Why I don’t want women to become ‘equal to men’

Written by Jessica Eaton

04 August 2018

 

We need to stop saying that women want to be equal to men – or that we are striving for women to be seen as the ‘same as men in society’.

 

After many a frustrating conversation with people who have somehow managed to mix up egalitarianism, equalism and feminism, this blog feels timely.

There’s only so many times we should have to explain that feminism is NOT a movement to make women equal to men. Feminism undoubtedly means different things to different people, but can we stop watering it down now? The dumbing down of feminism has gone too far in the third wave. I have heard feminism defined as everything from ‘the belief that all people are equal’ to ‘feminists believe that women should be the same as men in society.’ What? Nah.

Feminism is not ‘for the equality of all people’. Feminism is not ‘the belief that women should be treated the same as men.’ Feminism is not ‘the movement to make women equal to men in society.’ Feminism is not equalism.

Feminism is the liberation of women and girls all over the world from the patriarchy and misogyny that continues to harm and oppress them as a class of people. Feminism centres women unflinchingly and unapologetically. Feminism is the conversation about women’s issues in the world; without having to add some tokenistic sentence at the end acknowledging that men also experience some things too. Yah, we know. But we are talking about women right now, so hush.

The problem with saying that we are working towards women becoming equal to men is that it frames men and male cultures as being the optimum culture or the ideal goal that women should reach to become equal.

I’m here to say: what a crock of shit.

For women to be valid, whole human beings in society – feminism has got to move beyond this notion that women are striving for what men already have. I don’t want anything men already have. None of it. It’s a mess.

If we take modern men and male experiences as the ‘goal’ level for women to achieve in personal life and society, what would success look like?

  • Would success mean that women’s suicide rates rise to the same levels as the male suicide rate because as women reach ‘equality’ they must follow the patriarchal value of eradicating ‘feminine’ emotions and expressions, including talking about their feelings and seeking help?

 

  • Would success mean that women’s cancer mortality rates rise to the same rates as men because as women finally reach the almighty peak of maleness, they also stop seeking help for medical issues because of embarrassment, and just like men do now; they begin waiting until a health problem has become unbearable before they seek help, meaning cancer has usually spread and is more complex to treat?

 

  • Would success mean that women significantly increase their rates of violent crime and interpersonal violence to match that of men around the world?

 

  • Would success mean that women increase their murders of their partners and ex partners by at least 200% to match the rates of women killed by male partners and ex partners each year?

 

  • Would success mean that women increase their rates of sexual violence, trafficking and exploitation of men and boys at an unprecedented rate never before seen in history to achieve ‘equality with men’?

 

  • Would success mean that women become the most likely group to die in gun and knife violence with other women all over the world?

 

  • Would success mean that women working in aid roles begin abusing, sexually assaulting and sexually exploiting boys in deprived areas to match the male role model we currently have?

 

  • Would success mean women in power developing regimes in which baby boys were murdered or aborted because no one wanted a son?

 

  • Would success mean that women must begin carrying out many more terrorist acts and mass murders all over the world, especially school shootings – to claim equality with the men?

 

Is this what we mean by ‘feminism is the movement to make women equal to men’? Or when we say this, do we just mean the ‘good’ bits like higher salaries and more power in society?

It’s not. This is the stuff of nightmares. No one wants this. Even people who claim to hate feminism and claim that women should be equal to men in all arenas don’t REALLY want to see this level of sex equality. No one wants this in the world. No one wants women to step up to match what men already have.

I don’t think we’ve thought through this whole ‘we want women to be equal to men’ thing. I don’t think we have realised that we have framed male issues and experiences as the goal we are all supposedly striving for, and what that would actually mean for us all. All sorts of people hark on about how women finally being ‘the same as men’ in society would mean that we were respected, paid higher wages and would be safer. It’s bollocks.

The reality is, we cannot assume that what men in have society is the standard we should be striving for as women. Men are miserable and harmed daily by the patriarchy – they just haven’t figured it out yet. Men’s rights activists kick off on twitter about male suicide rates but don’t look into the way male gender role stereotypes they support; are harming them every day. Campaigns argue that men and boys are also victims of rape and that is absolutely true – but do not admit that the vast majority of perpetrators of those crimes are men. Activists argue that men are significantly more likely to be killed in violence than women which is also correct – but the fact that more than 97% of violence and murders are committed by men seems to escape them. I’ve even seen campaigns from men’s rights activists arguing that family courts are biased against fathers and men – and there is some truth in that claim – but to them I say this:

The laws about family court weren’t written by women. The legislation about children remaining with their mothers was not signed off by women. The majority of all judges are men. Legislators were men. Policymakers were men. The research that the majority of family court attachment and bonding theory was based on came from JOHN Bowlby. A man. A lot of the legislation and policies were developed in a time where men were the breadwinners and women were the childrearers. It made sense to the men in power that women should take care of the babies and men should go out and do important man things. Nowadays, MRAs are positioning that as ‘reverse sexism’ – but actually, its a legacy from the patriarchy. The assumption that you wouldn’t want to play an active part in your kids’ lives, dreamt up, supported by, signed off by and judged by your fellow patriarchal family court judge. Think about it. Women were not in influential positions at the time these systems were being developed. Women did not orchestrate these patriarchal systems. Men did.

All of the things wrong with society at present (and all of the things that even MRAs hate about society), were created by, funded by, legislated by, demanded by, invented by and sold by men. Therefore, why should feminism support a movement of women ‘becoming equal to men’? In fact, why should we be using male experience and cultures around the world as a blueprint at all?

There is something important to be said here. Feminism is the movement towards liberation of women and girls from the oppression and control of the patriarchy – but actually, the real change will come for the world when we rise up and dismantle the patriarchy together. The destruction of patriarchal and misogynistic values benefits everyone.

As a woman who is proudly radical feminist, is a specialist in the psychology of sexual violence against women and girls – but is also the Chair and Founder of the first male mental health and wellbeing centre in the UK, serving around 150 men per month – I can see that the patriarchy is killing all of us.

Men come into our centre having been abused, neglected, sexually exploited, having suffered with mental health issues and lived in misery for decades and they sit in front of us and say ‘I thought I should just shut up and put up – be a real man and not ask for help.’ Men so harmed by gender role stereotypes that they cry in therapy and then apologise for crying because it means they are not a ‘real man’.

