Everyone loves a good debate. Which is why I risk developing a brain tumor by constantly going on Facebook comments and reading through the arguments. Yes, I know, I should probably stop doing that if I value my sanity (but it’s just so goddamn entertaining).
It’s just so hair-pulling frustrating whenever a gendered issue comes up, and there’s always this one asshole, this one guy who should be banned from using a keyboard, type out that one comment:
“But men face (insert issue here) too!’
Let us all take a moment and weigh that comment so we can truly see just exactly how unnecessarily cruel and stupid it is because, oh my god, seriously?
First of all, literally every Tom, Dick, Harry, Mary, Jane, and Sarah know that men face troubles and problems in their life. Just like women. When we raise issues that women face, we’re not saying men don’t face any. We’re not saying men are a protected class of citizen who has never faced any problems in their lives because of their gender. No one is ever doubting that men have it hard as well.
So, when you say, “Oh, men have it just as hard!” You’re not actually promoting men’s issues or starting a meaningful dialogue that could lead to a resolution to these problems, in fact, I highly doubt when you raise your voice over another person discussing women’s issues that you actually care much about men’s issues at all. Using men’s issues as a derailment is a disgusting practice not only because it takes away time and energy from a much-needed conversation of the unfair gendered expectation on women, but it also takes away the significance of the less talked about men’s issues.
Things like depression, toxic masculinity, homophobia (whether it be internalized or not), body issues, self-esteem issues, and sexual assault are seen as a shameful stigma unique to men, are actual things we need to talk about. But when you only bring it up to show that women don’t have it that hard because men suffer as well, no one goes anywhere and you sound like a real asshole.
Case in point: whenever a sexual harassment case comes into the national spotlight or even international spotlight (much like the #metoo movement), there’s always those who will pipe up and say: “Well, men get raped too!”
Yet, funnily enough, the only time I ever hear about men’s sexual harassment is when it’s brought up as a derailment of women’s sexual assault cases. It speaks volume when the only time you bring up men’s issues is when it’s used as a rebuttal against caring for women’s issues. News flash: Issues and problems men face are a valid point of discussion on their own.
You don’t go into a cancer ward and tell the patients that next door, someone is dying of pneumonia. You don’t go to a funeral and tell the grieving attendees that there are other people dying across the world. You don’t derail issues about women by telling them men face issues as well.
So, let’s try to understand the nuances of discussing issues because nothing will get done if the only time men’s issues are brought up is when they are used as a counter-argument.