On this International Women’s Day, The Onion devotes its sterling reportage to championing women—a small but influential sliver of the nation’s population—in an endeavor to prevent them from vanishing from the public consciousness entirely.When we talk about the damaging consequences of sexism, we usually focus on the effects it has on women and girls, but as someone with a certain level of real-world expertise in this particular field, I can tell you that the misogyny interwoven into our patriarchal society harms men, too.While the patriarchy may reinforce structural violence against women by projecting discriminatory gender roles, I’m also suffering in a Romanian prison cell for human trafficking because the general structure of the world I was brought up in allowed and encouraged me to dehumanize women and gave me the entitlement to manipulate and use them for my own gain.I’m a victim, too.It took my own incarceration to make me realize that the patriarchy’s demand for men to embody the “masculine” traits of aggression, physical strength, subjugation of women, total self-sufficiency, and a win-at-any-cost mentality has negative effects on men as well. Because, when you sit there and think about it, what drives a man to tweet at a young climate change activist about the 33 supercars he owns, which then indirectly leads to his arrest? Is it our nature? Our biology? Our own twisted thoughts, marketed to men who want to hear their desperation echoed on a larger, for-profit platform?No, I blame the patriarchy.These sexist societal norms pressure men to conform into a narrow definition of masculinity that forces them to cut off their emotions, leaving them without the necessary inner resources to form meaningful relationships or process their own feelings. This lack of emotional intelligence inevitably leads them down the path of becoming a former professional kickboxer-turned-rich-social-media-influencer who monetizes misogyny, only to be unjustly imprisoned by the same society that created him.Unfortunately, the patriarchy has impressionable young men believing that a guy who hides his insecurities with surface-level wealth and abuses vulnerable women to make himself feel more powerful has the answer to how to be the “ideal man.”I witnessed the damage the patriarchy was causing firsthand as hundreds of lonely, confused men threw their money away at a fraudulent online pyramid scheme called Hustlers University because it promised get-rich-quick schemes and tips on how to get women to sleep with them to fulfill their desperate pursuit of society’s superficial standard of manhood.Sadly, it was the patriarchy that made them so easy to exploit.The fact is, if we don’t change our most basic societal assumptions, we will continue to unfairly punish men like myself for the things society taught them to do. As the trailblazing feminist scholar and activist bell hooks once said, ‘Failure to examine the victimization of men keeps us from understanding maleness, from uncovering the space of connection that might lead more men to seek feminist transformation.’ So we must treat the cause, not the symptom.And that’s why, upon my release, I will see it as my personal mission to help men rid the shackles of the patriarchy, and I call upon my fellow men’s activists to join me by enrolling in my new online academy that will instruct them on how to once and for all dismantle the bygone ideals of masculinity for just $49.99 a month.
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The Misogyny Interwoven Into Our Patriarchal Society Harms Men, Too
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