Men are Trash...

My favorite open mic in NYC returned a few weeks ago after a two year hiatus. A part of the tradition at Urban Juke Joint is having a conversation. The idea is the conversation leads to the poetry leads to the conversation leads to the poetry...

The conversation posed questions about masculinities. One of the questions that stuck with me the most is this idea that perhaps not all men are oppressive/toxic/whatever thing that men ain’t shit is supposed to be discussing.

There are a few ways to go about this. I am not interested in whether or not men are or aren’t shit. What I am interested in is why men cannot deal with hearing that they are not shit. This interest was piqued as I found out today that Instagram was deleting posts that said, “Men are Trash, Men are Trash, Men are Trash.” I think we can tie this to the idea that people are not interested in having their power diminished and a statement like this carries a lot of weight (it seems!). I do think that historically, men have made lots of decisions to hurt people and we can’t deny that reality. Reckoning with that seems to be difficult. These are all common conversations and I think people are already having that conversation. I want to focus on the conversation that we should be having, so I’ll have it (with myself).

 

What if I am an actor in this system of oppression against women? How can I not be?

I think I am an actor in the system of oppression against women because I every time I do something that reinforces gender, I am reinforcing my position in this system.  What I can do is reject gender.

 

What does the rejection of gender look like?

First of all, it is NOT a gender-blind approach. I am not saying ignore gender. I am saying recognize the way that gender is apparent in a particular moment and move against it. For (a very simple and overdone) example, if a woman makes a point in a meeting and it is glossed over, immediately interject and raise her point again. To be clear, this isn’t to say that whenever we repeat women’s points we are undoing gender as a whole.

 

What? How can we undo gender as a whole then? 

Recreate our society. We need to get rid of capitalism, we need to get rid of racism, we need to get rid of everything we know and understand about relationships because it has all come from and through a patriarchal order.

Carlos iro Burgos