TO MY BROTHERS: MEN! CUT THAT SHIT OUT!
We need to own our sexism, to take responsibility for it, and to rip it out of our brains. We know this, our rulers plant sexism in our mother’s milk (or Nestle formula) because it keeps us divided.
I include myself. Even though I consider myself a feminist, and even as I strive to nurture equality in my home and in our society, there remains a section of my brain devoted to sexism. I don’t think I’m alone in this, but when I walk down the street I evaluate – crudely – every female I see as to how it would be to have sex with her.
While this isn’t “behavior” – I never act on these thoughts – it isn’t harmless. It’s rooted in disrespectful objectification, which reinforces sexist attitudes. Whites are encouraged to feel that they’re “better” than blacks; men are encouraged to feel that they’re “better” than women.
That sexism hurts women may be obvious in terms of income, political power, wealth, economic power, to say nothing of physical and sexual abuse. But sexism hurts men too, and we need to end it now, just as it is up to whites to end racism. Now. Sexism divides men not just from women, but from ourselves – from those very real aspects of ourselves associated with the feminine: our emotions, our tenderness, our capacity to cry, our empathy, and above. all our caring.
Society trains men not to care because it needs us in its armies. We are raised to kill or be killed. We need to resist this training and move to actively care about each other as humans.
From now on, as I walk down the street, I will look at each human I see and imagine how it would be to care deeply about him or her.