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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'As A Woman,' I Don't Need To Fit Your Preconceived Political Assumptions About Women

I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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It is quite possible to say that the United States has never seen such a time of divisiveness, partisanship, and extreme animosity of those on different sides of the political spectrum. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are saturated with posts of political opinions and are matched with comments that express not only disagreement but too often, words of hatred. Many who cannot understand others' political beliefs rarely even respect them.

As a female, Republican, college student, I feel I receive the most confusion from others regarding my political opinions. Whenever I post or write something supporting a conservative or expressing my right-leaning beliefs and I see a comment has been left, I almost always know what words their comment will begin with. Or in conversation, if I make my beliefs known and someone begins to respond, I can practically hear the words before they leave their mouth.

"As a woman…"

This initial phrase is often followed by a question, generally surrounding how I could publicly support a Republican candidate or maintain conservative beliefs. "As a woman, how can you support Donald Trump?" or "As a woman, how can you support pro-life policies?" and, my personal favorite, "As a woman, how did you not want Hillary for president?"

Although I understand their sentiment, I cannot respect it. Yes, being a woman is a part of who I am, but it in no way determines who I am. My sex has not and will not adjudicate my goals, my passions, or my work. It will not influence the way in which I think or the way in which I express those thoughts. Further, your mention of my sex as the primary logic for condemning such expressions will not change my adherence to defending what I share. Nor should it.

To conduct your questioning of my politics by inferring that my sex should influence my ideology is not only offensive, it's sexist.

It disregards my other qualifications and renders them worthless. It disregards my work as a student of political science. It disregards my hours of research dedicated to writing about politics. It disregards my creativity as an author and my knowledge of the subjects I choose to discuss. It disregards the fundamental human right I possess to form my own opinion and my Constitutional right to express that opinion freely with others. And most notably, it disregards that I am an individual. An individual capable of forming my own opinions and being brave enough to share those with the world at the risk of receiving backlash and criticism. All I ask is for respect of that bravery and respect for my qualifications.

Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire, unite, and revolutionize. Yet, they can be abused, and too comfortably are. Opening a dialogue of political debate by confining me to my gender restricts the productivity of that debate from the start. Those simple but potent words overlook my identity and label me as a stereotype destined to fit into a mold. They indicate that in our debate, you cannot look past my sex. That you will not be receptive to what I have to say if it doesn't fit into what I should be saying, "as a woman."

That is the issue with politics today. The media and our politicians, those who are meant to encourage and protect democracy, divide us into these stereotypes. We are too often told that because we are female, because we are young adults, because we are a minority, because we are middle-aged males without college degrees, that we are meant to vote and to feel one way, and any other way is misguided. Before a conversation has begun, we are divided against our will. Too many of us fail to inform ourselves of the issues and construct opinions that are entirely our own, unencumbered by what the mainstream tells us we are meant to believe.

We, as a people, have become limited to these classifications. Are we not more than a demographic?

As a student of political science, seeking to enter a workforce dominated by men, yes, I am a woman, but foremost I am a scholar, I am a leader, and I am autonomous. I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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You Might Love Being A CNA, But That Compassion Won't Show Up In Your Paycheck

A big heart means nothing if you're struggling to make ends meet.

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To the ones who love their job and doing what they do but is on the fence about leaving their job, I was in your shoes, too.

I knew when I started my job as a CNA (certified nurse's assistant), it would be a hard one. If you know anything about the job duties of a CNA, you'll quickly understand that for all of the work that we do, we're ridiculously underpaid and overworked.

I'll start by saying I loved my job.

Though the days were long and I was on my feet more than I sat down during the day, I loved being able to help people. I loved being able to make people smile and hear a simple "Thank you" and sometimes, that's all I needed for my day to do a full 360. I could be having the worst day in the world and covered in random bodily fluids, but walking out of a resident's room and hearing them quietly tell you that they appreciate what you've done for them, that's truly the one thing that can change my entire day, knowing that my hard work doesn't go unnoticed.

But compassion doesn't pay mine or anyone else's bills.

Someone could love their job and be happy to be there every single shift, but when you're overworked but so underpaid, your compassion may not leave, but your bills begin to pile up and you're stuck with not knowing what to do. If you're anything like me, you'll be so conflicted about leaving your job to find something better financially, but you know that you're leaving a job you enjoy doing and you may not find that enjoyment elsewhere.

At the end of the day, you have to realize what would be best for you. You can be the most compassionate about your job, but that compassion means nothing if you're struggling to make ends meet. I know from experience that if you're in a field like mine, it's hard to leave because you know people will need you, but you have to do what's best for you and only you.

Compassion doesn't pay the bills.

You may have to leave a job that you love, but there are so many opportunities out there and, who knows, you might find one you enjoy just as equally.

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