Dear Weary Women,
Everything I do is for you. I want you to know that. Because today, my heart is hurting. I have been creating content online for almost a decade. In that time, I’ve gotten used to men crashing into my spaces and doing violence to me. Never physical violence, although I’m sure if they were in arms reach of me they would try. The violence is mental. Emotional. It’s the way they degrade, sexualize, undermine, and disempower. How they try to, anyway. I’m tired of it. I know that you are, too.
Today, I’ve had a special kind of man doing this violence in the comment section of one of my TikTok videos. I have done the healing so that this kind of thing is no longer triggering to me, but it is frustrating nonetheless. What gives men like this the right, the unmitigated gall, to come into our spaces and treat us this way? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
Men think aggression equates to power
Society often equates masculinity with aggression, dominance, and control. Men who fail to live up to these ideals may feel inadequate or insecure, leading to a defensive and fragile response to criticism or challenge. Because of this, they enter our spaces looking to fight and win, rather than engage in intellectual, mutually respectful dialog.
They value power, and fear losing it
Patriarchy has naturally elevated men to positions of power over other marginalized groups. Men in positions of power may feel threatened by challenges to their authority, particularly from women. This fear can manifest as fragility, defensiveness, and a resistance to change. They use violence to usurp women’s power, either real or perceived.
Men are not healing
Men are often socialized to be self-reliant and to avoid seeking emotional support. This can lead to a sense of isolation and a lack of skills in handling difficult emotions, which can contribute to fragility. Rather than go to therapy to heal from trauma, deconstruct their misogyny, and find emotional support, they expect women to coddle or defer to their emotional outbursts.
Men are insecure
This sounds like a mean thing to say, since no one likes being called insecure. But I do think that because men are not doing the work of personal growth and self actualization, they are left feeling like emotional infants. This leads to insecurity in their manhood, their intellect, their power, and their ability.
Straight men don’t actually like women
This is something that the internet has been speculating about for a while. It’s just starting to seem like straight men (I’m gonna leave you out of this one, gay men) just won’t like women. They like us for our bodies, maybe? But they even speak about our bodies with disgust unless we meet an unattainable standard of thinness and beauty. When it comes to our essential nature — our mind, our heart, our interests, and desires, they just don’t seem to like us that much.
Why We Are So Tired
For all of these reasons, we are exhausted. We are tired of battling against men who refuse to heal, refuse to unlearn patriarchal ideas that don’t serve anyone, see themselves as being in a constant power struggle with us, and probably don’t even like us. It’s not all men — we all know some wonderful, lovely, women-empowering men, and that deserves to be acknowledged. But those men are uncommon, and often drowned out by the toxic men who hate us.
I hope you’re doing okay. I’m doing okay … I know we’ll all be okay. I just wish the men didn’t make being okay so damn hard.