I am not a woman and I am not what I’d call a feminist either, the whole concept of feminism confuses me but nevertheless I have a very basic idea (anyone who can care to enlighten me in a simple manner…please do!) , but I am a man. I am also what I would like to consider to be a decent human being too! This is why I think that amongst the many of these articles , often written by women, we should have a man giving his two pence. (Because sadly most of you do not listen when the ladies say it!)
I quite frankly find attitudes towards women appalling, particularly amongst young men of today. Nowadays we go around in a society where sexual harassment, the alienation of women and the making of issues such as rape and miscarriage as a joke is seen as socially acceptable or shrugged off as “guys just being guys”. Well I certainly resent such a statement as I do not find myself doing these things and justifying it as “banter”. In hindsight throughout my teenage years to ,what will soon be, my twenties the sexism has been relentless and quite obvious too. Women are all too often being treated as little more than a sex object and no matter how much we try to deny this is a fact of our “ever evolving society” it will remain true, with talk of how “easy” certain females are to conversations described as nothing more than a “sex bingo” where a gaggle of lads boast about their sexual exploits with individuals sweeping rife through common rooms and social settings throughout.
This kind of alienating and foul behaviour is often dubbed “lad culture” and an “exaggeration of masculinity” , where in my opinion, this does not represent masculinity at all, let alone an exaggeration of it! With masculinity being defined as: “possession of the qualities traditionally associated with men”, I think it would be safe to say that not many people would agree that the above behaviours and the many others being attributed to “lad culture”. The title “lad culture” is all too good for this distinct and abhorrent set of behaviours as the use of the word “culture” , although we berate it, goes some way to delivering justification too something that is quite frankly nothing more than out and out sexism. Bullying is not manly , “slut shaming” isn’t manly and trying to oppress and dis-empower a woman for simply being a woman is certainly not manly either. These are all acts of nothing more than cowardice and a sense of feeling threatened.
However I believe that the feminist and anti-sexism movement should focus some of it’s strength and efforts into reaching out to sensible guys where possible and harness what it can of us as well as the countless dedicated women who fight day in day out for the cause. Not only this but it should not be almost the “duty” or the “job” of the women to work towards tackling these disgusting attitudes and behaviours but some of us sensible males as responsible members of society should be working towards helping change the behaviours of our peers. As opposed to seeing feminists as man bashing extremists (which they really aren’t!) and casting them aside , we should stand up with them. THAT would be the “manly” and the respectable thing to do. I say this, not in a way to be “politically correct” or to “score brownie points with a girl” , as some might say, but I say this as a decent human being who doesn’t like seeing others alienated, in fear of harm or harassment or treated in a different way simply because they are different to myself. Since when has watching your colleague get paid less simply for being different to you manly? Better yet, since when has watching idly by whilst a fellow human being fears for her own safety at a time when she really shouldn’t become manly? It’s not and that is my point.
Again, in true Jon fashion: I can imagine I have gone off message somewhere , or even worse: came along with no message!, but I’ll leave you all with the simple fact that I do not profess to be a saint or a champion of all things good. I was probably the most laddiest runt out there in secondary school, but I made a personal assessment and a personal change to my own outlook and behaviours. If everyone else did this and maybe even reached out to their peers a little, society would be a bit more comfortable for all.
I’d very much encourage debate, comments or any sort of feedback you may have here and if you feel you’d rather deliver any direct criticisms, feedback or anything else through a more private manner then you can! by emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org otherwise a comment in the comments area below would be great!