Entitlement and liberation

First, thank you to everyone who has reached out to me in the last couple days.  I’m alright, we were at home when the shooting happened, all of my family and friends are alright.

I received this comment on my last post.

Thanks for this excellent reply.

I think many men -myself included- thought: “So women got the right to vote, the right to have a career, even the right to join the military. And what did we get?

I honestly feel jealous at women for being able to behave both feminine and masculine and being accepted both ways, while men aren’t.

And that’s the reason why many men have chosen toxic hypermasculinity. For women there was a clear idea or direction, what they should become i.e. pursuing the same career paths and hobbies as men did. Men on the other hand lacked a new direction and felt confused and insecure about their identity, so they chose the path of “masculinity at all costs” which gave them a clear cut direction or ideal, even though it had some pretty negative consequences.

Feminists have made a mistake, when they believed, they could just improve womens position completely isolated from men and then neglect mens issues within the patriarchy.

So this begs the question: “What’s the alternative for men?”

I thought maybe it’s time for some sort of “mens liberation” from the outdated ideas of what it means to be a men.

But as for the “How?”, I can only think of two things, where men and society as a whole could work on:

1. Working on mens ability to express and deal with their emotions.

This would be one of the most important points and ease a lot of mens issues, like suicide and violent crime.

2. Improving mens ability to be a father.

However currently the laws on paternity and divorce, as well as the working conditions in many parts of the western world aren’t exactly encouraging men to be a father and spend more time with their children.

What do you think?

Sincerely,

Ambidexter.

I can totally understand where you’re coming from, and agree with most of what you’ve said. But quick thing…

I think many men -myself included- thought: “So women got the right to vote, the right to have a career, even the right to join the military. And what did we get?”

Um, literally all of that?

Why do you think you’re entitled to something for finally treating other human beings as huiman beings?  You don’t deserve a cookie for allowing other humans to be equal to you.

You say we got those rights like we should be grateful.  Like it’s something special to be allowed to vote or serve our country.

… even the right to join the military.

Ho… ly… shit, dude.  That is so not the way to endear yourself to women.

No, we are not grateful for these rights that should have been ours from the dawn of time.  We’re resentful that men of past generations denied them to us for so long.  And we’re pissed that we’re still having to fight for it.

And here’s the thing about men being accepted for expressing themselves in both ways.  I get that you resent that women can do it.  I’d resent it too, if I was a guy.

I mentioned Bill Burr, how he resented women for it.

But ask yourself what’s stopping you from feminine or sensitive behaviors?  Think about that for a minute.  Honestly, what’s stopping you from having the same freedom women do?

Literally nothing but your fear of being made fun of.  That’s fucking it.

No I’m serious, I want you to take a minute and let that sink in.  The only thing stopping Bill Burr in his routine was he was worried about what his friends would think.  He was literally saying that his friends’ opinions were more important than his own mental and physical health.  That the reason men drop dead at 55 is because they’re that worried about what other people think of them.

I’m serious, take a minute and just let that sink in.

Women don’t and didn’t have that same fear.  When women were ridiculed and ostracized, by both men and other women, for things like wearing pants, getting a job, or divorcing an abusive husband, they didn’t care.  Their position of powerlessness conditioned them with the strength to stand up for themselves, despite what society thought of them.

Men as a whole have never had that same struggle.  They’ve never had to fight to be heard, they’ve never had to work to be seen as human.  So they’ve never developed that specific kind of courage.

And you’re right, feminists don’t focus on men’s issues often (although it’s interesting to see reactions on social media when stories of men or boys being raped by women break.  It’s primarily feminists who speak out in support of the victim, while the majority of male commenters say he should’ve enjoyed it. Also, when I posted about female on male abuse, it was exclusively men who argued with me, saying that female on male abuse is impossible, and I’m trivializing female abuse victims).

But here’s the thing: it’s feminism. You don’t get angry at the ASPCA for not doing enough to end world hunger.  You don’t blame the Salvation Army for not doing anything about global warming.

