The west has seen a shift from a culture of oppression and misogyny to a culture consisting of vehement feminists and confused men.
Feminism aside, our culture has long been steeped in casual racism, ignorance, and hate. Shedding these has been crucial to our progression as a society, but along the way the correction has gone too far. While great progress has been made, with still more yet to come, the world has become overly PC. This observation has been talked about at length by psychologists, comedians, and living-room debaters for years now.
The feminist movement is populated with such a wide variety of people, it’s impossible to characterize it with a single stroke. But like the general movement which has brought us into the overly PC world, there are some in the feminist movement who are pushing their own agenda, spreading their own misconceptions and hate along with the good of the whole.
One of the side effects of this all is the condemnation of men’s rights. Even saying the term “men’s rights” will be a trigger for many. The title of this blog alone will have a flood of readers dive into this article, not to read what I have written, but to find any points to back up their feeling that this must be something bad, needing to be rebuked.
I welcome them. If I’m off-base with my thoughts, I want to hear it from those passionate about the topics at hand.
Rights Do Not Equal Privilege
This is the first, and most important, message to get across: you have rights as a person, and rights as a man. But privilege or entitlement are not part of the deal.
This is a far more difficult concept to truly understand than it should be. For far too long men have had a significant amount of privilege in many areas of our society, and in some we still do. After a lifetime of privilege, it’s natural to feel entitled to those privileges. It’s important for all of us to work to shed those. But at the same time, we must not feel obligated to shed our rights.
For an example, let’s take a situation where a group has gathered, to hear debate on an issue of gender equality, primarily dealing with women’s rights. There are two speakers wishing to talk, one man and one woman.
In this scenario, the man has the right to be heard, same as the woman. It doesn’t matter what his (or her) opinion may be, even if it’s unpopular.
Privilege or entitlement would be the man assuming he should be heard first, or that he does not have to give the respect of allowing the woman’s opinion be heard.
It’s as important for a man to stand up for his rights as it is for a woman. The truth is, our society has been geared to strip away the rights of anyone it can, and for a long time the majority of women were one of the easiest targets. In today’s age, especially in America, the primary target of this effort is the impoverished.
Martin Luther King stood up strong and tall to help blacks around the world (the power of his words were heard well past the borders of America), but once progress had begun in that area, he pushed equally as hard for the rights of lower working class, regardless of race and gender. It’s crucial to remember this: we all have rights, and they all need to be protected.
What Are Your Rights as a Man?
It’s almost upsetting to have to write this section, as everything I’m about to list should be clearly evident. But it doesn’t take a hard look around to see that this message must be heard by all men. These are some of your basic rights, and it’s important you exercise and protect them.
You have the right to be heard.
This doesn’t mean your voice gets to be louder than anyone else’s by right. It doesn’t mean you get to have it your way. But it does mean no one is allowed to tell you that you don’t get to have a say.
You have the right to own your emotions
As a society we have seen women as emotional beings, and men as strong, silent, rocks. It’s long time to call this what it is: bullshit. Being a strong, confident, man requires being healthy, physically and mentally. If you are suffering, if you are hurting, if you are depressed, then it’s time to stand up and get the help you deserve. A man handles his shit, and your own health is where it always needs to start.
You have the right to disagree
Especially when it comes to topics surrounding feminism, it’s important to remember you always have the right to your own opinion. You always have the right to disagree. This doesn’t mean your opinion is more correct than any others, it just means you have the right to believe it.
Despite this right, it is your job to ensure your opinions are informed. It’s your job to be open to the possibility that everything you believe is wrong. It is your job as a man to have the courage to admit when you are wrong, change your opinion as you see fit.
You have the right to enjoy things at your own discretion
Drinks with umbrellas, My Little Pony, wearing dresses, synchronized swimming, it doesn’t matter what it is (or what the popular opinion says), if you like it, own it. While it’s more common for men to allow themselves to enjoy things freely than it was in the past, we still feel the need to keep it a secret. If you’re lucky enough to live in a free country, then you have no excuses. If you like something, like it with confidence. Own it, and be proud.
That being said, please don’t jeopardize your personal safety because of a blog you read online. No matter who you are, and how you feel, it would be a poor choice to put on a dress and walk through Washington Heights.
Just Because it’s Biased Doesn’t Mean it’s Wrong
Bias and sexism are not the same thing. Many men have fallen into the overly PC trap by believing that anything with a sexual bias is immediately sexist. But like most things, the truth is more complex, and intent takes on a larger role than many would accept.
When it comes to classic chivalry: holding doors, pulling out chairs, ladies first, tipping hats, etc. these things are all bias towards females, but none of them are sexist. The intent of holding a door never has been with the thought that a woman would be incapable to opening it for herself. It’s done to be kind, and any action born out of genuine kindness, with a neutral to positive result, can never be a bad thing.
This concept needs to be taken further when it comes to protecting men’s rights, or even just basic reason. The classic example is the firefighter example:
- You have two spots to fill in a firehall.
- You have ten candidates: 7 men and 3 women.
- After all tests, written and physical, the best placing woman came in fourth place.
In this scenario it is not sexist to hire the top two placing candidates, even though they are both men. It’s not sexist is this same scenario repeats itself next year, and the year after that.
Now the obvious issue is a sexist chief who simply claims the women were out performed, but creating a mandate for this, just in case, doesn’t help women, men, the firehall or the community they serve.
The world is often an unfair and cruel place to be. But that doesn’t mean you need to give up any of your own rights in an effort to make it better for the rest of us. If we do not exercise our rights as citizens, as men, as women, then there is no point to having the rights at all.
But in the end, what’s most important is simply being kind to the people you meet, especially the ones with whom you disagree.
P.S. I don’t typically moderate comments, other than removing spam. But this article will have hatefully ignorant comments removed. Happy to have discussions, but if you can’t do it without insults, I will delete it so you can try again.