Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Men Yuk It Up Over Sexism (Against Men) Video

I've seen this video, which I first saw at Huffington Post, making the blog/social media rounds.

It's a gender swap of experiences that many women have with sexual harassment, threats, and assault - swapping in a man as being a person who lives in a society that entitles women to sexual aggression toward men. So, trigger warning for all of that, if you watch the video.

I got about halfway through the video and kind of couldn't stomach the rest.  I found it that disturbing. "Woman" is so often coded as "victim" in US society that showing a man in that role I think can highlight just how awful the circumstances are that many have become accustomed to.  And, while men can be and often are victims of sexual assault and aggression, the video captures nicely the sexist elements in our society that often are uniquely or predominately experienced by women.

This isn't a big newsflash, but we live in a society where gender very much matters and in which gender narratives are still very much in play. Those narratives shape, among other things, what people think they're entitled to based on their gender, how people see themselves in relation to the "opposite" gender, and the extent to which people are blamed for things other people do to them.

So-called men's rights activists (MRAs) often complain that society doesn't care about male victims (which is a somewhat legitimate complaint, due to various gender narratives) and that feminists are 99% to blame (which is mostly bullshit). Rarely, do MRAs or "feminist critics" take on those who promote traditional gender narratives that frame men as inherently strong, remarkably invincible, and un-victimlike. Almost never do MRAs take on the Average Joe who only ever thinks about gender when he want to continue making things worse for men or telling everyone how stupid feminists are.

Again, this situation is old news to most readers here.

I'm just compiling evidence that demonstrates that yep, lots of people who aren't feminists actually contribute to, and buy into, the situations that MRAs endlessly whinge about but blame feminists for.

So look. Some male non-feminist comments* to the video showing a male victim of sexual assault:
"Women running naked and chasing after me. I don't have to work and can stay home, ride my bike and take care of the kids. Sounds great to me!" -Taxmodius Vivax (This popular comment received 72 "favorites").
"This is a dream world for most guys. We are dying to be sexually objectified lol!" -Kurt (This comment got 15 "favorites")
Such a privilege, isn't it, to find sexual assault funny?

As a newsflash to MRAs and their like-minded brethren: most feminists don't sit around all day cackling with glee about the idea of men being raped. It's usually non-feminist men who do that.  So take it up with them, players.

(*Many of the comments that men made in response to the video trivialized sexism against women, referred to how much worse things are for women in other countries, and/or called the video "sexist" against men.  Again, no surprise there - just an observation that some folks were doing more than yukking it up.)

No comments: