Photo by Tyler Meuter

There was a study a while back that suggested that most, if not all, women are human beings deserving of respect. The findings of that research are not widely accepted.

If you do not identify as a guy who hates women, feel free to continue reading, but that’s my target audience for today.

Guys. It’s time to start respecting women. Stop rolling your eyes, asshole; I’m serious. It’s time we had a talk about the “f” word. Feminism.

“Ugh,” you grunt, looking for something else to read. “What is it with the Technique and these social and political posts lately?”

Shut up. Feminism is not about oppressing men like you think it is. It’s also not about “killing all men.” No, it’s not. That is called “misandry,” and it’s bad too. Look it up in your favorite dictionary. Feminism is about equity: empowering women and removing the barriers in their way. Hopefully not by killing all men.

“But I didn’t put the barriers there,” you say without reading the whole editorial first. “I am being oppressed. YOU’RE sexist for writing this.”

Sure, ok.

Women on the whole get paid less than men, minority women in particular. Hijab-specific self-defense is a thing now and is growing in popularity. A high-school girl got suspended for not wearing a bra to class, even though it wasn’t a violation of the dress code. Women are blamed for abuse inflicted upon them, and it has happened to women you know. A convicted rapist got three to six months instead of 15–25 years because his little feelings got hurt (he’s being released on Sep. 2). Women get drugged, stabbed and shot for saying no to guys. If you think any of those things are not good, you might be a feminist.

“No I’m not,” you retort in 0.1 seconds. “Women don’t try hard enough at work and lie about being raped and feminazi and … ” you go on for 15 minutes in the Men’s Rights subreddit.

Considering guys are the cause of each of those things, maybe men are to blame and not women.

“If she wasn’t wearing that outfit, she’d be fine,” you victim blame with scary conviction. Let me translate: “if she had dressed differently, he would have assaulted someone else or maybe her anyway.” Yeah, men are definitely not to blame here.

Women are judged for their decisions on almost anything: makeup, tattoos, children, food, hair length, weight and 500 other things probably. Last I checked, women were allowed to make decisions without your input. Yes, I am including transgender women, because they are women and I’m talking about women. Non-binary people are included too. Regardless, no one has ever wanted to hear your bigoted opinions. If you have to be judgemental in order to survive, at least keep it to yourself.

“You’re an SJW shill,” you include in a death threat in the comments section (please don’t actually).

If you make death threats, you are human excrement reincarnated. It’s not funny, pretty sure it’s psychopathic, and you could just not do it. Responses like “that’s just how things are online” only serve to reinforce the status quo, which sucks for non-straight-white-males.

Women in particular have been getting death threats for years on social media, made worse by harassment reporting tools that consider individual death threats as acceptable. It has led to SWAT hoaxes and even suicides, yet only recently has it registered with law enforcement and policy-makers in general. Before you say cops are behind the times, just remember that they figured out Twitter mighty quick when they were the ones being threatened recently, leading to actual arrests. Before you say that women need thicker skin, rhinos don’t have thick enough skin to deal with dozens or hundreds of losers getting off on sending them threats. And their skin is up to two inches thick, fun fact.

“Death threats are horrible, sometimes women aren’t treated with respect, and wow rhino skin is pretty thick,” you admit. “But I’m still not a feminist.”

Alright fine, maybe you don’t send death threats, maybe you have a few molecules of distaste for the treatment of women in society, and a group of rhinos is called a crash, which is amazing. Maybe you realize “feminazi” is something you heard from your dumbass friends. Admit it: the reason you’re not a feminist is because it has the word “feminine” in it. If the word were descended from anything other than “femina” (or if it were called “common sense”), you’d be down. Well, I’m sorry that our Latin roots did this to you, but you’re either a feminist or a terrible human being.

I suggest some introspection here, in your own voice, because a fragile masculinity can be a dangerous thing. It makes some men want to buy whiskey-scented “mandles” and extreme dude milk, which is hilarious. But it makes other men need an outlet for when their friable egos are shattered and violent ids unleashed.

The result is domestic violence, death threats, stabbing fans of the opposing sports team, an unhealthy obsession with 2A rights and probably at least several wars throughout history. Less violently, it’s the anti-women language in the workforce that keeps them out; it’s why sons are taught how to keep the juices inside of roasted meat before being told women deserve respect; it’s the reason “Teen Titans” and “Young Justice” were cancelled if you care about nothing else. At the limit, it’s the patriarchy that we live in today.

Now, my past editorials have been criticized for being one-sided in believing that racism is bad, so I’ll consider the other side of the argument this time around. Umm … OK, yeah, no, the other side of this argument is stupid too.

Empowering women benefits us all. The opposition is societal. Women can only do so much alone. They aren’t damsels in distress, but they would probably think it was neat if we did something helpful. So what can we men do to help?

Shut up. For real this time. It’s not about you anymore, or me. Listen to women, respect women and support women. Treat them like human beings. It turns out they are human after all.

I hope zero misogynists ever read this sentence. I hope it’s because I converted them all by this point and not because they stopped reading to leave angry comments online. It’s OK, though; those comments are usually hilarious. As incredible a writer as I am, I cannot convert everyone from being a terrible person.

I need your help.

We need your help.

I think rhinos are cool, and that’s why I’m a feminist.