“It’s a very scary time for young men in America.”
That quote by the President of the United States (POTUS) Donald Trump may be the new rallying cry for men who fear the scales of power are starting to turn against them.
The full quote of course is: “It’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of.”
It took one sentence by the POTUS to reduce the issue of women’s rights and the #MeToo movement into a threat against manhood. It’s clear the president doesn’t really care about those who disagree with him, he’s speaking to his fans and voter base.
What he’s also doing is raising warning flags for men who may already feel concerned that they are losing a certain hierarchy. Gone are the days when a guy can just smack a woman’s behind or whistle out to her (although that still happens). You might just get in trouble now for following a woman home or calling her at home over and over again. I’d be worried too if that’s how I operated with women.
POTUS’s words are a spark for men who worry about this new situation. “And now you’re guilty until proven innocent,” he laments.
Coming from the man who was recorded saying how he likes to just grab women by the ——-, that comment makes more sense. It’s also a power move that bullies use when they’re threatened, but this time, the bully has millions of followers who will (and have) act on his wishes.
The GOP loves it too; while he’s speaking about some imaginary loss of rights, the government in power is rolling back policies it doesn’t agree with.
When a woman is reduced to being a “bitch” for not responding positively to a man ogling her, or her actions are reduced to a body part, if she doesn’t put out, then maybe it’s not so drastic as POTUS claims.
Are women really the ones in power here? Are men really in a scary time in their lives? Let’s take a look.
In 1983, a mere 35 years ago, it became a criminal act to rape one’s spouse. While violence against spouses can also include men, the majority of cases are women partners.
This represents one generation that he lived under this new law.
We live in a time when provincial judges ask women why they didn’t close their legs to prevent being raped. We live in a time where rape culture suggests that it’s a woman’s fault if something happens to her.
Of all the women in my life, I don’t know one who hasn’t been assaulted in some form or another; from rape, to dirty suggestions, to unwanted touches, to staring, stalking and more. How can that mean this is a scary time for young men?
Men are used to a sense of entitlement, so the message that this is a “very scary time” may hold some truth because they’re are starting to find that they can’t just take a woman. The days of rubbing up against a female on the crowded bus or making suggestive comments — and then getting mad when she doesn’t like it — without fear of repercussion are starting to dwindle.
Let’s also talk about representation.
Women make up about 23 per cent of the House of Commons (88 of 338), yet the population of women outnumber men (just barely) in Canada. That’s called underrepresentation.
What’s really happening is women are more likely to be at greater risk from those men who fear the loss of their so-called control. Despite men’s worry, the scale is starting to just level out, sort of, but not really.
In reality this is becoming a scary time for women and it’s up to us to ensure that we become allies. While there may be bumps along the way, this is a new movement, sincerity will play a big part in moving things forward.