Dear Men: You Can’t Opt Out of Patriarchy by Derailing Her Post

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Bro: you gotta stop.

No yes buts or but not all – just stop.

Some posts are not open for debate.

Yes –  breathe: some things are not debatable.

Some posts are shared to simply call out bullshit.

Some are shared to release pent up things that destroy mental health.

Some are shared because violence is contingent on secrecy and omission.

Don’t comment yet – acknowledge that some posts do not require your input.

Breathe, brother!

What the fuck am I talking about?

When you comment on a post shared by a woman about how women are not believed when they say they have been attacked to say that well men are not always violent, it’s more than ironic that you’re trying to discredit a woman who says the discrediting of sexual assault claims reinforces the frequency of violence against women through its normalisation: it’s gutless.

Where the fuck do I get off?

I am a man. I feel entitled to talk about anything.

Seriously: violence against women is the disproportionate responsibility of men to resolve, and this is why men need to prevent each other from derailing women’s solidarity movements in order to make ourselves feel better.

WTF why is it my disproportionate responsibility?

Violence against women is disproportionately committed by men and patriarchal systems benefit men – whether or not individual men invented the system. 

We play the game on an easier level than women, and this easy level is drawn from the fact that they play on expert level. 

What the fuck are you saying?

If you live in a system whose insecurity requires body counts to show it is working, someone’s bodies will be targeted, and, in terms of gender, they are not ours. 

When was the last time that you were attacked because you were a man?  

How does this relate to anything?

A woman who is traumatized by being attacked releases the truth about her attack (with all of the stigma that will now be associated to her; which is why so few women expose sexual attacks) and you choose to remind her that even her friends are going to join in on discrediting her, revealing  your support for systemic violence against women while you are tasked to dismantle it. 

The least you could do is not derail the anti-violent labour that you aren’t doing. 

Your choice to question the validity of sexual assault survivors says that attempting to exonerate yourself from being associated with violent men overrules the health of women’s bodies.

This choice is more than gutless: it is violent.

Instead of using up a reserve of guilt to make sure that you are not associated with other men (impossible because you’re benefiting from the violence just as I am; easy level), use it to hold violent men accountable.

Use your passion to instead investigate why rape is so normal.

Investigate why the pervasiveness of rape means that rapists are the students sitting beside you and the teachers at the front of the room and the bus drivers and cousins and customer service folk and your best friends, and what this pervasiveness says about the strength of the influences that socialize us to become violent with women.

Or do anything that serves to dismantle patriarchal violence.

If your goal is to stop violence, break down the influences that prompt men to rape.

If your goal is to stop violence, and you discredit victims while ignoring the existence of the attacker, you’re being inconsistent.

That’s not how murderers are held accountable.

Bro: be consistent.

Do anything before outing yourself as part of the problem.

Comment support or do not comment anything at all.

 

colour of Raphael Varona

From the author: “I wrote this after seeing male reactions to women’s sharing after the verdict of serial abuser Jian Gomeshi. Guilt of being associated with this violent man seems to have prompted guys to question women about the seriousness of their experiences of sexual assault, derailing posts of solidarity, placing their attempts for exoneration over the health of female bodies around them – although patriarchy is not something men can simply opt out of.

Men were similarly commenting on posts that were made out of solidarity as though to ask that these women educate them about sexual violence, presuming that women exist to volunteer their time to make men less violent. Men are instead responsible to educate one another to reduce violence, and this type of commenting represents the disparity of emotional labour in Canada.” 

 

Author: Word and Colour

words inspired by colour wordandcolour.com