Men need to understand, and women too, what feminism is really about. Annie Lennox
In today’s culture and new wave of feminism, the concept of being “pro-hoe” became very popular and served as a catalyst for dismantling slut-shaming. While this was beneficial to the feminine audience and identity by teaching us to accept each other’s promiscuity (or lack thereof), it has sometimes gotten out of hand by belittling the masculine identity. I’m talking about those posts on Twitter that insist that it’s okay to force a man into sexual activity simply because he’s a man. I’m also talking about the effects on someone’s emotional and mental health when they’re simply a “dick appointment” when they may have emotions they are too afraid to voice.
Some feminists will say this behavior is justified, that it is acceptable to objectify men because it will never have the same effects on men as they do women. Articles like this one literally try to outline why it is perfectly okay to objectify men because “a man’s appearance doesn’t define him nearly as much as a woman’s appearance defines her, so commenting on his appearance has an entirely different meaning than commenting on her’s.” It is completely backward and hypocritical of any feminist to believe that people with masculine identities don’t face high beauty standards, as well as standards for how a man should act.
This article is not meant to dismiss the struggles of female sexuality and objectification. As someone who identifies as female, has experienced the pressures of the male gaze and supports the movement for women’s rights, I know there are so many injustices against us. They may be disproportionately higher than those of men, but we cannot place ourselves in the same shoes as our oppressors. Feminism is about helping each other rise to a higher level of equality, not tearing each other down and thinking that exerting the same awful behavior will somehow make up for our pain.
It is a feminist’s job to encourage people of all genders to create an atmosphere of acceptance and to destroy the patriarchal notions that keep people in boxes: men are not always strong, indifferent, or down to have sex anytime. They are sometimes the parent that is more dependable and loving, or the ones taken less seriously in cases of domestic violence. It isn’t and will never be okay to put anyone of any gender on a shelf and assume they will live up to our expectations.