TW: Discussing patriarchy, rape culture and misogyny because I’m accountable to the universe.
The last 6 years have been an incredible journey into who I am today, but if you’ve met me in this last 4 years, you’ve hopefully benefited from my ally-ship and newly found feminist ideals. I must be honest about who I was before that though, for no other reason than to show men that they too are capable of change for the greater good of all humanity.
I’ve never been physically violent against anyone who didn’t ask for it but, never not once against women. I say this because as a society, we often see physical violence as being the only way to hurt someone.
I was manipulative with words, hurtful and at times abusive with them too; not just to women but anyone who “crossed me”. My time as a Solider was spent being the target of slander because of my weight and inability to perform as a result of it. I learned to perfect using words as weapons. I perpetuated rape culture in spaces that incubate the same and since I was surrounded by *mostly* men who talked, acted and treated others the same way I did (like shit), it was easy for me to feel validated in my behavior. I’ve used language *at times in front of women* that was belittling and sexually discriminatory. Exacerbated by the myth of manhood, my misogynist ways grew to an all-time high thanks to patriarchy *that I wasn’t aware of* and my unearned male privilege.
Though I was raised by women my entire life, without realizing it, I perpetuated oppression among them in familial spaces as well w/ my sisters, aunts and cousins … my mother. My entire life has been one huge unearned benefit in certain ways. I’m calling myself out to hold myself accountable to women I want to be an ally to and especially those I hold on a pedestal. But that’s not all …
I’m calling myself out because the men on my friends list need to understand that while we may not have done anything to create patriarchy and looooove to say #NotAllMen as if it alleviates us from our human obligation, we certainly benefit from it and perpetuate all its negative aspects on the regs. The language we use when we think no one’s listening. The language we use when know someone’s listening. The gestures we make because we think it makes us more of a “man” among our peer groups. The way we creep then pounce on a woman *or man* who tries to call out their damaging and abusive ways to make themselves feel better about their language. #IDid
Lately I’ve been the target of slander and misaccusations by men *mostly veterans* who feel I’m a “p*ssy” since I take a hard stance against violence against women and the abusive of power by our government and law enforcement. It’s not misdirected by their view since they knew who I was years ago. I have a couple of question for all of you …Is it so hard to believe that someone *like who I was* can change? Is it so hard to believe that a culture that had such a strong hold on a person can be dismissed and reimagined in a way that contradicts who one used to be? I don’t think it is *hard to believe*.
See guys *or anyone for that matter* … one of the hardest things to do is look at yourself and admit that you’re capable of such ugliness … to admit that you (as in men in general) have been the reason that women in your life have not advanced as much as they deserved to. But we need to … we need to accept responsibility for something we didn’t do otherwise, you’re just as complicit in the violence that continues to plague our relationships and perpetuate rape culture in spaces we claim to care about.
It’s not brave to follow norms. It’s not brave to be like everyone else … swim against the current, see what the world looks like from the other side of it. Take a chance and be brave … change, THAT’S brave.
Born in San Anto, raised by the barrio, educated by both.