The best way I have found to explain it to people is that the patriarchy harms men, but oppresses women. Often times, men hear us talk about the patriarchy oppressing, killing and dehumanising women – and when we say ‘patriarchy’ they hear ‘all men’. Hence the annoying phrase NAMALT (not all men are like that!).

My view, is that if men could detach themselves from the patriarchy and see how it harms them and makes them miserable, they would stop fighting against feminism as a movement. However, and this is important, it does mean that we have to actively challenge the warped current wave of liberal feminism which oftentimes completely contradicts itself and props up the patriarchy in a number of concerning ways. Not least by claiming that these gender role stereotypes are real, innate qualities and not social constructs that harm us all.

To explain how the patriarchal values of our world harm men and women, I’ve made this handy table:

(You can zoom in on this image if it displays too small)

2018-08-04

The point is this:

Men are not the blueprint.

The current epidemic of male violence cannot be the standard we all strive for. Men are coerced into, are propping up and are being harmed by patriarchal values. They don’t have it right. We should not be trying to emulate that. We should not be striving to become equal with men in their patriarchal misery – we should be challenging and dismantling the patriarchy and its global values until we can revolt.

True change in the world will only come with revolution. Revolution is not possible if we perceive male privilege and male experience as the ‘goal’ women should be working towards in the world. We don’t want to be the ‘same as men’. Why would be want to replicate a broken system? Why would we work towards total misery and increased violence?

I don’t know about you, but my vision for women is not that we become more violent, more misogynistic, more miserable, less able to speak about our emotions, less able to seek help, more likely to bully each other for ‘feminine traits’ and so confused that we begin celebrating the same toxic masculinity that is harming us every day.

That’s not my feminism. That’s not my vision for us all.

Imagine for a second, if we did dismantle the patriarchal beliefs and cultures centuries of male power have created for us. A world where men can show their emotions without worrying that someone will call them the ultimate insult: a woman. A society where women are not objectified as sex toys to be used up and thrown away when they get older or imperfect. A world in which teenage boys are not having to visit therapists and doctors about their erectile dysfunction and addiction to porn. A society in which rape isn’t a constant threat to women and girls all over the world – and a joke told about men in prison. A life in which men can participate and enjoy parenthood in equality with the mothers of their children because they believe their role is just as important. A workplace where a pregnant woman isn’t managed out of her job because she is perceived as unreliable – but where a man whose wife is pregnant is promoted for becoming a ‘responsible family man’. A world where women can become the main breadwinners and not make men feel insecure about it. A community where men can stay at home with the kids admiring the tenacity of the mother of his kids who rakes in the cash in a job she loves.

A world where the patriarchy no longer controls women, kills female babies because they were unwanted, hacks off vulva and clitoris of women, revels in porn, excuses everything with rape myths, positions ‘woman’ as the ultimate insult to men, sells women’s bodies and denies women the right to healthcare and advice about their own reproductive systems.

True feminism is revolution. Feminism is the liberation of women from the values and systems of the patriarchy. Feminism is the movement to challenge and dismantle the patriarchy, raising new generations of humans that do not fall into the same tropes we have. Feminism is not about centring men in our discussions or our events – but feminism will inevitably support men to be healthier and happier.

I don’t want to be ‘equal to men’. I want to rip up the blueprint and smash up the patriarchy and start again with our new generations. I want us all to take a step back, breathe and realise that the patriarchy harms all of us, and claiming that feminism is about women working towards being ‘the same as men’ in society is us moving in the wrong direction. And yet, the patriarchy in power are scared of women becoming more networked and more influential – because they know it will dilute the power of the patriarch.

With all the harm done to men by the patriarchy, I find myself asking men – what are you clinging on to it for? What is it about feminism that scares you? What is it about femininity that makes you feel so insecure? What do you stand to lose if we one day break down the patriarchal powers in the world?

Once we can answer those questions honestly and with integrity, we can take the first steps to breaking down the patriarchy and the patriarchal values, myths and messages being communicated all over the world.

 

Written by Jessica Eaton

Founder of VictimFocus http://www.victimfocus.org.uk

Tweet @JessicaE13Eaton

Email Jessica@victimfocus.org.uk

538 thoughts on “Why I don’t want women to become ‘equal to men’

  1. I would say the view of Family Court favouring mothers is completely untrue through experience and knowing of many other hundreds of women’s stories showing a similar pattern to my experience. I would therefore say it is damaging for mothers in general to make a claim that Family Court favours the mother. If researched well it would be seen that most cases going through the Family Courts involve abuse and abusers are being assisted by the Family Courts to continue this abuse by not using up to date scientific research of the logistics of abuse. Abusers are both male and female, with a much higher rate of male abusers than female abusers.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Mras make the claim that family court is unfair on fathers and it is a completely baseless and false claim. It’s incongruous to see in the midst of an article rightly disavowing the aim of equality in favour of liberation support being leant to mra and fathers rights fictional notions that mothers are favoured in family court. Mothers are not at all favoured and face massive disadvantages and retraumatisation in family court.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. But the point of that part of the blog is to say that MRAs claim that the system is set up to support women and discriminate against men – so I used that section to argue that the system they hate so much that they claim is discriminating against men – was set up and governed by men

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Neither the intent not the impact of the family court system privileges women, there is not grain of truth to the suggestion that men are in any way disadvantaged by that system. Whilst the courts are institutionally patriarchal, within the family court system there are many patriarchal women advocating for the same patriarchal policies that harm women. These harms are further compounded by the myths spread by father’s rights activists claiming that the court is biased against men–it isn’t, it never was, and the prominence of this false narrative has the effect of influencing judges and others to act even more in father’s favour. Which is classic abusive male behaviour, the exact type we can’t lend any credence to.

        Liked by 4 people

      1. In different countries, between 95% and 97% of all abuse is perpetrated by men (rape, sexual abuse, child sexual abuse etc)

        Like

    1. Fantastic point. I bring that up too. Im a survivor, a victims advocate, and in school to be a social worker.

      The only time the court favors the mother is when there’s proven abuse. I got full custody because the abuse was that bad. He cried the courts favored me. Yeah, for a damn good reason! Duhdoi

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  2. “Men are miserable and harmed daily by the patriarchy – they just haven’t figured it out yet.”

