When I finally grew the courage to ask someone who I knew would tell me the blatant, honest truth, a radical Black woman and lifelong friend of mine, she gave me a short checklist that sounded something like this:Check out that bullet list. I would feel wrong for calling a woman a b*tch especially to her face. And why do men refer to women as females I never understood that. I have no clue what this "bro-code" is someone will have to explain. It's not important for me to take advantage of a woman emotionally or sexually this is not something I would do. I want a woman to like me, but not resent me because I took advantage of a situation.
While the list was certainly not extensive and all-encompassing of the toxicity in the way which I viewed the world, it was truly a moment of self-realization for me.
- Do you call women by dehumanizing names like Bit**, Hoe, female etc.?
- Do you abide by the “bro code?”
- Do you take advantage of women emotionally? Sexually?
- Do you love all women… including gay, trans, unattractive, dark-skinned, etc. women?
- Do you speak over women or use your male privilege to dominate discussions?
- Do you fetishize, objectify, or sexualize the bodies of women?
- Do you call your friends and family out when they make oppressive statements and actions?
Here's this male privilege? I understand this idea of "white-male privilege" now that definition has expanded to straight Black men - now straight Black men have male privilege. Are Black men having it so good at the expense of Black women? This can only cause me to question this idea of "white-male privilege". Of course it's never good to dominate a discussion, especially a reasonable discussion.
Heh, as straight men we like women - so I'm not sure what to say about "fetishize, objectify or sexualize" women's bodies. What I can say is that if I'm oriented not towards sex with a woman, but a relationship then she has to have more than her body. If she has beauty
Also as far as out of line or "oppressive" statements and actions towards women, I wish I could do a better job of that. As stated in another post - the #MeToo - where I know men who have essentially objectified women they found attractive. Or otherwise put their focus and comments on her body and focused on getting a date or whatever.
Here's the big one to address do I love all women? I would love a woman as my friend or as a significant other. And yes she could be a lesbian or straight or obese or dark-skinned, etc. As for trans well Anthony Brian Logan says the right thing:
One of the recommendations in the list, if followed, would have Ryan violate his own sexuality and masculinity. She said that he should love all women, even if they were gay or TRANS! Transgender women are NOT WOMEN! If a heterosexual man loves a transgender woman, in a way that’s not friends or family, now you have officially made him change his sexual orientation.Ah, this is the perfect time to discuss this idea of transphobia. You're not even allowed to have dating preferences that involved a person's natural gender. So if you're a man and you don't want to date a transwoman - BIGOT. You're a woman who doesn't want to date a transwoman - BIGOT! If you're seeking a relationship you do have the right to choose who you want to be with and without being called a bigot, transphobe, racist, etc. You can't force yourself to date or be attracted to someone that you just aren't.
Allow me to end it with this:
I say 99% of Black men are sexist and misogynistic not because we are any more guilty than men of other races. Not even because it’s probably true. But because as a Black man, I am most concerned with how it continues to impose violence upon our women and plague our communities, relationships, and liberations movements.I don't think what's written in this article is about liberation, it's about more division. And what violence is being imposed upon women? We definitely want to discourage physical or sexual violence. Is the writer suggesting that we concern ourselves with other forms of violence that is neither physical nor sexual? Could our words and actions - especially if it's not physical at all - be considered violence against women?
I suspect the author of this piece is listening to a friend with a radical agenda. It's up to him if he chooses to internalize it, it's also up to him if he chooses to listen to those individuals who choose to target him as a sexist and misogynist even if he had believed that he supports and respects women. It's entirely possible that no matter what he does even if he follows those bullet points that he may never please those who think of him as sexist and misogynist.