A Public Service Announcement for Men

Hey men. I heard a rumour that you don’t like women. I heard that you don’t like listening to music or watching movies or reading books made by women. Or about women. I heard that if you walk into a room and it’s a bunch of women sitting around that you want to slink right out of there. Surely it isn’t true? Surely you want to hear our stories. Surely you want to know something about us?

Don’t you?

Listen buddy I am giving you a chance here to have some insight into the women around you. Don’t be afraid. It might hurt your feelings just a little bit and make you realise that you have no damn clue about women and thus half of the human people who you are living in the world in, but hey, listen, let me speak the language of men here. It might get you laid.

I mean I get it. Here we are living in a world where men control nearly everything.They own the businesses, they run the governments, the economy, the environmental protection, and what a wonderful job they are all doing. Even better is that men run the media so they control the message. It’s all men, everywhere. The rest of us are hiding underneath giant umbrellas trying not to be covered in all that male-ness that is threatening to drown us all. Sometimes we try and put down the umbrella and join in with the systems of men and patriarchy. Some choose to work like men and do it in a way that is acceptable to the patriarchy. Some dare to be visible and spend their lives ducking from abuse. But all in all, if we listen to the message of the system it is telling all of us that  women can’t run countries, women can’t write good books, or be comedians, or play football or soccer or rugby. As we have seen before, what is best for women in this “man’s world” is to shrink and if possible become invisible. 

“But that’s not me,” I hear you say, “I love women and they love me right back. Just ask my mum.”

I get it, it’s tricky. Men are learning about women through the patriarchal system. They might think they understand women because they have a mother. They don’t understand that the system has made their mother quiet and spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking meals and making beds while possibly dreaming of being in a different kind of world. 

Men are taught via the patriarchy to find a beautiful woman and she will do everything to please you. In the sitcoms of my youth, the women were always carrying around baskets of washing and nagging men, while the men got all the best jokes. The men were the funny ones and the ones to be admired, no matter how they looked. The women were the nurturers of the children and the men. And their hair was done, and they were of course, pretty. They made men’s lives comfortable so that they could go out into the real world – the world of men – and do all the great things that men do out there. You know, rule the world and play golf.

If men follow the mainstream media then they are taught to find an attractive woman and then take her on a few dates, buy her some stuff and then, bam, you get a new woman in your life, willing to save you from the trouble of looking after yourself. Then to their shock and horror they may find that women actually have feelings and don’t want to spend their lives cleaning up after them. This is strange to them. No one told them this was the case. So they seek validation from this error in the system. The media and their friends give them this validation. Women are whiny and annoying and compete with each other. A woman who expects a man to look after himself and his own family is a nag. She is not a real woman.; women are obedient, women will be submissive if you buy them a nice gift. Women have icky yucky periods which makes them disgusting and bloody and also, super moody, so they shouldn’t be in power and should always defer to the man.

The patriarchy teaches men that women are one dimensional. They are pretty objects to be stared at and admired. Women get the same message. The difference is that we occupy our own bodies and when we dig deep within ourselves, having someone’s admiration because we look good is not enough to sustain a relationship. I don’t care if you think I look pretty today, CAN YOU PLEASE LISTEN TO WHAT I AM SAYING? But a man does not know how to listen and instead, he may decide to silence her in the ways that he has been taught through patriarchy; tone policing, humiliation, shame, humouring her by washing the dishes once a week just so she will be quiet.

A woman who demands to be heard is not one who is celebrated in the patriarchy so the man is confused. Have I made a mistake in marrying this woman? Should I buy her a massage or a day spa so she can get refreshed and then come back to me as a shiny woman and let me touch her again?

So now we know that it is pretty difficult for men to understand women in a patriarchal system and we can see how this plays out in beliefs that women are just too impossible to understand. We can see how it plays out in Covid times where everyone is working from home but only one of the parents is doing two jobs – ie working for salary while homeschooling the kids. The man is prioritised. The man is the one who gets the man cave filled with all of his toys while the woman is lucky to find a guilt free seat in a car of her own, let alone a whole cave. 

Men are taught that it is ok to feel sorry for themselves that their wife or partner doesn’t want a piece of their sexiness. Yet many of them learned about how to touch a woman from the same media that taught them that women love picking up after them and thus clearly have no idea what they are doing. A woman’s largest organ of sensuality is her brain. Did you know that? Did anyone teach you that? When a woman is at peace and feels seen and heard and respected, then she is open to experience. 

If you hate doing your washing remember your wife hates it too. She may be conditioned to think she has to do it and will do so begrudgingly, but she loves washing your undies as much as she loves smelling your farts. She doesn’t love you for making her do your washing. She thinks you’re an ass. If you hate doing it, hire someone else to do it. If you can’t afford it, do it your DAMN self. A woman is not your free source of labour.

A man who cooks and cleans and raises the children as an equal partner to his wife is one who has moved outside of the patriarchal system and this guy really has it all. When you know how to respect a woman for everything she is, you have been gifted the greatest reward of all time. This often gets lost in the messages of the patriarchy which tells you that all you have to do is come home from work with a gift for your wife and then you get to touch her, she is yours and she should be grateful. But you haven’t listened to her, you haven’t helped her, supported her, taken responsibility for the functioning of your home and life. Your touch is like acid. 

Here’s a tip. Start seeing your partner. See beyond the exterior. Listen to her when she speaks. I mean it, STFU. Do not interrupt her and offer her advice. No one wants your advice. It’s shit. It doesn’t even get you laid.

This has been a public service announcement for women everywhere.

Published by lostinthealleywayscom

I am a feminist, mother of two, Australian, married to an Indonesian, lover of all things Jakarta (well apart from the pollution and rubbish and corruption and...well you get the picture). I want to share my stories of exploring Jakarta and raising my two daughters in the big city.

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