    I realize you screen comments, but hopefully you’ll post this one. The quote above, being a simplistic stereotypical dismissal – hopefully helps people realize how we need to provide the space for people to speak for themselves and their experiences, rather than have people speak for them… which is probably a principle of feminism already.

    Also important to note that there are many voices aside from MRAs who have good analysis of the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I don’t know about you, but my vision for women is not that we become more violent, more misogynistic, more miserable, less able to speak about our emotions, less able to seek help, more likely to bully each other for ‘feminine traits’ and so confused that we begin celebrating the same toxic masculinity that is harming us every day.”

    I know that there are many schools of feminism, but I do not know of any that advocates for anything mentioned above.

    “With all the harm done to men by the patriarchy, I find myself asking men – what are you clinging on to it for? What is it about feminism that scares you? What is it about femininity that makes you feel so insecure? What do you stand to lose if we one day break down the patriarchal powers in the world?”

    Engles answered that question in “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State” back in 1884.

    Patriarchy provides men with economic, reproductive, and sexual benefits heavily downplayed in this article.

    I really don’t get how a man in the 19th century understood that, but feminist women in the 21st century don’t (or just flat-out refuse to see it).

    Liked by 3 people

  4. “Feminism is the liberation of women and girls all over the world from the patriarchy and misogyny that continues to harm and oppress them as a class of people. Feminism centres women unflinchingly and unapologetically. Feminism is the conversation about women’s issues in the world; without having to add some tokenistic sentence at the end acknowledging that men also experience some things too. Yah, we know. But we are talking about women right now, so hush.”

    Replace the banner and the demographic and this could be any form of supremacy. This could have come straight out a National-Socialist pamphlet circa 1930. “We centre the Aryan people unflinchingly and unapologetically”

    And like all ideologies based on separation it’s devaluing your own and others humanity. By definition and inherently self-destructive. And so it will self-destruct. If you live long enough you’ll see.

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    1. Exactly THANK YOU.

      As a Middle Eastern / North African women from a Muslim family who grew up suffering from male patriarchy every single second of my life to the point that I feared men to the point of utter paranoia and disgust towards male strangers I find this article EXTREMELY APPALING. An evidently and entirely white priviledged point of view devaluing humanity for a petty battle of the sexes. Some men are monsters as much as women are. But they are also human. Yes we want equality not for so we become as “horrid” as “these monsters” (or so you portray them in the most generalised and ignoble manner) but to ALL be equal. As citizens of the earth. Not in the characteristics that you focus on with so much hatred. But in our right to live and work and love freely. So how about you fucking shush and never produce an article this disgustingly biased again. For fuck’s sake and you are meant to speak on behalf of us? This is why we’re fucked because all you faux/neo feminists and your (nothing remotely even close to true) “radicalism” dismissing FACTS concerning what equality truly stands for and means to highlight what divides genders is absolutely disgusting.

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      1. Isn’t the “battle of the sexes” what caused your bad experiences and the paranoia? Let me rephrase. Isn’t the males whom caused you that? Keep being a submissive sheep.

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      2. @Anonymous And yet a male who had suffered abuse after abuse or bad experience after bad experience at the hands of females to the point of cynicism or even hatred would get told “Suck it up. Most women aren’t like that.” The person above is calling for empathy but here you are playing the same tired old “Duh menz are evul.”

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  5. Family courts usually favor men when the father pursues custody. However, men do not pursue custody as often as women do. So it may look like the courts favor women with granting them custody but if there is a custody battle where men pursue custody then the courts are mores likely to favor men over women and the courts grant custody to the fathers regardless of wether or not it is the father or the mother who is incompetent or the abuser.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is certainly not true in the UK. I’d be interested to know in what country you believe this is true and what’s the evidence?

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  6. I find it most suprising how you in turn admit, that men have lots of issues. You however have forgot to mention, that women being equal to men means, that

    > Girls and boys have an equal school suspension rate despite education researchers claiming that girls are bullying more than boys, especially against other girls and girls that develop anxiety going to school mostly because of other girls bullying them.

    > Boys have an equal rate of getting higher grades in school as girls, where the rate is now somewhere around 2:3 in all western countries.

    > Women doing more overhours at work, paid and unpaid, in order to pursue their career

    > Women getting 50% of the severe workplace releated diseases (currently at around 15-20%)

    > Women making 50% of the fatal workplace accident victims, where men currently hold 90%

    > Women doing 50% of the heavy, dangerous, dirty and unhealthy jobs which is currently for more than 90% by men

    > Prostrate cancer research getting 50% of the research funding (currently up to 4 times less, despite the higher mortality rates of prostrate cancer) compared to breast cancer research

    > Men getting equal amount of help as victims in DV cases, male help shelters, which now more or less are completely missing in all western countries (my country has more than 480 women’s help shelters but like 3 self-funded shelters for male victims, despite men are almost equally (47-50% depending on the study) as often victims of DV), as Erin Pizzey tried to get done in the 70’s already

    > Women making 50% of the homeless, where men are now 30% ahead of women

    > We close the empathy gap that disbenefits men

    No, feminism never wanted equality.

    Like

    1. Read the article properly – as I understand it, she specifically said women should not want equality because men have percentage wise more negative behavioural patterns than woman, her main point is we must strive to eradicate rules that favour patriarchy – rules written by men, favouring men, and harming both men and women.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. She didn’t forget – she was writing an article about women’s issues, not about men’s issues! An article on women’s issues isn’t the place to discuss everything that is wrong for men. What are you personally doing to help solve those issues? I would love to read that article.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Except that the equation works in both directions. Women=men. Men=women.
      Taking all these stats and creating worst case scenarios ignores the possibility of fixing the stats. Reduce it to 10% homeless; 10% mortality rates; etc. (And don’t tell me it would still break down unevenly between genders. At that point it would be far less relevant).
      We need to slow this trend towards a schizophrenic society (nearly any topic raised in U.S. now shows half of us in favor and half against) by working toward equal GOOD wrath than wringing our hands over statistics.

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  7. This reads like a straw argument more than anything. From what I know no one actually claimed feminism is about women becoming “just like men” and all the baggage that brings with it. You never cite any feminist writers who advocate women being just like men in every aspect, so where are they?

