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

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

  1. It’s always about women and this gynocentric society that we live in!! Women are more favored and benefit so much and to so otherwise is complete bullshit. You want special treatment but also to be treated like a man??? makes no fucking sense. You get cheaper oil changes, free drinks, most women get to sit on their ass while the men work and go to war and you still complain. You dont know a good thing when you see you it you dumbass bitch

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  2. Wait I thought women where oppressed from the sound of this article it seems men are struggling n women are doin way better. N it seems that the reason life is so hard on men is because of men. Lol it’s not because life is hard and men deal with it head on alot of us without support on the contrary u have the ppl around u who act like they care about u yet jump on any chance to ruin u. N revel in ur demise. We don’t have the luxury of ppl giving a shit about us and helping us. This bitch is delusional. U spent way too much time in ur little protected female world. Which is only possible to uphold n keep because men with the support of women, who didn’t have all the benefits girls have today had to stuggle to build. If we lived in a patriachy then why are women free in the first place. Why would ur oppressorse give u freedom. Did u fight? Did u war? Lol burning bras and whining cuz u want to vote don’t count. I mean if ur kid whinnes enough you’ll give em what they want even if they don’t know wat to do with it or understand what it is they are giving.

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  3. Wow, I have just read three really, really violent responses from men,

    I think this was the whole point of the article- the author wasnt violent at all but the responses were.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Jessica,
        This article is real and raw, and I commend you for holding back on your responses to these ignorant comments. What frustrates me is that most of the comments are from trolls aiming to get a reaction, but what scares me is that there are men here who are truly opposed to the hope of liberation from oppression. I think you hit the nail on the head when you question what they are so scared of, and what is it that makes them feel so insecure. Look forward to reading more from you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m a feminist but disagree with this article . It’s all about empowerment of all genders,races,humans to be precise . Would you write an article saying black people shouldn’t want to be equal to white people but better ? Men have 100000 flaws , black people have 10000 flaws , Jews, Muslims , Christians , females , Hispanics , everyone has flaws . We all are EQUALLY flawed . If men wrote an article discussing the flaws of women there would be an outright protest but men can be bashed publicly. Look at everyone the same please , this is concerning

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      3. I think you might need to read the literature by black activists and scholars who also hold this position, that striving for ‘equality’ with white people is not exactly what they want, they want to be respected and celebrated and exist as themselves, and not use white peoples as a blueprint they are supposed to achieve.

        Feminism is not about the empowerment of all genders and races, that’s egalitarianism. Feminism is the liberation of females from oppression and misogyny, giving them equity and safety in the world.

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  4. Unveiling article, for women and men. An understanding and acknowledgement of women’s undervalue and exploitation but an enlightenment to women’s vision and direction as a human species. Equalality does not mean to achieve and strive for men’s goals.
    We can embrace being a human women and that comes in different shapes, sizes and capabilities, honestly women don’t really know there full capabilities and what that means, as most have always lived with controlled expectations. We all as humans still have generations of these expectations to be lived through and gradually embrace change and understanding, it won’t be in my lifetime, but my energy will be part of this vision. Yes men have set there own expectations and live bonded to them as traditions, communities and society dictates, they too as human men can choose a new vision, understanding and acknowledgment, that they can live better as human men. But they too are looking for direction.

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  5. Well, that just puts this article at odds with the feminists I see who insist the proper dictionary definition of feminism is “the social, poltical, and economic equality of women.” In fact, most popular feminists I see say women’s rights is about women’s equality with that definition. If feminism is liberation, either the dictionary isn’t correct or the belief feminism is a liberation is merely a part of women’s rights culture.

    In that case, should this article be correct, the new definition should be: “the cause of liberation of women from oppressive cultures”. Somebody ought to rally to change the definition then, like history to “herstory”.

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    1. The definition you are used to is the mainstream liberal feminism definition. The definition of feminism I use comes from second wave feminism, which is the liberation of females from global oppression.
      The two definitions both exist currently and are used within the two separate liberal and radical movements

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      1. It’s 2019. Women should be allowed- no, celebrated, in the workforce. So many women with so many talents can give so much to society, and it is pathetic that so many people still consider their jobs to be housewives and expect women to “make them a sandwich.” Such sexism and misogyny cannot, and should not, be tolerated. Such derogatory behavior cannot be accepted. If this is the mindset which you live by, I pity your lack of education and intolerable ignorance.

