Do Men Owe Women An Apology II

In an April blog post called Do Men Owe Women An Apology?, I shared the “Dear Woman” video that was produced by a group called Conscious Men. It featured sensitive, spiritual, new age guys expressing heartwarming, earnest apologetic sentiments about how men have wronged women.

I liked the message and agreed that men can become a whole lot better at relating to women. Many of you also agreed that while you liked the message, you weren’t crazy about the fact that the men delivering the message sounded more like women than men.

Enjoy this parody by Funny or Die and share your comments below. Please ignore the commercial that plays before the video.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Sayanta

    That was funny (parts of it) and I think the message was a satire on the way political correctness and New Age ideas go too far. However, masculine and feminine energies are very real, and both should be honored- and I get the feeling that the men in the vid don’t really want to own up to that OR acknowledge the fact that women have been brutalized by a patriarchal structure for centuries and continue to be so in many parts of the world

  2. 2
    Steve

    Meh, it was too close to the original clap trap.

  3. 3
    jack

    The brutalization of women by a “patriarchal” structure throughout history is just one of many disprovable narratives that provide the fuel for poor-me thinking by women.
    Life was brutal for most men and women for most of human history.
    Men are beginning to realize that such story-telling is based on supposition and distortion.
    Now, before you go nuclear on me and call me a misogynist, consider that in doing so, you are likely to drive me and any other real men reading this further to my side.
    What would be more productive would be to focus on making our current culture fair for all, rather than trying to score some cheap political advantage by trying to hop on the victim-coattails of people who have been dead for centuries.
     
    Unlike some, I have great sympathy for all men and women who have suffered throughout human history. Not just the women.
    But even if your narrative was correct, it is 2011 now, and women have it just fine. Even if injustices were done at some point in the past, you are not entitled to any credit or accommodation for that fact.
     
     

  4. 4
    Sayanta

    Jack

    Women have it just fine? Are you even remotely aware of conditions for women in Afghanistan and parts of Africa? Honestly, from your other posts, it sounds like you got slammed by a specific (beautiful) woman and are bent on revenge or something on all of us. If you are that pissed off at women why are you even on this site? I mean maybe you’re hurting about something right now, but are you aware of exactly how negative and angry and borderline misogynistic your posts are sounding?

  5. 5
    indigo

    As student taking anatomy…the section with the anatomical terms was TOO funny…

  6. 6
    starthrower68

    This looks like something I’d have found on The Onion website….

  7. 7
    JoAnn

    Will Farrell can be pretty darn funny, but I mostly agree with Steve above, although I did guffaw at a couple places.

  8. 8
    Sara

    Hit and miss, but “We honour your musty thicket of wonders as we would a human swamp…” made me laugh out loud.

  9. 9
    sunshine

    The spoofed the spoof…I like it best so far.  I’ve been steeped in the heady ‘conscious something-or-other’ culture for a couple of years and I love that they are taking this to the level of play.  Some of it is strained, yes, but being in the spotlight being a good sport and playfully admitting they took themselves a little too seriously is probably not as easy as being an armchair critic :)

  10. 11
    Michael

    I’m not a big fan of apologizing for an institution.
     
    A man only owes women an apology if he himself did something to apologize for – and then he should be apologizing to the specific women. It should ring hollow to all concerned to say, “I’m sorry that guy over there, whom I can neither vouch for nor control and whom I don’t even trust myself, did something to you.” 
     
    Or, put more minimally, just use actions, not words.
     
    Likin’ the funny, though.

  11. 12
    zann

    Dear Jack:

    I know this is a dating site, and not a political forum, but please indulge me for a minute so I can go all “nuclear” on you.  And I’ll tell you right up front that Sayanta (#4) said it way better that I will.  But you know us women — there’s nothing we like better than to play the victim and raise a fuss. 