    Like

    1. In my limited experience I’ve seen multiple men saying that this is exactly what they think that feminism is – women wanting to be just like men in every single way. That is what the blog is addressing.

      If you’re on Twitter, you’ll see what I mean. A feminist dare not make a single post but a dozen or more men come along to say that NAMALT and that women who called for ‘equality with men’ are now reaping what we sowed. And yet, as far as I know, feminism was about equal rights for women with an understanding that women and men are not the same, so the term ‘equity’ became more popular amongst feminists. It was mostly men who told feminists that having equity rights with men was the same as women saying that we are the *same* as men. ‘Equal’ does not always mean ‘the same’.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with the comments above by Vanessa, Carabelle and Laurie regarding the treatment of protective mothers and their children within the family court system. You clearly state in your article that ‘there is some truth’ in the claim that the courts are biased towards fathers. I would like to know what evidence you have for that considering that the vast amount of research on this subject shows the opposite?

    I would recommend checking out the work of Louise Tickle (journalist specialising in family court abuses), Dr Gillian Mcdonald, Mothers Unite UK and Women’s Aid for UK based research. Both Barry Goldstein and Lundy Bancroft continue to do important work on this issue aswell. I would also highly recommend The Women’s Coalition in New Zealand. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

    The family courts are most definitely, as you say, a patriarchal system. However, this is not because children are able to remain with their mothers or that judges don’t support fathers to play an active part in children’s lives. Infact, I find both those claims extraordinary for many reasons.

    Firstly, 70% of fathers who apply for full custody will be awarded it, even in cases where there have been allegations by women and children of abuse (commonly, child sexual abuse). Within the past decade or so, family courts all over the world changed their default position to that of shared parenting (under pressure from powerful father’s rights groups). Considering that the majority of contact/custody cases involve domestic violence, this has obviously seen increased risk of harm for both women and children. In practise, family courts put the rights of fathers to have contact with their children above the right of mothers and those very children to be safe from harm. Child contact at any cost. Again, there is plenty of research on this. There are also many many women speaking out about their experiences (not forgetting the adult survivors of court ordered abusive contact) We need to start listening to them.

    Secondly, it seems you think ‘children remaining with their mothers’, and recognising attachment and bonding in regards to mothering, is somehow patriarchal? Lets not forget that before the Tender Years Doctrine mothers had no rights to their children whatsoever. Fathers essentially owned them. There are dire consequences for not acknowledging the harm that forced separation from their primary care giver has on children, let alone the psychological and emotional trauma it has on mothers. How is it radical feminist to support women being told by judges to stop breastfeeding so that they may hand their babies,unwillingly, over to men who may be outright dangerous or who have shown no interest or support? Because that is what IS happening. And that is the real life consequence of court ordered ‘equality’ and ‘shared parenting’. Only 10% of separated parents go to court for contact/custody cases. Most are able to sort it out amicably between themselves. How many single mothers wouldn’t want support from another person to raise their child – not many, I can tell you. How many good fathers would take children away from their mother knowing it would cause her great distress? It is not women’s liberation to abandon those mothers who for good reason don’t want to be forced (they will be jailed if they don’t) into contact/custody arrangements that are harmful to them and their children.

    Thirdly, you talk about the work of John Bowlby yet do not mention the work of Richard Gardner of which plays a huge part in modern family law. He was the originator of ‘Parental Alienation Syndrome’ an unproven ‘disease’ used against mothers in cases where children have alleged sexual abuse by their father. Not surprisingly, he also made many dangerous pro paedophile claims like the one below:

    Older children may be helped to appreciate that sexual encounters between an adult and a child are not universally considered to be reprehensible acts. The child might be told about other societies in which such behavior was and is considered normal. The child might be helped to appreciate the wisdom of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, who said, “Nothing’s either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

    Gardner, R.A. (1992). True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse . Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.(p. 549)

    I implore you to look again at your claims about fathers and the family courts. What you say here is familiar to those of us with experience of father’s rights activism. It is harmful to women and children, and, right now, many of us are feeling like you’ve thrown us under the bus. You have a platform that survivors of the family courts do not have. Please don’t use it to hinder rather than help our cause.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for this well referenced comment. I think a lot of people have misunderstood my intent here. The point I was making is that many MRA and fathers justice organisations claim that due to children remaining with their mother most of the times after a split (this is NOT including domestic abuse cases or where father is offender where they manipulate the system a lot of the time and use the system to further victimise women and kids) – they therefore claim that mums get the kids and dads end up with weekend contact in the U.K. this happens a lot as standard.
      I’ve seen MRA websites claiming that this is feminism’s fault. It’s women’s fault. That women manipulate the system and get a better deal. I’ve seen them say it’s feminist campaigners that have caused this patriarchal system.
      They ignore that men set the system up, run it, legislate it, govern it, write the policies etc.
      So I was sort of arguing to that point that women did not create this system that they claim discriminates against them.
      The point that ‘there is some truth’ was about the fact that the standard set up in U.K. after a break up is that Mum has the kids and Dad gets contact in week or over weekends. When this breaks down, we use contact orders.
      Like I say, when Dad is abuser or wealthy or highly manipulative, it’s a very different story.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That “standard set up” is decided by agreement between parents outside of family court. It is not “discriminatory” and has nothing to do with family court when the parents decide to agree arrangements between themselves as most do. They can and do make any kind of arrangement that they see best between them. Only in disagreement does the case end up in family court, these often are the instances where the men are abusive, controlling, and manipulative. The idea that men are discriminated against by their decision to be secondary carers/non-residential parent is itself antifeminist because it negates the ways that being a primary carer has a disadvantageous impact on women’s lives in patriarchal society and feeds into the idea that women are privileged as mothers, which they are not.

        What misogynists say about feminism on a chat board is one thing. The information about family court in this article is misleading and inaccurate even as it makes a feminist case for a liberatory politics–an essential component of which must include the recognition of the ways single motherhood is not a position of privilege.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I think I’ve made it clear that I agree with all of this but the article was addressing specifically their gripe that the contact system is set up ‘by women’ to be against them, claiming that it’s the fault of feminism and female supremacy.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My response in the article is very clearly aimed at MRAs claiming that they are suffering ‘reverse sexism’ whilst not realising the irony that it was men that set up and governed that system that they feel is oppressing them

        Liked by 1 person

      4. MRAs are arguing about something that has nothing to do with reality. The end goal of “fathers justice organizations” is to hold children over a mother’s head to prevent her from leaving.

