1 Jul 2018

Why Would A Woman Care About Men's Issues?

HoneyBadgerRadio: When I was a girl I tried to sell hot chocolate in the desert. I really liked hot chocolate and I thought because I liked it, of course, other people would like it! So I mixed up a batch of hot chocolate in a thermos, pulled some mugs from the kitchen and set up a table on the driveway outside my family’s home with a handmade cardboard sign: ‘Hot chocolate 5 royals”
The day was a sweltering 114 degrees F; ripples of heat rose from the pavement as I sat waiting for my first customer. I waited a long time, car after car just passed on by. Till one slowed down and pulled to the curb. The driver rolled the window down and I thought “Yay!
Here he comes, my first customer.” Instead of getting out of the car the driver laughed and shouted “you stupid kid, who’s going to buy hot chocolate today?” He drove off and out of spite, I kept my stand up. When evening came and I still had no customers I gave up. I packed away my hot chocolate stand and never set it up again. For a long time, I chalked the whole thing up to me being a stupid kid. It was a stupid idea, wasn’t it? When I was fifteen I had just come back from a year at an all-girls boarding school and my mother, concerned about how radical I’d become as a result, gave me a book to help me start questioning the beliefs I’d learned called “the princess at the window.” It was my first exposure to men’s issues and that was it, I was hooked. Sometimes you just don’t know why something draws you in. It just does. So when I was sixteen I applied for an early access library card from the local university to find more. I remember walking past row upon row of bookcases full to groaning with material on women and women’s victimhood. At that point, I’d exhausted my interest in that topic so I kept on walking till I found, way in the back, a couple isolated shelves, dusty, untouched… books on men’s issues. Warren Farrel. Lionel Tiger. Peter Nardi. Victor Seidler. There were no classes or seminars or masters thesis on these topics, no one lectured on them or studied them. When I looked at the return date cards taped to the insides of their covers, I noticed that these books were checked out once a year, once a decade. It may have been another stupid idea but in a way, it was my secret door to a secret world. A place I’d found when everyone was pointing the other way. Speaking of pointing the other way, remember that whole idea of drinking hot chocolate in the desert? Years after I created my hot chocolate stand—my failed hot chocolate stand—I found out that hot drinks have an interesting property. They flush the heat out of your core and make you sweat, which means after you drink something hot, you cool down. Surprising huh? Because what I did wasn’t so strange after all, even though drinking hot drinks in a desert makes about as much sense as advocating for men’s rights in a… ahem… patriarchy. Sometimes you need to look deeper. Uncommon knowledge doesn’t come from common places. What’s obvious isn’t always what’s right. And the places we refuse to look hold secrets. Men’s issues is a blind spot. A big one. With a lot of secrets. We here at Honey Badger Radio have been mocked by the media, lied about by academia, ignored by the government, evicted from events we paid to attend, had bomb threats called on our meetups… we’ve been mocked, laughed at, called vapid handmaidens of the patriarchy… ... and after all that I’ve been told what I do is the easy road. And it is the easy road. Because the alternative is to sell something I don’t believe in. Something tired and old and tried. A road we’ve all been down. I gave up once on selling something I loved that no one understood. I’m not making the same mistake twice.

No comments:

Post a Comment