Men, especially white heterosexual men, have been attacked consistently for the better part of a decade for rampant sexism, racism and homophobia. They get blamed for everything because they have the longest track record. But that’s not all men and even the normal (aka not sexist/racist/homophobic ones) men are getting defensive. No one likes to be attacked all the time.
The problem is the rest of us were on the receiving end for hundreds of years. There are generations of the oppressed and being able to make men pay can feel liberating is nearly therapeutic. I catch myself frequently thinking “You don’t like it? Welcome to our world” but I still don’t think it’s okay. It’s wrong. It’s 100% wrong. Even when it feels like everyone, even when it is actually a lot of individuals, everyone is simply that, and individual.
Yes, laws have to be put in place to guarantee that our HUMAN rights aren’t violated, even when there is a decent chance it will happen on some level from time to time anyway. At least we can now demand justice and probably get it so long as they aren’t connected and/or are from money. We have these laws because we were wrongfully deprived of them in the first place.
So what is the answer? Stop treating all men, particularly white heterosexual men, as Hitlers in training. Don’t make them feel like victims or they’ll stop fighting for us. They’ll see as hypocrites and honestly, some of us already are. Don’t assume the average man will victimize you just because. Any non-sexist/racist/homophobic person should be treated as an ally until they prove otherwise. They’re individuals, just like you.
Things are still bad, but at the same time I think there are more “allies” than before, for all of us. Most men I know aren’t these horrible things, but some are.
Some men feel like they can’t say whatever they want anymore and that that’s the problem, they don’t understand how it’s effected generation by generation to this day. In some ways we still wear the yoke. On the other hand that’s not the case with men as a whole. They may feel defensive, but it’s in no way near the same as what so many groups, particularly women, African and Native Americans have gone through and continue to go through.
Recognize that you can sympathize but not fully understand. Recognize that you’re a -good- straight, white man’s ally as he is your ally too. Allied countries support each other during conflicts, so why should we be different on such a fundamentally human level? They want to see the same changes. They are as offended and horrified with us. In some cases, perhaps even more so because they know it comes from the group they just so happened to be born into.
Oh the randomness of birth…
On the subject of women, as I cannot speak for any other group here, I will say that to women being sexually harassed in ANY fashion is just as offensive and scary as when someone drops the n-word. It’s threatening and isolates us from you. Saying something really demeaning then claiming you were kidding isn’t a joke nor a justification, it’s a cover up because it got a negative response. If it has gotten a positive one you wouldn’t say you were kidding. If I wanted to screw you after you said “nice jugs” you wouldn’t be kidding then, you’d wanna get laid.
If we didn’t have the right to fight back we would be the same as it has always been in this country and we are now slowly tearing ourselves free from that scary, dark place. We don’t always have to live in a world where when we say no, they say too bad. Some lucky ones don’t have to live that way at all.
One needs to realize what is offensive and what will never be a joke to us. You don’t drop the n-word to a black person (or at all) and you don’t harass women because you want their attention, and you don’t call people fags as a joke. It’s honestly that simple. Instead of wondering what’s gonna piss us off next use your brains and figure it out. Many men already have because they aren’t idiot monsters. What’s your excuse?
So the summary: Don’t attack groups because your group has a history of being attacked. Tit-for-tat isn’t allowed but a nationwide mistrust is to be expected. Black people have a reason to be suspicious of whitey. Women have a reason to be suspicious of men. Homosexuals have a right to be distrustful of a culture that has consistently attacked and degraded them. The lack of power we’ve all had. We all have our valid reasons….but only one thing matters in the end…individuality. (Not speaking in terms of politics and opportunities really, more on a social person-to-person level)
If you cant give them that one little-big thing then you’re absolutely, positively as bad as the individuals keeping us down. Keep your mouth shut. You’re making it worse.