Ask nearly any woman and she will be able to tell you the difficulties she has faced as a female. From catcalling and being leered at by strangers to sexual assault, the tangible disadvantages of being a female in the patriarchy are obvious, especially with recent movements such as the #MeToo campaign.
While these female-based equality movements tend to be based around solidarity and community, it is incredibly difficult to find a male-based movement with these positive characteristics. The Meninist movement and men’s rights Internet forums seem primarily focused on blaming women for men’s difficulties in the patriarchy, lashing out at others. Bluntly, they make male-focused “equality” movements seem aggressive and harmful.
But with a lack of safe and supportive spaces to share their suffering, paired with a societal expectation to be unemotional, sexually aggressive, and violent, men are facing hardships in silence. To be frank, my heart hurts. I am tired of hearing men having to laugh off their experiences of rape and sexual assault. I am tired of those close to me choosing to end their lives. After all, if you’re supposed to be unemotional, how are you able to tell if you’re depressed?
The pervasive idea that men and women equality groups are in direct opposition needs to come to end. Just as it is vital for women to have safe spaces to share the adversities they are forced to endure, men face unique challenges in a patriarchal society that tells us all we are never good enough. I am sick of seeing men suffer alone and in silence. Toxic masculinity and the patriarchy hurt us all in different ways and to different degrees, but everyone would benefit from its demise.
— Emily Mozzone, Lead Designer & Advice Columnist