I was born just another boy by whatever standard used to determine such things back then. Being a boy and then strangely becoming a man shaped me in a society that determined what I was and wasn’t “qualified for” or expected to do because of my gender. Case in point, the first thing we learn as little boys is that we can pee standing up.
I cannot imagine the war a woman must battle every day just to accomplish everyday activities. Cat calls and rape whistles, indentured child marriages, old men dictating laws regarding women’s bodies, the constant objectification, the oppression across dozens of societies, there is no shortage of the sacrifices women have made just to exist. Mentioning the continuous physical horrors that are fueled by both religion and revenue, I often wonder when will mothers and daughters rise to shed the blood of such awful men.
Growing up I learned that the role of a woman is exalted for a small handful of things: physical beauty, child bearing capability, and the ability to provide for everyone before themselves. Universally and historically women have been relegated to domestic duties and sequestered in the shadows, whose roles in civilization have primarily decided by groups of awful men. The same awful men who have warred and destroyed everything in their path just to clear space to place their own pile of trash to put a flag on.
I cannot fathom the professional pitfalls or the hypocritical social dynamics that women have been enduring since the days of these incredible ladies. There is unsurprisingly, very few facts about women in power but that may be because I live in 21st century America where history, geography or politics ain’t really on the forefront of what we like to talk about. Watching rich housewives or toddler beauty pageants are more our speed. Sadly, these television examples are some of the worst archetypes of women. Not coincidentally, the majority of these programs were produced by one of the worst archetypes ever: awful men.
I am writing about something I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT (not shocking) but I have had enough experience with astonishing women who have faced such harsh systemic sexism that I realize that this world can be an insulting, violent, and horrible place to live if I were not a man.
I don’t know what to do! Seems like there is little I can do. By unpacking this from my bristling brain I am still facing this issue merely as a man. Which, by design, disables me from empathizing with what women experience daily to any degree. However, me clutching to the idea that humans are inherently good animals encourages me to continue to write about things I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT.
I pee where I want. My pants have plenty of pockets. I have been told to “man up”, “be a man”, and reminded that “boys don’t cry” and have been absolved from bad behavior with “boys will be boys”. All of which are colloquialisms of subtle abuse and gender inequality stereotypes that are so ingrained in our culture that I feel overwhelmed with helplessness, sadness and guilt for being born just another boy.