“Truth is on the side of the oppresed.”–Malcom X
I am an oppressor. I did not choose this position; it was given to me at birth. Ignorant of my privilege, I have abused this undeserved power throughout my life. Not until one of the oppressed loved and forgave me was I able to see the massive power structure that I inherited with my Y chromosome.
On this Valentine’s Day while a billion people are dancing to end violence against women, I want to call out to all other male oppressors to lay down their weapons and commence dismantling this Patriarchy the empowers us. The dismantling will not be easy because the system is entrenched in everything we know.
- It is in the language we speak. How we use “love” to satisfy lust. I even thought that some readers might criticize me as being a “pussy” for publishing this post. I guess that proves the point.
- It is in the unions we sanctify. “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” (Ephesians 5:22-23)
- It is in our professions. Women still earn $8000 less than males a year after college graduation.
- It is in our politics. In 236 years as a nation, the United States has had 44 presidents including a disabled man, a black man, and a few adulterers, but no hint of a woman.
- It is in our music. From “It’s Britney Bitch” to “Baby Got Back.”
- It is in our children. From “The Princess Obsession” to “Boys don’t cry.”
Face it men, we’ve been exploiting and abusing this stacked deck for far too long. So on this day of love in 2013, I’m going to start to bring things back into balance. Isn’t that what love is all about? Equality, Selflessness, and unconditional giving.
“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”–Aung San Suu Kyi
Here are my baby steps to dismantle Patriarchy:
- Become aware of any thoughts, words, jokes, or actions that demean women. No more “bitches and hos,” blonde jokes, in-and-out ideas, MILF comments, or middle finger gestures.
- Listen, really listen, to what stresses my wife out. Don’t ignore her when she says that she feels taken for granted even if she can’t specifically point to something concrete I did or said. Women have been fighting against this Patriarchy their entire lives. And when they get married, they realize that they have let the enemy inside their house and in their hearts. I vow to be my wife’s ally rather than the enemy within. I want to publicly apologize to my wife for all the times I called her crazy or said that she was over-reacting.
- Begin educating my sons in a counter-patriarchal manner. I remember when I got upset at my wife for buying my sons dolls for Christmas. (Pretty ironic considering I’m a Manny/male caretaker of the children.) I’m going to encourage my sons to value and honor femininity in all its forms.
- Be thankful for my wife and every other woman who has the patience to continue trying to teach me how to empathize with the oppressed.
- Be the “bigger man” and surrender in any arguments or conflicts involving women. Men have been the victors and historians for far too long. Time to shut up and see the world from a different perspective.
- Continue reading, researching, and listening to women’s voices in all forms. I am so grateful for that a majority of my Blogging Best Friends are women. I cherish your posts and comments that help me understand your struggle, your talents, your vision, and your godliness/goddessness.
- Love my wife the way that she deserves to be loved–like the Goddess that she is.
I wish you love, peace, and equality on this February 14th, 2013.
Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.
What other ways can I empathize with women? Please share.
Happy Valentine’s Day, HoneyBee. I love you.
- By the way, the patriarchy is dead! (Internet, men, anger) (awhalewithaface.wordpress.com)
- Banal Misogyny (gukira.wordpress.com)
- Love Each Other (Cardcastlesinthesky.wordpress.com)
- Men and Woman (Sofiasiberia.com)
- We Who Believe in Freedom (professionsforpeace.com)