You Should Try

10 Dec

A guy friend of mine reblogged this on tumblr the other day.  I’ve never been so proud of him.

As men, we very rarely, if ever, know what it’s like to face unwelcome comments and jokes from a co-worker and go through a process of deciding, like so many women do, if it’s “worth it” to say or do anything.

We don’t know what it feels like to ask our friends if our arms look fat or to hear comments like “just another ten pounds and you’ll be perfect.” We don’t know what it feels like, because we don’t have to buy Spanx, we don’t have to conform, and we don’t have to combat unhealthy body images coming at us from multiple directions.

We don’t know what it’s like to deal with the burden of birth control. We don’t try to understand what it feels like to remember take a pill every day, to deal with the insurance and associated costs, to confront yearly invasive exams, and to live with possible physical side effects. We don’t seem to realize that birth control is not just an issue for women deal with; it’s an issue that we should also take responsibility for.

We don’t know what it’s like to have our intuition dismissed, especially when we sense danger and feel unsafe. How would we know? We men are perceptive and women are just overreacting.

This is why the sexism we have to combat in this country is the kind we don’t even notice. It’s the sexism that we wave off as, “That’s the way things are.” It’s the kind of sexism we haven’t even started to address in our society at large. And because we refuse to dig deeper to learn about the everyday struggles of women, we persist with behavior that simultaneously hurts women and drives the issue of gender discrimination deeper into a hidden underworld.

Some day men are just unbelievably sexy.

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