Feminism focuses on feminist issues.  Just like Black Lives Matter focuses on issues that black people face in this country.  And Pinktober, as fucking stupid as it is, focuses on breast cancer.

Does that mean that men have no problems?  Of course not, and I’ve detailed on this blog a number of problems men face that I could never imagine.  Toxic masculinity, lack of resources and support available to male abuse and sexual assault victims, and general attitudes toward men, and the steps they have to take to avoid being seen as a threat are specific examples I’ve spoken about in the last year or so.

That’s a significant problem with the masculinist and feminist crowds.  They’re locked in this battle of who has it worse, and resent each other to the point that trying to make any kind of forward progress on either side is almost impossible.

But they are not mutually exclusive.  I’m a feminist and a masculinist.  Lots of people are.  I think most sane people are.

But expecting feminists to work on men’s issues is unrealistic.  That means I need to bombard Men’s Movement and the National Coalition for Men with hate mail because they’ve done nothing to help women gain affordable access to birth control.

This entitlement that some people feel is genuinely harmful.  I would like to reiterate: women owe men nothing for the rights we have as human beings and as American citizens.  Literally nothing.

We should have always had them.  The fact that we had to fight for them at all really doesn’t paint the male gender in a fantastic light.

Men of the past were fucking idiots and small-minded assholes with tiny egos and were intimidated by women.  You don’t get an award for not being a dick.  It’s just kind of expected.

Just like white people didn’t deserve an award for freeing slaves.  And the fact that so many white people were so against freeing them, they started a war and  were willing to kill American citizens for it, really doesn’t paint us in a fantastic light.

The ones who owned slaves were straight up assholes.  No one gets a cookie for not being an asshole.  My mom’s family is from the south.  My ancestors owned slaves (and on my dad’s side, my grandmother’s first husband was a Nazi.  Fabulous family history).  Do I deserve a medal because I’m not a racist fucktard like my direct ancestors?

No.  It’s just kind of expected of me as a human being.

Also, why does improving women’s position within society (you know, to the point that they are seen as human) threaten men?  Why do we need to compensate men for having basic human rights?  I’m honestly asking, I want to know.  What is it, exactly, that you think we owe you?

As for your question about men’s liberation and encouraging positive relationships with their emotions, I 100% agree with you.  Luckily, things are slowly changing, but it’s still widely looked down on for a man to show any emotion outside of anger.  Men aren’t encouraged to experience and process their emotions.  They’re not encouraged to seek professional help when they need it.

Which is why things like depression go undiagnosed and untreated, and result in men committing suicide three times more than women.

It’s tragic, but the more we talk about it, the more we pound it into people’s heads that men are human, with human brains and human emotions, and they need healthy emotional outlets, because that’s how human brains work, the more society will continue to shift to be more accepting of that.

And ugh, don’t get me started on how badly fathers are shafted when it comes to parental law.  We had our own little minor run-in with that when the spawn was born.

Kazander and I weren’t married.  In the state of Nevada, if the parents are not married, the father must waive his right to a paternity test in order to be acknowledged as the father on the birth certificate.

Naturally, when I found this out, I lost my shit.

Like, are you fucking serious?

So in order for a father to get his parental rights, he has to sign away one of his parental rights.

Kazander actually wasn’t as pissed about it as I was.  He signed the paper, he was put on her birth certificate as her father, and life went on.  And in the big scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.  She’s his kid, beyond a shadow of a doubt.  It was just the principle of the thing, you know?  If I was a guy, and a father, I’d be furious.

That’s a much harder thing to fix than men’s acceptable range of gender expression.  All a guy has to do for gender expression is tell his friends to fuck off.  Fathers’ rights and the way they’re fucked by the legal system doesn’t have a simple answer like that.

Because the reason it got this way in the first place is because child-rearing was traditionally seen as a mother’s job, and men didn’t (and often still don’t) participate much in their kids’ lives.

