“But I’m a nice guy”

“But I’m a nice guy”.

This is a great post by MurderofGoths about otherness, women’s bodily rights, and the media’s handling of said topics.  She specifically discusses the way the media covers violent attacks, and the particular things that get ‘blamed’ for ‘causing’ someone to commit a crime.

“Obviously though, it’s the video games that did it.

Not a culture where women are bitches for “friendzoning” men.
Not a culture where women should aspire to be princesses and wait for their prince to choose them.
Not a culture where women are expected to be flattered by any and all male attention.
Not a culture where women are expected to fear spinsterhood and be grateful for rescue.
Not a culture where violence is excused as “boys will be boys”.
Not a culture where being a “nice guy” is held up as a reason for women to open their legs to a man.

Must be the games. Not the misogyny.”

I wholeheartedly agree with what MoG has said in this post.  It seems like every time a man carries out some sort of violent attack, the media immediately looks around, trying to find somewhere to pin the blame.  Usually they blame things like mental illness, violent games, violent movies, and/or certain genres of music.  “These things caused him to be violent!”, they say.  “Our children need to be protected from those with mental illness/video games/music etc!”, they say.  We hear these things no matter who the target of the attack may have been.  I do believe that people are too quick to assign blame to things that appear foreign or “other”, and I think MoG does an excellent job of pointing out the things that NEVER get blamed for these types of attacks.

When a man attacks a woman or women, no one ever says “Hey, I wonder if the patriarchal, misogynistic attitude of society had anything to do with this?”  Maybe we should look at a society and media that emphasizes male power and strength, while downplaying and even vilifying the same things in women.  If a man is strong and assertive, he is praised and called a ‘go-getter’. If a woman is strong and assertive, she is a ‘pushy bitch’.  If a man forgoes a family in favor of a career, or even just in favor of maintaining the freedom of his bachelorhood, he is again praised.  No one thinks there is anything wrong with him.  If a woman forgoes a family to pursue her career, or to maintain her freedom, she is vilified.  She is seen as selfish for wanting her life to be up to her.  She is seen as selfish and “unwomanly/unfeminie” for wanting her BODY to be hers and hers alone.  After all,

“She is a walking collection of body parts. Her breasts are important because men like them. Her buttocks are important for the same reason. And her legs. Her genitals are obviously important to men, if she gets any messages in the media about female masturbation it’s usually being sold as a good thing for a man to watch to get him in the mood. Heaven forbid she do it because she enjoys it! Her womb is important because that’s all part of sex. And if she doesn’t want to get pregnant? Why would she not want to? Doesn’t she know that her body’s main purpose is sex? And pregnancy is a natural conclusion to it.”

Our society and media encourage boys and men to think of themselves first and foremost, excusing any silly female feelings or bodies that might get hurt along the way as “Boys will be boys!”  Women should appreciate when a man catcalls her on the street, or harasses her for a date.  We should appreciate “being taken care of” instead of being allowed to say, fix our own cars or move our own heavy furniture.  (Don’t get em wrong, I’m not stupid, I know when to ask for help.  What irritates me is when some rando guy decides that I can’t possibly know what I’m talking about in a hardware store, or carry a heavy box simply because I am a woman.)

“In so much media she is defined by the men in her life, used as a plot device to further a man’s character development. She’s a convenient way of advertising goods. Her looks are her most important asset, once she;s old and they start to fade she’s no use.”

“She is nothing without he.” (emphasis mine)

What seems to come up so frequently in attacks on women, and one of the things MoG discusses in her post is the attackers hatred of women.  They hate women for not going out with them, for not behaving the way they think the should, or for standing up for themselves.  This attitude is at the root of what so many people say they hate about feminism.

What many people don’t realize is that feminism, while fighting against sexist notions such as these, is also fighting FOR, not against, the men of the world.  Feminism doesn’t tell men that they have so little self control that they are no better than animals at controlling their urges when they see a woman wearing a short skirt.  Society tells them that, not feminism.  Feminism does not tell men that they are so full of rage and anger that it’s ok to abuse their partners or children.  It’s society that looks at situations of abuse and asks “What did she do to provoke him?”  Feminism believes men are better than that.

Feminism believes men are better than the sexist advertising that panders to them.  Feminism believes that men are capable of both feeling and expressing emotions other than anger, and that it doesn’t make you any less of a man if you do so.  Feminism believes that children’s toys, books, and clothing don’t need to be gendered.

Feminism isn’t about hating men or banishing them all to some remote island.  Feminism believes that men and women are EQUAL because no matter what is between your legs, we are all human beings FIRST.

Until society begins to recognize that we are all human beings FIRST, before you look at gender, race, religion, or politics…until society realizes that we are all, every single one of us, worthy of respect and the right to do what we will with our own bodies and lives… Until then, we will continue to see prejudice and discrimination.  We will continue to see violent attacks on women and other minorities.  We will continue to see the privileged few rising up on the backs of those below them.

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