18 October 2012

Sexism Is A Two Way Street

I saw this posted earlier today. I was immediately infuriated for a couple reasons. It is an incredibly sexist statement and people have the tendency to forget that sexism is a two-way street. Also, the fact that this ideology is actually held by people makes me sick to my stomach.

Latterman, a band that I have tattooed on the back of my leg for a reason, has a song on one of their albums entitled "Dear Boys". It is a mostly instrumental piece with music and static as the backbeat to a speech about how men need to align themselves with women's struggles. In the liner notes of the album, they further emphasize the importance of this. Since the following text was no where to be found on the internet, I decided to spend the time typing it out for everyone to read.

There is quite a bit of truth in what the four-piece band is saying and it's something that everyone, whether male or female, needs to consider. Although this diatribe doesn't directly tie into the image, it was the "dear boys" that inspired me to pass this wisdom along.

[Credit for this prose goes to LATTERMAN]

"dear boys, patriarchy - a set of institutions that reproduces male control over women's labor, sexuality and childbearing capacity (i.e. religion, government, school, relationships). misogyny - hatred of women and what they symbolize, commonly displayed through abuse or disgust brought about by fear. sexism exists in all communities, punk rock being no exception. because we all grew up in a patriarchal society, these fucked up ideas have been socialized and ingrained in us. refusing to admit or believe they exist do nothing but perpetuate the problem. if we as boys are serious about dealing with sexism, misogyny and sexual violence, we must challenge ourselves, our friends and confront the patriarchal systems that perpetuate this oppressive behavior. the socialized idea that men must be dominating, violent and emotionally detached must be rejected and then redefined. oppressive language that we often hear being used is inherent in our society, rarely questioned and ultimately reinforces a culture of violence against women. more importantly, it is imperative that we go beyond language and fully confront sexism and misogyny in our daily lives and experiences, acted out through coercion, manipulation, fear and intimidation. relationships that we have seen and experienced firsthand revolve around the needs of men, rather than the mutual needs of both partners. punk rock shows have so often and continue to be male-dominated spaces; essentially dudes watching other dudes yell about their own dude problems. in acknowledging this problem, we must work with, and in support of, our women friends in order to make these spaces inclusive and safe, while adequately addressing the sexist behaviors that permit and facilitate the very oppression we should be fighting against. we understand how difficult it can be to admit that you or your friends have fucked up or are still fucking up. as men, we have been working to create community-based responses along with groups to actively confront issues of patriarchy and male-dominance. in trying to deal with this, we ourselves have been confronted with criticisms and concerns from women within our scene. though we can't personally relate to their experiences, it is of utmost importance that we offer unconditional support and continue to help create dialogue, while working cooperatively to smash the cycles of violence and patriarchy that are inherent in our own lives. it's important to find support from other men in our communities and seek out information from outside resources. ask your women friends about their viewpoints and experiences and FUCKING LISTEN! remember...it's not women's job to educate us, we must educate ourselves. we have to extend ourselves past our comfort levels to address our actions and places within the structure of power...and the four of us are no exception. by not openly confronting and challenging these issues, we are perpetuating the cycles of abuse. we need to recognize our male privilege and continue to find ways to reject our own shitty behavior. let's help build something better..."

1 comment:

  1. I know this is an old post and I've been listening to Latterman for many years. But I just wanted to ask if I could post this as a way to get people thinking. Is that okay with you?


    An Old Punk...


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