Please note, while this piece was precipitated by couple of recent encounters, it is not directed at anyone individually (not at all and I cannot stress that enough). It is a piece that I have had brewing for a good long while, since I first wrote the words “but men tho” in response to a conversation that happened several months ago. It just so happened to crystallize before my eyes this morning but it has been a long time coming and is based on hundreds of conversations I have had and thousands of observations I have made over the past 4 years.
I don’t want anyone to take any offense at this personally because it’s just some stuff that I wanted to say for a while, that I got into the mood to say today, and is not a reaction to any particular person or encounter at all whatsoever.
Whenever I get into battle of the sexes stuff someone always comes along to say “but men tho”. Men have problems too, I am told, and I agree.
Men do have problems, and I only mean that slightly sarcastically.
Problems are like nipples. We all got em. But problems are also like nipples in that men’s and women’s nipples, despite the fact that both of us have them, are not the same, neither in form nor in function. Women’s nipples are bigger due to biology, and men respond to the sight of a bare chest differently than women do also because of biology. Women’s nipples do some pretty crazy shit while men’s sit their on their chests and look nonchalant. The biological differences between male and female nipples and the reactions to them have triggered/created cultural differences based on that difference in biology. (that’s why women in most cultures cover up our boobies and men don’t.)
Sometimes two different groups of people can both have a quality or a characteristic or a problem in common but there are undeniably differences in terms of severity, intensity, and/or how the characteristic/problem manifests. For example, both men and women can go bald, but you’d be a lunatic if you claimed that it was JUST AS BIG A PROBLEM FOR WOMEN AS IT IS MEN (if, in fact it is a problem for men, and let me just tell you as someone who doesn’t mind a chrome dome – it isn’t). My point is simply that more men go bald than women do, and that is simply a fact we all agree on because it hasn’t been all imbued with political insanity (yet).
By virtue of biology, women experience physical challenges that men do not face. Women are smaller, weaker, we are much more likely to experience autoimmune diseases and ailments of the reproductive organs, most of us have a period every month which affects our body in unique and oftentimes life-disrupting ways, most of us experience menopause, and we spent huge chunks of our life (like, way more time than you spent fixing up that 1968 ‘Stang, bro) propagating the human race. Having a kid, YOUR KID, requires 18 months of massive and undeniable biological transformation and sacrifice (it’s 18 months because the physical changes that come from pregnancy, not to mention lactation for those who choose to go that route, linger for the better part of a year after giving birth and you just ain’t right till at least 9 months after) and 18 years of life transformation and sacrifice as women do the lion’s share of the childrearing.
Undeniable. Inarguable. As different as a set of nips on a dude vs. Dolly Parton.
Then in addition to those massive physical and hormonal differences, there are also huge psychological differences that are also biological in nature but are a little more amorphous and arguable. But I think most of us would agree that not only are men and women shaped differently, we behave differently too, because we are all animals and in most of the animal kingdom the male and the female of the species don’t act the same. For some reason I do not understand, biologists and anthropologists can dispassionately and accurately rack up descriptions of sex-based differences all throughout the animal kingdom and yet when it comes to Homo Sapiens, with an entirely straight face mind you, be all like “no way man nu-uh men and women are exactly the same in every way and we act and think and feel exactly the same and we always have the same motives.”
I mean, come on. Are you even serious with that? And the answer is of course no, they are not serious people, at least not serious about garnering a deeper understanding of human nature. What they are serious about is destroying all of human civilization because they think they can build it back up again, better, by which I mean in this version of civilization they will be the one with the power.
The psychological differences between men and women is a hell of a huge ball of wax to get into first thing in the fucking morning even though I drank a LOT of coffee, so I’m going to cut some corners and sum it up this way: by dint of being the subject of men’s desire, women are subject TO men’s desire, and this carries with it challenges and threats that men don’t face, particularly given that men are like twice the size of us. I am the average height and weight for an American woman and yet my husband is a foot taller than me and weighs 100 lbs more. Not to mention there are not strangers lurking out there who potentially want to sexually harm him.
Can he possibly experience the world the way I do? Of course he can’t. He can walk across a dark parking lot whenever the fuck he wants to and never feel the slightest concern. This doesn’t make one of us less than human, it simply means we have different sets of experiences within the continuum of humanity. It has an effect on your psyche just like a guy who went to war will have a different set of experiences and a different psyche than a guy who simply played a lot of Call of Duty growing up. It may even be that when it comes to men and women, women have EVOLVED some psychological differences that helped them stay alive in a world full of dangers (because up until very recently, the world was a much more dangerous place than it is now, for women most of all). Beyond the effects of culture upon our psyche, women may have nipples of the mind in which we react to circumstances and stimuli in a different fashion than men do that are written right into our very DNA.
