“What about the meeeeeeeennnnnzzzzzz???????”

8 Jan

Originally posted to the Community section at MyMedia

“Why do you harp so much on all the injustices done to women? What about the MEEEEEENNNNN??????”

Meet Jessica Eaton, who runs a charity exclusively focused on men’s mental health (in the UK), getting zero criticism from either men or women for this, yet gets everything from “you fat c*nt feminist” to rape and death threats for her advocacy against blaming women and girl victims of violence.

In her own words:

Why don’t I get any abuse when I speak and write about men and boys?

Why am I hailed?

Why did we win 6 charity awards and over £300k in the first 18 months of operation?

Why did I end up on every TV channel and radio in the UK?

Why can I launch studies and campaigns and videos and appeals for TEF about male mental health and receive ZERO whataboutery comments?

And why do I get shouted down if I even dare post one tweet about violence against women or rape statistics or murders of women by partners?

Why do I get hundreds of messages and tweets every week asking me:

‘But what about men?’

And actually, this isn’t rocket science. This is uncomfortable but it’s real talk:

Women are socialised into their gender roles (gender roles are harmful, narrow, stereotypical characteristics and expectations assigned to males and females to conform to a societal norm) to not even possess a shred of the sense of entitlement that men have. Women do not read a campaign about male mental health or male abuse or male cancers and furiously tweet back ‘what about women, you c*nt?!’ because they didn’t think about themselves when they read it. They didn’t see the campaign as two fingers up to women.
Seriously, read the whole thing–and do some self-questioning.

Ask yourself what are your first, instinctive reactions to some things that happen all the time.

Ask yourself whether, when a woman speaks about equality issues, your first reaction is to think she’s mediocre and wants to be treated ‘unfairly’ well.

Ask yourself whether your first reaction when a woman accuses a man of abuse is to question the woman’s motivations (“she’s trying to get revenge on him!” or “she’s trying to get rich/become famous off him!”).

Ask yourself whether, when women talk about pay inequality, your first thought/comment is about ‘quality.’

Ask yourself whether, when a woman uses the term ‘mansplaining,’ your first thought is that she’s a man-hating feminazi.

Ask yourself whether, in a conversation about male violence/abuse/harassment towards women, you feel compelled to defend “#notallmen.”

Think about the phrase “When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression,” and about all the many ways men–particularly white cis men–have been socialized into privilege, to the point where any attempts at equal treatment of others feels like a treat.

And, if you are a woman, particularly a cis woman: misogyny can be internalized to an incredible degree, because we are born into a system that privileges boys over girls. Self examination behooves us just as much–how often do we question rape accusations as through victim blaming? (“Why was she with him? what was she wearing? was she drinking?”) How often do we put the onus of men’s behaviour on women and girls? (“Did she tease him? Did she lead him on? Did she say NO loud enough, seriously enough?”)

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