My friend sent me this post. And really, I am ashamed to say I rolled my eyes. Not because I do not believe that men can be oppressed but because this particular friend has been trying to prove to me that the media and ‘feminazis’ were incessantly trying to destroy the men of the world.
We are both media students and so I am ashamed to see a peer, someone I have known for quite a long while, try to discourage me from being a feminist.
As a feminist, I believe in equality for both sexes. Men should be allowed to do things women do too! But the title saying these ‘Double Standards’ are ‘extremely unfair’ suggests that women are not also going through very similar plights.
After reading the post, I summarized a few points:
1. Self defense
There are many places for men to learn martial arts. Especially since, martial arts, socially, is considered a ‘men’ sport. The reason why Martial Arts places try to advertise to ‘Women’ is because many women would feel more comfortable training amongst other women.
What’s more, I did a cursory Google search and the whole of the first page was of Martial Arts classes that are – get this! – not exclusive to women.
2. Sexually harassed/assault not recognized
While I agree that on a societal level, men are believed to not be able to be raped or sexually assaulted, I disagree that ‘no one’ believes it. While there has been a ‘feminization of victimization’, many females are just as shamed and just as faced with disbelief when they report rapes and assault. The author of the article cited someone in the office being inappropriate with him, and yet, if a female staff member were to have accused the colleague of something similar, she would have been labelled a ‘slut’, men are said to have ‘gotten lucky’. Both are unfair, to both sexes.
I love men with nice hair. I love men who care about their hair. If a woman puts on a wig, everyone laughs. If a man puts on a wig, everyone laughs.
With the rise of men hair trends (I wrote an article on it), I do not see how men are mocked for their hair. In fact, the common trope is of a wife telling her man to ‘take care of himself’ isn’t it?
4. Having emotions – Being nice to children and friends
Responsibility is attractive and so is kindness. Being kind to a child does not make you a paedophile. I do not know who makes that match. Women actually find that men who are loving and good with kids are more attractive! (and here)
5. Dating standards
The article cites examples of men saying they are treated unfairly because they are not allowed to dump someone because she is overweight when women can dump men because of his height. Who exactly disallows them…?
That said, I have an affinity for tall men and I am not ashamed to say it, just as men are allowed to have preferences for the physical aspects of their potential partner. But therein lay the dilemma: Potential partner. If a man dumps his already fat girlfriend because she is fat, that is unfair. In the same vein, if I were dating a short man, and dumped him because he was short, I would receive just about the same amount of backlash. This is not about gender. This is about a promise.
And of course, your tone. I do not call short men stunted dwarves (?), so you don’t go calling a fat girl a beached whale. Let’s all be polite.
6. Extravagant cars
Oh come on. Men are called ‘extravagant’ for having nice cars? Men are pat on the shoulder for getting a shiny new car. Women are encouraged to switch it out for a ‘safer’ model.
7. Media portrayal
Yes men are objectified. Yes, so are women. Yes. Neither is right. Hence – not ‘extremely unfair’ to men.
8. Sex toys
9. Dress codes
Dress codes for women are strict in many institutions, including schools. I’m sure all of you have seen the articles and campaigns about girls not being allowed to show their shoulders in fear of distracting boys. In the office, men have a few things they can choose from (which as a female, I would prefer) while females go through the dilemma of – is this appropriate? About the sandals specifically, in my office, women are not allowed to wear flip flops either. You’re not going to the beach.
Here are a few thing I contend to:
1. Bad parents
Studies have shown that men’s careers are not injured by starting a family. Women’s are. Men who are able to balance both a family and a great job are considered ‘Family Men’, women are encouraged to ‘Pick one’. Society’s walls are crumbling and studies are popping up to say that Men are wired for parenthood. This is a fight to be won.
Women are charged less for car insurance, when they are younger, because their accidents tend to be less severe. Bumps and scratches. Whereas, men statistically get into worse accidents, which cost the insurance companies more money – hence the higher premiums. That said, as we age, women actually start paying higher premiums than men. Although I believe that the difference is usually paid back, I do agree that all insurance policies should be fair to the individual as a general classification would be unfair to both genders.