Do Men Owe Women An Apology II

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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.

Join our conversation (54 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.  
      

  4. 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.

  5. 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_  

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.      

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 31
    Sayanta

    EMK

    Oh, but I have to answer lol- I guess I’m guilty for starting the whole Afghan/Africa thing- but Jack’s post irked me, I had to say something

  12. 32
    Bettina

    We on the east coast are into the middle of the day already and have had the humor squeezed out of us for the time being. It will return.

  13. 33
    Annie

    @28

    I completely agree with you on that one. Giving fathers more rights to take care of their children and have some paternety leave is a great idea.

    Lol@ Evan. Sorry 🙂

  14. 34
    Annie

    @27

    Do you see  the sacrifices that others make as well.?

    My father spent 7 years working overseas by himself and almost 5 years interstate, so he could gain tax free$$ so I could go to private schools and have every privalege under the sun.

    While my mother talks about her sacrifice of giving up a career, there is never any mention  of how lonely my father was, when even his children didn’t bother writing him a letter because we were never made to appreciate what he was doing.

    He just sent the money home and we spent it.

    Everyone is making sacrifices. The woman  may forgo a career, and the man may forgo family time to provide.

    I have no doubt if the situation was reversed and women were working and men staying home, you would see a whole different story. Imagine working in a  country where you didn’t even speak the language and saw your children 1 time a year and had nothing financially to show for it, except a few spoilt children who thought money grew on trees?  Hopefully with equality maybe women and men can finally respect the roles they  choose(no matter what they are)  and the other’s sacrifice in equal measure.

    One can only hope.

  15. 35
    Gem

    Jack #31,

    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?

    I do, I do!!

    Life IS unfair all around. We all just need to do the best we can in our little part of the world everyday with the people we come into contact with. Live with honor, integrity, and gratitude. The change starts and continues with one. Holding onto anger, and grudges for what happened in the past accomplishes nothing.

    Oh, and laugh a lot! Starting with this video. LOL

  16. 36
    Bettina

    Not buying it. Men definitely still have more priveleges in every sphere. Ask any man if he’d  swap his standing in the world for that of a  woman. I bet the answer would be no.    

    @31 and 37: Curious that you don’t notice that women’s labor is  also part of the supply chain for food, gas, safe buildings, and working sewers.

    See what I mean? Only the male contribution in those industries is mentioned in that post. (shaking of the head)

  17. 37
    nathan

    I agree with Bettina on this one. True gender equality just isn’t here yet. Are we closer than in the past? Yes. Are some men discriminated against solely based on gender? Sure. But even here in the U.S., where you have entire swaths of men complaining of being oppressed by feminists and the like, in every power arena, be it political, corporate leadership, religious leadership, etc., men still outnumber women in leadership positions by a large margin.
    As far as the video goes, it’s kind of silly. Which was Evan’s point in posting it I guess. I’m not inclined to offer apologies for all the misdeeds of men throughout time and currently, mostly because it really doesn’t help much.
      

  18. 38
    Shelagh

    That kinda ticks me off that women were saying the men sounded more like women than men. Really? After all the crap women bitch about? About how men aren’t sensitive enough for us, and they go and do this as an act of expressional regret so to speak and they mock them? Well to those same women, I don’t want or care to hear or read about their complaining anymore. You ruin men. Here’s why you’re single. Period. A man can be a man and occasionally lose face from time to time. Man, woman, we’re all human.

  19. 39
    Andrew

    “True gender equality just isn’t here yet.”
    That would actually be a terrible thing for women. Google “workplace fatalities”. Do women really want equality with death jobs?

  20. 40
    Jadafisk

    “That kinda ticks me off that women were saying the men sounded more like women than men. Really? After all the crap women bitch about? About how men aren’t sensitive enough for us, and they go and do this as an act of expressional regret so to speak and they mock them? Well to those same women, I don’t want or care to hear or read about their complaining anymore. You ruin men. Here’s why you’re single. Period. A man can be a man and occasionally lose face from time to time. Man, woman, we’re all human.”
      
    You realize all women aren’t the same, right? Some think men should be more sensitive, and some don’t. They also usually have corresponding ideas about women and acceptable levels of gender role adherence. There are women who think men shouldn’t cry and women should stay in the kitchen. They want… (shocker) different men than the women who believe different things.
      
    “That would actually be a terrible thing for women. Google “workplace fatalities”. Do women really want equality with death jobs?”
      
    Doesn’t matter. Societal burdens should be shared. Also, the availability of jobs like those are a significant reason for the disparity in poverty levels between H.S. educated men and women. All in all, equality is a sweet deal for everyone.

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