Imagine this: the women are in a state of rebellion. Walls are being raised, the men are being herded into groups and sorted based on the severity of their transgressions. The Reckoning we’ve all been waiting for is here. Judgement day has arrived.
In reality, it’s the end of 2017 and men are shaking in their boots. My father reminds me weekly to be safe because he knows I go out alone a lot, the man who hands me my coffee through the drive-thru window calls me “sweetheart”, and for a moment there’s uncertainty in his eyes. Am I being harassed? Is he responsible for violating a personal boundary that he’s not aware of? If I’m offended by his unfortunate terminology, will anyone believe him when he says it wasn’t intentional?
Unfortunately at this time, men are quite literally unbelievable. It’s important to recognize that this isn’t because the female population is hell bent on overturning the patriarchy anymore, and strategizing by calling every man a liar. It’s because we’ve decided that enough is enough. We’ve decided that it’s high time the rest of society starts to value consent as much as we do, and to hold responsible anyone who doesn’t.
So how will we do it? How will we make it safe for men to walk outside without fear of persecution? How will we make the matriarchy great again?
It’s simple. Compliment a woman without crossing a line, and be okay when the interest isn’t reciprocated. Start there.
If you’re looking for more intense ways to apologize for the patriarchy that came before you, don’t fret! There’s more!
For the love of God, stop making rape jokes. They’re not funny, they’ve never been funny and it’s horrifying that a large part of the world’s population lives in real, constant fear of it happening to them.
Listen to us. Feminism is a movement based largely on our own (female) experiences, so when we speak up, know that what we’re saying means something.
Women aren’t some weak-minded, overly sensitive enigma. Yes, for about four days a month we’re emotionally vulnerable, ice-cream eating machines. There’s twenty seven more days in a month that we aren’t held captive by our hormones, so odds are that if within that (large) window of time you’ve offended us, try apologizing instead of brushing it off with the casual indifference we all know and hate. It’s okay that we’re offended by a man (or anyone else) calling us derogatory names or offering up unsolicited advice, and no we don’t hold all men responsible for that time in the tenth grade that a guy called us a slut because his mother lectured him on promiscuity and impropriety and he took it upon himself to police our bodies so leave your unnecessary baggage at the door. What we want from men is what we’ve always wanted; to be treated as equals. To be respected. To be revered. To be taken seriously when we raise our voices at inequality or hate.
There is no room in the new year, or the new world, for misogyny and appropriation of the feminist movement. Get over your fear of false accusations, get over your fear of a woman making you feel belittled, and get over your fear of a woman being better at something than you are. We still need you, we still want you, and you’re still the big strong guy we’ll probably call to hang a shelf.
Let Weinstein, Franken, C.K and Cosby be a warning to every employer, friend, family member or random stranger on the street who raises their voice or a hand. The women are coming for you, and it’s not with pitchforks or torches but with raised voices and millions who are listening.