Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
Sept. 26, 2015
Let’s face it, whenever we hear about someone “challenging gender roles,” it usually looks like this. Or maybe even this.
Now, I’m not here to rant about guyliner but I’d like to strongly propose that revolutionary gender non-conformity should involve addressing, challenging, and changing the most common -- and most dangerous -- male behaviors.
With that in mind, here are 10 radically simple ways men can get started right now:
- Don’t rape and don’t be a rape apologist (99.8 percent of those in prison for rape in the United States are men and 0 percent of these rapists committed their atrocity because the victim was “asking for it”).
- Don’t murder women (or men or children or, basically, everyone).
- Don’t be a pedophile.
- Don’t physically or emotionally assault your domestic partner.
- Don’t jerk off to pornography; don’t let boys have access to pornography.
- Don’t be a john; don’t accept the postmodern mantra about prostituted women/girls and “choice,” and don’t eroticize pain, fear, and shame via BDSM and “kink.”
- Don’t tell misogynist jokes or use misogynist language or allow other men to do so in your presence.
- Don’t harass, cat call, stare (“male gaze”), mansplain, or manspread.
- Don’t call yourself a feminist, don’t ever say “not all men,” and don’t engage in patriarchal reversals.
- Don’t penetrate female-only safe spaces.
Bonus entry: Don’t be too proud of yourself for adhering to these guidelines because they are the very least any man can do to challenge prescribed gender roles.
I repeat: This. Is. The. Absolute. Least. We. Can. Do.
Since you now have 10 don’ts to follow, here are 10 things to do:
- Listen to, validate, respect, appreciate, trust and defend females.
- Learn from females.
- Rediscover how to be silent, how to relinquish the spotlight, the stage, the microphone, the platform.
- Support women and girls in all their valiant efforts to bring down patriarchy.
- Do the work to educate ourselves and learn to recognize the deeper connections, the roots.
- Commit to addressing and surrendering all the socialization and privilege that automatically comes along with being born male.
- Reject the masculinity paradigm and stop conforming to macho ideals and conditioning.
- Evolve. (Each day, every day.)
All of this (and more) adds up to a deeper understanding that gender is a social construct. It is, by design, oppression. Top-down oppression: Males, as a class, oppressing females as a class. To provoke authentic, sustainable social change, gender must be abolished and men must play a major part in such an epic rebellion.
Oh, before you embark on this journey to topple phallocracy, there’s one more “don’t,” guys: DON’T whine about how patriarchy hurts men, too. Of course it does… and that’s not the point.
To borrow from Andrea Dworkin: “Men who want to support women in our struggle for freedom and justice should understand that it is not terrifically important to us that they learn to cry; it is important to us that they stop the crimes of violence against us.”
Yes, most of all, we must openly and relentlessly name the problem: US.
We are the problem. Men are the problem. Patriarchy, male supremacy, male pattern violence -- and all the institutional structures created to maintain and obscure this necrophilic system.
We must name the problem, over and over again, until we stop being the problem.
Mickey Z. is the author of 13 books, most recently Occupy these Photos: NYC Activism Through a Radical Lens. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here and here. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here.
"10 Easy Ways for Men to Smash Gender Roles" by Mickey Z. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://worldnewstrust.com/10-easy-ways-for-men-to-smash-gender-roles-mickey-z.