Often when I open up a discussion about women’s issues, such as the over sexualisation of female athletes, violence against women, or the exploitation of female factory workers in developing countries, the natural discourse tends to be someone asking “what about the men?”
In itself, nothing is wrong with this question, and I fully acknowledge that our patriarchal culture and stereotypical forms of masculinity are seriously damaging for men too. But when the discourse is always “what about the men?” it tends to become disruptive of the conversation that is taking place, and has the effect, whether intended or otherwise, of silencing women’s voices on important issues. Often I know the intent behind the question is genuine, and intent is very important to me, but I feel it’s just not always useful input.
No-one is saying discussions on men and masculinities shouldn’t happen. It is absolutely important to have dialogue on mens issues. I’m all too aware there are a lot of issues and have spoken about them before here too.
The issues I discuss are normally just ones that I have experienced being a cisgender female in this world. I hope through having these conversations I might show people a different point of view, maybe equip some with the vocabulary they need to articulate their feelings on these subjects, or perhaps offer support so that others feel they can stand up for themselves and make a difference.
Apart from stating evidence based facts, and reminding people if they don’t like my peaches, they don’t have to shake my tree, does anyone have any advice or wisdom on how to deal with this “what aboutery” that I’ve been finding so frustrating?!
[side note: instagram vs reality. this is not a real life boyfriend, just my reliable photo shoot boyfriend]