Leo Thorncroft reflects on the case there is a women’s representative at the Guild, should there be a male one?
Ah, men. We’ve had a rough time in recent years. With feminism slowly, ever so slowly, creeping into popular culture, we’ve lost so many of our rights. Suddenly it’s become ‘not okay’ to write songs encouraging rape, to objectify every girl as a sex object, to tell women who they should be, what they should do, how they should look – and the consequences for choosing to ignore any of this.
No wonder, then, that we need a men’s representative, to finally restore some of our power. Otherwise how would we know who’s in charge of the world? A woman! God forbid! We need normal, level-headed men to be in control, so they can tear apart the planet for hundreds of years and, if they’re feeling particularly rowdy, almost launch nuclear weapons at one another.
The idea of a men’s representative is nothing less than an attack on feminism, as well as, what I assume to be, a deliberate misunderstanding of the concept. To suggest feminism is ‘causing more and more men to become marginalized due to a perceived bias that does not even exist’ is ridiculous to a staggering degree. A ‘perceived bias that does not even exist’? Kindly tell that to the women who experience sexual assault in clubs and are forced to shrug it off. Or to the idea that men are owed sex for being a half decent friend to a girl. Or to those who dare enjoy casual sex, decried as sluts. Or to those who don’t, decried as frigid.
I can do this all day. I choose the ones above due to their relevance in a university campus society, because I am sure you all know at least some examples of all of that. If not, how about the fact that ‘girl’ is an insult, indicative of weakness? Women are the weak, frail and emotional messes, which only men can fix. Even if you don’t think you believe any of this, it’s unavoidable. The ‘perceived bias’ is perceived due to the irritating fact that it exists. These structures mean that almost everyone is a ‘men’s representative,’ save for those who are aware of them. Hard-wired into us since birth via advertising, TV, films, even language itself, ‘woman’ is cramped into a nice neat box of stereotypes and expectations.
But, so is ‘man’.
Man is expected to be strong, emotionless, a sex-driven primal beast. It’s in our nature to drink beer and go shoot things and not ask for directions. Except, of course, it’s absolutely not. The pressures on men are a serious issue, one that leads down a route to isolation, anxiety, depression, alongside other mental illnesses. We need a way to address this, this much is clear.
A men’s representative, in this respect, is needed. But, is this really what the creator of a ‘men’s representative’ was trying to achieve? The description concerns itself with none of these serious issues, but instead uses it to complain about feminism. Indeed, the entire role seems to be built as an attempt to support the crumbling patriarchal structures all around, rather than help those men who truly need it.
Something needs to be done, and it will be. Not by a ‘men’s representative’ who wants to be able to protect his dying, yet ever so stubborn, lad culture, but by feminists. To move forward we need those who seek real equality, and understand how the world’s patriarchy works. Not this. Never this.