While listening to Nuriddeen Knight’s podcast a few days ago, I really had to pause and give thought to her latest topic. This is probably because I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, a time when feminism was widely and heavily promoted as a cure-all to young girls and women. And while I have since rejected a lot of feminist theory, some of it still remains lodged in my thought processes. Like the concept of women being self responsible and self sufficient.
Knight stated quite clearly (and I paraphrase) that because the feminist movement and the sexual revolution have deprived men of male responsibility over women, men have shifted from seeing themselves as protectors of women to consumers of women. Drawing up the example of a man who passes around nude photographs of an ex, Knight explains that previously, a man who was on the receiving end of said photos would (generally speaking) feel a sense of self responsibility towards the woman and would try to stop such an action.
But the feminist movement has berated men for such “chauvinistic” actions, such as stopping the exploitation of women. Women don’t need your protection. We don’t need your rules and criticisms and “victim blaming”. We can take care of ourselves.
Except we can’t
Rape is still a major issue in America. The men who commit these crimes frequently have an attitude of “she deserved it”, or “I did nothing wrong”.
The feminist response to date has been quite focused on blaming men: Tell men to stop raping women! This seems logical when only viewed superficially. When most known rapists are men, then the issue must be men and men must get their $%^$ together. But if you ponder over it, it immediately exposes itself as being completely faulty.
“Tell men to stop raping” doesn’t work for two reasons:
- It assumes all men are potential rapists
- Men are constantly being told they’re not responsible for women
Are all men potential rapists?
Women, especially feminists, need to seriously consider the messages they’re sending men. When men say horrible generalizations against women, feminists are the first to decry the stereotypes. So how is it fair to stereotype men in return?
Telling men to stop rape is blaming the entirety of men for rape in total. This is not statistically true, and anyone with a modicum of research skills can prove it is false. Therefore, the argument itself is flawed. Men as a group value logic over emotions. They are not going to buy into it.
But the most horrific part of “tell men to stop raping” is that it implies there is something toxic about masculinity itself. This is especially bizarre, because women have been spending decades adopting the male stereotype in the name of feminism.
But now we believe that masculinity is toxic and prone to violence? What does that say about women, who raise men? What does that say about women who are fighting to be as masculine as possible? What does that say about society as we view it?
Society is male and female combined
Men and women are intertwined, and shifts in one population affect the other. Decades of feminists telling men that women are equal to them has affected both modern men and women. Men no longer see a reason to uphold cultural and societal responsibilities towards women, usually because women are fulfilling these responsibilities themselves while simultaneously refusing to fulfill their societal responsibilities towards men.
Simultaneously, the sexual revolution has removed most of the barriers between unmarried people engaging in sexual intercourse and other forms of intimacy. Birth control, abortion, the destruction of the family, and unhealthy doses of individualism have changed the playing field. Prior to the sexual revolution, if a man wanted to be intimate with a woman he had very few choices. But after the sexual revolution this changed. Men no longer had to prove their worth to women. They no longer had to be financially stable and able to protect women. Men became able to enjoy intimacy with a woman and then walk away.
Because of both of these movements, men as a group no longer see women as needing protection, leaving women to fend for themselves. And because women are no longer protected members of society, their worth falls onto the role they play. Because their role has been stripped of the traditional value it once held, their worth lies in what they bring to the relationship. What do women bring that is uniquely feminine nowadays?
Sex and sexuality
Women have been reduced to their sexuality. And when you invite people to connect with your sexuality first and foremost, you lose your humanity.
Traditionally, men have been trained to stop women when they crossed the line regarding overt displays of sexuality. This is no longer the case. Woman’s right to be an object has been reinforced by shaming men each and every single time they comment on women’s dress, sexual activity, or advice on how to avoid being victim to sexual violence. Men have learned that women’s sexual behavior is beyond reproach.
Men have also lost all say over reproduction rights. It is solely the woman’s choice now if she wants to abort or give birth. Men who are completely unwilling to have children find themselves forced to pay child support because a woman decided for them. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have seen men sobbing because a partner (not a casual affair) aborted a child they wanted to have.
Because women have a stranglehold over their reproductive rights and their lives completely, the only thing of value they as a group can bring to the table is sex. That’s scary. Feminism was supposed to release women from the shackles of sexual objectification, and yet here we are, objectified way worse than the suffragettes were.
Suffragettes vs. feminists
I think modern women would do well to look at the suffragettes for role models. Feminism has lost touch with reality completely, and this has resulted not in the further liberation of women, but only in the fragmentation of society. In comparison, the suffragettes were overall a positive experience for society. Here’s an example.
The suffragettes fought to hold men responsible for their actions. It is not a coincidence that the prohibition of alcohol in America occurred after women achieved the right to vote. After their wins, women were focused on decreasing domestic violence. Their answer to the plight of women being abused by their men was simple: Stop all the drinking. They used government to enforce a ban on alcohol, and achieved their goal of decreasing domestic violence. Men were not once told to abandon their responsibilities. Women did not break up families as a rule. A negative tool affecting society was made illegal, and society was better due to prohibition.
Feminists, on the other hand, have chosen to blame men. They are not looking for the societal mechanism(s) which have caused this onslaught of sexual violence. They are falling back on their faulty, feminist belief that all men are trying to hold women back, therefore all men are to blame.
So is rape the fault of feminists?
Absolutely not. Rape has existed much longer than feminism. To blame feminism for rape is extremely silly and illogical.
But the reality is that feminism has affected society to the point where men have collectively “checked-out”. This leaves women vulnerable to the sociopaths out there who really see nothing wrong with violence against women. People are always astonished when a woman is abused in public and men walk by without interfering. But they are just following the lessons that feminism has taught them: Women don’t need your help; we can do everything ourselves.
That being said, I don’t believe for one moment that the women who tried to claim self responsibility realized that they would be helping to propagate rape culture. Hindsight is 20/20, and it is unfair to blame people who thought they were doing the right thing. But it would also be insanity to carry on with their faulty decisions simply because “that’s how it’s always been done”.
We, men and women, need to find ways to reincorporate men back into our lives and society at large. Men need to feel responsibility for women and towards the family unit, and then men will step up against rapists. But this attitude of shaming men for being men or for calling women towards morality and away from danger is just pathetic. Society shaming women for being women never worked, but somehow it’s going to magically work when we do it against men? Come on!