So I’ve heard a few guys who I’m trying not to judge too harshly say “I love women, I treat them with respect. Why do I have to bear the sins of my brethren.” This post is directed toward them:
- You are not being asked to bear the sins of anyone. No one is saying you are a rapist. People are saying that there /are/ rapists, and there are reasons for that and we should work to decrease the amount of sexual assaults. Is that your responsibility? I mean, I dunno, I guess if you’d rather spend your time doing something else that’s fine. But, like, don’t be surprised if someone asks you to do things or act in a way that will decrease sexual violence because that’s something you also want.
- Whether or not I have entirely embodied equality and mutual respect with women in my life, society as a whole has not. There are people who believe that a woman’s place is in the kitchen. There are people who believe that women exist to be pretty. There are people who believe that they deserve sex in return for being nice. Men do hold the vast majority of positions of power in America. All women deal with misogyny. All women deal with sexual assault. This is a societal problem that needs a societal solution.
Not all men are rapists, but all men /are/ privileged. The fact that women must be constantly wary of sexual violence while men don’t should be enough for us all to accept that.
So, do those of us with this privilege choose to use that power we have to maintain our power? Or do we use it to decrease the amount of violence and increase the amount of equality? That’s really the question.
And for some people who are still disenfranchised or insecure despite this one source of privilege (quite possibly because they have other factors that society is prejudiced against that made life difficult for them), yeah, that can be a hard thing to do. But it is not the /wrong/ thing to do…you can’t say that.