2017 was something of a shock to the system, with Brexit an
established thing, Trump ranting his way through crisis after crisis, and
sexual predators beginning to fight back against the me too movement.
2018 was little different. Brexit is grinding ever closer with the possibility of crashing out without a deal becoming a more likely prospect with each deal-less day that passes, and Trump is still ranting ever more incoherently, although Mueller is offering us all hope with his ever-enlarging collection of evidence, witnesses and accusations. We do know now that Trump’s penis is mushroom shaped and reminiscent of the small mushroom character (toadstool or chodestool?) from the Mario video games, thanks to Stormy Daniels' tell-all publications.
However, it has not all been bad. Feminism – which, contrary to the way the name sounds, is not simply a fight against men, it is a fight against the systems in which we are all, male and female, trapped by societal expectation, our upbringings and tedious and faulty tradition – continues to work to release us all from the dangers of toxic masculinity, female oppression (which covers everything from slavery, FGM or female genital mutilation, to the ‘emotional load’ carried even by women who are otherwise liberated and in charge of their own lives).
How is toxic masculinity a problem? Well, as a man, do you feel that you can cry if you are sad? Call out for help when you feel overwhelmed and alone? Ask for a cuddle when you have had a fright? Or is your top lip sneering back at the mere suggestions on this page? Is the ‘job’ of a man to be brave, emotionless, tough and not need anyone in their life? If you are a man and you have read this going, ‘Well, duh, of course it’s my job to do all the tough stuff,’ then you need feminism in your life, badly!
Men should be encouraged to get in touch with their feelings and emotions, and they should be taught how to express emotions other than anger, which seems to be the only accepted male reaction to adversity.
Allowing men to be human will open up a whole range of emotional health for them. And it might help to lower the male suicide rate: suicide is the leading cause of death in men who are generally too young to die of natural causes and that refers to men from the age of 16 or so, all the way to 59 years old… The suicide rate in men is three times that of the female equivalent, and feminists have found that this disparity is almost entirely due to the unrealistic and cruel pressures put on men when they are too young to articulate their needs over those of parental and societal expectations.
Feminism is good for sex too, encouraging consenting partners to discuss their needs, and to drive the require for positive consent to a point when it is expected, not something weird or awkward. Knowing that you are both in it for some fun, and that your partner wants to experiment just the same as you, can be a real turn on for both of you.
Embrace feminism in 2019. It might just get you laid!