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  6. You do well to dispel the notion of feminism being about ‘being equal to men’
    But you still have a poorly misled view of ‘patriarchy’

    Everything the MRA hates is because of men?
    Basically “Everything bad for women can be blamed on men and everything bad for men can be blamed on men”
    -So fathers not getting custody is because a “man” named Caroline Norton popularized tender years doctrine after losing custody of “his” kids to “his” estranged husband?
    -So “meninism” told men that being manly was bad and that being feminine was good
    -So “meninism” labeled a voice for men a hate group with the SPLC silencing mens concerns as hate speech
    I could go on…

    Also, he biggest thing I think people on all sides ignore is the biology of the matter.
    Men and women are not the same in many different ways besides what’s between your legs and that has massive casual relationship with the ‘roles’ we play in society and our social status.
    Men are, according to evolutionary biology, expendable. Society has always valued women over men. That’s why we don’t send them to wars or want them to do hard work.

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    1. In the Industrialized world there is not a single right afforded to men that is not afforded to women.
      But there are rights that women have that men do not.
      For example, men are NO reproductive rights AT ALL.

      If a woman finds your condom in a bin and impregnates herself, or a girl lies about birth control.
      Too bad, you’re a father now and you MUST pay. Her? Nothing, she’s not guilty of a single crime, but if you don’t fork over a massive chunk of your earnings for something you didn’t want it’s 3 cold meals a day in a concrete box for you.

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    2. I mean, really think about it.
      The patriarchy from the typical feminist viewpoint is an institution built by men to privilege men.
      Then you turn around and say men are disenfranchised because of the patriarchy….

      How does that make any sense to you? How many logical wormholes did you have to jump through to think that was a valid line of reason?

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      1. It does make sense though. Quite simple: Intention vs Reality. What is intended vs what is the real effect. Right?

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  7. Wow! This was something so good I’ve read this far ….

    Thankyou so much for giving a new n ultimately positive perspective to this issue
    Well I’m 16, n hv nothing much philosophical to say😂 but I love reading ur articles , cuz they’re hella intellectual n brainstorming 👌❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Honestly this was such an enriching article. I admit I am a little disappointed by the number of comments who didn’t get the whole idea of the article and brought out childish insults without trying to understand the point. From what I understood, personally, both females and males are negatively affected by the patriarchy system in totally, incomparable and different ways but all of them end up feeling pain, whether it is physical or emotional.
    One of the comments said that women are valued over men, really?
    I think the main reason more men go to war and fight is because they are deemed as biologically and physically stronger and this is a beneficial trait when entering the battlefield, not because women have more value so they should not take part and stay safe. it just doesn’t make sense. If men were expendable, like the comment says, then would the system of patriarchy even have existed? See? It just wouldn’t make sense.

    it’d interesting to see why others think women are valued over men

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “If men were expendable, like the comment says, then would the system of patriarchy even have existed? See? It just wouldn’t make sense.”

      Actually, it does make sense, the Patriarchy doesn’t exist, not how you think it exists anyway. You’ve literally just proved that it doesn’t exist, which is hilarious.

      Like you say – for the patriarchy to exists (in your eyes), men would not be expendable in the eyes of society.

      So to put it crudely, either the patriarchy exists or male expendibility exists.

      Women can be trained to fire a rifle, there is nothing stopping them from going to war with men, more numbers = more bullets = stronger army, even weak “cannon fodder” makes an army stronger, so that completely blows your point out of the water.

      97% of all workplace deaths are men, “men are stronger so they can all do the dying” right? wrong, many of the jobs that men die doing, woman CAN do – they just choose not to (and funnily enough this is where your silly wage-gap myth statistics come from, not privileged men, just harder working ones).

      Are you really telling me women don’t have the physical capacity to be a garbage collector? you just walk around and wheel a bin onto a machine that tips it into the lorry, a woman cant move a wheely bin? what about a farmer? have you ever seen a woman working on a farm (you seen plenty in the stables feeding the horses and mucking them out, because they like horses, do they like working hard on the fields in the harvesters? no, so they choose not to do it.

      Farming and Garbage Collection are two of the most dangerous jobs in terms of workplace fatalities, and these are places women can function just fine, but largely choose to avoid – but someone has to do it. Instead you see them sitting behind desks in sunbed shops, painting there nails, or hanging clothes up in fashion stores. Let me guess the patriarchy created this to oppress women?

      4 men die for every 1 woman, yes the patriarchy created the fact that nobody gives a fuck about their feelings. Women are NOT attracted to feminine men, women value strength and toughness in a man – how are you not coming to this conclusion when you make posts like this.

      I could argue WOMEN created the patriarchy due to their sexual selection preferences, have you ever heard a woman say she wanted to pounce on a guy after he broke down crying because he looks fat in his jeans? What about when they’re doing manual labour? All I ever hear is woman gushing over guys doing manual labour.

