I’m afraid that I need to read more substantiation when I encounter terms such as “systemic fuckery.” I mean, I try not to be ignorant, but since identifying the problem is the first step to solving it, I’ll need clarifications.
I mean, I can understand that people — be they male or female — want things, but I don’t understand the complaint that “no one asks what women want.”
Please kindly correct me if I’m wrong, fill me in on my male ignorance, but… are women really waiting to be asked that question in the first place? If we’re talking about personal desire, doesn’t that come from the inside and then expressed to the world? What’s keeping women — white women in particular — from imbibing the “you-do-you” attitude?
I am aware of societal impositions on women, such as laws against abortion, standards of beauty that make women spend on make-up and diet pills (as opposed to men who don’t have to spend on such things), motherhood not being given appropriate economic value, but, in the songs cited, they’re about the pain of heartbreak or the pain of existence — pains that are not exclusive to white women.
In fact, pain, in the most basic sense, is something that we all know and share in common as human beings. Experience of our own pain helps us relate to the pain of others and work towards its relief.
I’ll share a brief story about my own experience of pain. As a young gay man in high school, I hated myself for not being straight. My mother was worried that I’d go to hell. My father practically disowned me. I thought I’ll never find love, I’ll never get married, and I’ll die miserable and alone. I had nights when my brain just kept on wallowing in self-pity and didn’t let me sleep. I entertained thoughts of suicide.
But, I had tons of gay friends with whom I played volleyball with almost every day, my straight classmates respected me and were my friends, too (i.e., I was never bullied), I had a Jesuit guidance counselor who drilled it into my head that God loves me no matter what, and I felt my family’s love for me (sans Dad at the time). My point is, I had a support system that was way stronger than the pain.
So, I may be committing the crime of oversimplification when I say that one must get out from under the thumb of “systemic fuckery” and find shelter in a support system. Perhaps even radically transform the former into the latter. But first, guys like me need to understand better what the fuckery is in the first place in order for us to become part of the solution.