It's a woman's world, friends. Everywhere we look, men are underrepresented and treated as second class citizens. In government, in board rooms, and even in the media, they are written off as less capable and, indeed, less deserving than their female peers. For a long time, my female privilege kept me drinking the misandrist Kool Aid... but then my son was born. Having a son taught me how to respect men. In some ways I'm ashamed that it took me so long to understand the basic humanity of males... but in other ways, how can I blame myself for not empathizing with an underclass before one of them burst forth from my very feminine, womanly loins?
Some of my friends laugh at me for my newfound beliefs. "Quit being so sensitive!" they'll say. "Learn how to take a joke." Or, the pernicious, "I just don't see how men's rights are even a thing anymore. We let them vote. In a way, isn't it harder to be a woman these days?"
But I'm more evolved now. I know better. After all, I have a son.
The men in my life are in awe of my very enlightened attitudes. "You're such a champion of men's rights," they'll fawn. Other women might blush in feigned embarrassment and use that position of trust and power to take advantage of these poor dudes (and I totally could, just so you know, but I wouldn't). I just really care about men ever since I had a tiny one.
Some might call me heroic for my commitment to equality for the more feeble sex, but, really, my son is the true hero of this story. (Or, like, we're co-heroes. Because what I'm doing is important and more women need to speak up in defense of men.) He enabled me to see the world through new eyes, and in the following ways:
A piece of me lives inside of my little boy, and not just on a genetic level, but spiritually, too. Because I'm raising him, teaching him, and molding him. When I die, everything I have imbued in my son will live on, which makes him the key to my immortality.
I'm important. This means my son — torchbearer of my legacy — is important. Therefore, by extension, all men and boys are important (though, like, still somewhat less important than me).
It's amazing how much easier it is to see that men and boys deserve respect when you can see yourself in them.
As I thought about how my son is important because he's an extension of me, a woman, it occurred to me that all men are an extension of a woman. How could I withhold respect and equal rights knowing that a man is some other woman's son? It'd be one thing if they were just, you know, each their own unique individuals, but when you can consider them through the lens of femaleness it really hits you: they should be taken seriously.
Because my son is really just a small version of me (I have been thinking lately of changing his name to Ofjamie, to avoid any confusion on the matter) anyone disrespecting him is really them disrespecting me. It's one thing to disrespect a man — I mean, it's not good, but I get it, you know?Between their irrationality, emotions, and constant prattle about sports, it's like they don't want to be respected most of the time. But it's another thing to disrespect a woman, specifically me.
I admit that I would sit on a park bench on my lunch hour with some of my other female colleagues and shout vulgar things to the young men who happened by. To be fair, their pants were so tight they obviously wanted the attention, and I think they took the compliment as it was intended.
Now that I have a son, whom I would not want to be objectified in such a fashion, I think twice before making lewd innuendo toward the beefcake bartender when I'm out with the girls. I think to myself, "Is this young man enough like my son that I should treat him with respect?"
If so, I cool my ardor and begin a passionate and thoughtful discussion on the struggles men face in the workplace. If not I just keep leering. I mean, some of them really are asking for it and, besides: girls will be girls.
Before I had a son, it never struck me that other boys might lack opportunities or access that would enable them to reach their full potential. I didn't realize what pressure they face to conform to impossible beauty standards beneath the heavy leer of the female gaze.
But now that I am forced to confront these issues, I am disheartened, disgusted, and uncomfortable. Things must change, starting now... but, like, if we can't fix everything for everyone right away, I'll be honest: so long as my kid is OK, I don't really care. Other people can fight for their sons' rights on their own time.
I probably could have realized this earlier by sitting down, talking with, and listening to men... but why would I do that? Back then, most of my interactions (social and professional) were with other women and all of my entertainment and cultural references were female-centric. It didn't make much sense to try to unravel and understand men because, like, what was it to me? I had absolutely no reason to bother understanding half the population as complex individuals.
But in having a Mini-Me... uh... I mean a son, has changed all that.
Like, having a son makes me get it, you know? Because he's me and therefore I'm him. I completely understand male oppression and the struggles they face every day living in their male bodies. Like, if anything, I probably get it more because I can see it from their point of view, but I can more critically analyze it because I'm a woman and therefore have some emotional distance that enables me to be more objective.
I have become so woke, you guys. Like, I have started reading all about the challenges men face, and not just here in America, but around the world and I would like to explain them to you. No, don't bother reading works from men who have actually lived those experiences: I'll give you the run-down and you'll understand it way better. Then you'll also know how woke I am. It's a win-win.
My son is precious to me, so he must be protected. Protected from harm, protected from the misandronist culture that would stifle his ambition and crush his spirit, and, most of all protect him decisions he might make for himself that I don't agree with. That's why I'm sending him to a monastery until he's 35 and greeting any female friends who come over with shotguns!
After all, I'm a woman: I know what's best for him.
I'll be forever grateful to my son for showing me how important it is, as a woman, to dedicate myself to men's rights... at least insofar as they pertain to me and the men in my life.
Sound ridiculous? That's because it is. And so is the notion that men can only understand the discrimination, sexism, consistent harassment, and violations women face every day if they have a daughter. Gentlemen: you do not have to call yourself a father to a little girl in order to stand up for women, in the workplace and beyond. Our sons exist outside the relationships they have with their mothers, and daughters exist outside the relationships they have with their fathers. Don't respect women because they're someone's daughter. Respect women because they're human beings.
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