      YOU did this to us, we die and suffer for YOU, don’t you get it? there are many wrongs in the world committed by men, but the vast majority are good people who suffer and die because women find the traits that contribute to it “sexy”.

      Dismantling the patriarchy is to dismantle the toxic sexual preferences and desires that women created.

      Google “missing white woman syndrome” – this will teach you that society DOES have a hierarchy for how much they care about other humans based on gender, and race – and funnily enough, white women are at the top.

      Western white women are the most privileged class of human that has ever exists in the history our species, and they’re the ones complaining the most about privilege, the irony is real.

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  9. Ok, the comments here have been reduced from reason to nothing more than a tangle of trembling hostility from men and women showing perplexment over the rage and using armchair psychology to analyze the problem.

    This is like every domestic relationship I’ve seen on TV.

    “HONEY, YOU LEFT THE OVEN ON!”
    “Why are you so mad?”
    “I TOLD YOU NOT TO LEAVE THE OVEN ON!”
    “But…I needed to pre-heat it for dinner!”
    “I want it off because I have to pay for electricity!”
    “But you have money!”
    “MY MONEY, MY RULES! YOU JUST LIVE HERE, WOMAN! I CAN’T STAND YOU!”
    “Hmm. Perhaps he’s afraid of things not going in the way the male mind dictates.”

    I am…amused.

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  10. If you think patriarchy is gone anywhere you’d be wrong. lol, Men sat down and gave women their rights 4 decades before any feminist ideological horseshit saw the light of the day let alone a movement….It’s Men who permitted those rights and will enforce others or take them if they collectively decide to. Patriarchy is the nature of men…..The old saying goes ‘You can’t change a man, it’ a dead end’. The male is the dominant gender. Deal with it

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    1. That is so true…women think they are so superior but all you have to do is look at the makeup they wear and their clothing and that says it all…no wonder men are seeking women from Asian cultures…western women have become drunk with the delusion of power.

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      1. Just like how most men are drunk in power. Which is the point of the article. It’s not something to be pursued but something to get past over. And hopefully as females get past them with feminism. Males get past them with masculinism as well. Both are good movements but they both have toxic versions that should be taken care of.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. This is the prime example of the subject. People like you make men look bad and your counterpart females make women look as bad. “[insert whatever] is the dominant gender. Deal with it.” Level: Toxic. And that old saying is actually not a real saying. Just an overused excuse. You are what you do and what you think. Both changeable. But, man or woman, only you can change yourself noone else. If you choose to close your eyes and ears. Then that’s on you if you fall behind or fall below. But that is hard because some people only have their gender going for them.

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  11. This is an awesome article. Fresh perspective that makes sense and is logically sound. I think feminism is a bit broken and all over the place now. A very sad case for something that helped humanity to be humane in the past. This article might just be a catalyst for a fourth wave feminism. It’s something I will happily support. You painted a clearer picture.

    Also, please don’t be disheartened by some here who totally missed the point and think this is just another platform for them to perpetrate fallacious nonsense and emotionally charged statements about their prejudice. They are missing on a lot of stuff. This can change the world and all of humanity if understood. I am not joking. At first I was not sure where you were going but you definitely brought us to places. This is totally one of the best there is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clearly someone as ignorant as you should be expected to write “their all that”. Can’t handle successful women? Too bad … the world’s full of’em. It’s the collection of mental issues you got that needs some serious addressing. Why do “men” like you exist?! I’ll never know.

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  12. Jessica, this is a really incredible article and it shifted my perspective. I’m going to share this with my friends and family. The people who have left sexist, ignorant comments have further proven your point. Thank you for unapologetically writing what I needed to read and for giving me hope for my future.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “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.”

    Your words.
    This makes you sound like the Devil’s advocate.

    The Father, G_d? You have a thing about trying to destroy Him and His values? His Word is the blueprint for your hated patriarchal design…but you already know this. You have crossed to the dark side.
    You need to destroy religion to make this happen.
    You have failed for eons, but are getting close to your Pyrrhic victory, oh unclean one.

    When the power goes out, you will finally need us men once more.

    Like

  14. most species have a dominant gender. unfortunately for women it not you. equal right, equal pay.blah blah blah. if somebody does a better job pay them better, not because of gender. serena williams wonders why she doesnt get as much money for tournaments then men, duh because if it wasnt for men the crowds would not be as big nor have as much money. makes sense???

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  15. “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.”

    Your words.
    This makes you sound like the Devil’s advocate.

    When the power goes out, you will finally need us men once more.

    Like

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