When men feel inconsequential, it’s easier to blame women than it is to confront patriarchy-the true source of the diminishment and lack of meaning in so many men’s lives. When men feel unloved and disconnected, it’s easier to accuse women of not loving them well enough than it is to consider men’s own alienation from life. It’s easier to think of women as keeping men from the essence of their own lives than it is to see how men’s participation in patriarchy can suffocate and kill the life within themselves. It’s easier to theorize about powerful, devouring mothers than to confront the reality of patriarchy.
Beneath the massive denial of men’s power and responsibility and its projection onto women is an enormous pool of rage, resentment, and fear. Rather than look at patriarchy and their place within it, many men will beat, rape, torture, murder, and oppress women, children, and one another. They will wage mindless war and offer themselves up for the slaughter, chain themselves to jobs and work themselves to numbed exhaustion as if their lives had no value or meaning beyond controlling or being controlled or defending against control, and content themselves with half-lives of confused, lost deprivation. What men lack, women didn’t take from them, and it isn’t up to women to give it back.
Allan G. Johnson (via wretchedoftheearth)
What men lack, women didn’t take from them, and it isn’t up to women to give it back.
A lot of times men get angry at me when I don’t address the problems men face. [….] For some reason, men want women to fix their lives too. (sexist tropes make women into plot points, catalysts for male character development, homemakers, and manic pixie dream girl muses. We’re expected to change their lives for the better. It’s written into the definition of womanhood.)
There are genuine problems that men face, problems also created by patriarchy: Not being allowed to show any emotion other than rage. Being held to strict standards of masculinity that require them to disrespect women and one-up each other to maintain a sense of identity. The required neurotic aversion to anything even remotely feminine that forbids any kind of empathetic connection to other human beings. Getting attacked for showing any kind of vulnerability.
These are problems that men have approached me with and demanded I address them, as if I as a feminist have any influence over how men define their manhood. Instead of complaining that feminists should fix all the problems that men create and perpetuate, men need to organize themselves to change these things. And while you’re at it, tell the MRA’s to give it a rest. They’re just making it worse for you.
I have met men who treat me as their second mother and I feel overwhelming pity for them, I do