Dear Women, Men Owe You an Apology Once Again
We Like Having Things Patiently Explained to Us and We Really Like Being Needed, But We are Too Lazy To Do Any Work
Dear Men, Feminism Needs You
Stop waiting for us to explain everything, and start doing the work
I was lounging around watching football and drinking beer this week when my pal Tim asked a question I’ve been asked a hundred times before: How can men do a better job of helping feminists? It’s a strange query, and for years I’ve answered it by pointing out all the ways men can listen to women as they explain feminism to us and how we can help. But this time, I’d run out of patience.
I answered that I don’t really care about listening to women anymore. I am too lazy. It’s too exhausting, too demeaning. It’s absurd that a man should have to be persuaded or lectured about a woman’s humanity. (which is, remember, what feminism is actually about).
That’s not to say I don’t think listening to women is necessary. It is. But women should figure out for themselves how to lecture men about becoming an ally — without creating more work for us. Because never forget, we are lazy. Ultra, super, fucking lazy. Because, never forget, all men are lazy.
You don’t have to “bring us along”; we are outraged already. But, because we are men we also are lazy, so very lazy. We are also easily distracted by sports or beer or a pretty lady.
Right now, we are living under the most explicitly misogynist president in modern history in a country where an accused sexual abuser was just appointed to the Supreme Court. Women are being killed for saying no to men. Ohio has passed a bill that makes abortion a crime if the fetus has a heartbeat. And the wage gap is actually much wider than originally thought. All of that sucks and men are super pissed about it, but of course we are also super lazy, and there is always a game to watch on some screen somewhere, plus all that beer. Basically we suck.
Women, if you see all of this and still think men require convincing — why in the world would you want us on your side? How could you trust a person who could look at the victim blaming and backlash, the discrimination and bigotry, and still not be sure that feminism is necessary? You could not, and we are sure it is necessary, and we support it wholeheartedly. But then the laziness sets it and we just sit on our asses drinking beer and watching sports. I guess it must be in our genes or something.
You do not have to persuade us or “bring us along”; we are outraged already. And not just because you are our “wives, daughters, or mothers” — but because you are people.
Maybe you think we are outraged — that’s great! Now, are we doing something about it? Because while I am sure you appreciate our retweets and the moral support we offer you in private, you probably think it’s not enough. A new poll shows that only 45 percent of U.S. men are comfortable with the idea of a female president. Are we out there talking to other 55 percent about what the fuck is wrong with them? We are not, because we are lazy. See above comments about beer and sports, etc. We also do not normally like talking to one another about anything other than sports or beer or how attractive certain ladies are to us. Our talking also mostly consists of grunts and high fives and butt slaps and such. This is not very conducive to serious discussions of our thoughts with respect to the fitness of a woman to be president.
When I look at who is doing the phone-banking and door-knocking, I see a lot of women. When I look at who is marching, I see a lot of women. Where are we? All the news coverage of women’s wins and feminist cultural gains make it seem as if you have this whole thing handled; but I am guessing you do not and that you are exhausted. Fighting this fight is a full-time job, and you have to do it on top of working every day and doing the second shift at home, where women still are largely the ones taking care of the kids, cooking the dinner, and picking up your socks. I mean we can’t even pick up our own socks for cryin out loud. We truly suck. Please tell us more ways in which we fail to live up to your expectations. We deserve a lecture, we need a lecture. We will never learn anything unless you sit us down, look us straight in the eyes and tell us exactly how we have let you down, again.
So, expecting women to explain how we can help is just a way of creating more work for you. Just like men isn’t it? Experts at creating work for women, rank amateurs at doing any work ourselves. It’s probably because we are so lazy as I mentioned several times already.
We are smart (sort of). We can see what issues are most urgent by reading the newspaper or sites like this one: you are writing, and talking, and sharing articles about what matters to you every day. Women, if we hear all this and still require convincing that the issues you face are real, and important, and painful, then you may not want us on your side after all. I know I wouldn’t, but then again I am a man. A lazy, lazy man.
I realize this may come across as harsh (maybe we’d be more pleasant if we didn’t feel as if we were being accused of moral and ethical crimes 24 hours a day). But the truth is that expecting us to support you — without having to do the work of bringing us along — isn’t a symptom of rage. It’s a sign of laziness. And we apologize, sincerely, again.
Author’s postscript: I in no way intended this article as a knock on feminism or feminist beliefs/values. I am a supporter and defender and a die hard believer in the equality of all persons irrespective of gender, race, religion or anything else you can name. If you read an anti woman or anti-feminist agenda in this then clearly my writing is not for you and I (sort of respectfully) ask you to get lost. That said I did take some offense at the unspoken assumption(s) that to me were evident in the original post by the very fine writer Jessica Valenti. Specifically the notion that all men are ‘lazy.’ So lazy in fact that we can’t even pick up our own socks. As a (sometimes) writer of satire I gravitate towards things that offend me in some way and try to point out the absurdity of those things by exaggerating them to a (very large) degree. I know that Miss Valenti does not think all men are lazy or that we can’t pick up our own socks, however, I do not think it crazy to believe that persons might read her post and come away with that impression. Hopefully at least I made you (whoever you are) chuckle once or twice as you gritted your teeth in anger. Thinking about that makes me a very happy writer indeed.