alone comments on what a beautiful little girl you have. You are pleased and flattered. You fill in the woman’s story in your head. She’s probably an overworked mother out to buy toys for a birthday or holiday. What about the middle-aged man wandering that same store alone? Wouldn’t it at least cross your mind that he could be a pervert? Of course it would.

It’s completely okay, even applauded, when female writers, comediennes, singers, song writers and talk show hosts make sweeping generalizations about ALL men being stupid, sex driven, lazy assholes. How do we feel about men who say that women are all crazy, hormonal, irrational, ditzy, frigid bitches?

Thousands of men in America today are routinely physically abused by women. What shelter do they show up at with their children and the clothes on their backs? What would it take to get you to believe that a six-foot-tall, 200 pound man is abused by his tiny little wife? But, every single one of us has seen a woman who could easily beat her husband’s ass being smacked around by a wiry little Napoleon-like man. What would you think of a man you heard say, “I am afraid of my wife?”

What a wussy, right?

I must say, I don’t know a single man, NOT ONE, who thinks I am a lesser person because I have a vagina. The men I know see women as mysterious, alluring and even holy. Men are now often the stay-at-home parent. Women have the option of being the sole breadwinner in a way they have never been allowed before in human history. I know my husband would do that for me in a second.

People want what they can’t have. Women are sent the message that any man will sleep with them because sex is all they think about. Sex makes them stupid, right? Men are told that women will “hold out on them.” We all want the unattainable, what we can’t have.

What would you think of a man who told a woman he would give her diamond jewelry if she had sex with him? How is that different than “holding out” on a man because he doesn’t give you jewelry? Or take out the garbage? Or mow the lawn? There should be no "price" on intimacy.

We will only have equal rights as women when we FULLY recognize that each person is a human being, regardless of sex, with the same wants, needs and feelings as everyone else. Sure, we’re hooked up differently. But, how can we expect to be treated equally as women when every man is characterized as Homer Simpson?

One final thought - I was clothes shopping with my almost-12-year-old daughter the other day. We saw t-shirts that said, “Girl Power!” – “Girls Rock!” – “Boys Suck!” – and my personal favorite “Boys Are Great, Every Girl Should Own One!”

I also have an almost-11-year-old boy. If he went to school with a shirt that said “Boy Power!” or “Girls Are Great, Every Boy Should Own One,” how long would he last? I guess it just goes without saying that boys can do anything, including staying silent while girls are brought up in a culture that has swung from female empowerment to male bashing.

I suppose all I really want to say here is that it is wrong to judge any sex as a whole. Men and women are individuals. We all begin as children and children do what is expected of them. If we expect men to be stupid, sex-crazed frat boys, many will comply. If we expect girls to think “Boys Suck,” they will comply.

We do NOT have to stand on the backs of men to get ahead.
We can go forward together.


ibeebarbie said...

Salam PH,
True indeed.

CAconservative said...

You really has some pretty telling comments about feminism, divorce and men's plight in general when it comes to the the equality of sexes, or lack of it in reality.

Millions of us dads have lost our kids in family court, even when months before we were good fathers to our kids and actively involved.

Men suffer, but children suffer the worst in the form of suicides, teenage pregnancies, drug use and other forms of personality disorders. We have tried over and over again to get equal custody laws passed, but NOW and domestic violence organizations spend tens of millions of dollars to keep men out of children's lives. I don't really care if feminist hate men.

I just don't understand why they hate children?

Mark Godbey

Romana said...

Hahaha, thanks PH for this good read and laugh!
It's interesting that "Equal Rights for Men" is written by a women!

PH said...

@ ibee :

I was just wondering where you had disappeared and checking your blog when you commented :P.

@ CAconservative :

Don't think they hate children; but generally speaking women think with their hearts not their heads.

@ romana :

Glad you got a laugh out of it; even though I don't know what made you laugh ?

"It's interesting that "Equal Rights for Men" is written by a women!"

It's called irony and their are a lot of male feminists who actively write for women rights. I've actually made a post in favor of women before myself ( I know can you imagine :P ).


Romana said...

you have a point, i should've written "fun" not "laugh" ; it was a fun article to read, it did make me laugh though, not in the hardi har har way, but as a reaction to
"unless Jane lights up a crack pipe in the courtroom she will get physical custody" or
"when female writers, comediennes, singers, song writers and talk show hosts make sweeping generalizations about ALL men being stupid, sex driven, lazy assholes. How do we feel about men who say that women are all crazy, hormonal, irrational, ditzy, frigid bitches?"

and there's much more, but just thought I'd show u what i meant :)

and mind my spelling mistake in "written by a women!"

proof read romana, proof read!

Unknown said...

Enjoyed it a lot.

A lot what said is true, and Tom Leykis Radio Show tells it all

Men love his show

PH said...

@ romana :

"it was a fun article to read"

Well there are at least another two that are similar to this one; which I think you'll enjoy ;).

"it did make me laugh though, not in the hardi har har way, but as a reaction"

Sorry, I got confused with your "Hahaha" I thought you were laughing your heart out :)).

"and mind my spelling mistake in "written by a women!" "

Got that the article helped :P.

"proof read romana, proof read!"

Well I feel your English has improved a lot or you've started writing more formally and less French :P.

@ Music Lover :

"Enjoyed it a lot."

Glad you did :). Interesting site you gave me some weird stuff, eh ?

here are some other sites you might like; but they are 18+ rated :

salaam all and enjoy.

Anonymous said...

It is rather interesting for me to read the blog. Thank you for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read more on that blog soon.

Catalyst said...

There is much trauma that is being healed in the relationship I have with my father. And I know that part of it is that he feels like he never "did right" by me. I spent six weeks a year with the man from the age of two until I was eight, and after that, every other weekend and two weeks in the summer. Whatever his other failings, he truly regrets the absence of me from his life. Because of my understanding of this I have been concentrating on the subject of equal rights and how they are applied within this society.

I worked for over a year in a place that was staffed only with woman, me being excepted. While my co-workers were generally balanced in their views on the sexes, I still felt as though I was constantly being scrutinized, as though they were all waiting for me to fall into the typical stereotypes promoted by commercials, sitcoms, and the like.

I am now in a place that is staffed entirely by men with one exception (5 people in each location, by the way). While everyone is quite respectful at the moment, there was much conversation before the woman was hired about having a "hot chick to bring in the customers" and judgmental remarks regarding the physical attributes of woman.

Though I understand that most of those moments were offhand, silly comments with no real bearing on a persons overall philosophy, I can also understand how overwhelming it can sometimes feel surrounded every day by members of the opposite sex.

I have thus spent much time considering equal rights and how we as a society understand the idea. But I find it difficult to pin down my ideas to paper, and so have left the topic alone, cringing watching the Best Buy commercial that assures people that "...guys are so easy..." and "Guys just want a nice big screen to stare at frozenly". It makes me despondent, really, to be constantly told that I am a simple, sex-driven animal and only a simple, sex-driven animal.

And then I read something like this, and I find hope once again.