     
    Okay, we’ll have it your way & forget all about messy ancient history (what’s done is done, right?) and just focus on the here and now. First, though, I’d like you to explain those “credits and accommodations” we women are supposedly cashing in on, riding like fabulous freeloaders on the dusty coattails of our ancestors. Ya mean stuff like being able to vote, own property, or being able to prosecute a man for raping us, even if he is our husband? Yea, I know. Pretty freakin radical.  And yet, we want more.  

    Here’s the thing. If you take a quick look around this sweet, round Earth, it’s very difficult to find a bunch of women sitting around a big table in a situation room and deciding that, yes, war is the answer. Show me one place where the status of men is so degraded and devalued that they can’t vote, go to school, or even be out on the street unless accompanied by a woman. Have you ever heard of a society where men are required to cover their faces and limbs because the very sight of them might drive women so crazy that they cannot — and will not — be held responsible for their behavior? If a man is raped, right here in the USA, do you think a prosecutor would ever suggest to a jury that he was asking for it — because of what he was wearing?

    Hands down, men still monopolize the majority of all decision-making power throughout the world. That’s no distortion. And in contemporary societies throughout the world, on a daily basis, the vast majority of all women, men, AND children who are physically and sexually assaulted and/or murdered are the victims of men. Whatever history you think has been distorted to allow women a free ride …..please share with us, because it sure isn’t ringing any bells with me.

    Most informed, rational people acknowledge that both both men and women have suffered throughout human history. And I know there are lots of great, peace-loving men out there; but it’s naive and irresponsible to be blind to the power-skewing that still exists. Women are NOT doing just fine in many parts of the world, and in those places where conditions for women have improved, it’s only due to the battles fought by women who went before us. That is not distortion — that is history.  Yes, in the USA women are now freer to function independently, obtain an education, obtain employment to support ourselves, and decide for ourselves whether or not we want to procreate.  In other words, women are moving closer to being treated as adults. 

    It’s not coattail riding for women NOT to want history repeated. 
     

  12. 13
    Gem

    I love how Will Farrell gets a really pissed-off look at the end of everything he says, LOL!

    This is way better than the first video that I could barely stomach.

    But to revisit the message that men, as a gender and an “unconscious masculine force,” need apologize to all women of all times/places for their purposeful and/or unconscious negative actions is a joke.

    I don’t need or want an apology from men who’ve done nothing to me. I don’t need a hug, or compensation for men’s past evils, or to be moved to the front of the societal line.

    If someone has wronged me, they and only THEY should apologize.

    Yeah, funny stuff. :)

  13. 14
    myhonestanswer

    I agree with Michael. People can apologise for what they personally have done wrong. But to apologise on behalf of other people devalues the apology, in my opinion. It’s easy to apologise for something you never did, right, because it doesn’t involve admitting you were in the wrong.

  14. 15
    jack

    This DOES have application for a dating site, since many women who wish to have relationships with men still find their views of men modified by the “patriarchal-opression” narrative.
    Re-read what I said. For large portions of human history, both men AND women experienced brutal oppression. The fact that the oppressors were a often particularly small number of very aggressive males is immaterial.
    DO you really think I’m not aware of the situation in countries like Afghanistan? Please.
    Okay then; AMERICAN women have it just fine these days. You also mistake my motive in pointing this out to you. I am IN NOW WAY interested in trying to change your mind about the issue, since I know that is not possible.
    I am pointing these things out to DEMONSTRATE to you that many men have woken up to the fact that many of the whining-points that are thrown about as though they were empirical fact, are really just victim-speak. I’m not buying it anymore (I used to).
    Also, I note with amusement on commenter’s suggestion that I must have been rejected by some hottie and am “taking it out on” the rest of you. Google the phrase “shaming language” – I don’t fall for such playground-level debate.
     
