Michael Lee - “Pass On”
"The theory of six degrees of separation was never meant to see how many people we could find. It was a set of directions to find the people we have lost."
We’re excited to feature Michael Lee’s beautiful poem (and video) on the Button YouTube. A powerful elegy to an old friend, and a celebration of the belief that no one is ever really lost. Please share Michael’s words with anyone who you think might need to hear them.
I do not understand this “male privilege” bullshit.
What. Fucking. Privileges. Do. Men. Have.???????
Name them. I swear, I challenge you to name these “male privileges” and be able to prove them.
Come on, I fucking dare you.
Oh boy. Well, as a man, I’ll tell you my male privilege.
- My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed.
- I can be confident in the fact that my co-workers won’t think that I was hired/promoted because of my sex - despite the fact that it’s probably true.
- If I ever am promoted when a woman of my peers is better suited for the job, it is because of my sex.
- If i ever fail at my job or career, it won’t be seen as a blacklist against my sex’s capabilities.
- I am far less likely to face sexual harassment than my female peers.
- If I do the same task as a woman, and if the measurement is at all subjective, chances are people will think I did a better job.
- If I am a teen or an adult, and I stay out of prison, my odds of getting raped are relatively low.
- On average, I’m taught that walking alone after dark by myself is less than dangerous than it is for my female peers.
- If I choose not to have children, my masculinity will not be questioned.
- If I do have children but I do not provide primary care for them, my masculinity will not be questioned.
- If I have children and I do care for them, I’ll be praised even if my care is only marginally competent.
- If I have children and a career, no one will think I’m selfish for not staying at home.
- If I seek political office, my relationship with my children or who I deem to take care of them will more often not be scrutinized by the press.
- My elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious the position, the more this is true.
- When i seek out “the person in charge”, it is likely that they will be someone of my own sex. The higher the position, the more often this is true.
- As a child, chances are I am encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters.
- As a child, I could choose from an almost infinite variety of children’s media featuring positive, active, non-stereotyped heroes of my own sex. I never had to look for it; male protagonists were (and are) the default.
- As a child, chances are I got more teacher attention than girls who raised their hands just as often.
- If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether or not it has sexist overtones. (Nobody’s going to ask if I’m upset because I’m menstruating.)
- I can turn on the television or glance at the front page of the newspaper and see people of my own sex widely represented.
- If I’m careless with my financial affairs it won’t be attributed to my sex.
- If I’m careless with my driving it won’t be attributed to my sex.
- I can speak in public to a large group without putting my sex on trial.
- Even if I sleep with a lot of women, there is little to no chance that I will be seriously labeled a “slut,” nor is there any male counterpart to “slut-bashing.”
- I do not have to worry about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability.
- My clothing is typically less expensive and better-constructed than women’s clothing for the same social status. While I have fewer options, my clothes will probably fit better than a woman’s without tailoring.
- The grooming regimen expected of me is relatively cheap and consumes little time.
- If I buy a new car, chances are I’ll be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car. The same goes for other expensive merchandise.
- If I’m not conventionally attractive, the disadvantages are relatively small and easy to ignore.
- I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch.
- I can ask for legal protection from violence that happens mostly to men without being seen as a selfish special interest, since that kind of violence is called “crime” and is a general social concern. (Violence that happens mostly to women is usually called “domestic violence” or “acquaintance rape,” and is seen as a special interest issue.)
- I can be confident that the ordinary language of day-to-day existence will always include my sex. “All men are created equal,” mailman, chairman, freshman, he.
- My ability to make important decisions and my capability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.
- I will never be expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if I don’t change my name.
- The decision to hire me will not be based on assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon.
- Every major religion in the world is led primarily by people of my own sex. Even God, in most major religions, is pictured as male.
- Most major religions argue that I should be the head of my household, while my wife and children should be subservient to me.
- If I have a wife or live-in girlfriend, chances are we’ll divide up household chores so that she does most of the labor, and in particular the most repetitive and unrewarding tasks.
- If I have children with my girlfriend or wife, I can expect her to do most of the basic childcare such as changing diapers and feeding.
- If I have children with my wife or girlfriend, and it turns out that one of us needs to make career sacrifices to raise the kids, chances are we’ll both assume the career sacrificed should be hers.
- Assuming I am heterosexual, magazines, billboards, television, movies, pornography, and virtually all of media is filled with images of scantily-clad women intended to appeal to me sexually. Such images of men exist, but are rarer.
- In general, I am under much less pressure to be thin than my female counterparts are. If I am over-weight, I probably suffer fewer social and economic consequences for being fat than over-weight women do.
- If I am heterosexual, it’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll ever be beaten up by a spouse or lover.
- Complete strangers generally do not walk up to me on the street and tell me to “smile.”
- Sexual harassment on the street virtually never happens to me. I do not need to plot my movements through public space in order to avoid being sexually harassed, or to mitigate sexual harassment.
- On average, I am not interrupted by women as often as women are interrupted by men.
- On average, I will have the privilege of not knowing about my male privilege.
And lastly, I am taken as a more credible feminist than my female peers, despite the fact that the feminist movement is not liberating to my sex.
This is male privilege.
THIS. THIS IS HOW YOU BE A MALE FEMINIST.
Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuu very much.
(Source: , via feminishblog)
A New Perspective of the Day: Neil Hilborn’s Inspiring Poem about OCD
St. Louis poet Neil Hilborn blew the Internet away with his recital of “OCD,” a poem about having obsessive compulsive disorder while being in love, originally filmed during this year’s Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in July.
Before you fuck up and call her anything less than her name, before you grab her by the arm you need to know the trigger that you are pulling at. You need to know that the safety is never on. You need to know her history before you tell me that this isn’t my business. You need to know that her history is my history. See, she and I, we come from the tribe of raw knuckled little girls who call our father by their first names and wear their mothers like bruise coloured war paint under eye. We grew thick skin before we grew permanent teeth. We learned to piece together our own families in the backyards of rented duplexes where we promised plastic faced babies better things in soothing tones that we mimicked from TV. We do not have daddy issues even though our daddy’s have issues. We have piercing eyes and promises to keep. We grew up to be nomads surveying domestic war zones with black eyeliner binoculars, always refusing to camouflage. We threw our heads back and laughed at oncoming explosions, never flinched, absorbing shrapnel, never let them see us cry.
We do not dream of boys who will save us from towers. We dream of boys with courage caked under their fingernails. Boys with hands rough enough to wipe metal tears from our faces but warm enough to mold them into stars. Boys with vertebrae strong enough to lock with ours so they can sleep sitting back to back with us and keep watch. And these are the boys, these are the boys who will find love under our armor. These are the boys who will find that we love selectively but we love fiercely. These are the boys who will learn that we love in ways that leave claw marks down the baseboard before we ever let go.
So do not think she doesn’t know how you fear her absence - you should. Your cage is not stronger than her will or her smile. Do not think you are good enough to tame her. You aren’t. And do not think you are the first to try because I have already closed your eyes and crossed your arms before your body hit the floor. And you think she deserves better than you. You are right. So be better than you.
Be thankful that she knows your name and be careful never to forget hers.