@men: look at why you criticize women and what characteristics you hold in contempt. do you hold the same standards for men? think hard. realize how women’s emotions have been pathologized. realize how “hysteria” has been turned into a weapon.
do you call other men out? your friends? when you say, “ugh men are awful!” to your femme friends experiencing harassment, what does that mean? are you collecting the garbage or are you distancing yourself from it?
do you consider yourself a male feminist? why? are you hyper critical of other women’s activism because it’s short sighted or not intersectional or because you need a way to still hate women while not getting the heat for it because, hey, you shared that jezebel article. do you think you’re one of the good ones? what is a”good one”? you’ve never catcalled someone, personally I know you haven’t. you haven’t hit your girlfriend. of course. you did chastise her for overreacting though, didn’t you? you did make snide remarks about that other woman’s weight, her sex life, her pronouns or opinions or her big mouth. But it’s okay, she wasn’t one of the good ones. Her feminism was wrong, it was too much, it wasn’t focused on the real issues. And you should know, you’re a man.
do you expect women and femmes to detail to you WHY what was done was wrong and outline how you’re supposed to proceed? do you expect a woman/femme who’s interested in social issues (which you have the privilege of not being interested in, btw) to always be down to talk about it? unprompted? do you expect them to always respond calmly and ready to educate you? why? do you compensate them for their time and labor? do you think emotional labor can be easily quantified and it always quantifies to a lower value than other labor? do you research on your own? do you read the words of women, of trans women and Black women and queer and disabled and Native and marginalized women? do you lift those women up? do you pretend like you came to the conclusions you came to all on your own?
how many times do you need to be called out for it to be corrected? do you consider that things you may enjoy, things you’ve always enjoyed, things that are a part of your life may need to be examined? more than examined, but taken apart. disassembled to their core, have each piece examined and put back together. or not. are you afraid you can’t put it all back together without some parts?
think hard and never stop doing better. your best is all you can give, it’s all any of us can give, but one’s best isn’t a fixed point. You have infinite potential and the only way to access it is to question and push and pull and dissect and reimagine and reinvent and change. you have the power to uplift, to shift fundamentally. but you must push and keep pushing, keep thinking and challenging and never, ever stop listening with an open mind.