The stigmatization of men
I share lots of information with a few lovely and strong women. And like me, they too are fighters for men. Not just men, but women too. I’d love to say they were feminists but I feel the more articles that I find and read about feminism I feel the name is being bastardised into something much different. To me it feels negative, it feels a progression for women’s right at the expense of men’s. Not to support both, but to only enhance female rights and men can go take a run and jump. That’s how I feel.
I’d love to say they were Egalitarians, yet I feel the people who call themselves this really don’t understand what it means to be an Egalitarian, or certainly the one’s I have talked to don’t. And men and women are certainly not equal. They can’t be. Because we’re wired differently. Men are great at some things, whilst women are great at others. And we combine; whether in friendship or partnership to complete that circle. I think my friends are just humans. Humans that want to see others prosper and support their friends / partners / families journey to prosperity.
Now when my friend Rebecca Lemke from New Crunchy Mom shares a post on her facebook about a man that was talking to some random kids whilst he was taking pictures of himself in a Darth Vader mask in Target. Their Mum spotted him, followed him, took pictures of him and then uploaded the pictures to Facebook calling him a Creep and a Paedophile; it sparks an internal rage in me. One that has laid dormant for many years. One that I haven’t thought of in a while because I’ve spent so long fighting for equality for men and women, and that I’ve gotten lost in my own cushy little open and empowering friendship circle, that I’ve actually forgotten what it’s like to sit there and think, how are men discriminated against? I have SO many non-judgemental, lovely and open women friends that I’ve forgotten that men are discriminated against too. There are actually many things that men are widely criticised and discriminated against in society.
You see, as a young and healthy male, I can’t go talking to random kids. As a father, I’m quite pro-children, and I’m often involving myself with Alex’s friends. Joking with them, playing with them and just making them at ease with me. But I won’t speak to random children, or certainly not any that don’t go to the same School as Alex. I just can’t. Too many judgemental, hyper-sensitive and reactionary mums around that jump on the paedo bandwagon at the drop of the hat. My wife’s friend proved that when she shared a picture on her Facebook of an old man on the bus who was innocently talking to her kids about one thing or another. She claimed that he was a paedo, and for people to watch out, and to keep their kids away from him. Yet she had no evidence, and all he did was speak to her kids. We all know the older generation too, right? They are from an era when it was acceptable to thwack other people’s kids for naughtiness. They have no idea about any of this hyper-reactionary paranoid bullshit.
And I feel as a father this limits me in some form. The kids around here are super sweet and polite. We live in a good area. I get the proper respect that I deserve as an adult and nearly thirty years their senior. But it still limits me, limits me from being myself. Our interactions are limited, and people don’t speak like they used to.
I remember growing up. Everyone knew everyone. We all knew who not to talk to when we were growing up, and we all knew who we could stop and talk to if we wanted a random chat with. That’s all gone now. Media sensationalism I blame.
There are many, many other things men are stigmatised against, but I feel this one was worth blogging about because it’s certainly one of those things that we, as men need to be constantly on our guards with. Maybe I’m the one being hyper sensitive now? Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill because I haven’t heard any other men voice these concerns with me before. Perhaps it’s just because I want to be more involved in my community and feel that I can’t. Who knows.
Thanks for listening to my rambling.