I have something to admit. It may be shocking to some, it may outrage others, and it is something we’re often told to keep our mouths shut about. But the time has come for me to admit it even so.
I’m a man. A white man. And I’m a proud man, a proud white man, a proud, heterosexual, white man.
Shocking, isn’t it. I like being a man, I like acting in a way which I define as acting like a man, and I enjoy being a white, heterosexual man, some would say in the prime of my life – just past the 30 year mark, that is. In any case, I choose to see it as the prime of my life, and I don’t much care what others might see it as.
I enjoy the company of other men, and I enjoy the company of women. I find a lot of women attractive, and I find more women than that unattractive. That also goes for men, as a matter of fact, though I have no sexual interest in them. At least so far – who knows what tomorrow will bring, as they say. Usually, I mind my own business and go about my day, trying to be as law abiding as I can, and as pleasant a person as I can, even though I have my faults and my shortcomings and shortfalls of those goals. I’ve ben told I have a temper, but I’ve seldom been unpleasant or unleashed that temper toward persons, in my eyes, undeserving. I think I have that in common with most people.
The thing is, I’m a man. And that, in quite a few people’s eyes, make me dangerous. I’m a rapist waiting to happen, simply because I’m a man. I’m a racist waiting to happen, simply because I’m a white man. I’m a rapist again, waiting to happen, because I’m heterosexual – which is doubly confusing, since men are also raped, by both other men and by women, all over the world. Also, I should’nt be proud to be a man. Men have done horrible things to women, and to other men, all through history. Also, I shouldn’t be proud to be white. White men (and women) have done horrible things to women (and men) who are not white, all through history. Also, I shouldn’t be proud to be heterosexual. After all … it’s not different, and only those who are different and proud to be different, should be proud to be what they are. Isn’t that right?
It’s not right. I’m a proud, white, heterosexual man. Why, you say? Why should I be proud of that? What is there in that, which is worthy of pride? I’ll tell you.
I’ve never raped anyone. I’ve never raped a woman, and I’ve never raped a man. I am not a racist. I don’t discriminate you or anyone, based on their sex. I’ve never oppressed anyone. Even if I had some modicum of power to do so, I wouldn’t. It seems like a lot of work, with no reward what so ever. Also, why would I want to? Everyone else is of equal value as me, be they male or female, of what ever color, creed, sexual or religious persuasion. That, friends, is just how it is.
That, simply, is what validates my pride in being a white, heterosexual man. I’m proud to be me, to be a man who treats myself, women and other men as equals, and as human beings. I won’t apologize for it, and I will never take blame, or shame, for others who choose to act differently than I do, who hold other beliefs and other persuasions. I will condemn and outrage against those who rape and brutalize, I will condemn and outrage against those who discriminate and belittle, but I will not, now or ever, apologize for being a strong, white, heterosexual man. I will not.
In the US, and all over the world, men are raped. It happens daily.
In the US, and all over the world, men are brutalized. It happens daily.
In the US, and all over the world, men are killed. It happens daily.
In the US, and all over the world, men are abused by their spouses. It happens daily.
In the US; and all over the world, men are beaten, stabbed, robbed, spit on, assaulted, discriminated against, and all other crimes you might think of. It happens daily.
Did you know, that most rapes of men, by men or by women, go unreported? Did you know that for the most part, rapes of men, by men or women, are excluded from studies and statistics on sexual assault and sexual abuse? Did you know that according to the DoJ, more men are raped in the US than women? Did you know that in the UK, “rape” can only be committed by men, according to the law? Did you know that the National Crime Victimization Survey (US) in 1995 found that more men than women had been the victims of sexual assault or rape?
I imagined you might not.
Women rape men every day. Women abuse and batter men every day. Women kill men every day. Is that a problem? Yes it is. Do I think, behave or act as if all women are perpetrators of these crimes? No, I do not. Do I think all women, do I even consider the notion, that any woman I meet might be a danger, a hazard, a potential rapist, abuser of men, killer of men, beater of men? No, I do not. Do I expect or even consider the notion that all women I meet, any woman, any girl, should apologize on behalf of those few who perpetrate crimes against men? No, I do not. Do I judge all women, based on their sex, by the actions of a few, sick and ill individuals? No, I do not.
I expect the same in return. I may be a dangerous man, but not, dear lady, to you.