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


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.” 


Kidd & loish: “She had a horrible boss”


She had a horrible boss. He had, always, a harvest of spittle at the corners of his mouth, and it seemed to her that every particularly horrible man that she’d met in her life had coffee breath and this same sea foam at the edges of his lips. In addition to this chronic hygienic condition, this boss had ghost hands, which was worse even than the spittle. All day, she could feel his ghost hands on the back of her neck and the small of her back and, when she unthinkingly left them untucked from her desk, her kneecaps. As he caressed her invisibly, the boss would sit, legs spread, on the corner of her desk, instructing her condescendingly on how she could advance her career to reach the status that he had achieved, or else telling her about the many gifts he bought his wife. “Swarovski crystals,” he would say, as he ran his disembodied digits over her skin. “Tiffany bracelets. Trips to Hawaii, without the kids.”

She didn’t shudder and she didn’t say anything because she didn’t think HR would know how to deal with her boss projecting his phantom hands into her clothing.

On the day she quit her job, she got dressed and went to work as usual. The boss had fire in his eyes that day, because he’d heard a rumour that one of his rivals was going to be promoted. On her first fifteen minute break of the day, she went out and bought a scone with cream and strawberries on top, which she ate on the way back to her desk.

Going back to her daily tasks, she felt that one of the strawberries had fallen down her shirt and was sitting between her breasts, wet and heavy. She tried to look down her collar to see it, but her shirt was tightly buttoned and she couldn’t see anything at all. She continued to feel it, grainy and soft, as she went about her work. She plotted to go to the washroom as soon as she could. But when she got up to go, the boss blocked her way. He stood in her path, fat hands on wide hips, and started to say, “In business, keep your friends closer and your enemies closer,” and stopped, his spit spilling out, gurgling. She could see, in the soft cavity of his mouth, that his tongue was missing. She stopped and gasped as the strawberry in her bra worked its way down to her belly button.

“I think you have something of mine, sweetheart,” the boss said as he took a step closer, and she gagged as if it were her tongue that had gone wandering, and then the boss thundered, “my pen, where’s my pen,” and she ran out of the office, which she was never to see or hear from again save for a last cheque unceremoniously deposited in her account a week later. On the way home, she shook from relief at the feeling of having nothing but her own body in her shirt.

these words by Charlotte Joyce Kidd were inspired by the colour of loish