(I know, I know “women rape too, women abuse men too, hurr de durr”, can we ever be honest that it is by and large women who face this danger at the hands of men and that we should probably take that into consideration when designing the rules, regs, and customs of our society? I mean seriously, this is a CONSERVATIVE blog folks, leave the lying about human nature and pretending that black is white and up is down and social engineering based on utter stupidity and fake statistics and deceit to the fucking liberals, wouldya?? Don’t be all Steven Pinker in the streets and a men’s rights activist in the sheets, my conservative dudes.)
The only real genetic difference in all of humanity is our sex. Did you catch that? Want me to say it again? THE ONLY REAL GENETIC DIFFERENCE IN ALL OF HUMANITY IS OUR SEX. Black folks and white folks are genetically all but identical. Gay people and straight people are genetically all but identical. Christians and Muslims and atheists ARE genetically identical. Men and women are NOT genetically identical and the people who say that they are have political agendas. Men and women of all races have, in their freaking genome, 6500 known genetic differences AT LEAST and scientists are discovering more every day.
Men and women are NOT THE SAME on a genetic level and that difference in genes has consequences for human behavior and culture that spread from that truth like ripples on the water. You know it men, and I know it, and everyone knows it deep down inside even the people who have to pretend to believe in fantasies because their political movement has gone so far off the track that it left reality far far behind.
So don’t give me your “but men tho” shit and call yourself a conservative because conservatives are supposed to be about NOT denying reality so you can remake society in a way you imagine would be better. Being a conservative is about ACCEPTING reality and understanding that people are a thing like dogs and cats and ducks and wombats, and then setting up societies based on that reality. Pretending that every problem a woman faces is ACHTUALLY experienced by men too just as much is not only fucking bullshit, but it isn’t even fucking conservative because it denies biological reality.
Right now, women’s rights are under assault. Not only in the traditional ways, but in a new insidious way as men dressed in women’s clothes who are sexually stimulated by doing that, try to lay claim to women’s private and safe spaces by PRETENDING TO BE US and then forcing us to pretend not to notice or else we’ll be in big trouble. In the meantime, other men impart messages to young women experiencing mental health challenges, at their most vulnerable stage of development, that being a woman is so wrong and so unpleasant, and they are so flawed and inferior in every way they should erase their femininity completely by the use of strong hormones that will leave them sterile and cause permanent harm to their health. And those of us who question this process are facing threats of rape and murder and being deplatformed for supposedly being “abusers” even as our likenesses are being hung in effigy by these so-called civil rights activists.
brief aside – Feel free to call me a TERF if you would like to, but this is not an anti-trans position to hold. I believe fully that people have a right to present as whatever gender they would like to, to wear whatever clothes they would like to and live their lives however they want. God bless America. I can to some extent even comprehend how someone could feel they were born into the wrong body because during the 70’s the fashion was to dress your daughter like an androgynous tomboy when inside I was and am a much more girly girl than I was allowed to be. But at the same time, I also believe that people have a right to associate with whoever they want and to live their lives in some semblance of safety and security and men accost, bully, threaten, frighten, shout down, grope, intimidate, abuse, stare at, leer at, and yes even rape women. Thus I will fight to the death for the rights of WOMEN. Not “cis women”, not wumben, not wimpund, not woomud, but WOMEN! The real deal! Accept no imitations!
And conservative men, you had fucking better have my goddamn back on this. If, as you claim and I have never had any reason to doubt you, that the role of a conservative man is as a protector of women, have my back. This is NOT the time to say “but men tho” and try to make this about YOU. Because not everything is about you all the time.
Let me make this one thing perfectly clear. I LOVE MEN. (probably more than is good for me at times, le sigh) I have four sons, a husband, a father, a kid brother, two uncles, two nephews, and the best goddamn group of male friends/coworkers/Twitter followers any chick can lay claim to. I freely acknowledge that men face challenges that women don’t and that being a man can suck in many huge and undeniable ways that society should grapple with and account for just as it must grapple and account for the unique challenges that women face. But can the spotlight ever shine on women and our problems for a moment without men coming along with one of those big hooks to try to pull us out of it so they can get in there and say “but men tho”? EVER?
