I feel like every girl now, its either ourselves or a friend or a family member has a story where they got traumatized by a man.So i get it, we want to put all that hatred in our experiences into a hashtag. It is men who have created corrupt institutions and negative social constructs. It is men who have committed most of the atrocities in the world. It is men who have traumatized and harassed us.
But what is the end goal of not only this hashtag but the intent behind it, this idea that all men are inherently born as these vicious animals only capable of disrespecting and hurting people? It’s like we’re settling. That men are just born to be cruel and have no room to have emotions or empathy or love in them. In the end, this hashtag just reinforces the idea of “boys will be boys”.
So what is the way to hold men accountable? What is a way so boys don’t feel the need to disrespect women?
Well it starts with stopping this notion that all men are born as animals that can’t control themselves. Hold them accountable for their actions because believe it or not, they have the ability to control themselves. If they hurt you, don’t brush it off, and do not back down when they tell you, “you’re being too sensitive.” Let them face the consequences of their actions, and do not help them through it. Men who have superiority complexes especially think they’re untouchable, let them mess up and let them suffer through those consequences because I have seen too many boys being protected by their parents and their friends (especially girls) when they mess up. If you keep protecting them and putting them on a pedestal, they’ll think they do more horrible things and just get away it because they know someone will protect them from the consequences.
It starts with how boys are treated from a young age by their parents. Allow them to tap into their feminine energies and be free to be whoever they want without the pressures of “being a man” and all the horrible things toxic masculinity brought us. Let them express their emotions and thoughts, and not judge young boys so harshly because they don’t fit into traditional gender roles.
It starts with the media and products we allow companies to target young children, especially young boys. The need to be “strong” all the time and this need to be violent all the time. Media conditioning is very real and a child just seeing one commercial can affect their mindset into adulthood.
We can say men are the problem and why this world is so horrible, but you cannot forget what led to this. It happens because parents coddle them and teach them that they must be a man through toxic masculinity standards. It happens because we have just gave up and accepted that they’re just animals. So continue holding men accountable and parents, please teach your boys that they don’t need to repress themselves. Do not give up and settle with a hashtag.