I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately; The Male Privilege Checklist. I think many men are either are unaware of the things they have, or they do know and flaunt it as a way of shoving in our faces so they can say they’re better and we’re nothing. Of course, there could be a third option, but…
Those men are just sad. If they have to do all that to reassure their own minds, I could almost feel sorry for them, if not for the invalidation they put us through. Especially when one considers the vast amount of girls who have to adhere to gender roles that put them down.
After the Tosh.0 article, I have been thinking more and more about the subject of feminism, and the more I think about it, the angrier I get. I have officially sworn off the series, though I used to enjoy it, the anti-feminist comments he frequently spouts has become too aggravating for me to sit through.
I don’t know if I will go back on this after I calm down, but I have been looking back on it. I’m not the type of person to waste my time on YouTube watching the kind of rubbish Tosh frequently plays, but when my sister got me into the show, I figured I could make an exception for Tosh.
It’s not frequently that I’d watch his show, just as it’s not frequently I’d watch such useless crap online. I always consider it a sad commentary on modern society that this is what most people care about, rather than anything that actually matters.
I’d think you’d want to see something that’d make you think. Something that’d make you feel. Something compelling, at least. But no.
But when I started watching Tosh, I figured that this stuff could be entertaining in its own right. There were certain nuggets in the viral wasteland of popularity, at least. I didn’t even mind his slams at women, disregarding them and treating them as simple-minded and unserious jokes.
Since I was young, I absorbed people’s bullshit. When people told me that when boys bully girls it means they “like” them, I believed it. I was bullied very generally as a child, so this did apply to me. It made me feel special to be bullied then, though I never outright said the reason, for fear of embarrassment.
And it was something to be embarrassed by, never mind the impossible standards people put on girls, let alone me. Eventually, I dismissed the lie, having learned the truth. I started to feel that I wasn’t worth much, and I carried that feeling through life.
There was a lot I disregarded. This feeling is likely what caused me to close myself off to people. Again, this started to make me feel like I was special, because I no longer had the same emotional vulnerablities as most, and I would not be swayed by lies meant to weaken me. I was a proud loner, and I didn’t need others’ approval.
But closing myself off wasn’t what I always thought of it as. When I was a fair deal older, I learned the kind of feeling granted from having friends. I’ve also realised all it’s disadvantages too, like certain parts of my person that are underdeveloped. Social skills, sexuality, willingness to grow past anxieties, and hygiene.
These were all things that were stunted far back. And it had led this way because I felt none of these were necessary for fulfillment.
This is the sort of field of problems women face in their lives. Not these specific problems, of course, these are entirely personal. But it doesn’t really seem like much of a fight when men have so fewer debilitating problems that are ingrained in women from the start.
This is why it’s no big argument to say that they’re better. They perpetuate this set of values in us for their own advantage.
Indeed, these problems are not just limited to body issues. Certainly, many women dress provocatively in order to feel good about themselves, as the ideal of prettiness has been taught to them since primary school. It’s just that body problems are the visible tip of the iceberg.
For a girl, it’s hard to fight against all the invalidation and disapproval that exists in the world. That in itself can cause many problems for girls in general, particularly when it leads them to make foolish decisions later in life. Anyone who’s ever seen How I Met Your Mother knows Barney Stintson is a very good common example of this.
But of course, there are also the girls who dive into deep decisions without thinking or understanding what they’re getting themselves into at large.
Even the girls who don’t feel insecure in themselves (and that’s an honest minority) have their own problems. I recently heard of a woman who was so pretty, most women hate her out of jealousy and most men lavish attention on her. This woman is at a certain disadvantage too, especially considering that she’s a journalist and just doesn’t get appreciated beyond her beauty like she deserves to. Not to mention all the negative and positive gender reinforcements that shapes her perspective.
Ashley Judd is one person in the media who has struck back against this misogynic culture, writing an article against a tabloid who called her face “puffy”. Since then, it has fuelled BuzzFeed to join her by having a countdown of celebrities the media has called fat, and now Judd’s new-found twitter activism.
Many others on twitter are following her lead. According to one link, “We are the media now… we can start our own revolution“.
Clearly, I’m not the only one embarrassed by how low our society’s values are right now. I know that there are plenty of people, and not just women, who disagree with the majority values in our world that damage so many girl’s and women’s self-view.
Maybe we can level the playing field if we do. Maybe then we can show the men who preen that we are no better or worse than each other. We are all different. If you think you’re not, you’re dreaming.
One outlook has been that people form groups, and anyone outside those groups that are different are enemies. What people don’t understand is that we don’t have to think that way. Everyone has their weaknesses, and their strengths.
As women, we don’t need to be politically correct. We just need to be seen as equals. We don’t have to change our entire natures to better all of us, we just need to widen our understandings of people. Because, after all, what else can any of us be but human?