        I’m not sure what women get out of pandering to their claims.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Shouldn’t the point be that the family courts are broken? I mean, I think it’s rather obvious to anyone who honestly examines the courts to see that anyone, of any gender, can easily use the system to abuse their partner. Frankly, the courts just simply aren’t sufficiently considering the fact that claimants are making their complaints in bad faith.

        The only thing that I’m legit unsure of how to handle is the ‘credible claim’ stuff. If someone says that their ex husband was abusive and wants to restrict his contact with his children, what do you do? If you investigate her crimes closely, you could be allowing his abuse in the mean time but on the other end, if you don’t, you could be restricting an innocent man’s civil liberties without grounds. I don’t care about numbers either way, I think it’s fair to expect the courts to both protect the accuser and the accused.

        I just don’t know how to balance immediate protection with protection of civil liberties.

        Like

    2. “70% of fathers who apply for full custody will be awarded it”. I would love to see evidence for this. It is certainly not true in the UK

      Like

  9. I was literally JUST talking to a friend about this the other day about how I don’t want equality because it insinuates you have to be equal TO something, aka men, and I don’t want that, I want to liberated from the patriarchy. Thank you for putting it so eloquently into words, another fantastic blog post. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I found this a very thought-provoking and interesting read, so thanks very much. I agree with almost every word. I think we can see that in western society what we basically have is a situation where a set of historical rules has created a set of perverse incentives which are probably beneficial to a relatively small cadre of individuals, and are not beneficial to the majority of either men or women.

    The effects of this are in turn that unhappy men are doing what unhappy men have always done everywhere, which is lash out fairly indiscriminately, at both men and women, making life bad for all concerned.

    We can see the effects of this on men every day: poor education and health outcomes, high unemployment, loneliness and suicide. Many other things.

    We can see that the motherhood penalty is damaging to both sexes. It’s pushing men into work and women out of it, when in many cases both genders in a couple would prefer different outcomes.

    So that’s not the world we want. I suppose we need a world where we have fewer preconceptions and prejudices of what we are supposed to do, while still accepting that even once we’ve got a perfectly fair environment, men and women may still choose to make different choices, and that’s okay.

    The question for me is how this world is brought about. This blog calls on men to get involved in the drive to end the patriarchy. How do we get men involved and how we make that happen?

    Perhaps I misinterpret, but it feels as if this blog says basically that men should form their own movement to address the impact of the patriarchy because they aren’t wanted in the feminist movement.

    Or perhaps just that men can’t even be expected to try and understand, and that change will be done to men, with or without our input, but once it has been done to us we will see it was good, and feel happier.

    I can’t help but feel that this isn’t the ideal approach. If we want to create this world, don’t we need to involve anyone who wants to be a part of it? Don’t we need a language which speaks to everyone, without contempt or suspicion, inviting them onto a journey with us.

    I’d like to be a part of that journey, and ideally I’d like to go on it with you, not in the same direction but apart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. perhaps this quote can help:

      “As interest in feminist thinking and practice has waned, there has been even less focus on the plight of men than in the heyday of feminist movement. This lack of interest does not change the fact that only a feminist vision that embraces feminist masculinity, that loves boys and men and demands on their behalf every right that we desire for girls and women, can renew men in our society. Feminist thinking teaches us all, males especially, how to love justice and freedom in ways that foster and affirm life. Clearly we need new strategies, new theories, guides that will show us how to create a world where feminist masculinity thrives.”
      –bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Love

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Men are very much wanted in the feminist movement! In fact, most women love it because, its so refreshing to see or hear a man that is willing or trying to understand what our movement is TRULT about and to disavow the common lies and myths that are spool prevent in our culture. Amazingly, alot of men really believe that sexism is a thing of the past..lol..so, yeah, that’s what were up against

      Like

      1. Can we not include men as allies rather than calling them feminists though? Is there any other liberatory movement that is obliged to include its oppressors at all times? Feminism can be a much needed refuge for women from men.

        In the old days, men walked behind women at every feminist function. Now they have taken over. One of the co-presidents of Women’s March On is a man. What is the point of that? Are women included in the MRA?

        At our local March On, the word ‘woman’ was struck out for not being ‘inclusive enough’, cat ear hats were banned (because some men don’t have vaginas!), a male xdressing sadist for hire spoke from the stage, telling women what to do (much like Cosmo mag), giant male cameramen stood on the stage and roamed through the crowds of smaller women. There was a major backlash from men because one woman held a sign stating biological facts about women.

        I could go on…

        In my experience, once a man enters a women’s space, it becomes de facto, a male dominated space.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. As a man, I love this article and agree with it totally.

    It shouldn’t be asked of women that they reform towards being men to resolve inequality that is caused by men in the first place. It is us men who need to reform – be less violent, less obnoxious, and less criminally awful in general.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I love this article, thank you for writing this all in one place! I am definitely sharing this! One thought though, I’m not sure on the following: “A world where women can become the main breadwinners and not make men feel insecure about it.” You’re absolutely right, they do currently feel insecure, but not I would say because it’s women making them feel insecure, they may feel threatened by women earning more, but does the insecurity come from something external, placed on them by the wider society? Patriarchy? I’m waffling, argh!

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  13. Is there anything at all about men you think it WOULD be good to emulate? You seem to think male traits are universally negative. That seems unlikely to be true.

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    1. Why don’t you explain it for women? What exactly is it about men that women should seek to replicate?

      You didn’t read the article if you’ve taken it so personally. This is a cry for men to see their problems and do something about them, not a recipe telling women how to be more like men.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you Jessica for asking here – and in your vlogs, SO many questions around the current state of the mental health framework we are expected to get better in and thank you for being unapologetically feminist. This blog post put life back into me when I felt so muddled about the fact that we do as feminists still pussy-foot around WHY feminism matters and matters a shit ton. I’m going to write you my long story but for now – a question.

