The Men’s Movement Deserves More Recognition and Respect

The Men’s Movement Deserves More Recognition and Respect

Equality needs to extend beyond women's rights, and address the concerns of men.
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The idea of men’s rights is often considered taboo to talk about. It is this idea that a conversation about men’s social concerns would have the power to negate the accomplishments that feminists throughout history have made. The buzzword “equality” has limitations, where the conversation stops right when you start to mention the voice of men. So, what is this movement all about?

These issues are the things that largely go unexamined. These are the things that cannot be heard above the humming of every other right’s movement. We are talking about child custody cases, criminal sentencing, domestic violence, workplace fatalities, men’s reproductive rights, educational inequality, and men’s health issues. I myself was very misinformed about men’s social concerns and grievances and so, like many of us do, defaulted to whatever was easiest to believe. I was looking at this from a woman’s perspective believing that this movement was only a backlash to the momentum of the Women’s Rights Movement- and in some ways, this is true. The men’s rights movement has definitely taken some ideas from the Women’s Movement and tried telling them from their perspective.

Unfortunately, these men are falling right into the trap of being labeled “misogynistic”. But, I encourage you to challenge that view. Let’s take domestic violence for example. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women have been the victim of physical violence by an intimate partner. This isn’t a shocking statistic for many, yet what they might not know is that 1 in 4 men will also be the victim of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. I also challenge this statistic by asking if this truly accounts for all men that have been victims. We claim we want to help men feel comfortable opening up and yet, when they do, men face severe backlash by people saying that they are “misogynistic” for having the audacity to address men’s domestic violence issues. Is it truly misogynistic to look at the statistics and be concerned not only for women but understand the need to extend that to men?

In fact, men could argue that in some cases women are actually the ones with the upper hand. Men are often seen as the brawn of the relationship, and thus perceived as the perpetrator no matter what the situation may be. Men also run into similar discrimination when dealing with child custody cases. When imagining who is the primary caregiver, who feeds and bathes them, and who is the child most likely to be more bonded to, the answers like to favor women. Does this mean that women are not the primary caregivers sometimes who may be more closely bonded to the child? No, it means the default option are mothers even when this may go against the direct interest of the child.

I am not here to be the advocate for the men’s rights movement, as I am just a baby to the research that I need to do. I am just here to point out the problem with claiming equality, and to claim the goal is to reach equality between men and women but ignore the ways in which men are facing inequality in the social system themselves.

The men fighting for equality are doing so much more than fighting for themselves. They are addressing things that may affect the men in your life, and that someday may affect you.

Cover Image Credit: The Red Pill- Cassie Jaye

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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