What Women Don’t Owe

14 May

Being a woman is as much about what you have to deal with as it is anything. You have to deal with the physical realities of being a woman, and you have to deal with the social realities, depending on what sort of culture you live in.

“Feeling like a woman” when you are not a woman is an attempt to extrapolate these realities into some kind transferable mental state. This is magical thinking at its worst. Feeling feminine? That’s a cultural thing. Feeling abused, left out, not accepted as you are? Cultural thing.

But if you are not a woman, these cultural things are not the same cultural things women in patriarchal societies experience, because patriarchal societies by definition treat women differently than men. If you are a man you may be punished for not performing masculinity up to the culturally required standards, but that doesn’t make you a woman, it just makes you another victim of patriarchy. Your suffering is real, but that doesn’t make it our suffering, and your suffering being real doesn’t mean women owe you anything, simply because we have an enemy in common.

Patriarchy is all about the idea that women owe men things. So any support men get from women absolutely has to be completely voluntary and freely offered. If not, it’s just more patriarchy in action. Men in patriarchies have many ways of getting women to feel they owe men things. It’s much easier and overall looks better than physical coercion. Less likelihood of unwanted repercussions.

That is what women deal with at the hands of men, virtually all of us. It takes some of us longer to see it than others, because part of the conditioning is to teach us to not see it, and when we do see it, out of the corners of our eyes, to tell ourselves “Well, it could be worse, at least I have this.” And we go on, playing servant, maybe bonding with a man we don’t really want to have sex with, but do anyway, just to keep the peace.

Being told to pretend men are women so that we can never get away from them is just more of the same. This is our supposed job, our role in life, to endlessly owe them, no matter what we do, never enough, they always want more, they want to eat us alive. And force us to make more of us so they can eat them alive.

No, not all men are like that, but a hell of a lot are and there is a pervasive strain of accepting the idea that women owe men, that runs through almost all of you.

This is why we invented feminism, to address this. Not to be inclusive and welcome “nice guys” in with open arms. Not to address male needs at all, but to find ways and places where for a change we could do something besides addressing male needs. Because that is something we really need to do, for ourselves. Not for you.

Why is this so damned difficult to see? Why is this so threatening? Why won’t you let us fucking go?

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5 Responses to “What Women Don’t Owe”

  1. No Virgin Mary 2015/05/14 at 9:45 pm #

    FUCKING YES!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. stchauvinism 2015/05/15 at 2:04 pm #

    Reblogged this on Stop Trans Chauvinism.

    Like

  3. southwest88 2015/05/15 at 5:56 pm #

    And yet one of the fetishes for MRAs is the myth of Men Going Their Own Way. These men claim to be tired of supporting women and are going to teach us a lesson by leaving us to our own devices. But THEY NEVER GO AWAY, I mean, I am standing there on the shore yelling bye-bye, aloha, aufweiderzehn, please forget to write and they are still here getting in my way and telling me how much I owe them. I owe them nothing.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. quixote 2015/05/21 at 9:48 pm #

    “Why won’t you let us fucking go?”

    And do their own dishes? Are you nuts? I mean, *obviously*. Who wants freedom when you can have servants, amirite?

    Liked by 2 people

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