    I have sympathy for women AND men the world over who suffer under oppression. I ask for not recognition or accommodation for the fact that I belong to a sub-group that is under some ugly oppression elsewhere in the world, because that sub-group is not under oppression in the US. 
    Zann:
    I hoped you enjoyed your nuclear moment. I will restate: I am not interested in trying to change your mind. What I am going to do is print out your reply and show it to all of my male friends in order to demonstrate the truth of my views to them. I may even try it on some women.
    Application to dating, in order to justify my presence on this comment thread:
     
    If you hold these women-as-victim views (which are in many cases emotionally-charged narrative more than historical account), expect only the most supplicant of men to date you.I’m not going to indulge this kind of historical fantasy in a relationship since it means that I, as a man, am being viewed through an unfair filter, and coming under suspicion and scrutiny that I do not deserve. And I am not alone. More and more men of my acquaintance are becoming weary of the male-oppression narrative. And more questioning of its factual basis.
    Go nuclear again, if you want. But please understand that such nuclear displays are not a substitute for honest, factual debate. And such displays are only useful for swaying those persons who are mutable by emotion. Men and women who prefer logic and thoughtfulness can often be overwhelmed and conquered with nuclear emotion, but not forever.
    In simpler terms, the arguments you are using are starting to lose their strength, and simply repeating them louder probably will not accomplish your desired goals.
     

  15. 16
    Karl R

    sayanta said: (#1)
    “I get the feeling that the men in the vid don’t really want to own up to that OR acknowledge the fact that women have been brutalized by a patriarchal structure for centuries and continue to be so in many parts of the world”

    I think most educated people are aware that life was brutal (for men and women) in the past. It still is brutal (for men and women) in many parts of the world currently.

    If one of your (male) ancestors brutalized one of my (female) ancestors, do you owe me an apology?

    sayanta said: (#1)
    “Are you even remotely aware of conditions for women in Afghanistan and parts of Africa?”

    Afghanistan … where young men are persuaded to become suicide bombers. Where men, women and children are shot and blown up indiscriminately. Where the president’s brother was just assassinated, and I’m sure thousands of people would happily send the president to join his brother in the afterlife.

    In any place where brutality is commonplace, life is going to suck for everyone.

    So if you’re only acknowledging how atrocious the conditions are for women in Afghanistan and Africa (and turning a blind eye to how lousy the situation is for men), how does that make your position morally superior to the men in the video?

  16. 17
    Michael17

    I’m not a fan of one group apologizing to another group unless it’s the most extreme circumstances. I treat women well, but I have been hurt in regards to dating. Does that mean I expect a new girl to apologize or make it up to me for the mistakes of other girls? No. And am I willing to apologize for the mistakes that other men in her life had made? No.

  17. 18
    starthrower68

    I think these arguments are all academic anyway; yes, the human trafficing and all the other social evils are tragic and awful and we all need to do what we can to reverse it.  But at least in present-day America, it’s so difficult to wrap our brains around such things because life is simply different here.  It’s not to say that we don’t have compassion for those who suffer but think about it: where in other countries, starvation is an epidemic, obesity and it’s related diseases are here.  A huge schism in perspective.

  18. 19
    Darren Miller

    This is a funny video, but it confuses me somewhat. It is not for these men to apologise on behalf of other men. Women don’t want an apology from you for something that a previous partner did or said. They just want you to be a better man and not make the same mistakes.

  19. 20
    sharon

    The rates at which women and abused,stalked, raped and murdered last year in American I can tell the conditions are unacceptable inexcusable and not okay. The percentage of women in government, business and the arts is not okay. Women getting paid less for the same work is not okay. Yes we’ve come a long and yes we’re better of then most women around the world but American still needs to make some big steps before we can call ourselves an equal society. It’s not just men that need to change is our society as a whole. So there’s no need to apologize but don’t pretend that we don’t still have problems to fix. 

  20. 21
    Annie

    @15

    I agree with you that life in the modern world pretty much affords women all the choices they were asking for, so playing the victim “now” of oppression is a bit silly(in the west).

    But when you make comments about the “historical” facts being questionable they really aren’t. Feminism happened for a reason it wasn’t some invented movement for the sake of a few whingeing females.

