Over on A Voice for Men, they have an article up that was written by a woman who became a man, and eventually also became a supporter of the Men’s Rights Movement. Reading Steven’s tale of gender dysphoria, attempts at self mutilation, and general dislike of his former feminine body was a story I knew well. If it wasn’t for the fact that he actually changed his body, it could have been written by me.
One of the many nuances of his story was an acknowledgment of the fact that both men and women have issues and troubles that they are required to face on a daily basis. Most of these are not huge obstacles, but still need to be recognized by the opposite sex as being true and, more importantly, a real problem. To use the article’s example, a woman walking down a dark street has to worry about rape more than a man would…but at the same time a man has to worry about getting mugged/murdered far more than the woman. The grass is always greener, until you step onto the other yard that is. We all have problems, no one sex has exclusive rights to “victimhood”, nor should anyone not strive to shake off this victim status and become a survivor instead.
It’s so very important to remember that we *all* require help at one point or another. We all bleed, we all cry, we all have episodes of depression and desperation. To deny this reality to an entire segment of the population (in this case, men) is cruel and unnecessary. Just as women are not fragile flowers in need of chivalry and increased protection as a whole, so too are men not unfeeling machines who’s sole purpose is to provide and give their lives away.
Those of us who have straddled…and in some cases crossed over…the Gender Fence know from experience that each of us suffers from the tiny barbs of stereotyping and sexism that society throws at us. Men are not immune. Women are not immune. It’s time to take off our blinders and treat each other as capable, thinking, feeling human beings rather than debating who has it worse off. Only then can true progress be made towards real equality.