Men, I offer my own experience and encourage you: Please, go forth and write!
Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels
Everyone’s tribe is under siege, especially in the Ignited States of America. Victimhood culture’s self-destructive ideology has infected the bodies politic and social like a metastasized cancer. America falls apart before our eyes, slouching toward potential failed state status. We hate each other.
Still, we’re all victims, legitimately. To some degree.
Yeah, even men.
Yeah, even white men.
This article, though, is for everyone with male privilege.
’Coz y’all need to know you have the right to tell your stories and challenge certain narratives. Feminism isn’t a dirty little f-word, although for some it’s become an excuse to hate men the way some ‘antiracists’ hate on the easily-sunburned. Both deny their bigotry.
I offer my experience debating my female tribe, particularly the perma-victims — along with my membership in the White Skin Tribe, where my privilege is occasionally overestimated by the Heavy Melanin set.
I recently wrote a well-received article on how we need men to join us and tell their stories.
It quite resonated with the dudes, along with women clearly as tired as I of infantilized pseudo-feminist victim thinking.
Don’t like how you’re treated? Don’t like the racism and misandry? Feel abused? Tell us why. Yes, I’m serious.
It sounds cliche to say We’re all in this together but it’s the dirty little truth for right- and left-wing bigots.
Here’s another tired little platitude we need to take seriously: Be the change we want to see.
Toxic -isms beget counter toxic -isms. Misogyny juices misandry and misandry juices misogyny. White racism feeds black racism and black racism returns the disfavor.
The transgender community’s biggest challenge for greater acceptance is toxic masculine entitled ex-men who’ve been women for like fifteen minutes who think they know more about being a woman than those of us who’ve been at it our entire lives.
Sad to say, but, typical. It juices dislike and distrust of transfolk.
Women and feminists (they’re not necessarily the same) can’t go on about the difficulty for women telling their stories without a lot of shaming, harassment, and online abuse, yet turn around and do exactly that to men who have experienced trauma, also at the hands, more or less, of patriarchal culture.
It’s hard to suffer the slings and shitbombs of trolls and haters, even when you’re a member of an advantaged group. I know, because as a white woman, I share a common experience with non-white men: I’m a member of both a privileged and a disadvantaged group.
Fear me! I am white!
Fuck, man, almost any man could rape and/or kill me if he wanted. Two words: Bill Cosby.
Therefore, I can be sympathetic to how beaten up by toxic feminism men feel, because I feel beaten up by toxic antiracism.
Still, we can support an essentially good cause without allowing haters’ poison into our lives. Just say no to extremists!
I perpetually tell women they don’t have to allow abusive men into their lives. (A surprisingly controversial opinion for some so-called ‘feminists’.)
Gentlemen, you have the right to refuse toxic, abusive women. Photo by Monstera from Pexels
The ‘antiracists’ I refuse are those less interested in racial equality than taking out their hostilities on white people — which also includes frustration with themselves, deep down, for not having the balls or labia to speak up more, speak out, and not tolerate white bullshit.
I see what men find annoying in chronically aggrieved women. Victim feminists rail about how they’re ‘not allowed’ to do this or that and I think, Really? Who’s stopping you? Is it the Patriarchy or is it you? And, seriously, do you really think men don’t have a lot of social dictates about what they’re ‘allowed’ to do? Is there no such thing as a ‘man box’ in your constipated world? Ironically, they exemplify the toxic masculinity model: Buying uncritically into the narrative. Women who buy uncritically into the victim feminist narrative are no different. It’s easier to blame men (or feminists) than it is to challenge yourself.
We’ve got a lot in common, huh?
Who’da thunk it?
When we tell our truths, as a member of a privileged group, we have to take more care with our words. We have to acknowledge, at least to ourselves, how privilege-blind we are, and don’t see how it negatively affects the lives of disadvantaged groups. The advantaged have valid points of view, but not all POVs are valid.
Let’s talk about men’s rights. Not the whiny, self-victimizing MRA kind.
The kind of men who want to be, in the immortal words of a U.S. Army recruiting poster, all they can be.
Speaking as a woman who challenges the ‘wrong’ people in my work (i.e., victim feminists), I’ve spent the last few years learning how to ‘speak my truth’ and deal with critics who can’t stand it when someone who’s supposed to be a ‘sister’ challenges other women to be all they can be, too.
I understand men’s confusion a little better now, especially when communicating and articulating feelings and positions. Thanks to Anthony Signorelli for his sympathetic article on why men find this so challenging.
Don’t be put off by the headline; he doesn’t bash men.
This is why I decided to write this article right now, although I’d been thinking about it since publishing the one about men’s stories.
There’s a lot I don’t know about the challenges men face, especially those surrounding exploring their inner lives and learning to articulate emotional discussions better.
Gentlemen, take what I’m saying as my view based on my experience. I’m not trying to tell you what to do. I know how aggravating you find all those arrogant, pretentious, lofty, woker-than-thou advice articles by self-appointed femsplainers on howtuhbearealman.
Castigated men may relate to my experience, since, thanks to left-wing victimhood ideologists, I suffer the same blanket condemnation and unpaid membership into a monolithic White Supremacy some of you do. (It’s like the Patriarchy, except it includes women, even on the golf courses.)
Anthony’s right. You don’t have the right tools, and as you can see from some of his comments, some women would rather kvetch about their own victimhood as they scoff at men’s pain or inability to express themselves well. Or at all.
