Its all sunshine until….
So you’re in your office on a bright Monday morning, enthused, ready and chomping at the bit to take on the week. You’ve been working through this problem in your mind over the weekend that the team is still to solve since last week and you’re an idea machine! Monday morning team meeting begins and you can’t wait to get it off your chest; see what the group thinks.
Naturally, it’s a team effort. You’re not the only one with bright ideas. Some people like it and some don’t. You get into a lively debate with a female colleague about one point or the other. Both parties pushing hard to show why their solution is the best. So far it’s great, its fair game and its equality as it was meant to be. Until the dreaded game changer enters the picture. The secret weapon of mass destruction. The one used to silence any man who feels any inkling of politically correctness.
You get accused of being a misogynist and a mansplainer. Your enthusiasm and assertiveness is clearly a way to force your dominance over a female victim who you clearly think is beneath you and not worthy of making a point. You feel threatened by her strength, power and courage to speak up especially in a “man’s world”. Your indoctrination in the ways of the patriarchy is clearly at work here you sexist pig!!
You decide to retreat, of course before any further damage is done to your character. The last thing you want is for the rest of the office to finish off the character assassination job. You decide to say you’re sorry, not even sure why you’re apologizing but you better make sure everyone knows that you didn’t mean to offend. Furthermore, you best sure up your case by dropping a compliment about what you admire about your accuser.
A one size fits all point of debate
The mansplainer, misogynist accusation has become a one size fits all point of debate for any conflict between a man and a woman whether its relevant to the topic at hand or not. A man simply isn’t as free to defend himself to a full extent as a woman is. The full extent of assertiveness is allowed only in one direction. A woman will be rewarded for standing up for herself against a man but a man risks being chastised for doing the same. Ironically, he is conveniently expected to assume the role of the gentleman, knight in shining armor usually associated with traditional roles of masculinity. This is not just forced on men but also on boys.
It breeds confusion and weakness in males and an inability to stand up for themselves in relationships and in general. Unless they are male feminists, of course. Those guys can stand up to anything and anybody. They seem to flawlessly and confidently preach the demerits of the patriarchy, and why men need to step up, and why women are victims etc. Of course, there is one glaring caveat, the one that these lapdogs of the feminist movement dare not acknowledge. The male feminists are only allowed to be aggressive on topics sanctioned by their feminist masters. But that’s a topic for another post.
But more to the point, men need to be allowed to speak their mind and state their opinions to the full extent without feeling that they have to hold back and apologize for simply being passionate. And yes in a heated debate, voices are raised but we cant just tie the hands of one gender. We must, by all means demand the same treatment as our female counterparts in speaking out. The right to use our voices. The right to feel that our opinions are just as important. And the right to say that we will not back down regardless of the hate thrown our way.
Our spoken truth is far more powerful and important than the possible chastisement that will be thrown our way for speaking passionately. It is wrong that we are accused of misogyny when we are simply stating our truth. And more importantly, we should call out the biasness as often as we can. Its not OK!!