If we really want to stand up for feminism, we can start by freeing women of our blindly misogynistic criticisms of everything they do.
Since the beginning of time men have had an invested interest in what women do, how they do it, and ultimately whether or not we approve of it.
…Which is completely absurd.
Sadly, the warped idea that a man’s opinion of a woman should actually matter, transcends sexual orientation. It’s not just the straight guys—gay men are also notorious for perpetuating women’s need to constantly seek male approval. The “brutally honest”, self-appointed, gay fashion expert is a prime example of this misogyny at work. Trust me, I’ve been there. We unknowingly use the stereotype that every gay man is a tastemaker to reinforce the idea that women need men’s approval to make the most basic of decisions; i.e. which shoes to wear.
I mean think about it for a second; traditionally (and biblically) men govern the household, statistically we’re paid higher salaries, we control the women’s fashion industry, we can be complete hoes without judgement, and can wear whatever we want to the grocery store without a care. It’s pathetic but we live in a world where a female celebrity going to Wholefoods without wearing make-up actually makes headlines.
I genuinely can’t imagine being a woman. I mean aside from the hormones, periods, unrealistic beauty standards, pregnancies, high-heels, pressure to be pretty but to not TOO pretty, slut shaming, biological clocks, body-shaming, dead-beat baby daddies, domestic violence statistics, menopause, obligation to “be nice” or be labeled a bitch, and constant fear of sexual assault—add being controlled by literally every man in your life; INCLUDING the gay ones.
Buying into the idea that it’s okay for us, as gay men, to unapologetically broadcast our opinions about women’s bodies fuels the fire of male supremacy. The same fire that has led to a Trump presidency and women’s basic freedoms being endangered.
Having been conditioned to be that critical, sassy gay friend for most of my adult life, only in recent years have I found myself tip-toeing away from that role & mindset. Personally, I think it’s time for us, gay men, to make changes in the way we regard women and take responsibility for our role in the misogynistic culture that has unfortunately become the norm in America. James Baldwin said it best:
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”