Men Ought To Join Women In Their Fight Against Patriarchy And Misogyny

Men Ought To Join Women In Their Fight Against Patriarchy And Misogyny


Nador, Morocco-The title of this article is, or rather appears to be, pretty ironic and likely upsetting for so many women, let alone talking about men. It is as if wondering about whether or not the king should join rebels to topple himself out of the throne. But the truth is that there is nothing wrong about it. Patriarchy with all its iterations spifflicates men before women insofar as  the “superior” men are  incongruously caught up and controlled by the very same mechanism and structure – that of patriarchy- they systematically deploy to control and maintain their dominance over women. In fact, what seems to be a socio-political system that endows men with so much supremacy, power and privilege is also an impeding and restrictive force that confines men’s existence and imprison them in a series of prearranged gender roles.

Men are most of the time supposed to live up to certain expectations about what it means to be a man and are thus anticipated to behave and act like it, and more importantly bought up to be so. A Man incarnating power, dominance, courage, rationality, intelligence, governance, responsibility, serious-mindedness..etc sets himself in sheer opposition with the “weak”, “irrational”,” undecided”  “emotional”, “inferior” women. And this undeniably proves to be inhibitory and iconoclastic,  and positions men within a traditionally definite gender role that thwart them from realizing their potentials and their  other qualities as human beings with tenderness, kindness and the ability to communicate and understand gender complexities. In her book “The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love,” Bell Hooks labels patriarchy as “the single most life-threatening social dis­ease assaulting the male body and spirit in our nation.” Hooks’s testimony above invites no further explanation. She perfectly makes clearer the idea that patriarchy is not merely a woman’s worst nightmare and feminists’ overarching encumbrance but it can be, as well, a menacing syndrome that might disturb men and imperil masculinity.

If we are ever going to engage more amply and earnestly in dismantling patriarchy and ending up misogyny, sexism  and other hackneyed gender stereotypes, which is, I believe, part and parcel of what is called “Decolonizing the mind,” a tangible involvement of men is deemed mandatory, simply because we cannot completely eradicate patriarchy if the men who are mostly responsible for it, and ironically assaulted by it, are located outside the equation and the battle against patriarchy apparently becomes merely a woman’s “business” and the germ of her anxieties.

Correspondingly, the responsibility to attain equal rights and a vigorous and healthy environment for women rests more with men than it does with women. Regrettably, this world is run by and for men. Men control society which dictates how women are viewed and therefore how they should be treated. Men set the standard for beauty for instance, what is and isn’t socially acceptable for women and how women should dress up and behave, as well as several other unrealistic and sexist expectations and standards that no woman could or should fulfill. A majority of men are either absolutely against feminism and women’s rights or completely lethargic about it, and it should be noted that both perspectives are dangerous. It is definitely men who created and fashioned this problem in the first place so it only makes sense that they are essential partners in fixing it.

It is prime time to start wiping off the stigma that comes with feminism and to start looking at feminism not as a concept that makes men strain and uncomfortable but rather as a social and cultural movement that calls for the betterment of both man and woman. The fight against patriarchy and misogyny is hard enough with so many women being against feminism, let alone the other half of the world’s population. If men would just wake up and see that the patriarchy is just as poisonous to them as it is to women, then they will realize that we all urgently need feminism in this world. In  no way, however, does this means vilifying men and holding them culprits, it is rather about building a world wherein  both men and women are equal, secure, and valued as human beings inhabiting a grand living  organism, regardless of their biological differences.

By Nouh Anajjar.