Dear Men

I’m gonna need your full, wait listen, I said your full, don’t interrupt me, can you just, hold on, I was talking, are you still there, like 3 minutes, this is important, CAN YOU PLEASE JUST LISTEN TO ME FOR A GOD DAMNED SECOND?!?!?!?!?!?!

Thanks.

You need to know a few things. Starting with, it’s not my job to help you understand feminism. It’s not my job to make you care. It’s not my job to explain why it’s just harder for a woman. That’s all on you.

Next, stop saying that you’re one of the good guys. That you treat both men and women the same. You do not. It’s so subconscious and ingrained in everything you do, that you don’t see it. Don’t make me cite research here, I’m too tired. You witness women being treated as the lessor gender on every TV show you watch, in every Hollywood film, at every male-dominated sporting event, in every executive level business meeting you attend. Honestly, it’s happening in like 80% of the conversations you have each day.

So here’s the ask: let us women point out sexism to you when it happens, in real-time. Let us shine a light on it so you can see it clearly. Let us say “Did you hear what you just said? Do you wanna think about how that’s sexist?” Or “Your tone of voice sounds condescending to me. It may be unintentional on your part, but I need to point out how you’re coming across”. Just let us make our point, and be humble when we do. Simply hear us and acknowledge our point of view.

And please try to understand that we do not have to acknowledge your POV in these situations. There’s no need for these instances to turn into arguments. Because guess what? Your point of view is already acknowledged, it’s assumed. As the non-oppressed person in the conversation, your point of view is the baseline, the starting point. So there’s no need to argue for it, no need to share your own story. Your point automatically wins. WE are the ones fighting to be heard. So please listen.

Finally, If you think choosing complacency is the neutral position to take on this, you are wrong. Doing nothing is the same as supporting misogyny. Staying silent says you support our current culture, and worse, throws away your privilege. Use that privilege to create change. You have that power, we don’t, so please use it. If that sounds vague and complicated, I’ll give you this: the best place to start is to simply become aware that it’s on you to listen to women, support women as we struggle for equality, and insist that other men do the same.

No go out there and be a good human.


Originally published at whatskpthinking.com on October 19, 2017.