    I absolutely agree that feminism must place women and girl children stage centre but – how do we as society include our little boys in that feminism? My son is 8…So basically, what would you say to a single mother with lots of trauma background and a toxic ex – would be the best course to keep your boy soft and kind and assure him he’s entitled to AS much freedom as his sister to be vulnerable, empathetic etc? I look around for feminism that includes our boy children and I don’t find it.

    Hope to hear back from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! I have two boys – 8 and 10. There are tonnes of ways I keep them engaged in feminism and it has made a massive difference to their outlook on life. My 10 year old actually interrupted a man recently who was being condescending to me in a shop and said to him ‘you wouldn’t speak to my dad like that’. My boys are sharp and on it!
      I have done this by using a technique called co-viewing and by using critical discussion. For example, when watching TV and an advert comes on and maybe it’s a woman slaving over the dinner whilst the man sits on the sofa playing Xbox I say something like ‘I wonder why these adverts never show the man cooking dinner and the woman on the Xbox?’
      I don’t give them the answer. I just prompt thought. I said the same about ‘women’s football’ and I said ‘I wonder why men’s football is just called football but women’s football is called ‘women’s football’?’
      I say it about music videos ‘I wonder why all the men are fully clothed but the women are all in bikinis? Why would they do that?’

      That constant deliberate co-viewing and critical thought has really influenced my boys such that they apply it to real life every day. I have used words like sexism and oppression and gender roles with my kids since they could talk. Both of my boys can explain sexism with examples (which actually got one of them in trouble at school a year ago for challenging sexism in his classroom).
      I always make sure my boys know that crying and emotions is not a ‘girl thing’ and I tell them all the time that men and boys including their dad. Cry.
      When we hear the whole ‘man up don’t cry’ stuff on TV, I say ‘what a horrible thing to say, boys and men need to cry too, it’s a natural emotion!’
      So they get this sort of constant stream of feminist commentary on media and life. I have also been completely frank and open about sex, bodies, abuse, consent etc from them being about 5 years old. This has helped them to be able to ask me all sorts of questions without embarrassment. I taught them that if the Q is super embarrassing, they can iMessage it to me from their iPads or they can leave me a note in my office and I’ll write back to them.

      So far it’s worked really well but the true test will come in adolescence and in early adulthood.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a great idea. I’m a 13 year old girl, I have two mothers, a sister and a brother. They didn’T really point out every stereotype out at us but actually asked us to find them. Now I do it all the time pointing stuff out every second. I do it so often it drives them crazy! But I know that when I’m older I will write books and I swear I’ll have a scene where the man is slaving over dinner and the mother will be playing Xbox! It’s time this world saw that not only one answer is the right one.

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  15. It seems like you want men to change.You want to make them weak and easy to manipulate by woman. Men are weak now and will be weaker. Then the hard time shall come. After the society collapse the strong men raise again and dominate all! (Maybe by other country that’s not US) It’s the truth. It’s the history not sexist.

    1.strong men create good times ->2.good times create weak men ->3.weak men create hard times ->4.hard times create strong men.

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    1. You said it, Mark. They want men to change. They want men to blindly follow them into a new, brave future, free of patriarchal concepts like what? Monogamy?? How is loyalty to your partner an evil and oppressive concept?? Maybe it’s expected responsibility in general that they don’t want. They want to get away with anything and everything, so long as the female perpetrator feels good about herself. Never mind that she just cut off the genitals of another woman’s son…. I really don’t know anymore what their post-patriarchy utopia looks like. Men will still be expected to clean up trash and sewers, because NO SENSIBLE person would choose to do that job. OR are they going to go full Communist on us and force certain people to do certain job, despite their lack of training…. Yeah. That sounds like a joyous, free, liberated society….

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  16. I don’t agree with Mark’s insinuations that men need to return to the “unga bunga me strong man” mentality but neither do I agree with feminism’s ideas that there is this all consuming patriarchy that favors men over women. In fact, everything I’ve experienced in real life suggests the opposite, that woman are favored over men, by a society, not a patriarchy, that includes men and women harboring harmful viewpoints for all genders but is still geared towards catering to female comfort. Women hold most of the cards when it comes to dating, as the gender who determines who gets chosen. Neither, too, have I seen that violence or assault are male traits. In fact when I was sexually assaulted by a woman, I was basically brushed off and a female cashier I instructed to call the police looked incredulous towards my claims. And recently in news articles online, I’ve started seeing more and more women committing assault or various crimes and either getting away them or getting slaps on the wrist. Concerning my own experience with “the patriarchy harms men”, I have a hard time buying that when so many of the most toxic comments against me have come from women, for the simple crime of enjoying the cartoon My Little Pony and other things deemed traditionally girly.

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    1. Well, actually it’s the patriarchy that made them attack you for liking “girly” things. I have been bullied for liking cute stuff, and also something I don’t see very often as a topic, I got called a pedo for saying that I like children. We men can’t even get along with kids or we get called pedophiles, and I’m feeling suspicious of saying this here because I fear I’ll be criticized and called that again. When I say “we men” I feel how a nazi must feel when they talk about their political beliefs in public.

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  17. Great article, and some interesting points. But the title is misleading since the definition of “feminism” really is “equality between males and females”. It would be more accurate to say that feminism doesn’t mean women are seeking to be how men are NOW. The description you gave near the end of the article, where men and women are equally able to work or parent or show emotions is a brilliant example of feminism – in every point you made, men and women were equal. If the patriarchy were removed then, according to the article, men and women would be equal.

    There is certainly a lot of room to interpret how equality is applied, but I’ve never known any feminist to say they want to be exactly as men currently are, or that being like a man is the ideal to strive for. That’s sort of the point: if men and women are equal, then men aren’t inherently better and women don’t need to emulate them but can have their own worth as women, worth that is just as good and important as that of men. That did seem to be the message of your article, but the insistence that feminism isn’t about men and women being equal was contradictory.

