Tiny Barbs

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.

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15 thoughts on “Tiny Barbs

  1. Lot of lies been told though, not sure that I’m all that optimistic. I’m going to have to work on my positive thinking with some wine. Cheers

  2. Yes, many lies have been told. But if we give up hope, then those who seek to maintain or worsen the current system have already won. I don’t want that.

  3. Oh you young idealistic young youngsters and your hope!
    Be well and be lucky Tarn
    (I’m just teasing you a little, you know I’m on your side really)

  4. What did you think of Karen Straughan / GirlWritesWhat’s talk in Canada?
    There’s some progress being made, I think. (Not teasing this time.) The first step is to start talking the truth. Currently a revolutionary act imho.

  5. I’ve only had time to listen to part of it, but I like what I heard. For whatever reason, people are resistant to the idea that men need help just as much as women did. I find it odd, but it’s not my place to tease out the “whys” of people’s beliefs and opinions. It *is* my place (and anyone else’s) to inform the populace of the misandry that hurts us as a whole.

    Why fight about whether misogyny or misandry is worse? They’re both horrible, useless, and need to be dismantled.

  6. Thank you, Nav. I always try to give a fair shake to both sides.

    Meant what I wrote though…men don’t have any more privilege than women, just different barbs they can (usually) avoid. It’s high time that society at large acknowledges this fact and does something about it.

  7. Great post. I actually have experienced a lot of prejudice in my life. I think that the tides are turning. The newer generations being raised now seem much more open mindedl. I think with time things will change for the better. I don;t think we should ever give up hope or ever give up trying, because as Dr Seuss says “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing will change, it will not”.

  8. Steph! Welcome back, I hope you and yours are well?

    Ha, a Dr.Seuss quote…I love it. For the fact he is so well known for “children’s” books, everyone could benefit from taking his words to heart. And yes, I do believe you are correct; the more recent generations have steadily proven to be more tolerant of differences than the previous ones. Perhaps in a few more we shall at last embrace everything that the humane part of humanity has to offer.

    Sorry if I’m speaking overly eloquent. It’s 12:30 in the morning and sleep once again has decided to abandon me so I’m rereading my favorite Shakespeare sonnets, lol.

  9. It’s good to be back. I have had a bit of a topsy turvy personal life for the last few weeks and I am only just touching ground. Insomnia is terrible. Shakespeare is amazing. What a great way to spend the quiet of the night. Do you like Coleridge? My favourite. Coleridge oft talks me through a long and sleepless night.

  10. While topsy turvy isn’t necessarily bad, I pray that your situation wasn’t a dire one.

    Oh yes, I do approve of Coleridge. My favorites are Shakespeare, Frost, and (as I’m sure will surprise no one) Nash. But to be honest, Maurice Ogden reigns above them all in my mind. In fact, I have “The Hangman”, my most loved poem of all time, printed on marbled calligraphy paper and framed by my door. I read it nearly everyday before I leave for work…it’s an excellent reminder of how to live ones life.

    If it’s true that the villains of our era “do no more than you let me do”, it would seem to me that the proper course of action would be to not let them do “it” in the first place.

  11. As for insomnia…eh. I’m 29, and reached the conclusion long ago that in a previous lifetime must’ve pissed off Dream something fierce. Since I was a toddler I’ve gone from sleepwalking to having night terrors to lucid dreams that make me feel like I haven’t slept at all. And lucky me, my sleep paralysis has decided to kick in a showing 5x a month for the last 2 years.

    Yes indeed. Either sleep hates me, or the Gods have simply decided that I’m a night child. Whichever it is, it’s certainly “special”.

  12. The interesting thing is that there is no point in blaming either women or men, as individuals, for these problems. On the one hand women are more likely to be raped and more injured in domestic violence, But men are more likely to be victims of violence, overall.
    And the thing that lies behind both of those statistics is patriarchy–which both women and men internalize and then re-create.
    The less patriarchy, the less violent a culture tends to be.
    MRAs comment on my blog occasionally, blaming women for their problems. But if you look at the specifics of their complaint you see that patriarchy is the problem, Not women.
    Like a guy just wrote complaining about women because men are expected to have huge penises in porn, And men have a higher suicide rate.
    Once again, patriarchy is the problem. In a society that privileges white males, White males also end up with extremely high expectations that can be very hard to meet, And very depressing when they don’t. And notice, the suicide rate is higher with White males, not with males of other colors.
    And even the huge penises in porn come courtesy male directors and producers.

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