“Let us begin to deal with people in accordance to their fuck up and not on how much good we have ascribed to them on the basis of their gender alone”.
I wrote this in my notes a while ago and it resonated with me. As unusual as the quote above may seem, I’m basically using this post to make a case for the screw-up, or better yet, the expectations of the screw-uper. Yes, I also just made that word up.
Today, the conversations surrounding feminism and gender roles/expectations have become more common. There are different types of feminists, fighting for the cause in different ways. There are feminists whose primary focus is equal wages between men and women, just as there are those concerned with the sexual liberation of women.
And while both of these (as well as many other aspects of feminism) are important to me, what I’ve found myself increasingly fascinated by is the gender roles/expectations aspect of the cause. You see I find that this part permeates almost every other aspect of feminism, and is in fact what inspired the quote above.
When I wrote that quote, I had been thinking about gender expectations with regards to infidelity in relationships. I considered the fact that often times when a man cheats in his relationship, the woman he cheats with is labeled a home wrecker. However when a woman cheats on her partner with another man, there really isn’t a label for him. In the same vein, it is often said that when men cheat, they are capable of doing so without there being any emotional attachment. As you can imagine, the same rules don’t apply to women. Now while I know that there are a number of reasons people cite for cheating, I know better than to buy into the idea that gender is somehow related to the reasons behind it.
Basically, I’m tired of us determining people’s motives/emotional dispositions based on their gender alone. I want us to get to a place where we realize that while society influences a lot of the way we see things and even believe we should react to things, there is no innate emotional disposition towards certain situations based primarily on gender. Not only is ascribing emotional/character traits to people based on their gender alone wrong, its problematic in that its also limiting.
Not all men are capable of being with a woman only in a sexual manner (trust me lol), the same way that not all women are incapable of being with a man only in a sexual manner. But before I get too distracted and lose my point, let me just state it here. I’ve come to realize that women for whatever reason are unjustly awarded the morality trophy. Women are expected to be a lot more morally upstanding than their male counterparts, and in my opinion, this is wrong. It is the reason why women are not only labeled home wreckers when they have relations with men in committed relationships, but they are even expected not to/feel bad when they do.
I’m not sure how many women on this platform have been with a “not-completely-available” man before, but for the ones who have, I have a question. Did you honestly, (truly) feel bad? Or did any apprehension that you may have felt come purely from self preservation? Self preservation because there’s a high chance that you might get hurt in the end. And if you did truly put an end to things, or felt bad simply because you thought about the other woman, I’d love to hear from you as well.
My theory here is that a lot of people (male/female) that engage in relationships with individuals committed to other people feel bad mostly out of self preservation. I truly question whether or not thought is given to the partner of the person they are cheating with. And it sounds fucked up (because it is) but hey.
You see, society doesn’t enforce this “think of the partner/their feelings” message on men the same way that it does with women. It instead tells women that on the basis of their gender-infused (but of course false) moral superiority, they should feel terrible. They should consider the other woman, and not engage a man that’s already in a relationship. They should consider the fact that they are bringing unhappiness to another woman, and that alone should be a deterrent. But I think we really need to get out of this way of thinking. It paints a false, or at least an incomplete narrative.
It’s false because it assumes that for a woman most especially, considering the other woman (whom if we are being honest, she owes nothing) should be a big enough deterrent for her. It is false, most importantly because it places consideration for another individual over self-interest. And the truth is that people, male or female, will almost always put their self interest first. So we need to stop. Stop telling women that they are especially evil for engaging unavailable men if you are not telling that to men. Stop telling women that they owe the other woman something, simply because they’re women. STOP for goodness sake ascribing moral superiority to women, and stop in the process dehumanizing men.
Because that’s what this line of thinking breeds. It breeds continuous excuses for men- it says because they are men, they are expected to do fucked up shit that will in one way or the other be excused because, man. Stop limiting women, and telling them that they are supposed to be better beings because they were born with vaginas. Tell everyone instead to be better humans, and judge them on the basis of their humanity. Scold them on the basis of their fuck up, and not the false expectations you’ve placed on them because of their gender.