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    1. Hey! Thanks for this. I know lots of people define feminism as the equality of the sexes but second wave like me define it as the liberation of women from the oppressions of patriarchal systems around the world, believing that whilst one of us is not free, none of us are. We are seeking liberation before equality can ever be achieved

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Whenever I read these articles bashing the patriarchy, I like how important your sons are to you ladies. You don’t want your sons to live healthy, happy, being kings among men. You want them to disappear among the strangers around you, because they’re no better or worse. What Cultural Marxist hogwash. In a Communist or feminist state, we’re still answering to the governments – or the banks, certain groups of people with agendas that have nothing to do with what the people really want. We’re not free or liberated, How can this movement continually and conveniently forget that all men come from women just as all women come from men?? You ladies treat us like a foreign or alien enemy that you have to shoot down in order to feel big or safe. The way you look at everything we’ve done for or against society, for or against peace is what creates the patriarchy or not. White men did own slaves. BUT white men also ended slavery… except in African or 3rd world nations. White men harnessed electricity for you to post this dribble in the first place. Do you feminists EVER give men credit where credit is due or are you that threatened by our success?? This is not a healthy mindset for our sons to grow up with… your sons. That they are evil by virtue of having a penis… because that’s what you make the patriarchy out to be. Evil.

    Like

  19. Stuff I forgot to mention:
    -China didn’t explicitly say that girls should be killed. The government wasn’t at fault there, it was the patriarchal values. Villages in the inland of China, as I’m sure you know, live off farms. They assume that boys are stronger than girls, so girls help in the house and boys help in the farms. But then China said that only one baby is allowed per family due to overpopulation, which made the farmers choose profit over comfort and kill or abandon the girls to have a boy that could help them. This left China with a lack of women, which made the government worry, so they allowed 2 babies per family so that they don’t feel so pressured.
    -I don’t know if you’ll like it, but in the extremely sexist and traditional Japan of the 80’s, where even now the princess suffers of depression due to the huge burden of sexist tradition that forces her to behave in a certain way (yes, I’m talking about walking behind the prince and always smile and all of that), there were a few anime series that gave importance to feelings, something that now feels redundant since it’s more or less ok to see men cry in certain situations (specially in fiction) but back then was a revolution. We have the epitome of machismo, Kenshiro from the series “Fist of the North Star”, a tall, bulky, stoic, mean-looking badass who barely speaks (and mostly does so to let off a verbal bashing of his enemy before or after the physical one) and who mostly treats women like objects shedding “manly tears” at the death of a friend of his. The now trending “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” also has several of the main characters behave like a stereotypical macho only to cry, even weep hysterically after a dear friend dies.

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    1. So, I found this out the other day. You say that it’s patriarchy that oppresses men, and not women. Yes, patriarchy does oppress men, but here in my region (not my country), the governor is a woman, with about 40% of women as officers (including governor and vice-governor as officers), and a strong supporter of what I referred to in my first comment, and what has been defined as “carpet feminism”. Her government of this region has brought on a law that punishes any act which is intended or perceived to be sexist, intimidating or degrading towards women with a 60001 to 120000€ fine (so talking about a “man’s day” in front of a woman who said on TV that such a day would be like a day celebrating terrorism would incur in a crime), along with focusing on eradicating the gender bias by giving special attention (and special grants) to women who are abused, who suffer a gender-influenced disease or condition (like polycystic ovary syndrome), who start a new I+D+i project or a new business, making gender-specific statistics about problems that mostly affect men so that they can find a way to prevent that to happen to women, teaching children about how men based the whole society around them and how that is bad, and making it so that men can only be abusers and women can only be abused. So now, if a woman were to abuse me, which is unlikely, and I reported her, I could be blamed for it and it would be legal. And that was made up by the governor and the officer in charge of law and gender equality. Though it does have a point, I wouldn’t be “discriminated, mocked, scorned or ignored” for reporting. Cool, huh?

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  20. okeeey .. so many words just to end up saying that woman shouldnt want equality… noo, why ?coz they are actually …superiooooor . And then you turn ironic and claim that men should fight for the end of Patriarchy for the sake of the women and .. the men .. right ?

    So, that weak guy in your story, crying in your center, poor little thing. You are going to take him in your arms and show some protective ? right ? In your new protective role , you will even feel some duty and urge to protect him and even expose your life if necessary ? Eventually have some idea of commitment ?

    “oh no … he’s such a wimp.. i fuck only with REAL men” .. i let the beta cucks direct pay for me or indirectly pay for the daddy state. But, please, out of my sight

    well well, you feminist are just hypocrits and turning crazy since we live in an EFFECTIVE matriarchal state. “Patriarchy” ahah .. my ass. If we lived in a real Patriarchy you will be too busy with kids to write this article

    Why studies have to be driven to find such evidences ?

    https://www.psypost.org/2018/07/study-finds-women-including-feminists-attracted-benevolently-sexist-men-51693

    This is why men “never cry in public” and “show their feelings”. Better be hated by haters than softly despised by potential lovers.

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  21. jessicapsych
    September 29, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Hey! Thanks for this. I know lots of people define feminism as the equality of the sexes but second wave like me define it as the liberation of women from the oppressions of patriarchal systems around the world, believing that whilst one of us is not free, none of us are. We are seeking liberation before equality can ever be achieved

    ———–

    that actually sounds a very clever idea made by a political genius.

    As long as you decide that theres some woman on the otherside of the planet who are not liberated enough, you will be on war against the men here, in Western countries. Yes, “War”, coz when you use the word “oppression” and “liberation” , you are not talking about peace, right ? And after, the “liberation”, here comes the “equality” .. sounds more like a cease-fire treaty edited by the liberated women. Pax Romana

    Oups .. i forget, you will never claim to be “liberated” coz an imaginary sister out there is not. Useful, you wont never stop add stuff to the “Equality” political agenda.

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  22. I just don’t want to be hated for being white with a penis any more. That’s all. I’m a human trying to live the best life I can and not be judged.

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  23. I actually read this article as an attempt to understand the reasoning behind female conservatisms’ opposition to the ERA. I quickly learned that you were certainly pro feminism, just with a take on the movement different then any I was familiar with. I would previously tell people that I identified as a feminist because I wanted equal rights for men and women. However, your article certainly changed my mindset towards feminism and I am so glad!

