Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Note on Boys

I love when people leave me comments or send me emails. I read them all and take them all to heart. I especially enjoy when people point out flaws or bring up further curiosities in my thought processes. So when I recieved a comment on the last post asking if I was perhaps a tad hostile towards men (while also being a feminist and a Christian), I suddenly became fearful that maybe I do come off as hostile towards males - or that maybe I am a tad hostile towards them? I think that this question came as a response to me referring to an ex as a "fuckwit rubbish boyfriend." I thought I'd clear a few things up and maybe explain my stance on boys vs. girls vs. society. Boys and men will be used interchangably.
First off, I have every reason to be hostile towards certain boys. Not all boys, of course, but certain ones, yes. I've been pushed around by boys. I've been in abusive relationships, I've been told awful things by boys, and I've been made extremely uncomfortable by them. I approach everyone with a fair and open mind, and always give people the benefit of the doubt. But it would be a lie if I said that I was comfortable around men, especially men that I do not know. I am absolutely not comfortable around men. I am entirely uneasy around them. But I still treat them respectfully and equally, just as I'd treat a man who I was comfortable with and trusted, or a woman. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I am never hostile towards anyone right off the bat, unless they give me reason to be.
I obviously write a lot of my thoughts on this blog. In the post the other day in which I referred to an ex as a "fuckwit rubbish boyfriend," I wasn't referring to men in general, but rather a specific boy who was rude and disapproving towards me. There's a new girl at work who I was working with a few weeks ago. She overheard a conversation that a friend and I were having, in which we were discussing (perhaps a bit contentiously) how obnoxious it was when boyfriends criticise the way you look. After my friend had departed, my new co-worker turns to me and matter-of-factly states, "I like when my boyfriend criticises the way I look." I wanted to cry. I wanted to grab her and cry into her, screaming about what is wrong with our society and the people who are sucked into its nastiness.
I am bitter towards the men and women who feed off of these lies and put themselves down over them. I am bitter of men for it because they become rude and they put down women and other men who choose to be themselves, such as this boyfriend who decided it was his position to put me down for an article of (mind you, completely non-offensive) clothing that I chose to wear. I have absolutely no patience for that. And I am equally bitter towards women who allow themselves to be put down, not only by men, but by their media. It is exhausting when women and young girls seem to be mindless drones to the hateful remarks and the damaging advertising and hurtful messages put forth by media.
I don't want my co-worker to continue going through life being verbally abused by her boyfriend. I want her to stand firm against him and against all the hate-filled media that surrounds her, and to be herself. It takes strength to be yourself, and it breaks my heart when girls (or boys) give up so easily. If I am hostile towards anything, it is our mainstream society. But I am always willing to fight against it and to help people fall out of the trap that it causes people to get caught in. I'm not going to give up on this girl just because she hasn't realised the damage that our mainstream society has caused her. And I'm not going to give up on boys who help to feul the hatefulness of this society, either. I am 100% dedicated to making a change so that everyone can be themselves. And yes, I still stand by that this boyfriend was rubbish and a bit of a fuckwit, but it doesn't mean that I don't think he can change. And it doesn't mean that he didn't help teach me an important lesson on rebelling against this society - and to be myself.


marthaaaa_ said...

This is possible the most honest posts about feminism and feelings towards men in general I've seen. I'm very impressed, please keep writing, you're too good not to.

K. Cruz said...

You're such a great writer, I'm glad there's a blogger who's so versatile in what she decides to post. Keep it up!

Geena Rose said...

I feel the same way. I just read this article before reading your post that I think you would be interested in. I think it backs up why a lot of women feel that hostility towards men.

Keit said...

I think that humans in general are really fucked up, doesn't matter if they are men or women.
I used to be very harsh on men, because, just like you, I had a few boyfriends who were sooooo horrible, it made me want to stay alone and die with my cats -_-
But I think in reality men don't deserve so much hate, I've met so many women who treat boys like crap, just because they can and they are pretty, which is just stupid.
What I'm trying to say is, we are fucked up in general, women and men are equally hateful and abusive, it's sad but it's the truth.
Sometimes men are more abusive, of course, because they have the physical power too, that's why I'm pro-woman most of the time :-)

Bright said...

This is such a great post. The problem isn't men or woman or boys or girls specifically, it's hatefulness in general, and the fact that people think this hatefulness is an acceptable way to behave and be treated.

I wish more people wanted to change that!

Anonymous said...

I think this post it's so genuine and helpful to a bunch of girls that don't know that they're more worth that a boy that treats them like dolls

Anonymous said...

hey lady, love the blog (fellow minnesotan, also wearing sensible winter boots ;) great post. keep doing you, and fuck every single man who ever tells you how to look, act, dress or (my personal pet peeve) to "smile!" grrrrrr! my face is not here to make you feel better, and i will not arrange my facial features in a manner in which will make you more comfortable. anyone who thinks otherwise can piss off.


Anonymous said...

This is a very thought provoking post. I agree with you on most points -- I definitely take an innocent-until-prove-guilty stance, and have been burned countless times BECAUSE I'm very gracious and see the best in people. At the same time, I have a tendency to be very open to the fact that men are going to be immature, rude, insensitive, lazy, critical, womanizing, etc...probably because, like you, I've gotten the worst end of the stick from them. And somehow I feel like I've met more crummy guys than great guys in the end? But yeah, it's not that I don't believe in (and desire) that these crummy guys can change -- the great ones give me some hope. But because of my family and personal experiences with men...I've got a HUGE heart for women being treated respectfully and I'm very sensitive toward jerks. Lol.

However, I might disagree with your use of words here. I just don't feel like applying abusive words back to someone who is abusive is the best idea. I don't mean that harshly (obviously can't convey tone in a blog comment), but just matter-of-factly. Doesn't that put us on the same level? Wouldn't it be more productive to use the labels that really "mean" something and accurately describe the guys we have crossed ugly paths wit?

We should have coffee and talk more about this.

<3 Cambria

Lola Wrenn said...

preach, lady.
i read the article Geena Rose posted and feel like it was along the same lines too. I guess my own hostility towards men/boys is deeply rooted in the overwhelming sense of entitlement most young men of our generation seem to have. it's as though, as women, our time, safety, thoughts and actions are purely for their entertainment. the woman writing the article raises an interesting point about how frequently the average woman is harassed on the street, and how this constant barrage of attention from male strangers results in most women feeling decidedly unsafe around most men. And why shouldn't we? As the article put it, girls are pretty much trained from an early age to expect "their rape" and understand that it's an inevitability of the society we live in. How horrible is that? How can men be ok with being perceived as dangerous animals, incapable of controlling themselves or exercising common decency when around a woman.

i think it's our jobs as feminists to not only stand as strong independent women, but also to not stand for men behaving in this way. It's a culture that is not only inherited, but perpetuated by silence and tolerance of such behavior.

a great read, incredibly thought provoking. this is why i keep coming back to your blog. style and substance.