BY: Reenita V
This one is not for the ladies. This one is written for the men… the men that we love and the men that love us. We ask that you to honor your love for us by helping to create a world where we can live without fear. We want you to protect us, not with a sword and shield but by looking inside yourself and emotionally fighting harder to be the kind of soldiers we need. We want you to address your misogyny and we want you to do it now.
To be misogynistic is to dislike us, to not see us as equals, to think we simply require you because we are not anything without a man. You might not even know that you are helping with the continuation of a misogynistic, sexiest world because the patriarchy is so ingrained our society. We do not need to learn these behaviours; they are simply a way of living. It might be hard to rip apart and learn everything that determines your manhood. Women are supposed to do this all the time; when we go from being a carefree child, to the savoury delectable of a man’s desire, growing and trying to find balance between beauty and brains, to being a mother, a lover, a wife. If feeble women can make these adjustments and learn and unlearn, then we know you men can do it too, probably better than we can.
Why do you need to understand that misogyny? The world we live in tell us that are not good enough but she can learn otherwise. Firstly, we need to understand that we are powerful, important, gifted and an equal and we need to learn that from you. In this patriarchal world, the dominant forces will tell us, show us, make us feel less than. Do you want to ignite the power within us, or do you simply want to take her out like the rest? We always need to know that you are our cheerleader and empathize that our fight is going to be harder, but we can fight and you know we will win.
How does one unpack and unlearn misogyny and sexism? It won’t be easy; you will have to confront the very gross realizations as to who you are and what you understand about being a man with a woman. While there is a mass amount of literature out there, which I do suggest you read (Bell Hooks Patriarchy is a fabulous start) I ask that you do some reflecting on how you engage with women. Ask yourself how you genuinely feel about women, perhaps the women who you are surrounded by daily. Do you see women on the street and whistle, cat call, sexualize her by staring at her body? Just remember that that women, isn’t just a stranger anymore, she is an individual who deserves respect and she always has been. But, when it comes to misogynistic, sexist ways, this stranger is actually just a stranger and she holds no real value to you except to be your object of gratification. Well, we need to start somewhere so let’s use sexism to understand sexism. Your loved one is not your property, you don’t own her and she is her own person; however, you need to understand the stranger as the reflection to your loved one, then let’s. That stranger isn’t your daughter, mother, wife, cousin, and friend and yeah, she might hold some of these relationships with others but that doesn’t really affect you. Well how about this, your loved one is someone else’s stranger. Let’s get deep, uncomfortable and honest, your actions towards this stranger or women you interact with is a reflection on you and how you really understand and view women.
If there was ever a time when we needed you most, it is now. We need you to dig deep and unlearn how you can make a real impact in our lives by taking out misogyny.