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13 Mar 2021 : Male Violence against Women #
Today I watched this video of Chris Hemmings. It's inspiring and I can't find a word in it to disagree with.

After watching it I was really surprised to see the reaction of many men disagreeing, stating that it wasn't their fault (they're not predators) and that the focus should be put on “bad individuals” rather than “men as a group”.
Chris Hemmings on BBC News

The fact is, as a man I've benefited from living in a patriarchal society. Men have (predominantly, if not exclusively) made the laws, shaped the culture, chosen the path that society has taken. Individual men have reaped the greatest of the rewards from this by become rich and powerful. Society — the society I live in — has been like this for centuries if not longer.

The idea that I, as a man, haven't benefited from sexism, that I've not benefited from an entrenched prejudice against women and towards men, is frankly absurd. The fact is that I benefit from it everyday, by being paid a bit more, from being taken more seriously, by being listened to more intently, from not having to do things I would otherwise have to do. By having more freedom to make my own choices. I couldn't pick out a specific instance where I've benefited from this system. I don't know of any time I got a job instead of a more qualified female candidate. I never fought for a pay rise that would otherwise have been given to a woman. I never knowingly took the men in my computer classes more seriously than the women. In fact, I have always gone out of my way to support women in technology (I hope in a practical, rather than patronising way).

So I couldn't give you a specific instance of where I've benefited from society being patriarchal. But that doesn't mean it isn't the case. It just seems so obvious to me that I benefit in unquantifiable ways on a daily basis. How could it not be so? How could it be that male preference is woven so tightly into the history of society, but that I haven't personally benefited as a man? Of course I have.

It's true that it may not feel like this for many men. Many men feel they are treated unfairly by the world, that they've earned what they have and deserve more than they're given. The fact is, I've never met anyone who didn't believe this. Everyone feels they're working hard for little reward. If you're a man, I hate to break it to you, but in the majority of cases this just isn't true: if it wasn't for living in a male-dominated society you would simply be getting less than you do now. It's true, of course, that there are other prejudices and that many people suffer from them. And you don't have to be a minority to be the victim of prejudice. But if you're a victim of some other form of bigotry, that doesn't mean you don't also benefit from being male. The fact is that cumulatively, sexism and prejudice against women is probably the most significant injustice that exists in society. As a man, it's almost impossible to have avoided benefiting from sexism.

So now, when women are asking to be treated with respect, and where the overwhelming cases are of men treating women badly. now is the time when some men want to disown the patriarchy and deny responsibility for the society that we helped create, and which we have benefited from.

Personally I don't buy it. I think we, as men, are very much to blame here. Not necessarily to blame for specific instances of violence or bigotry perpetrated against women, but certainly to blame for a society and culture that allows it to happen. As men, we've all taken the benefits, so now would be a good time to accept the responsibility.

I want to make clear that I accept my share of the responsibility. I'm not exactly sure what accepting it entails, but probably it means in the future having to accept more compromises in terms of my personal income, personal comfort, and how much my voice is heard, in order for women to gain a rightfully more dominant position in society.

The fact is I've met a lot of very competent women and the world would not be worse off if their voices had the same weight as their male counterparts. The men fighting against this will, I hope, be on the wrong side of history.