    I tend to think the truth is more along the lines of, when men are oppressed women seem to get it worse. In many way’s in the west, freedom for women only occured once men became free. 

    All people have been oppressed and slowly but surely we’ve moved towards equality for all. Democracy is an equality movement, civil rights movement was about equality and so was feminism.

    I get tired of the “victimhood” mentality when it’s not real, but I also get tired of men suggesting feminism was this big lie, or a farce and that Men were the actual victims not women(I’m not saying that “you” have indicated that, but I do hear these kinds of statments). It seems both men and women these day’s are falling prey to a victim mentality.

    I dont’ want men appologizing for past behaviour, I just want things to move forward in a fair manner as much as possible.

    We don’t want history repeating itself that’s why we recognize it but I agree it is time to move on.

  21. 22
    jack

    The whole “women get paid less” complaint is easily disprovable when you make a full analysis of personal earnings.
     
    But it is such a good talking point that none of them will admit it; it is all part of the narrative of female victimization. And the victimization narrative is critical to the political aims of many women.
     
    But it is not actually true. And men are beginning to see the light on this issue. Once men are wise to it, it will be harder to make political gain with this misrepresentation of the facts.

  22. 23
    JerseyGirl

    Good Post Zann!

    Horrible things happen to both men and women. But that doesn’t mean men were just as much oppressed as women where and as some women still are in other countries. As Sharon pointed out, statistics on crimes committed agaisnt women and girls is staggering compared to crimes committed against men. That is in no way to say that crimes committed agaisnt men or boys are any less important. It’s just to point out an aspect of truth to the situation. And while women *have* made great strides in the work place, women still get payed less on average.  

    Some people seem to think acknowledging gender issues is the exact same thing has “playing victim”. And it’s a pathic attempt at reverse pyschology to try to shame people for discussing very real social issues. 

    With that said, in the original video about men apologizing to women, I appreciate the gesture as an attempt to stretch out an “olive branch” but I do think the effort was a little misplaced. If that group of men wanted to make any kind of movie with a message to women, it could have been done differently with perhaps just letting women know they want to work *together* with us for a better tomorrow..instead of all the “apologizing” stuff. 
     

  23. 24
    Annie

    @23
    I agree with you on that one. I get tired of hearing it too. It used to be true, and was actually legistlation in my country that women would get paid less for the same work(the law was changed in teh 70’s).
    Now differences in pay relate to occupation, the ability to negotiate pay rises, and taking time off work for children, all of which are choices you make not something forced on you.

  24. 25
    Ruby

    I thought the men in the original video had their hearts in the right place, even though the video itself was cheesy. Does this mean that I’m a man-hater who expects men to to grovel on their knees before me? Um, no. I enjoy a good spoof, and appreciated the funny moments in this one.

    However, I’m uninterested in hearing some unaware guy tell me that discrimination of women no longer exists. Yes, discrimination has declined, but to say that it has been completely wiped out is absurd. While it’s true that in some countries life might suck for everyone, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck even more if you are female. 

    Here’s an interesting article in Time Magazine online about equal pay and the gender gap:
    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1983185,00.html#0_undefined,0_ 

  25. 26
    Sarahrahrah!

    I liked the original and this parody.  “Musty thicket of wonders?”  That line had me practically crying!  Having Will Ferrell star in it certainly didn’t hurt.  Evan, did you have anything to do with this?!?

