Yesterday, Scarlett was describing the two lead males (James Spader and William Shatner) on Boston Legal, and she said:
In a way, they are as much victims of the patriarchy as the patriarchy’s more obvious victims
My response in the comments was something I thought, upon later reflection, might be worth a post.
…and that’s exactly why this site exists. Men are just as much victims of the patriarchy as we are. They may not suffer many of the tangible indignities and brutalities women do, but there is plenty of damage available for them at the hands of the patriarchy. It’s just that most of it’s a bit less visible – which probably makes it just that much more insidious.
That’s what it really comes down to. It’s not men versus women – it’s people for the patriarchy against those who want real equality. And we get sidetracked by debating just what constitutes real equality, and how to go about it… and the longer we fight each other, the longer the patriarchy sits back smiling to itself, training boys not to have feelings and girls not to have ambition, and pitting us all against each other.
This belief is such a part of me that I forget to mention it every time it’s relevant. Looking back through articles I’ve written here, I realize I haven’t mentioned it nearly enough. So here it is: this is what I believe. Inequality hurts everyone. It puts unfair restrictions on some, unfair burdens on others, subjects some to great indignities, and subjects others to killing that part of themselves that is appalled by the indignity. We may not all suffer equally, but instead of fighting over who’s got it the worst, those of us who believe things can change for the better need to focus on making change happen.