Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Can the war on women, please!

Maybe it's the election, but am I seeing more and more attacks - physical, mental, and political - being perpetrated on women?  From that horrible Rape-is-a-joke page on Facebook, to the attack on a 14 year old girl in Afghanistan for her secular attitude and working to get girls back into school, to the Australian PM's response to the daily misogyny of the Opposition Leader, to the continued attempts by Republicans to outlaw abortion, contraception and to defund Planned Parenthood to end the access by poor women to regular preventive health care, the attacks just keep on coming.

What is so hard about equality?   Is your precious manhood so threatened by women having equal access to health care that could save lives?  What is so bad about women having access to contraceptives so they can control their own reproductive lives?

Guys, you do realize that a woman's health issues affect you too, right?  If your wife or daughters have to pay for contraceptives like Romney wants you to, that'll get bought before that six pack o' Bud, or  you'll end up with an extra kid or two you didn't count on.  If that happens, you'll never be able to afford that really big screen TV, or the cool new truck, cause you'll be buying a bigger house instead!  The War on Women will have collateral victims, and you'll be one of the main ones!

I am a cis gendered male, 60 years old, married with three wonderful daughters.  Believe me, that is an experience I'd just hate to go through if I had a misogynistic attitude towards women - it would be torture.  Having done that, though, I have a better appreciation towards women's issues that I otherwise would have had.  I'm not perfect (as I am reminded occasionally by the better half) but I do try harder, and definitely have my own internal arguments over the various aspects of life today vs. how I was brought up.

In short, I don't feel that my manhood has been, in any way, threatened by living with four women and offering them as much of an equal shake as I would have offered guys. (This tempered by, naturally, the belief of my daughters, at the time, that I did no such thing and tortured them throughout their teenaged lives... but I digress.)

Note here that I recognize that my attempts to "offer that fair shake" is what I tried to do, not how I actually succeeded, as I am sure those four women will have differing opinions of my success or failure.  But I did try, and still do.

Point being that I am today no less a man for having done that and fail to see how any self secure male could feel otherwise.

But, apparently, some do.

So, folks, it is time for the rest of us, the "normal" people, to stand up and take up the standard for equal rights for women and to oppose misogynistic attitudes and actions which harm them - and us guys.

Yes, I said us guys.  A paternalistic society hurts us too.

"Man up!"  "Take it like a man!"  "Who wears the pants in your family?"  "Men don't cry."

Yeah, we've heard 'em all.  I got hit with every one of them in my life and I hated it every time.  Men do cry.  Heck, I cry at the drop of a hat at sad movies, listening to heart wrenching stories on the news or on the internet.  I haven't noticed any affect on the size of my penis, thankyouverymuch.

My wife and I make decisions about finances, vacations and real estate purchases together, as a team.  Sometimes she cooks (wonderfully!) and sometimes I do.  While she does a nice breakfast, frankly, she loves mine enough she'll actually volunteer to shovel snow while I stay in the nice warm kitchen to make breakfast!  (Plus, my chili would beat hers hands down, if she ever tried to challenge me.  On the other hand, I would never try to do German food, I'd be an idiot.)

Some guys like sports.  I hate 'em.  'nuff said.  I've put up with enough duff over the years because of it, too, and in high school, I was the only guy in gym who could hide on the football field by standing sideways - I was too skinny to be seen!  But, hey, real men play and enjoy sports!  If you don't, somehow, that makes you less of a man.

How many kids have been hurt by these idiotic myths about being a man?  Guys by being called "sissy" if they didn't fit the stereotype and girls who were called "dykes" for being too man-like.

It's time to stop.  It is time to start teaching our kids that they can be who they want to be, whether that fits a stupid stereotype or not.  If the girls want to play with toy trucks, let 'em!  Maybe she'll grow up and own a construction company and have enough of a fortune to make your retirement very comfortable.  Would that be so horrible?  Or your son, if he wants to play with dolls, so what?  Maybe that'll just make him a better dad.  And if it does turn out that he's doing that cause he's gay, it's not the end of the world.  Gay kids grow up to be pretty cool adults too, if you just raise 'em to be.  They even have kids, so it doesn't even mean you won't have grandkids.

So chill folks.  It's time to get real and start playing fair.

Let's start by tossing out the cruel, misogynistic Republicans, and we can get a bit further down the road a bit faster.


Anonymous said...

I just want to shake all my female friends and relatives who dislike Obama so much they are planning to vote for Mitt. Thanks for your male perspective, candor, and humor.

Robert Ahrens said...

Thanks, Vicki! I can't imagine why any woman would vote for Mitt and Lyin' Ryan!!