July 18, 2019 | 81° F

Gender equality should focus on empowerment

The article that was run in the Targum on Feb. 5 concerning “manslamming” might as well have been called “manbashing.” The article seeks to portray men as entitled and careless of others in an experiment that was clearly agenda driven. The name “manslamming” leaves little doubt to the goal of the “experimenter” in this case. She seems to believe that men are entitled because they did not get out of her way on the sidewalk as often as women did. This apparently shows that men are aggressive beasts who feel entitled over women. The woman who decided to perform this experiment had no numbers to report, and only studied the interaction of people with herself. Before you go making these kinds of offensive claims about how men are bad, one should examine the interactions of men with other men and women with other women on the street instead of focusing so wholeheartedly on men vs. women. Perhaps, men bump into each other just as much as they bump into women? Are they still putting women down in that case? Instead of going out to see if you can make men look bad, maybe you should conduct an experiment with an open mind?

This article offended me, because the “male privilege” the article identified as an issue becomes a double standard. The women in the experiment implied that men should get out of her way on the sidewalk, because that’s what women do. Maybe if she had studied how many men and women offer to hold the door for her or give up their seat on public transportation, she would have found some different results. But who wants to post an article that reads, “Man gives up seat, shocking nobody”?

If gender equality is what you are after, I’m all for it. There is without a doubt a very real gender gap in our country that deserves to be addressed. That is not the same as running articles with shoddy “experiments” that claim men are aggressive and will take advantage of you because they feel privileged. Instead of complaining about “microaggression” and telling males there’s something wrong with them, why don’t you try building up females? Spend your time and energy doing something constructive to help women instead of doing something destructive to men. Empowering women, affording them the same rights and opportunities, can lead to gender equality — not putting men down. “Manslamming” doesn’t help anybody. Elevating women is, instead, a worthwhile effort. This sentiment is summarized in the quote from Michael P. Watson, “Strong people don’t put others down ... They lift them up.”

Anthony Horten is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in exercise science.

Anthony Horten

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