I feel uniquely qualified to say that. For one thing, I am a man. I also happened to be married with four daughters. But this goes back a lot farther than my current life.
In my single days, more often than not, you’d find me where the women were. I’d hang out with the men as long as I could stand it. Too many times they would just sit and talk sports and hot women. I like sports and I like women but the world is a much bigger place and I can’t sit and listen to that endlessly.
It’s easy to look at the Weinstein’s and the Trump’s of the world and be sickened by the behaviour. Men who believe because they have money and status that they DESERVE whatever they want. That women are just things to be used and discarded. How does a man who is successful cross the line from asking to demanding; from trying to expecting?
Do we all have something like that in us, men? I sometimes think we do. How many of us have pestered our wives for sex until they give in? Are we thinking about their feelings or just trying to satisfy ‘our little friend’? In those moments we are ruled by our needs without a thought to theirs. Why is that?
I think it’s an apologist’s view to say it’s just our primitive need to procreate coming through. Is that a cop-out? Of course it is. We are selfish. Too many of us grew up in a man’s world and I think that has pervaded our society for so long that we really need to step back and think about this.
The boulder that is equality of the sexes is a long way from the peak. We don’t have enough women in government. We don’t have enough women executives. We don’t have enough women in tech or trades. How many women have left school or jobs in these areas because the men think it’s okay to berate and belittle them? How many are told that they have to put up with it because the men are just ‘kidding around’? How many women have been passed over for positions because they are just that, women, in the eyes of others. And that’s just North America. How many girls are killed each year because they want to go to school or drive or work or marry someone they love instead of someone their parents picked?
Men suck. We truly do. Women are objects too much of the time. Everywhere we look from beer commercials to fast food ads to fashion to tv shows and movies, that’s what we see. From our parents to our mentors to the famous who are famous for nothing but their looks. What kind of message is that? The mere fact that most of us can’t name more than one woman scientist, astronaut, CEO, government leader or even sports hero is a great indicator of how far we have to go. How many churches, businesses, sports clubs don’t allow/have women leaders? And if they do, can ou name them? Yet if I say Kim or Khloe you know exactly who I’m talking about. Isn’t that sad?
Systemic racism is still a thing. Systemic sexism is also still a thing. Have things changed? Yes, a little. My fear is how many generations it will take. Will my granddaughters have an easier time of it? I hope so but I take no comfort at the question of if it’s true. Not every man of wealth and power is a sexist asshole but too many of them are. Not every man in government is a sexist asshole but too many of them are. Not every successful businessman is a sexist asshole but too many of them are. Have I been a sexist asshole? Yes. I am far better than I used to be.
How about you? Are you a sexist asshole? What are you going to do about it?
Feel free to comment, either way, on this!