by Gwen Randall-Young
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.
– Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Most reasonable people would agree all humans should be treated with respect and dignity. We no longer tolerate it when any group is put down or belittled.
But many women, who would never make a racist comment, regularly participate in a practice that is degrading to others. We do not hear too much about this even though it is common, if not rampant, among women. I am talking about male bashing: “Men are pricks.” “All men are pigs.” “Men think with their dicks.” “Men only want one thing.” “Men are idiots” and on it goes.
Recently, I saw a Facebook post with the title, How Women See Men, followed by a video of men imitating apes.
I was inspired to write about this after one of my male clients asked me why women sit around and bash their husbands.
With all of the appropriate focus on the way women have been treated, it seems obvious women need to look in the mirror as well. We can just imagine the outrage if a man made those kind of disparaging comments about women.
The horrifying thing is that women think it is okay to say these negative things about men because they believe they are true! Racists also believe their comments are true. Sure, there are unscrupulous men out there, but generalizing to all men is like saying all Muslims are terrorists or all Italians belong to the Mafia.
So I want to address two things. The first is the kind of language used about men as shown above. As women, we must stand up to this, as we would want men to stand up when a guy says women are too emotional to be CEOs.
The second more subtle one is the habit many women have of complaining to their female friends about all the faults they perceive in their partner. I have always felt that once a woman starts badmouthing her partner outside of the marriage, it is the beginning of the end.
If there are problems, talk to the man about them. If they cannot be resolved, seek counselling. If they are really bad and cannot be fixed, do not just stay in a bad situation and continue to vent toxic energy about it. Either take steps to get out or choose to live with it. When a woman bashes her partner, other women should try to guide that person towards problem solving rather than piling negativity on the man.
We do need to show more evolved behaviour than junior high girls gossiping and saying terrible things about another. Junior high girls may not have the skills or wisdom to do it differently. I want to believe adult women do.
Right now, it is clear men need to do things differently. But women, many of us need to step up too. Let’s call it when we hear demeaning talk and attitudes, regardless of where it is coming from.
Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca ‘Like’ Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.