Ask those chickie-boos to help you move a piano. Then get mad at them when they complain they ‘can’t’.
Kidding, ladies! Well, kind of. Get it? Yes, you can help a man move a piano if you work out enough at the gym. Just as he can learn to express himself better.
Get thee to a fitness center, girly!
Here are what I believe are the core guidelines for telling one’s truth.
Men’s Rights of Engagement
You have the right to define your own masculinity and sense of manhood.
Toxic messages target us from all directions, and toxic people never shut up about what they think others should be. I don’t let men define what I ‘should’’ be. Nor do I allow toxic feminists to tell me what I ‘should’ think. I don’t allow toxic antiracists to layer me with their racial generalizations or lump me in with real white supremacists. You didn’t see my lily-white ass on Capitol Hill on January 6th!
As a man, not only do you have to guard against toxic feminist thinking but also toxic masculinity thinking. Welcome to our double-edged world!
Your right to define your actions and behavior ends where others’ rights begin. You have the right to stand up for yourself, but not be abusive to others. You have the right to challenge women, but are obligated to do it in a healthy, fair-minded manner.
Women don’t get to solely define alleged male abuses and aggressions.
As a white person striving to be as non-racist as I can, it can be exhausting keeping up on all the things black people tell me I should and shouldn’t do. I occasionally scan those Things White People Shouldn’t Do lists to see if someone’s come up with something new rather than parroting everyone else’s lists.
Ergo, I understand how tired you are hearing about how much you irritate women.
Constant gripes, especially with ‘microaggressions’, start to grate, especially when harm is exaggerated, as the left is wont to do. I find it with black complaints. Bitching about microaggressions is a sign of privilege.
If some guy said, “I’d hit that!” as I walked by in the park, I still had a way better day than every woman in Afghanistan.
You have the right to challenge claims of abuse and aggressions. Note, I said challenge, not deny. Bill Maher put it well in a New Rule video: #TakeAllegationsSeriously, an opinion piece that brought together four words you never expected to hear: Joe Biden, Sex Monster.
Victim feminism perpetually broadens the definitions of formerly very serious words like rape, abuse, harassment, consent, narcissism, gaslighting, and psychopath to cast a wider net over alleged perpetrators, as antiRACISTS try to drag all us white folks into the same category as Steve Bannon and Robert E. Lee.
When women tell their stories, treat them the way you want your own stories treated, and remember your own scoffers.
Just because someone says you’re a misogynist doesn’t make it so, but conduct some honest self-questioning and make sure they’re wrong.
Keep skimming those Things Men Do To Annoy Women articles to make sure you’re not missing anything.
Recognize your membership in your privileged group
It’s harder for white men, who don’t have the experience of being in a disadvantaged group. But recognize your penis and/or paleness grants automatic privilege.
Look at your male privilege the way I have to consider my white privilege. I thought about it a few years ago when the Canada-U.S. border was damnably slow due to a computer system malfunction. I asked the guard as he rebooted his computer again, “Is it okay if I text my brother to tell him I might be late for dinner?” He granted my wish, and eventually let me go even though he couldn’t check me in the computer.
Yeah, I wondered, how would that have gone down if I was brown and wearing a hijab? Or was black?
I seek out black antiracists who don’t hate white people, who don’t read victimist black literature or, Goddess help us all, Robin DiAngelo, the Great White ‘Antiracism’ Goddess.
When I see what’s really wrong with our racist society, rather than someone having the worst day of their life because someone mistook them for a Dollar Store employee, it makes it easier to challenge black bigotry.
As a woman, it’s easier to push back against victim feminism because I’ve grown up in a sexist, misogynist world, but lived my life identifying with personal power rather than chronic grievance with ‘The Patriarchy’.
Know where women (and POC) are wrong, oversensitive, disingenuous, or just exaggerating (we all do it, we’re human) so you can push back the right people at the right time in the right way.
Embrace being wrong or not knowing something
Men take a lot of crap for being know-it-all, mansplaining, and never admitting they’re wrong. They might well win the prize, but women who do this — particularly the ‘woke’ — are close silver medal winners. It’s human nature not to admit you’re wrong, or not know what you didn’t know.
This is especially important when you don’t have the life experiences of others. There are more times I STFU around racism debates than gender equality ones. I don’t know what it was like to grow up black, and I don’t want to belittle someone else’s genuine experience if it sounds like there’s bona fide grievance rather than privileged nitpicking.
I push back on transwomen activists who think they know more about being a woman, because they don’t. I’ve been a woman my entire life. I don’t care if they call me TERF or transphobe, because the left transitions every label into shallow boogerhead insults all meaning the same thing: “I don’t like what you said and I’m not logical enough to refute it.”
TERF-flingers are often just misogynists in dresses.
Still, you can learn valuable insights from your critics, and if you engage with them, they can change your life. Last year someone recommended the book Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft. It offered incredible insight on why abusive men are the way they are, how near-impossible the likelihood they’ll ever change, how they’re way better than I would have expected at faking reformed behavior even with highly-trained professionals until the partner loss danger is past, and why it’s so challenging for their partners to ‘just leave’.
Stay strong, don’t give up, and fuck trolls.
If you’ve got a story to tell, and it challenges conventional thinking, the people who don’t like intellectual challenge are your target. If you’re writing as honestly and authentically as you can, those you trigger are those most resistant to your message, ergo those who need to hear it the most.
It’s good for them.
This first appeared on Medium in 2021.