    Like

  24. I consider myself a Men’s Rights Activist that said, I agree with a lot of what you posted. Women should not use men as a model of what they want to have or become. I object to the terms “reverse sexism” and “reverse racism” Making broad generalizations and acting on stereotypes based on someone’s gender is just SEXIST regardless of the gender being targeted. Blaming all the problems and woes of life on another race according to your own stereotypes whether it is blaming the crime rate on black people or blaming white people for one’s own lack of upward mobility is racist there is no “reverse” saying it is reverse implies that there is a correct (forward) way to be racist or sexist. There are plenty of people of color who come to North America to try and make a good life for themselves and they struggle with racism, sexism, immigration policies, and taxes. Many of them have their own businesses and are very successful. I do not buy the statements by women and minorities that have had citizenship here for multiple generations that they can’t get ahead because “the white man is keeping them down” That is a cop-out. It is an excuse for not doing your best. I see people from Bangladesh and China and various countries in Africa coming here, working hard, saving their money, and starting businesses. I see a lot of White, Black and Hispanic women who were born here who’s greatest ambition is to get knocked up so they can collect welfare and child support. For the Black men, I have no agenda to keep you or anyone else down. Do you have an agenda to get yourself up? I agree there is still racism but slavery has been gone for a long time. If a guy can come here from Kenya (my best friend) and get a masters degree in education what is stopping you? It isn’t me or some other white man. My friend’s wife also has a masters degree she is also from Kenya. Stop blaming white men and get off your bums and work for what you want.

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  25. I have listened to you women
    Complain about men for the past 40 years . If you hate us men so bad why have anything to do with us. It never ends
    ( now where did I put that remote)??

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I completely agree with your article’s core point that women should not emulate men and that it a fundamental problem with society today. We seem to be unable to accept one another for who they are. This goes for everything – age, gender, class, race etc. There seems to be a growing need in society to belong to a particular label group. Why? Should we not strive to become more inclusive and accepting? To become a whole? Should we not stop all the finger wagging and begin to look within, as individuals, to strive to become better? I hold my hand up and admit that I am not perfect. I don’t have all the answers. I have made mistakes. I have judged others before getting to know them. I have blamed others for my own faults to avoid blaming myself. I may sound idealistic in my views but I can’t imagine a future that doesn’t strive towards equality for ALL.

    It is only when we can all begin to do this that we will see true equality. I could have typed so many comments here about the inequalities we all face. We ALL face inequalities. Failing to realise this is the fundamental problem and my personal opinion is that this is why many people don’t give feminist views(or any other views for that matter) the recognition they deserve. We are so used to focusing on our own angst and the inequalities we are facing that we fail to recognise what others are dealing with too. That is the fundamental problem and it is slowing progress for us all.

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    1. But our species wouldn’t die. Because women can procreate since there is a lot of sperm in sperm-banks for many many years, they do not physically need men for this to happen.

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  27. How marvelous to see that hubris is an equal possibility for both genders.
    I invite every person, from the author of this blog, to the various supporters of the views expressed herein, to take a long look at history. At every time human beings bought into the idea of the tabula rasa.
    That’s how it always works, with all revolutions. The revolutionaries are always convinced that when they are in power, the world will be a better place.
    Track forward from that moment, and you will see exactly how true the old adage is; I mean about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions.
    No matter what you say, women are no more immune to the corruption of power than men are. No human being is immune to it.
    What would be accomplished, in a world ruled by women, would not be one whit better than what came before. At most, the outer form, the aesthetics of rule would be changed. Other than, it would be the same old pattern.
    I do not deny that men have mad a colossal mess of things. I only assert that women would do no better.
    And, for the record, I am not a conservative. I do not want the ‘old order’ to prevail. I also, however, have no hope at all for your new order.
    What is the conclusion? Humanity itself is the problem. Both genders, and all races. It doesn’t matter; none of us are immune to our own frailty.
    Fortunately, I will likely be gone from this world, before this feminist world is fully realized. But, I do have to say, that it would be amusing to live for, perhaps another 100 years after that point. So, I could sit and watch as women make all the same mistakes as men. As they also abuse their power, behave as tyrants, and then cast around for scapegoats, to provide an excuse for all their own evils and conceit.

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  28. You ask if success would be more women dying in gun or knife fights, the goal of feminism as it was originally defined is that no one should be dying in gun or knife fights—do your damn research. I’m a straight white man and I’m sick of women saying shouldn’t be seen as equals to men. The suffragettes would be so ashamed.

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      1. He didn’t miss the point; he dismissed it as based on false reasoning and assumptions.
        I have no hope at all that what we are outlining here will make sense to any of you. Why? Because knowingly or not, you are all fanatics. You are so committed to this utopian nonsense that you can’t see your own conceit.
        As before, it’s really not about men or women. It’s about human beings in general.
        Out favorite past time is novelty. This ‘new’ social movement; (fill in the blank. It can be Right wing lunacy, or Left; hyper masculine, or female supremacist. It doesn’t matter.) We always want to believe that we have reached this magical, watershed moment, where all the injustices of the past are known, and will be cast down by our brave new order; (“Brave New World”, yes?)
        You, all of you who claim that the world is going to be so much improved and redeemed if/when women rule it… You are quite simply deluded. And, it’s not because you are women. But, because you are human.
        And, by the way, his comment about the original suffragettes, and how they would react to you is appropriate. No less a voice than Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the original feminists, observed that women were going to face just as many stumbling blocks from their own gender, than as that coming from men,
        Why? Because she accurately predicted that many women would not see in the suffragette movement a path to equality. But, a means of eventually asserting their supremacy. And, that such an assertion would be based in wanting the smooth, but not the rough. I.e. not really wanting justice, but to create for themselves a position of authority over others.
        “Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.”

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  29. I personally believe that your idea of the ‘patriarchy’ isn’t necessarily what most people would define it as. I think that you’re taking issues in society today and linking them to how they do or don’t benefit people. The patriarchy is the concept that society was built to forward the aspirations and lives of men over time. Therefore, its an underlying belief that men have some sort of advantage as society has always been developed to benefit them. It doesn’t mean that societal problems don’t harm men but rather the foundations of society were built to suit them. I understand some of your points in terms of emotions and suicide rates with men but I feel most of your points miss the point that women who have been fighting for equal rights are fighting to take down establishments that prevent women progressing like the housewife, rates of violence against women, lack of education in third word countries, arranged marriage and FGM too. These issues are what encompasses the patriarchy, not necessarily porn.

    Liked by 1 person

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