I know what you think. I know you think “the spotlight is always on women it seems like to me” and I know you believe that with every fiber of your being. But it isn’t. By all rights, using straight 3rd grade statistics and nothing else, the spotlight should be on women 50% of the time because we are 50% of the people. Sometimes when someone else is getting something that is a fair portion and is what they deserve, and you maybe feel you aren’t getting your fair share, it can SEEM LIKE that other person is getting more than they should be getting and I know this because I have five children. But just like with splitting up one cupcake between two kids, even when it seems like Johnny is getting a bigger piece of the cupcake THIS time, it may be because Jimmy got a bigger piece of the cupcake the last time. That’s very easy for Johnny to forget in the heat of the cupcake.
Not to mention that in some arenas the spotlight should be on women more because women are more interested and active in a certain arena of human existence or are more affected by something – like women’s health for example. Surely it is reasonable that women should be able to discuss matters of their personal health without men butting in to discuss their health instead, right? Just as there are arenas and endeavors that are mostly men and SHOULD BE mostly men without anyone coming along to say “the real problem here is how drinking beer and watching the Super Bowl affects WOMEN.” You instinctively and rightfully roll your eyes at that (and I agree with you, even at my most ridiculously liberal-iest I thought it was off-putting, even offensive when women forced their way into every facet of men’s existence and wouldn’t shut up about themselves ever). So RESPECT MY AUTHORITY when it comes to talking about women and women’s shit and don’t do the exact same thing to me, would you?
“but men tho”. Sheesh.
I understand, completely completely understand that many men hate feminism for reasons. I further understand that some of my male chums do not understand why I have this blog in which I put the word “FEMINIST” right up there at the top when otherwise I am so totally cool. But it’s because feminism is just wanting what is good for women. I just want what is good for women. That’s all. I have no dark agenda here, no sinister purpose where I want to see men wiped off the map so I can take their position at the table of power. What is good for women can also be good for men because we are meant to be in some sort of partnership just like the boy lion gets to chill in the shade while the girl lions go hunting. What works for me can work for you, I promise.
Keep your piece of the pie and I’ll even squirt some whipped cream on it for you, baby.
I just want what is good for women. And the truth is, liberals don’t have it. What liberals say is good for women is a childless existence spent slaving away for a nameless faceless corporation in which we get treated as a cum dumpster for whoever swiped right on Tinder this weekend and then using our money to buy products that the nameless faceless corporation provided for us until we die of chick cancer we got because we never had any children. And what liberals say is good for men is a loveless sexless existence looking up ever more extreme versions of tentacle porn and wondering why life is so empty all the time even though your apartment is full of products that the nameless faceless corporations sold you, until you die of suicide.
I am simply looking for a better way.
Much of what passes for “feminism” in our country is either “Aunt Jemima feminism” in which the most hollow of gestures is made loudly (like ensuring that actresses paid millions of dollars make millions more dollars even though everyone went to see the Matt Damon movie and not the forgettable starlet he’s costarring with) while actual issues affecting women are swept under the rug, or are brought to the forefront solely in service of an insidious political end. Like the #metoo movement – a movement that was basically tailor made to erode civil liberties and get rid of some “old white men” in positions of power and was immediately dropped in favor of the next outrage of the week. I admit, freely, the word “feminism” has been corrupted by Actual Bad Guys and used for evil purposes. You hate that, rightfully, and I hate it too.
But this doesn’t mean that women don’t still need to advocate for their rights. Women as a class – truly, more than any other class, because all other classes were created in the brains of human beings rather than based on fundamental genetic differences – have a need to advocate as a group sometimes. Just because some people have implemented feminism badly and subverted it for their own ends doesn’t mean it isn’t still necessary to protect women’s rights and that women don’t still continue to face unique-to-our-sex challenges across the spectrum due to our biology.
I’m trying to make a better feminism, one that has room for both men and women to find happiness and self-fulfillment – sometimes even finding that in each other rather than being at each other’s throats all the time. We are allies with a shared cause, not enemies, I promise.
We left some pretty excellent shit in the past. Those old timey people, for all their flaws, understood some stuff we have forgotten. I personally think conservatism has a lot of answers that women are desperately seeking. I am begging you, conservative men, please don’t through the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to feminism. Please don’t write me off as a crank and a weirdo for trying to reclaim a perfectly good word that has been co-opted by evil people. What is good for women is what is good for HUMANITY even if the liberals deny that. Don’t play their game for them by living up to the worst stereotypes they try to create of you – being a mansplaining a-hole who can’t ever resist the temptation to butt into every conversation like the Kool Aid Man to blurt out “but men tho” every time a woman has the temerity to complain about anything.