Aims for equality should not condemn men

By Rachel Anne Iannotti | Guest Contributor

Equality is important. The right to live freely and happily despite ethnicity, belief system or gender is imperative to a successful and prosperous society. So why is it that men are at such a disadvantage?

Ever since the rise of feminism, men have had a target plastered on their backs. Recently, things like the Me Too movement and the Women’s March have been hugely successful in showcasing the strength of women, but they’ve simultaneously condemned men in the process. Most feminists define feminism as the social, economic and political equality of both genders; which is excellent, as equality is essential. However, the scales are tipped, and despite the lies spouted by feminists, it’s not in the favor of men.

First, let’s talk about what differentiates men and women, because no matter how much we try for and aim to be equal, there are undeniable biological differences. Putting aside the obvious genitalia and chromosomal differences; hormones, musculature and brain chemistry are all distinct between men and women. Typically, males have larger brains, a smaller hippocampus (responsible for memorization and learning) and a larger amygdala (responsible for emotion and emotional memory) when compared to women, according to a study in the Stanford Medical Journal. Women typically have a larger deep limbic system than men, which allows them to be more in touch with their feelings and better able to express them, which promotes bonding with others. Men have much higher levels of testosterone (an anabolic steroid and primary male sex hormone) which affects bone and muscle mass, sex drive and red blood cell production. Women, on the other hand, have lower levels of testosterone and higher levels of estrogen (primary female sex hormone) which is vital for bone formation and menstrual cycle regulation.

According to a piece in the Stanford Medical Journal, “Sex-based differences in brain structure and physiology reflect the alchemy of these hormone/receptor interactions, their effects within the cells, and the intermediating influence of genetic variables — particularly the possession of an XX versus an XY genotype.” Physiologically, men tend to be more physically strong. This is not to say that women can’t be strong, women, like all other human beings, have the right to be whatever, or whoever, they choose. Nor does this suggest that because men are physically stronger, they must be the “protectors of women.” It’s similar to how women’s biological tendency to have a greater emotional response to outside stimuli and events doesn’t make them emotional wrecks or “drama queens.” Time and time again pieces are released about stereotypes such as, women are emotional and crazy, and men are the stronger, and therefore superior, gender. These stereotypes are based off of biological truths, and while they shouldn’t be blown out of proportion or adopted into society in a way that makes either gender feel a certain way, they are still facts. Whether feminists like it, or not.

One of the weapons of choice for feminists is rape culture and victimhood. Rape and sexual assault are never okay. It doesn’t matter who, nor what gender, the victim is, and it doesn’t matter who, nor what gender, the perpetrator is. Millions of men in the United States have been victims of rape. About three percent of American men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime, according to Scientific American. 35 percent of male victims who experienced rape or sexual assault reported at least one female perpetrator. Sexual victimization by females has been on the rise according to a 2014 study. But you never hear about that in the media.

Men are meant to be strong and “manly,” not weak, and certainly not passive enough for a girl to sexually assault them. Society has created a bubble in which women are encouraged by media and celebrities to come forward with their stories of sexual assault, which of course they should. Meanwhile, the disregard and inattention to male victims, as well as societal standards, has encouraged silence. If anyone is assaulted in any way, he or she should be able to speak out. They should have the resources to make the right decision. They shouldn’t stay quiet out of fear. But just as women shouldn’t be made to feel weak or lesser than, men shouldn’t be made out as monsters because of the horrendous acts of a few.

Men and women are biologically different. Historically (and unfairly), women have had to fight harder for their rights, and regrettably, it’s impossible to rid the world of all prejudice. But the condemnation of men is unjust overcompensation for our ancestors’ mistakes. It’s time for feminism to die, and from the ashes, true equality will rise.

Rachel Anne is a freshman neuroscience major from Charlotte, N.C.