A quick browse through my Facebook newsfeed would suggest that many of the women I know think men suck. Oh, the memes and the snide comments pop up so often that I mostly just gloss over them. Every now and then though I think, “WTF? We don’t all suck that bad!” That happened just the other day and it made me sit back a moment. Where did that reaction come from?
Does a picture or post on Facebook really have an effect on my life? If I were to confront one of these posters, would they admit they think I suck? Does it change how I’m treated at work or when I go out or even how my home life is?
It really doesn’t. Nor do I think these women really hate all men, especially given how many of them are longing for a long-term relationship with one.
So, what do I think is going on?
Guys, the memes aren’t about is. Really. They’re by women and for women.
Take a population that has been a second class citizen for hundreds if not thousands of years. Give them a few decades to start claiming their right to equality. Should be easy, no? All those doors that were closed are suddenly open, right?
Let’s face it, so many women were raised with conflicting messages: You can be anything you want. Math is hard. You’re a princess. You throw like a girl.
These memes? These posts? They aren’t for us guys. They’re for women. To remind them that the tales of needing to be rescued by a prince are wrong. That they can’t be equal to guys are wrong. That they shouldn’t just take what’s given to them.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Yes, in a perfect world we wouldn’t feel the need to tear down one group to build up another. Last I checked, though, this isn’t a perfect world. Maybe once we get closer to a level playing field, the need to put down the “guy on top” won’t be needed.
Some of you may think, “Yeah, but if we just let them have their way, we’ll be thralls and subjugated!”
What planet are you living on? Men aren’t just going to disappear, nor will the need for us in the whole procreation thing. Heck, women will continue to place enough value on a loving, romantic relationship that we’re not just going to go gently into that good night. No panic necessary.
I do think there’s a deeper issue here. Women are better at banding together, at sharing their thoughts and feelings, at supporting one another. Society has taught men that we need to stand tough, stand alone, be brave in the face of insurmountable challenges. When our inner voice cries out for a break we beat it back. We hide it. We build a dam. But it doesn’t go away. Sometimes that dam breaks in a big way and we lash out. Sometimes in ways that are very bad for us and the people around us.
Addressing this is a bigger topic, and one which I will try to address further in future Straight Talk articles and segments on MOD Love. The point is, when you see women supporting each other on social media, even when they’re using language and images that don’t show men in a good light, step back and recognize the place they’re coming from – a place where they’ve been told they need to stand back and let the boys play. A place from which they need to be rescued. This ability to support one another is something to be admired. It’s also something we should learn how to do ourselves.
Steve is the founder of Straight Talk Entertainment and currently produces and writes for the audio drama Aural Traditions, recently voted Charleston City Paper’s Best Local Podcast. He’s also an Information Security professional and avid shark tooth hunter.