Some years back I was dealing with the woke claim that a transwoman is a woman, PERIOD, and trying to find a way to get through the mindless chant and reach the intelligence it suppressed. One of the things this falsehood suppressed was considering the powerful impact on a person growing up as a boy or girl had on later life. Based on some examples I had heard about I asked my FB women friends to send me things they did in life because they were concerned about safety. The ultimate list was amazing. I reproduce it here.
After I had done this someone asked me if an equivalent list of sex specific disadvantages could be made for men. There is, and it is quite different in fascinating ways.
I reproduce it below the list with respect to women.
DATES and FUN
· Doing “safety check in” while on a date, even if in public
· Always trying to get a photo of his license plate to send to a friend
· Always knowing the location of exit points
· Always meeting in a public place
· concern over how many drinks you have around strangers, who is staying late or going for after hours –
· Never leaving a drink on the bar or restaurant table when going to the bathroom.
· Always meeting men for first dates in public place.
· Making sure to have cab fare.
· Make sure my family knows my itinerary.
· I’ve taken circuitous routes to my hotel and/or hotel room when traveling on business.
· I’ve gotten into cabs late at night, outside my office, and called my “husband” (aka my message machine) and said, “Hi, honey. I’m on my way home in a [Insert name] cab. Should be home in ten minutes. See you then.”
· Concern over being groped, for example on a crowded train. Or on an empty one.
· When men followed me in my car at night when I was 16 and 17, I’d drive by the police station and stop there.
· If some one is near my front door when I am entering or leaving I say “Hello” or “Good Bye” to the pretend person on the other side of the door.
· Lock the windows when I sleep, even on hot nights.
· Have an unlisted number
· Have and use a home alarm system
· Extra locks on windows
· Leaving outside light on all night.
· Not renting an apartment on the first floor.
IN THE CAR
· Look in the back seat before getting in their car at night.
· Lock your car doors immediately after getting in, not starting the car and letting them lock automatically once it is in gear.
· Park in well-lit areas- not to forestall a break-in but to forestall an attack.
· When walking into a parking garage at night or into a dark parking lot, hold the car keys in between fingers, like a weapon. “Like Wolverine.”
· Make sure garage door is closed all the way before leaving.
· Make sure no one sneaks into the garage when you drive in.
· “I never leave another woman in a parking lot. Usually we both make sure that our cars are running before we leave. It’s nothing we need to discuss.”
· Always trust your gut. If you feel creepy about a man who gets on the elevator with you or is hanging in a doorway or walking close to you, get out of there.
· “I’ve had men expose themselves to me on the streets of San Francisco or NY and been forced to retreat into an Uber in fear.”
· Always carry a cell phone
· Don’t wear headphones while jogging
· Don’t jog at night.
· Avoid wooded areas, even in daytime
· Never make eye contact with a man on the street OR Make assertive eye contact with men on the street
· If walking alone at night: try to look tough and/or busy e.g., wear headphones, but watch carefully.
· Don’t walk on the street while texting or looking at cell phone.
· Carry pepper spray.
· When possibly being followed, finding a safe-looking older guy, or woman, or doorman, link arms with them, and whisper, “There’s a nut following me. Please pretend that you know me.”
· Own a big dog.
· Being alone in my shop and having a creepy guy in there, and faking a call to my assistant. More than once.
One woman, upon seeing this list, observed “Maybe it was because I was raised by a single mother, but I was raised to do most of these things.”
DISADVANTAGES AFFLICTING MEN
· Your worth as a human being is connected to your income and your ability to support a family. Many men give up doing what they would prefer in life to meet this expectation they have internalized.
· Athletic prowess is analogous to the emphasis on beauty in women, as any high school man knows. I suspect both have roots that are at least partly biological. It can manifest in some men as the “Napoleon complex” and such.
· Showing feelings is culturally unacceptable in many quarters. Sen. Ed Muskie cried over what I remember was a good reason, but it may have cost him the presidency. Boys are taught to not be a sissy and not demonstrate their feelings in ways girls are not.
· Another big one is being called to fight in wars and be considered a coward and “less than a man” if you do not. This is old. As Greek women told their men: “Come back with your shield or on it.” – that is less exclusively male than it once was, but still quite real.
It may also explain the war-proneness of many civilians in government- trying to prove they are men. During the Bush II years NeoConservatives often said that while it was good we went into Baghdad, “real men” wanted to go into Teheran. Their ‘masculinity’ was second hand, rooted in other men’s blood and suffering, but still rooted in this shit.
· Another, related to that, is men are expendable in a way women are not. A society could lose 90% of its men, and recover in time. WWI was an approximation. Not so if the same happened to women.
2 thoughts on “Women and Men: Unique Disadvantages”
Very interesting to see how the patriarchy affects both women and men. This reminds me of a saying that goes something like – “men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.” Have you read Down Girl – the seminal work by Canadian philosopher Kate Manne?
Too much truth with respect to women, alas, but a little glib regarding men. That said, the real issue regarding both sexes is a term of which patriarchy is only one form: domination.
I haven’t read that book though- my pile of books to read is vastly larger than the time I have to read them. But a summary would be welcome.