My dad has always been the most positive and unconditionally loved male figure in my life. We do not necessarily agree on a lot of things and our arguments can lead to tears at times and most times our theories about life can collide in explosions. He does come from a patriarchal background; [who has not in his generation], but he is the kindest, most caring and considerate man I know, and certainly, has respect for my sister and me as women now and us growing up as kids. He showed the same to my brother. He was the type of father that plaited our hair for school and gave us a bath when we were younger without batting an eyelid. He provided not only a shelter and food but also created a safeness, warmth and fatherly love that have remained unchanged and he extends this to his granddaughters and grandsons.
My father is not the perfect man but he certainly is NOT trash! My life partner is also not perfect but he is not trash, either! When I saw the hashtag ‘Men Are Trash’ circulating social media, I told myself once again it seems we are moving from one extreme to another. Generalizing is what gets us into trouble in the first place [I have done it too, but have since learned], coupled with radicalness of any activism.
Yes, I have read the dreaded, heart-breaking and tragic event that was the onset of this hashtag, and I have many experiences already that give me all the reasons to hate men and if we had to tie it down to race, in specific, Indian men. Unfortunately, I cannot categorize my hatred/resentment, as my life partner is Indian and my two beautiful boys are the results, who are nothing like my perpetrators. If anything they are quite the opposite and so is my father and my brother and other decent male influences and interactions in my life.
My childhood [and adult life alike] was not filled with fond memories of women either. When I first heard about feminism in my late teens, I did not take the first placard against men and parade yelling my disapproval of how men treated females or even how men treated males. My first question was how is there not a group for violence against people? I do fully understand the detriment of the patriarchal world and I absolutely understand male privilege and I do get those women have had the bad end of the stick is a huge understatement and yes, we absolutely need to change that but do we change that by taking a tractor and running over our own sons and fathers and brothers and friends who do not fall into the category of men that harm?
In my lifetime I have seen women beat up their husbands, belittle them and verbally abuse them just as much as men have done to women. It still is a daily occurrence in many homes, and there is a huge stigma attached to a man being beaten by his girlfriend or wife or being verbally abused, so very unlikely these get reported anyway. So as much as women do not report abuse of any kind, many men, on the other hand, are ridiculed even if they have to mention it in a by the way conversation.
The likes of Jacob Zuma and Donald Trump, leaders of the world do not make it any easier on males to be spat upon giving [unspecified amount of] feminists all the reasons to behave more callously and disrespectfully, fuelled by anger and hatred from their experiences and/or experiences of people they know. BTW before you jump on my case please note the feminist groups are also made up of male members who have also adopted this same type of attitude towards the male species too.
The most significant aspect in this whole equation [for me] is my two sons. How as a woman and a mother to my two sons, can I induce a healthy outlook for them about gender equality, in an age where these issues have been brought up onto the surface, still raw and very much still alive in our culture, without tipping the scales to extreme radicalism where, making them feel demeaned and just as horrible and guilty being born a male in this era as the females have and still are experiencing?
How do I harvest the goodness of gender [in this case feminism] activism if these groups of people cannot see that this is going to hurt the future generation of people by generalising a hashtag such as ‘Men Are Trash’. Are these females [that support this hashtag] not mothers to sons? If they are does it mean their sons are Trash too? Tell me again how is this #MenAreTrash movement even justified? Would a #WomenAreTrash be justifiable? Certainly not!
My kid’s generation are not going to know anything but equality [assuming that is what they are decently exposed to]. My sons will not understand the hashtag and will take personal offense to it, simply because their male figure at home and the male figures around them that they look up to, certainly do not treat women in a humiliating and degrading way. In the same breath they have experienced male abusers indirectly and find this preposterous and inhumane because it is not how it is in our home. They understand the patriarchal existence and are growing up in a world where gender equality is important to move forward and they are all for it. We have plenty of discussions of gender equality in our home. For them equality would mean sharing the negatives and positives with their partners with dignity and respect. They believe they are decent men who will treat everyone with respect gender neutrally.
Unfortunately, I am not sure if this balance is even anywhere in the near future. I certainly do not want my sons to have partners that disrespect them when they are being brought up by both parents who treat them with love, compassion and respect. I would not want my sons, to be trapped in a pregnancy trick. I would not want my sons to be accused of rape just because some female felt rejected by him. These are very real issues that have seeped into the generation of my kids and are well and alive as much as women are being raped by men. This is what the future generation of sons are going to face if we use such condescending hashtags, not that it is not already happening. These are real issues my sons converse with us as it is a concern to them. So here are these wonderful men and men in the making have their heads screwed on right are left wondering how is it women get away with all of these atrocities when there were supposed to be gender equality?
Do you not think a start of a hashtag as such can throw a spanner in the works and course future decent men in the years to come to feel that they have had enough of the derogatory? Do you not think that wo/men are really taking it too far in this incident? What a negative message this sends out to our decent men. Do you not think one day there would be lash back assuming this continues?
I am a mother of two sons and they are not trash. I blatantly disagree with the hashtag. I am all for gender equality and against abuse of any kind, but please excuse me if I do not religiously pick up a placard every time there is a woman being beaten up or raped, as this also happens to men. As a mother I need to be present in a respectful way to both men and women so my sons can mimic the same, as they would be boyfriends/husbands/life partners one day so they need to carry this respect into their own relationships and not resent being with their partner because their mom [or females around them] had no respect for men [and women] and has followed the hashtag ‘Men Are Trash’ movement. As mothers we owe it to our sons and society to create a space that is safe and respectful so our sons can go into the world and be respectful, loving and caring husbands and fathers and not demonize them with such hashtags.
#the problem is real
#gender inequality is real
#men are abused by women
#men are raped by men and women
#women are abused by men
#women are raped by men and women
#men are used for their wealth by women
#men get tricked into pregnancy
#the law does not favour men in child rearing
#men are wrongfully accused of rape
#Men Who Hurt/Harm Are Trash
#Women Who Hurt/Harm Are Trash
#the problem is a human one
#the problem will not go away if you use derogatory to fight derogatory it just flips the coin
These are just but a few problems our future generations will be facing, taking the old problems and adding new and unnecessary ones that can be avoided. We need to deal with these issues with love and compassion and display your anger at the perpetrators rather than to one specific gender as I tell you there are good decent men that exist and probably more than the harmful ones other there.
I do understand there is a fine line in some of the hashtags mentioned above, like men being wrongfully accused of rape as many rapists can get away easily with something like this, but men getting wrongfully accused is a problem too as these men face jail time that is unnecessary not forgetting the humiliation that they have to go through. Are men not humans too? I believe if you want gender equality then this equality should also extend to the courtrooms and all walks of life were everyone benefits and not only one gender. Gender inequality is rife in both men and women and I am afraid that the scales will be tipped again by people that do not think before they act, by people that cannot see the bigger picture, by those who’s arrogance and anger blinds them to everything else that is happening around them and by those that jump on the bandwagon and uses this to harness power for their own selfish ego, trapping unexpected victims.
Women are powerful beings and so are Men! Why are we not using this power together to create something spectacular and to defeat the ones that do the damage and harm?
So have some of these activists become revengeful and/or using feminism to get what they want, pushing their [powerful] femininity across its negative boundaries? If that is the case then, this is no more a gender problem but a human one!