    @23 and 25:
    There are things we can do in this country to improve women’s situations.  Women do not have equal protection under the highest law in the land.  That’s what the drive to create a constitutional amendment (“Equal Rights Amendment“) was all about in the 1970s and early 80s.  Unfortunately, it failed.
    Women are not protected legally and financially for the toll that pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and child rearing takes on them — all of which disproportionately affect women.  While one could argue that women can choose not to be mothers, you could also argue that a country would eventually fail to be a competitive nation if its birth rate freezes.  Women who choose to take time off to care for a baby end up losing retirement money and social security credits.  Being more socially oriented then men, they are also likely to be the more compassionate partner who puts the needs of the children ahead of career in order to promote the greatest good for her offspring. 
    The question we should be asking as a society is if women’s sacrifices have some benefit to society and, if so, are women entitled to basic benefits for the time that she(or he — it should be fair) took to raise a reasonable number of infants/toddlers.  (Countries such as Norway and Sweden have been doing this for many years.)  Being married does not protect women, especially in a state like California where “justice” goes to the person who can afford the best attorney and continuous state budget cuts mean that there are few if any free or low cost resources to cover the many women who can’t afford competent legal representation.
    My sense is that, in general, the work of mothers is not highly valued here in the United States.  If this trend continues, I predict that our youth will continue to fall further and further behind in world educational rankings as U.S. mothers become more and more divested from their childrens’ development, as mothers’ resources — including social and financial supports — continue to shrink.

  26. 27
    shanon

    @ Annie
    Yes taking time off to raise children for a year is a choice with huge financial impact. But creating financial system that puts the burden of child rearing on women (paternity leave isn’t exactly commonplace) and thus a significant strain on womens earning potential over time. Particularly when so many couples divorce today it puts women in a vulnerable position. If government and industry push to give new fathers the same rites as new bothers the mommy tax could be eliminated in a way that benefits both sexes.
    Identifying problems is not whining or victim speak, it’s the first step to finding a solutions. But if you prefer to plug your years and insist that everything thing is fine nothing will improve.

  27. 28
    Bettina

    NPR had an interesting segment the other day about a Harvard study that indicated that most white people believe that non-whites have achieved equality, that when it comes to employment and other social benefits that the playing field is level. In some cases, the whites said that in fact they are discriminated against more than non-whites are. The non-whites in the study had the opposite view and said that while there’s been some progress, the playing field is far from level. Equal opportunity authorities support this latter view.

    I look around and I too believe that the playing field is far from level regarding race. I also believe it’s the same with women, for all of the reasons already mentioned. The discrimination starts long before the non-white or the woman goes job-hunting.

    In the case of gender disparities, it starts with male children getting more attention, affirmation, and encouragement than female children for just about everything except being attractive. A pretty female gets lots of attention for being so (even though the way one looks is largely outside of one’s control). Male children are also punished less for domineering or bullying behavior than are females when they exhibit the same behavior.

    Various studies have shown that as adults in mixed group settings men talk more, interrupt more, and talk longer than women. The perception is the opposite, however, and that perception is shared by both men AND women. (Both men and women in various studies report that the women talked more, but when the taped conversations were timed it turns out that the men spoke way more and used more forceful language to achieve this end.)

    Male bullying is one of the reasons, some say, that almost all of the entries on Wikipedia are written by men and why Wikipedia has a “male” bias. The females usually opt out of the unmonitored, open-source fighting. What gets lost in all of this is the non-bullying point of view, and what we get is the war table. 

    But thumbs down on men apologizing to women and whites apologizing to blacks for historical wrongs. Better to keep questioning our perception of things and deal with injustice on a case-by-case basis. Most of us only get to make a difference in small ways, through our daily personal choices. Small words and deeds can make a big difference in the lives around us, though.

    Of course, if anyone can make a video that can heal this mess, go for it.   

  28. 29
    Evan Marc Katz

    The video was a joke, y’all. Can’t we just have a light moment without talking about historical wrongs and the plight of women in Africa? Wait – don’t answer that. I don’t want to get into an argument at 9am on Monday…

  29. 30
    jack

    I prefer to say “life is not fair and never will be”. Men are discriminated against in many ways as well. People draw lines and choose sides.
     
    Somewhere around 90% of all workplace deaths are men. Are you protesting that tragic fact? Any of the women here want to express gratitude for the men who risk their lives every day to ensure a stable supply of food, gasoline, safe buildings and working sewers?
     
    Life is unfair, get over it.

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