To quote my daughter when she was… 4, I think, “Daddies don’t keep babies company.  Daddies go to work.  It’s the mommy’s job to keep the baby company.”

Naturally, after this, Kazander and I had a long conversation about how he needs to act once he gets home, and how he needs to play a bigger role in her life.  Because I’ll be damned if she’s going to grow up thinking that’s what a father is.

For the longest time, though, that was the norm.  Fathers just didn’t participate in kids’ lives.

So when the parents split, is the court going to give the kids to an absentee parent who supports them financially, or are they going to give the kids to the more present parent and demand that the father still support them financially?

The answer is an obvious one, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right one.  We need to continue changing the way men see fatherhood.  And it’s slowly happening.  Go on Facebook or YouTube and you see tons of adorable viral videos of fathers and their young children.  There’s some good momentum there, but we need to keep it going for a long time before we start seeing changes in the legal system.

Because as men’s rights groups and society as a whole continue to encourage men to take a more active role as fathers, I think it will begin to change the way courts see fathers, as well.

So I think that men are going to continue gaining more and more freedom as time goes on, but we can’t be afraid of talking about it.  And we can’t allow resentment or an “us versus them” mentality to take root.  Men and women are not enemies; feminists and masculinists are not enemies.  We’re simply attacking the same problem from different angles.  And the sooner we can stop competing with one another and start working together, the faster progress will be.

I think the best thing men can do right now, something they can implement in their lives today, that will help combat toxic masculinity, is to simply push themselves to show just a little sensitivity or vulnerability every day.  It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just step a toe out of that comfort zone.

Just one thing a day.  Say the puppy on the street is adorable.  When your coworker gets flowers from her boyfriend, say they look nice.  Tell people that you loved that new sappy romantic movie that came out.  Acknowledge a cloud that looks like a bunny.  I don’t care, something.

And what’ll happen is that, over time, it’ll condition men to develop a better relationship with their own masculinity.  They won’t feel their masculinity threatened by femininity or vulnerability or emotion.

And as a side effect, things like sensitivity and vulnerability will stop being gender-specific traits (they never should have been gender-specific traits in the first place, because again, humans literally don’t work that way).  So men will begin to feel more comfortable and secure in their masculinity, and won’t constantly feel the need to prove how manly they are.

Which will make them happier and healthier all the way around.

3 thoughts on “Entitlement and liberation

  1. Joshua says:

    Screw that I am not stepping out of my big fluffy comfort zone 😁

  2. Joshua says:

    Well in all seriousness I have never really been one to try to prove my masculinity. I have never felt the need to prove it to other males or other women. In my opinion all that matters is to me is how i feel about myself and what my wife thinks. I mean if she wants to paint my toe nails i let her. Who cares what my friends think. ERRM i just can not let her do my finger nails. It would get me in trouble at work. Other wise i do not care!
    GREAT READ

  3. Ambidexter says:

    I hate to admit it, but when I read the parts where you contradicted me, I realized how stupid my opinions were.
    You’re right, men are not entitled to anything special for not being sexist assholes and women owe them nothing for that.
    In the end, only men themselves can achieve acceptance for stepping outside of their assigned gender role, by simply doing that. It is something that has to be gained and can’t be given.

    The military used to be THE bastion of masculinity, where boys became men, isolated from any female influence. And that made a lot of sense back in the bad old days, when infant mortality was high, wars were common and almost every soldier could expect to see combat, which was always physically demanding. Today however most soldiers serve in non-combat roles, militaries don’t require the masses of cannonfodder and women don’t have to give birth to five children to see one reach adulthood.

    And that’s the cause for so many problems in modern society:
    Ideas and attitudes that USED to make a lot of sense two centuries ago and for millenia before that, but don’t anymore.

    Speaking of which, since you’re interested in anthropology, I highly recommend you to read
    “Sex and War – How Biology explains Warfare and Terrorism and offers a Path to a safer World” by Malcolm Potts and Thomas Hayden.
    It explains a lot of the evolutionary background of human behavior.

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