Current Events

I try not to get political here, but I’ve been watching the sexual harrassment in kidlit/Salt Lake FanX fiascos unfold, listening to the various viewpoints expressed, and I need to share my current takeaway.
 
tl;dr: It’s time for society to really embrace the facts that we are more than our bodies and that our bodies don’t belong to anyone but ourselves. (And if you think your masculinity depends on your access to or power over women, you need to look around at the many good examples of men who are strong without pushing others down.)
 
A couple of hundred years ago, women in Western society were regarded more or less as the property of the men in their lives, without the rights to own property or businesses on their own, express their voices in politics, or have a say over their own bodies or their own children. But we’ve finally been fixing that over the last century or so, and the process has made men reevaluate their own roles in society. Most, I think, have seen the value in treating women like partners instead of dependants, in allowing women their voices and their autonomy, but a large minority have been socially/culturally trained to think that they’re not men if they don’t have power over the people–and especially the women–around them (and that’s the TOXIC part of toxic masculinity).
 
Now, are there radical man-haters out there? Unfortunately, yes. Are they the majority? No. I think a lot of women feel the way I do. We appreciate the men in our lives: our fathers, brothers, husbands, friends, co-workers, etc. We appreciate their desire to protect and care for the people they care about. We’re not asking men to go away or to put aside their positive traits and instincts. What we’re asking for is to be listened to and respected as human beings.
 
Most of this is pretty simple: Learn to see us as more than a set of body parts. Don’t get in our physical space without our permission. Don’t assume we’re stupid or have some evil agenda because we have two x-chromosomes. Don’t act like our bodies or our time belong to you. If we can root out that sense of entitlement, I believe a lot of these issues with school shootings and sexual harrassment and physical violence against women would end, and that men as well as women would be happier.
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