Yesterday, after the posting of an article concerning the murder of Janese Talton Jackson, I went on a rant. I don’t usually go on rants, but I’m tired. I’m tired of women being killed for telling men no. I’m tired of the #notallmen brigade showing up to defend men when rape and violence against women is discussed. I’m tired of the misogyny and the hatred of Black women from Black men. While we talk a damn good game about “protecting our women” we do a much better job of killing or seriously injuring them. What the Hell is wrong with us, and why is the word no so damaging to our fragile egos?
Women should not have to feel like it is their responsibility to prevent rape, they should not have to plan routes where they will come in the least contact with men because they feel that responsibility to prevent rape. Women should not, if all things went the way they are supposed to go, fear men. But because men somehow feel as though we have some kind of ownership over the autonomy of women, here we are. In a world where women have to be vigilant because of the sheer volume of men who will stalk, harass, insult, and even kill a woman because she dares to refuse him something that he isn’t even entitled to, be it her time, her number or even a smile.
There has to be a redefinition, a new understanding of masculinity, one which allows for us to be refused and not have our fragile egos lash out with brutality towards women. Even in our online interactions with other men, such as the Wiz Khalifa and Kanye West fiasco which invariably dragged in both Amber Rose and Kim Khardashian West, we see the using of women as a proxy war, as though men cannot even bruise each other’s egos without the mention of women. As though our masculinity is not truly dominant unless we can subjugate or use women to prove that we’re “real men.”
What, then is a real man? If I have to constantly provide proof that my manhood resides in my sexual prowess or my escapades with women, then what the Hell kind of manhood is that? It is a manhood with very little self worth. It is a manhood which is deeply ingrained with Patriarchy, Misogyny and low self esteem. We have to redefine manhood, otherwise we will always tie our masculinity to our ability to “pull” women or to get women to do what we say, regardless of our inhumane methods.
One thing is clear though, this pervasive view of women has completely indoctrinated men and as a result we have men who assume that women are their property and thus are bound to do whatever we instruct them to, because let’s be honest, this street harassment is rooted in ownership and the denial of agency of women, where men view women no differently than a butcher views a piece of meat.
But enough from me, maybe you should see how reading these stories affects women as communicated by Jessica Edwards: