Yes, my stomach hurts right now due to continued complications from my transplant. No, I don’t feel like talking about it today, except to say that while cancer has been the dominant thought running through my brain, us survivors DO occasionally have other thoughts and things they care about. Today, I’m thinking about women.
No, not in the usual way I think about women, which should not be written about here, but in a way that makes me think perhaps there is more to think about them than the usual way. It occurs to me that women are more than just sex objects. Apparently, they have thoughts, feelings, and rights, just like us men. This is sarcasm, but if one reading this doesn’t know me, it might sound like the same kind of bullshit women hear from men all the time. I want to talk about that.
Right now I know at least 3 women, whom I consider to be close friends, being treated as second class citizens by the men they claim to love, & who claim to love them. They are expected to cook dinner, clean the house, take care of kids, and still provide income. Now, if a partner doesn’t work, & the other does, I can see that, but what makes it acceptable for a man to work and then sit on his ass as soon as he comes home when the woman he claims to love must continue working on the house and taking care of their children after they get off work? Anyone who expects that of their partner just because they are the man, & traditional gender roles HAD women working in the home and then claims he loves her is lying. Do you hear that? He’s lying. Love is a verb. He may have feelings for you, but he doesn’t love you.
And God forbid you as a woman are too tired from all this work to be sexually aroused as often as he would like. You should hear some of the things these guys say about their partners who they claim to love. Once the sex is less often than he would like, his angel is now a bitch, tease, etc…
So why do I care? This isn’t my relationship. As a man, I never have to experience this. So what’s the big deal? Well, it’s simple. I don’t like seeing people mistreated. It gets to me. Call me overly empathetic, but it just feels bad. Here is another reason. These women I know, being treated that way, some have basically stated that they would leave were it not for children with the partner that mistreats them. That’s all well and good I suppose, it is important to make sure your kids are provided for…but don’t you see what they are learning? If boys, they learn it is acceptable to treat women this way, & if girls they learn it is acceptable to put up with it. There is also the fact that these asshole men make women scared or hesitant to get to know all of us. We all pay for the actions of a fucked-up few by trying to deal with the baggage created by someone who has been “hurt before”.
Finally I worry about my wife as an innocent woman living amongst these males who have had this kind of sexism reinforced. I worry she may fall victim to the next hard-up little kid who decides to shoot random women because he can’t get laid and views sex as an obligation women must “give up” to him. I worry about the predators who would flash her, or worse, physically assault her all based on the fact that society views women as second class citizens, who can’t even make decisions over her own reproductive rights.
Look, I’m a man. I like women and do treat them as sex objects WHEN HAVING SEX and while realizing this sex object is still a person with feelings and rights. I won’t apologize for my love of women, I won’t apologize for my fondness for sex, but on behalf of men everywhere, I apologize that so many of us feel entitled to you, superior to you, or possessive of you.