Social media needs a safe word, particularly at the moment if you are a man. I guess I have never really noticed or needed to notice this, but over the last year as I have become more at home in my body and with my life, it has become a glaringly obvious light on the dashboard of social media.
Granted there are loads of reasons why men need to be vilified and have the “It’s You” finger hovering over them. I am NOT advocating that they shouldn’t but what I am saying is that this cycle of the knee jerk reactions, where men are getting booted in their nuts for being men really needs to end. By all means go after the bastards that have been right fcukers and done horrible things but leave the rest of us alone, we’re not guilty by association, just because we happen to be related by the same kind of genitalia!
Since the Harvey Weinstien Scandal broke, social media has started to vilify men! (thanks Harv!). It has happened before, any time a man does something wrong, there is a enmasse cull of any men in that industry, remember Nursery Nursing and Teaching? Now there is a national shortage of men in these sectors, thanks to the knee jerk reaction and the fears of the establishments being sued.
The interesting flip side to this, is that the male image is still objectified, both men and women seem to accept that it is acceptable to sexualise the stereotypical pretty boy and when it is the same thing done to the image of a woman, a four page spread in every print newspaper and magazine appears, followed by the ten minute segment on every rolling news channel and an entire morning of day time talk shows are devoted to the scandal…
In an article from The Telegraph, it points out the Men have become more objectified than Women, and the thought that occured to me was wouldn’t men object? but now I think that any attention is better than all the bashing that seems to be going on at the moment.
In our competition obsessed media world, where the outcries about sexualiation are married to the competition to go see the latest dance troupe in New York, London or somewhere else as part of the all expenses paid holiday of a lifetime and I really don’t think that part of the brain that makes associations engages. After-all sex sells and so money and fit blokes shedding clothing, is a perfect storm for full on objectification, provided that you into that kind of thing; and the makers of these programmes are making that assumption. However it’s a very limited form of objectification, because I get the sense that there are no men allowed at some of these troupe venues, and yet the world outside the dropped thongs and stale whipped creme is a very different place.
When I began this article, the only emotion that I seemed to be having in my system was severe anger and unhappines at just how unfair social media was being to men, however it seems as if there is more to this than I first realised; men are vicitmised, vilified, objectified, sexualised and they just seem to accept it without speaking out. Gay men, straight men and somewhere in the middle men appear to just be okay with this. However having been victim (✓), villain (✓), the object (✓), and yes even sexualised (✓) I am not okay with it.
None of these are nice, spending 8 (plus) years as the victim of various bullies for being “privileged” at public/state school and being told by authority “You brought this on yourself because of who you are”, being sexualised by the gay scene as “fresh meat” while fending off wandering hands, being shared by two men, meeting the approval of your boyfriends psychotic mother as the objectified older man, and then to be thrust into the role of the villain because of jealousy. So you’ll pardon my anger, when the world of social media decides that men are the scourge of the internet because of the actions of a single solitary man, who can’t keep it in his pants until he gets home to his wife.
The part of this that doesn’t make any of what has happened to me okay, the bit that really set this off is when the #metoo meme started, the origin is simple enough and yes, in context does have the potential to raise awareness of something stagnant and putrid at the heart of Hollywood, this almost culture of passing women and men around the studio execs like they are whorederves, an urban word I grant you but it works for this purpose, which is to point out that there is a dark seedy side to being famous, and its a cycle that is repeating, just as jewish actors and workers were vilified and treated badly in the 1950’s, so to are women and men, but rather than address it, sort it and stop it from ever happening again.
It will become a cycle that will do a couple of rounds in the media until the next expose and then it will be forgotten about until something bigger takes its place and we say “must be a slow news day” to bring this up again. Meanwhile in realms and lands of social media, the objectified man will still be scantily clad, on all fours to be used as a desk or some other adornment, while the rallying cries of ban the bastard will come from others because a man happened to post something on his wall.
As I said at the start, Social media needs a safe word, particularly at the moment because for men silence has lease… and we’re making it okay for the social media dominatrix to be as cruel and wicked as it likes because no safe word was asked for and none was given because the objectified male is already gagged and bound.