The Man Box
July 10, 2013
I had a chat with my husband the other night about how I write about men, if men are the focus of that particular post. It came up because I asked him why men seemed hard to get through to – the good ones – because the first reaction is to somehow take it personally.
My husband was saying that I can’t bundle every man into the same box – which I completely agree with. I explained that in my mind, I absolutely don’t – but that it’s hard not to when I’m writing of the problems we face, based on statistics that come with with men’s actions.
How else can it be done?
It’s important to also understand that I hover the magnifying glass over women just as closely – if not more so. Therefore crying misandry is a mute point here.
I know – I really do – that the good men (like my husband) find the act of rape abhorrent, for example, and I also know they would never lay a violent hand on a woman – just as my husband has never laid a hand on me or on our two daughters.
They want the best for the women in their lives.
I’m afraid, though, that it’s no longer enough.
The fight has to spread beyond the walls of our home; as the horrifying outside world encroaches ever so much closer to touching our own lives – especially our girls.
How am I to express to you good males – from my/our perspective (because it counts) – the effect the male gender is having on its partner?
Partner, not enemy.
The Yang to its Yin:
‘Yin and yang are in pairs, such as the moon and the sun, female and male, dark and bright, cold and hot, passive and active, etc. But yin and yang are not static or just two separated things. The nature of yinyang lies in interchange and interplay of the two components. The alternation of day and night is such an example.’ *
Statistically – in the BIG scheme of things – it’s a mean, sad and violent union with females:
* Personally: domestic violence + rape + VAW
* Politically: low % of women represented in government + legislation on women (only) and their bodies and
* Economically: >10% of women in clout positions in all top areas of media, publishing & business + lower pay (77c to a male’s $1).
When you step back and read the above statistics – logically – it doesn’t resonate well.
It looks like a bit of a boys’ club.
Don’t the good men feel that women and girls deserve a fairer shake of the stick?
I have often recognised and asked for the assistance of the good men on this blog.
I reach out for advice.
Sadly to deaf ears it seems, as I never actually receive suggestions of what approaches might be taken that may work on the men doing their gender a MASSIVE disservice or on the young boys who are suckling on a teat which teaches them, from an early age, to objectify women and therefore see them as less.
You live in the male realm – I don’t.
* Is it all the fault of males? No.
* Are women to blame for contributing to the imbalance? Of course they are.
You can’t have a porn t-shirt, showing a woman’s objectified body, without the woman’s participation. But we are still, ultimately, comparing apples to oranges.
The following video is a Ted Talk called MAN BOX by Tony Porter.
This is a good man, speaking up about the traits boys are raised on and how that has affected HIM personally. Boys need to see more of this.
So back to you good men.
Question # 174: Do you permit the imbalance to continue, through your silence?
I feel there are good men/bad men; good women/bad women.
I imagine a bell curve where the big, bulging, bell part is full of goodness.
But the voice, the shout, the outrage; predominantly bellows out of women. Men at times agree, of course, but where are the EQUALLY loud male voices and blogs calling out for a transformation to this paradigm?
Careful not to stumble on and trip over all the Facebook pages about sluts…
Using the Nanny State excuse leaves us hopeless because there must be a moment where the line is crossed.
Haven’t we already crossed it?
I thought I’d leave you with this collection of comments left on people’s Twitter accounts about the Female Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli.
THIS is hatred.
Many of the comments were left by men with images that suggest they’re in a relationship.
How do we change this, guys?