This video sums up my thoughts on men.
This made me mad. I’ll explain why.
This person describes herself as a trans-woman. She has chosen not to be a man; decided that she does not fit this mold. And so she’s not. She must be aware of the ephemeral nature of gender and the fact that we may redefine or change our gender rather than letting it change us. And yet she condemns everyone who identifies as a man; treats them as a single unit. The hypocrisy of recognising the changeable nature of gender and then condemning “men” as a whole is staggering.
She claims that her hatred of men is “impotent.” This is a fundamentally flawed outlook. It requires one to look at the world and say “the ripples created by my actions will not reach me again. Therefore they don’t exist.” Yes. The world is slanted against women. Yes. It is harder for women to make a difference. Yes. You may not see an affect in your life. But someday, someone will look at you with such respect that what you say will become what they believe. This will happen, at some point, to all of us, whether we realise it or not. Do you think your roll model when you were small new they were your roll model? Probably not. Someday the person who respected you will, in turn be respected, perhaps by one person, perhaps by two or three or more. And the ripples will spread. Do you think misogyny rose up over night? It was created by generations of unthinking ignorance and hate. Generation of teaching through action and word. The ripples spread and some day they come back. They build as they go. The more people who are exposed to hate the more chances it has to take root. In this way, what we think will determine what tomorrow is. We are, all of us, teachers, one way or another, and we are building the future.
The other way in which the “impotence” idea is flawed is that is assumes that this opinion will be taken only as an opinion, not as an emotional reaction. It is both. It is an opinion that makes logical sense to this person, but it is also an instance of hatred; and no idea exists in a vacuum. Emotion creates emotion. Kindness will often get kindness. And hate will often make more hate. Again, it is true that a majority of gender-based hate is directed at women, but we are not children on a playground trying to figure out who started it. We are trying to end it. The people who change the world are the ones who seek solutions to a problem rather than pointing fingers. The goal should not be to reverse hate, it should be to erase it; to be accepting of everyone, and to teach everyone to do the same.
The whole middle section of the video is devoted to stories about people who come to the book store where this woman works. She talks about how annoying they are. Some of them seem genuinely sexist (and racist), some seem annoying and some (without actually knowing there approach and tone in the described conversations) seem normal, albeit a little frustrating. She attributes all of these things to their gender. The idea seems to be that entitlement is a purely male trait. This is, of course, ludicrous. There are many things that can create a sense of entitlement, being a man in a male dominated society is only one.
At the end she tries to backpedal and say that she dosn’t hate all men. But then she says she does. But not you, if you’re a man watching this. Which brings me to the problem of gross generalization. The idea that you would say “I hate men” and then add that you don’t hate all men, just some, is terrible. Even if you do excuse people if they prove themselves, the fact that one gender has to prove themselves means that you will start off hating anyone in that gender who your immediate assessment deems “male” in the traditional sense. You are setting yourself up to hate people who don’t deserve it based on nothing more than gender and self presentation. Saying that you hate a whole group of people for the flaws of some of them means that you are hating some people for what they are rather than who they are; in a word prejudice. If you must hate, hate an individual or many individuals, but never transfer this to a group of people.
I want to make one more point in respect to emotion; the fact that the argument starts from a place of hate means that hate is the dominant emotion, like the main character in a story. It is the emotion that is presented and that means it is the emotion that people will take away from all of this. And hate begets hate. In writing this I have tried very hard to use language that dosn’t accuse the person, only the ideas, because this will get me heard. No one has ever said “I will listen calmly to the opinion of the person who has just said that they hate me.” No one ever.
I believe that we, as people conscious of the world’s problems, have a responsibility to fix them. We have a responsibility to our kids or our friends kids or our own old age or the old age of our friends who will outlive us. We have a responsibility and lashing out hatefully at people around us, and especially at large groups of people, will only make others hate us. And when that happens the message is disregarded, and the world changes for the worse. As satisfying as justified rage is it dosn’t make the world better.