Friday, March 8, 2013

The ties that bind.

I think there are a lot of issues that men face, as men, that are often mistaken for other issues, for example Race or Sexual Orientation.  This stems from the simple fact that, in my own interactions at least, most Gay or 'Minority' men tend to respond the same way to a simple question:

"Do you face more discrimination because you're Gay/Black/Disabled, or because you're a man?"

Honestly, I have yet to encounter a situation where the answer is anything BUT 'Because I'm a man."  The first time I asked this question actually shocked the hell out of me, which made me keep asking it when chance allowed.  I continue to be shocked at just how prevalent this answer is.  Why was I so shocked? 

I was talking with a 'Bi Sexual' (his contention, but he presents as typically Gay as you can get...we humor him anyway) friend of mine about the discrimination he faces as a 'Fag' (his description of what people call him), at which point another friend tried to wedge issue the conversation, by jokingly interjecting that I was a 'Straight White Guy Activist' (I clarified I was an MRA). 

Before he spoke again I asked him if he was more discriminated against because he was Gay or Male...his answer actually cut off the tail end of the question itself.

"Male.  Being Gay is actually cool to some people, being male means everyone hates you."

He then went on to say it was about time someone spoke up for men.

Let's just say the experience changed my perspective a bit on things, and has been reinforced since by asking Aboriginals, and Black guys, and Asian, and Indian, and pretty much any guy I talk to where these things come up.

The answer is universal, although sometimes they need to chew on the question for a while first.  One Black guy insisted it was all about Race until I asked him if Black women were treated just like he was, or if they were somehow 'less bad'...

This drove the point home to me in a way that no Study, or Statistics, ever could.  Actual real live humans, 'protected class' men indoctrinated to think their 'otherness' from the so called Oppressive Class was the source of their troubles, realizing that - for the most part, definitely not all - much of the 'racism' they experience is not experienced by female members of their 'designated group' in NEAR the same amount, if at all.

 It is my belief that focussing on these issues, these shared experiences, these commonalities, is the most productive course of action.  I believe that, by showing the many ways in which Black, White, Gay, Straight, Religious, or Atheist men commonly bear the burden of injustice, understanding will be fostered in other ways.  I believe that by including ALL of these voices on an equal footing, and encouraging interaction and discussion between these groups, we will not only strengthen societal bonds, but decrease the dangerous polarity developing in society.

This is the real danger inherent in Identity Politics.  It is the basis for a 'Divide and Conquer' strategy, pitting groups of people against each other, by blaming each other for the very same 'discrimination' that each experiences.  By creating insular spaces, the Politically Correct are 'immune' from criticism, as well as considering the validity of a counter position to their own.  Divisive, destructive tendencies like these are endemic to modern society, fostered by a Political Class so convinced of their moral superiority they feel they can decide FOR hundreds of millions of people, what society should be like.

Social Engineering is an unmitigated disaster on all fronts, and it is high time we as a society threw off the shackles of regimented belief systems, actually sat down with one another (metaphorically) and accepted the possibility that more than one belief system can exist in the world, and we can all learn from each other far better when we stop Preaching long enough to listen.

There appears to be a desire in society at large for an end to the tensions.  An end to walking on eggshells.  An end to the 'Church Lady Hand Wringing' means of controlling the population.  I think society really has had enough, and hungers for some peace and quiet.

It's time to focus on what binds us, rather than divides.  It's time for men to stand together as men, not 'gay', not 'black', not 'white', not 'straight', not anything else but as men.  By talking and working together, I believe we truly can make this world a little more livable.  The question is, will we?

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