Today’s blog was supposed to be Part II of a rant…..but I’m not feeling very ranty. Instead, I’m feeling a deep love and appreciation for the men of our world and instead of calling them out for the sin of White Male Privilege, I am using this forum to invite the GOOD MEN to don their Superhero capes, or sport their swords and shields and STAND UP in defense of those who are suffering under the current cultural paradigm which hurts them as much as it hurts us!
For the Love of Men
I absolutely adore men. I am one of those girls who always felt at home in the company of boys and later men. I (mostly) get men. I appreciate their interests and sense of humor. I love the unique gifts they bring to the world. Many of my closest friends are male, not to mention the three most important men in my life – my father, my brother, and my son. MOST men that I know are generous, kind, loving, thoughtful, supportive, providers for their loved ones and families and not only value, but honor women for their uniqueness and as their equals. That being said, even the men I love most have benefitted from white male privilege and while they might not be actively participating in it, they are being affected by it and in a very sad sense, they are somewhat responsible if they are doing nothing to change the face of male privilege, especially the practices which make women and people of color victims of this privilege. Today’s blog, specifically addresses some of the ways in which women suffer under this paradigm. And as much as we (as women) fight, kick, scream and cry for things to change, sadly, nothing about this is going to shift until those in privilege – THE MEN, stand up and do something about it.
White Male Privilege
White Male Privilege is the current cultural paradigm which values male over female, white over any other race, masculine ways of doing things over feminine, masculine structures, logical thought processes and ways of doing over feminine systems, feeling creative processes and ways of being, hierarchy over cooperation. etc. White Male Privilege…or as my business partner, work-husband, and personal Boy-Wonder, Ted would say, “The Plight of the Slow White Male,” keeps us in a system where women are still only earning $0.73 for every dollar earned by a man and where there is a complete lack of recognition, honor or pay for women who are tending the home, raising the children, preparing the meals, etc. etc. etc. White Male Privilege is most acutely obvious in Institutional structures – churches, corporations, academia, etc. where the highest levels of leadership are owned by men and if not by men, by women who had to be like men to get there. Women suffer under this paradigm, but so do men. White Male Privilege puts an awful lot of pressure on men (and women who have had to become like men) to perform, achieve, and conquer, often at the expense of their deeper needs for nurturing, intimacy and time to simply be. For the purpose of today’s blog, however, I am inviting us all to recognize that if we are unhappy with the effects of White Male Privilege, it is the GOOD MEN who will have to STAND UP, SPEAK UP and do something about it. So, Good Men, as you are donning your superhero capes, here are a few of my hot-button issues (now here comes the rant! 🙂 ). And if you would like to know where else you might help, ask your wife, your girlfriend and your sisters, they might have some ideas. 🙂
- “Blurred Lines” Really????? Here’s the deal……NO MEANS NO, and a drugged, drunk woman who does not have the capacity to argue is still saying no. As a survivor of rape, I feel as if the only just punishment due a man who rapes a woman (or a child, or another man) is castration….but I’ll let the courts decide that one. But instead of working to stop rape, old white men are busy making laws that are further blurring the lines around what is defined as rape and how rape is tried and punished. Unless the woman has fully consented, is willingly participating and enjoying the action….then it is rape….period.
Good Men, we need your help in changing the culture of rape and the policies that that blur the lines around what we define as rape and how rape is punished.
- Birth Control – again….old white men making decisions about our bodies, our decisions to become mothers and how we want to do this. Shouldn’t this be the woman’s decision or at least made within the privacy of an intimate, committed relationship?
Good men, we need your help with this! Your female partners need access to medical services and medications that keep unplanned pregnancies rare and sex safe. I’m thinking you have an interest in this as well! 🙂
- Abstinence Education? Are you frickin kidding me?????? Old, white men again. Keep your legs crossed kids, and don’t have sex. But if you do….it is the girl who is to blame, because boys are just sowing their wild oats. I call FOUL! Kids are having sex. And some of them are children (under the age of 13). The sooner we ADMIT this, the sooner we will work our tails off to provide education about contraception and prevention of STD’s. There is a reason that Amsterdam has the lowest infant mortality and teenage pregnancy rate in THE WORLD! It is because they acknowledge that their kids are having sex and they are giving them what they need to keep sex safe and prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Good men, we need your help with this. I’m not saying we should condone sexual activity among our youth….I’m just saying let’s be real about it! Keep our kids safe and unplanned pregnancies rare!!!!
- Periods are gross – again, old white men in the guise of pharmaceutical companies providing pills that “stop your period.” Ahem……women, we were meant to bleed. It is natural and healthy. Artificially preventing our natural cycle could have devastating and lasting effects. Don’t trust what you see on TV or read in the magazine! Belly up to the “Feminine Hygiene” isle and OWN your Red Tent time.
Good men, we need your help. Support your female partners, daughters and friends in being comfortable with their bodies and all the functions thereof. Speak out against campaigns that encourage women to stop these necessary biological functions. Your voice matters here.
- Menopause is a disease and something that requires medical (and psychological) attention and medication: Again, old white men deciding that the aging process is BAD (because is somehow negatively impacts their ability to be in control or to have great sex, or God forbid….learn to be open to emotional intimacy and vulnerability!!!!!). The hormonal changes of perimenopause and menopause serve the benevolent purpose of birthing the uniquely creative life of a woman beyond that of motherhood. It is through perimenopause and menopause that women really come into their true power and when embraced….we are a force to be reckoned with. This is not the time to seek out estrogen replacement or bio-identical hormones to calm our mood swings, ease our tempers, erase our wrinkles or so we can remain “juicy” down there….it is the time to ROAR, SHOUT, SCREAM, all the gifts we have been suppressing so that the people around us would be “happy.”
Good men, if you are supportive, loving, understanding and encouraging of your female partners through this process….I promise that you will have your reward – a happier, healthier, more fulfilled partner who might just want to rock your world. 🙂
The Bigger Truth Here
Now, everyone take a breath. There is a profound lesson to remember here and on which will save all of us – women and men were BOTH created in the image and likeness of God and are at once equal and unique. If we want a better world, we are going to have to learn how to uphold our equality while honoring the unique gifts that we bring to the table – the feminine ability to be generous, to allow and receive, to work toward harmony, to encourage collaboration, consensus and peace; and the masculine traits of working toward goals, striving for accomplishment and making things happen….and that these gifts are not entirely defined by gender!!!!! And if you think we have a long way to go in our country…think about other parts of the world where women can’t even get an education, learn to read and write, hold a job, vote, etc. etc. etc. Our work has just begun baby!
And to the Good Men: THANK YOU. Thank you for having the courage to acknowledge white male privilege and to see where it hurts not only those you love, but yourself as well. And THANK YOU for doing your part to help change this paradigm so that we can work together in creating a world rooted in love, honor and respect for all and where peace and harmony reign!
Lauri Lumby, known as Wonder Woman to some, is just a voice crying out in the wilderness, hoping to make the world a more loving, peaceful place. Thank you for adding your voice to the cause of love. 🙂