Happy International Women’s Day and Happy Women’s History Month!
I want to celebrate but I have to question why we have a Woman’s Day and a Women’s History Month.
The sarcastic me says ‘Oh wow thanks a WHOLE day just for us thank you so much!’ ……”Wait, what you’ve given us a whole month to share our achievements and contribution too? Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!’’
Then the pragmatist in me says ‘Why?’ Why do women get just a day and a solitary month to acknowledge their contribution? It’s like Black History month, a mere crumb from the loaf. But that’s a conversation for another day. Why do we get just a day to celebrate women, a lonesome month to educate and be educated. To inform and be informed?
Answer: In a world where men are the ‘standard’ the dominant sex, women have had to fight just to be seen and for our efforts we are ‘gifted’ a day and month because we’ve had to force the dominant sex to acknowledge that we matter, our contribution is valid and people need to learn about the pivotal role that women play.
The disregard and muting is baffling. You would think these men are procreating themselves, and nursing themselves. This is where you come in. Women can no longer be ignorant to male privilege. These boys and young men are being raised by us the mothers too, and as long as we leave ‘boys to be boys’ we keep feeding the monsters that thrive in Rape Culture.
Maleness is synonymous with privilege.
This culture has gone undisturbed for millennia because the other days of the month are business as usual. Centring men and celebrating men as the standard. Men being men, just being congratulated for breathing and having a penis and so they ”lead” us and ”father” us. I know anyone reading this will think I hate men. I don’t.
What I hate is their treatment of women and the privilege they carry without stopping to see the women who are suffering and disadvantaged because of their privilege. The trouble for me is that we women continue to celebrate men as leaders and opt into patriarchy when patriarchy’s two biggest accomplishments are subjugation of women and capitalism.
According to patriarchy, there is a real global benefit to minimising and subjugating women, but the real truth is that the only benefit is that it feeds their ego. This is how rape culture was normalised. Men exert their power, women submit.
This is what’s been perpetrated in culture, traditions, religion and society and oh before I forget who is leading and making rules in these cultures, traditions, religions and society……..erm men.
So now that women are pulling the middle finger to patriarchy, submission and silence, men’s ego’s can’t handle the idea that a woman can resist. They now feel insecure, and threatened. Apparently, men are scared to ask women out in case they are seen as threatening (this is laughable, it’s a phantom fear)
They have been behaving badly towards women for years and now they have to learn how to actually be a gentleman, that’s what scares them. Gentlemen adhere to women’s boundaries. Men behaving badly say a women’s boundaries are to be violated and she is to be conquered.
It might be harder to teach the grown men but we as mothers and mother’s to-be have a responsibility to raise gentlemen, whilst calling out our men when they exhibit their internalised misogyny.
Teaching Men How To Be Gentlemen
If like me you’ve had men wanting to pick your brain, wanting you to explain to them how to behave, …..don’t. It’s exhausting. Most of the time they really only want to be heard and want to test out their phantom victimisation. Save your emotional labour and refer them to these two articles below by Zaron Burnett III.
Our existence has been about navigating men’s egos and one thing we know for sure is that men always tend to listen more to men, so these two articles will do the job. You’ll save yourself the agony of listening to the hypotheticals as they centre themselves and you know how they love a man’s perspective on a topic women could easily teach them. See that? Because other men are their equal. ( feel free to insert eye roll and smh)
After you’ve sent them to learn from these to 2 articles, don’t forget to tell them to do their own research in future. Google is free.
1. A Gentlemen’s Guide To Rape Culture, read it here
2. A Guide To Being A Gentleman In The Metoo Era, read it here.
How To Avoid Dating Men Who Behave Badly.
While we are celebrating ourselves this month, I can not help but wonder ‘how far are we really going to go if we celebrate ourselves then carry on dating men behaving badly?’ How do we avoid building relationships with men we ought to have walked away from on date 1 and at a stretch date 3?
How do we solve a problem like dating men behaving badly?
My one ‘rule’ is never be afraid to ruin the date. The dating phase is the perfect time to interrogate his ideas and beliefs. The trouble is, we come to dating wanting to please and wanting to be chosen so we forgo our need to establish whether or not we are compatible opting to focus on being likeable.
Do me a favour the next time you go on a date. Go with an arsenal of no holds barred questions anchored in your values. The reality is that we live in a beautifully diverse world and if we are not consciously doing our part to create equality then ….. we are royally f**ked.
This is why if you ignore intersectional feminism, you are ignoring intersectionality at your peril. (Intersectionality: coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw) You need to watch the video in that link with Brittany Packnett.
Here’s another reality check: If you want to get into a relationship where you can co-create your joy and fulfilment you need to feel liberated. The probability of dating and marrying a misogynist, a racist or a homophobe is very high.Unless you know where you really stand on women’s issues and how you want to navigate the world then you’ll very possibly fall for the ‘men behaving badly’ type.
Ask the questions that matter.
If you aren’t sure where to start with your questioning to get the measure of the man you are dating then you’ll be pleased to know that Lara Witt wrote an article a while ago on WearYourVoiceMag.com the article is titled 10 Things Every Intersectional Feminist Should Ask On A First Date. These questions will help you sort the wheat from the chaff, so you can never say I don’t have the right questions because this is a great start.
That’s my contribution to your dating and love life this #Womensday2019 you’re welcome!