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Mansplaining The Patriarchy

by Zeke Herrera

Listen, I’m a feminist as much as the next guy (especially if that guy is Bill O’Reilly), but I’m sick of this "all women have to have each others’ backs" rhetoric. I’m aware there are plenty of injustices that happen all the time to women. I just don’t think lumping yourselves into one big group is helpful.

Sure, you’ll get your Jackie O’s and your Betty Whites, but that also means Aileen Wuornos, Casey Anthonys and Amy Schumers. Right now, you’re probably thinking, "This guy’s trying to mansplain feminism and apparently my own thoughts to me?" But, "mansplaining" and "The Patriarchy" are almost contradictory ideas. If men are so much more of a dominant gender than women, maybe take some advice from us once in awhile. If Tina Fey walked into the room that I’m writing this in right now and gave me tips, I would at least hear her out (before I proposed). I wouldn’t be like, "What? You think you’re doing so much better than me?" Because, I think we can all agree that’s accurate.

So, here’s why I think the lumping is a bad thing. During the Women’s March that happened after President Trump’s inauguration, a particular group of women was asked to leave. The reason they were asked to leave, is that this group of women was against abortion (I refuse to call someone "pro-life," simply based on the one anti-murder principal they hold). Keep in mind, several men attended this march and none were asked to leave. This wasn’t called the "People With A Certain Set Of Ideals March" or the "Women Who Agree With This Group Of Women March"—it was just the "Women’s March."

Now, as much as it might sound like it, I’m not trying to criticize the march...I’m not—just this one particular action. I understand the reasoning behind it, but abortion ultimately comes down to one prime issue, which is religion. There are religious people who are okay with abortion and vice versa, but my point is, during the Million Man March, no men were removed for having a different religion than any other man there. The reason this distinction is important, is that you’re pitting yourself against a group that you are also fighting for. They might be wrong, but do the people trying to help you deserve to be silenced? Sure, I don’t agree with these women, but a man contributes 50% of the genetic material into making a fetus. Shouldn’t those men get 50% of the say in whether or not that becomes a baby? A lot of you are probably screaming "My body, my choice!" in whatever coffee shop you’re in, but you’re also the same people who would argue to close the wage gap for the people distributing the money. Shouldn’t it be their money, their choice or their company, their choice? I don’t think so.

My point is that there’s an argument to be had and you shouldn’t just dismiss people when you’re claiming to be their champion. Now, I do think it’s terrible that there exists a wage gap and a male-dominated government, but a recent study showed that 50% of the population has owned 100% of the vaginas since the beginning of time. Vaginas are basically the reason men invented currency.

Honestly, I find it kind of silly to believe that men got ahead strictly on some size advantage. I think it’s whatever is in our brains that allows us to disconnect an idea from a person. I’m sure if I met with Benjamin Franklin, we wouldn’t see eye-to-eye, but electricity is neat. I can think Bill Cosby is guilty AND funny (I don’t think he’s funny, but I could). It’s also probably the same thing that makes us more prone to racism and war. It’s kind of why I think all prejudices are treated as a deep-seeded hatred; prejudices aren’t hatred, they’re just a lack of knowledge. You can like something and think it’s inferior to you. I like cats, but they don’t have opposable thumbs or access to taco trucks, so I’m better than them.

It’s harmful to your argument to tell someone they hate women, when they’re only trying to look out for the best interest of their wife—just as its harmful to tell a woman they’re not on the side of women. Abortion is a subdivision of the women’s rights argument, sure. I just think maybe you should focus on the argument as a whole, before getting into the intricate details. Feminism is a great idea—it’s just suffering from some bad branding. Get the message out first and sort out the details later.

"But, Zeke! The opposition’s message is terrible! They don’t give a shit about anyone! Why don’t they have to fix their message?" Because their message is already in place. New ideas have to prove themselves better than the old ones, before they can get put into place—not the other way around.

I know a lot of this came off as ignorant. I’ve never claimed to be a smart person and this has to be entertaining to a degree, but I’m asking that you separate these ideas from the person writing them. Quit being condescending to the people that are trying to help you and have a conversation with them, instead.