- sriram ananth (firstname.lastname@example.org)
First things first. I got an opportunity to write this article as a contributor to Lifehack. However a white male editor felt like it was “too heavy handed” and rejected it outright (go figure).
I’m like – meh – I can now publish it on my own blog.
So here goes…
I must start with an honest introduction. I am a man and thus acutely conscious of the fact that I am writing about structures of oppression that I benefit from, like misogyny, patriarchy, and heteronormativity. But that’s not why I jumped at the opportunity to write this article. You see, I have always known from a very young age that the overwhelming amount of love, freedom, healing, intelligence, strength, courage, and spiritual liberation that I have been privileged to have is because of the women and trans people in my life. The number of men that have provided any of that to me are a mere handful, a tiny fraction of the women and trans people who have done the same for me. I have talked about this with many, many people – in my community, among my loved ones, my friends and acquaintances – men, women, and trans alike. They all come back, in an uncannily uniform way, with the same answer – love, freedom, healing, and goodness in general come from the women and trans people in their lives (exceptions notwithstanding), while most of the violence, abuse, and oppression come from the men (again, and I repeat, exceptions notwithstanding). Go ahead and examine your own life, and you’ll realize why women and trans people should never, ever, apologize for being the superior part of humanity. But let’s not settle on easy platitudes. Here are a few reasons why women and trans people are superior to men and should never apologize for it (bearing in mind that this is not an exhaustive list by any means).
Never apologize for being more loving and nurturing human beings than men: Think of all the times in your life when you have received love, healing, affection, a nurturing touch, boundless care, or a soothing balm for your pain and suffering – from the time of our birth, the overwhelming majority of that loving, nurturing spirit comes to us from the women in our lives, and rarely from the men. And as we start fighting for a truly gender-liberated society, we realize that they come to us from the women and trans people of our communities. After all, the fight against the oppression of the gender binary is absolutely vital for true gender liberation to take place. Love and a healing way of living is what makes us human and it is what gives us a chance at living in communion with the earth and animals, rather than trying to ravage them for profit. We owe women and trans people our very lives and more for showing us the way forward to true happiness and freedom as a society with their loving, nurturing spirits.
Never apologize for being greater freedom-fighters and peacekeepers than men: The last few millenia saw the advent of agriculture, the nation-state, capitalism, and organized religion with distinctly male gods, prophets, and leaders. The history of the last few millenia can also be summarized thus – Women and trans people do the work of laying the foundations for freedom and peace in societies worldwide; Men take the credit and then mess things up. A current pop culture example can be found in the justifiable castigation of the 2015 eponymous film about the awe-inspiring Stonewall uprisings which were inspired by the heroic actions of queer women and trans people, many of whom were people of color. The film’s hero is a fictitious white male who is shown to lead the uprisings. Figure out what’s wrong with that picture for yourselves. In terms of less momentous examples – think of the people in your life who curbed your freedom, limited your independence, and imparted violence or abuse upon you – in your daily life, your past, your childhood, your youth, your adulthood. If folks can get past the endless neural loop of blaming their mother, I am certain that the majority of people will realize that men are the primary violators of basic human rights. Life facts don’t lie. Women and trans people are far superior freedom fighters and are the true peacekeepers of the earth.
Never apologize for being smarter and more intelligent than men: Think of all the skills we use on a daily basis – and I’m not just talking about the skills needed for your job or career, thought it includes that. I’m talking about the mental, emotional, and physical skills for life starting from birth – the way we think, react, move, talk, process, solve problems, understand the world, become ourselves, build a community, fight the good fight and so on – from the time of our birth, the overwhelming majority of those skills come to us from the women in our lives. The reason is not that hard to fathom. We live in a patriarchal, sexist world – women and trans people have to be far superior to men in pretty much every way just to stand a chance at having some independence and freedom in their life choices. Women and trans people work much harder than men. Women and trans people use many more parts of their brain than men do. Women and trans people have a greater sense of the sheer length, breadth, and depth of life than men do. So make no mistake about it – women and trans people are smarter and more intelligent than men.
Never apologize for being braver warriors and more indomitable fighters than men: For a very brief period in my twenties I was part of a semi-underground, revolutionary group that fought against injustice and oppression in central India. While I found them to be inspiring and valiant, they were too dogmatic for me, so I left and have since embraced the idea that freedom in society ought to be brought about organically and non-violently (though with no less brave confrontation against injustice). This group had an armed wing, one which I was not a part of since I was involved as a city-based organizer. But I was privileged to meet some of the fighters, and what surprised me was the higher percentage of women in the group, including some who actively broke the oppression of the gender binary. They were the best fighters, the best squad leaders, the best strategists, and the toughest warriors. The higher-rung leaders of the group (mostly men unfortunately) preferred female fighters and leaders because the women had to sacrifice a lot more to join, and would face a lot more violence, abuse, even death, if they left the struggle and went back home. Once I left India, I did some extensive research into liberation movements worldwide, armed and unarmed, and the findings were astounding. Women and trans people were the best fighters and organizers because they knew the injustices of society in the most in-depth way. And that’s true anywhere in the world, with any society, movement, or group.
Never apologize for being better healers and educators than men: Now, I know that doctors and university professors tend to still be professions having a phallic-predilection, with an astounding paucity of women and trans people (though thankfully that’s slowly changing). But, in reality, the true healing and education of humanity is almost solely done by women and trans people. First of all, barring overpaid doctors and ivory tower intellectuals, the professional fields of health and education easily constitute 70-80% women. Nurses, teachers, social workers, counselors, therapists, healers, practitioners, case managers and more – the work is done overwhelmingly by women (and as the gender binary regression in society breaks down, trans people too), while men dominate the positions that are overpaid and provide stardom. Even in the more elite sections of the fields, women and trans doctors or professors tend to be far more caring and nurturing to their patients and students. Outside of the professional fields – in our homes, communities, and social lives – it becomes even more obvious who the true healers and educators of humanity are.
Never apologize for being more emotionally resilient and mentally tougher than men: My goddess of a partner is currently pregnant with our first child. She’s going through fatigue and nausea, the likes of which I can barely even fathom. If I went through a fraction of what she went through, I would be a whiny crybaby. She is exponentially tougher than I or any man I know. Throughout my life, my partner, my mother, my sisters, my aunts, and women and trans friends life have always provided me with emotional strength and mental fortitude when it was found lacking in me. As I started truly understanding the patriarchy and sexism around us, apart from the need for self-reflection and the removal of internalized oppression, it has also highlighted some very important truths – one of them being that women and trans people are far more emotionally resilient and mentally tougher than men. We would do well to heed that.
Never apologize for having a more liberated soul and greater spiritual grounding than men: The previous points all had real life examples and mini exercises that highlighted the truth to what I was saying. This point is all soul, so it’s more a believe-it-or-not kind of thing. Ever since I committed with my heart and mind, and most importantly, my soul, to following what I call the spirit of the gender-free divine feminine, life has never been better for me. It’s really simple to do that as a man. I’m not talking about some hoaky religious custom (though if you’re into that, it’s all good). It’s actually a very practical real-life suggestion despite being a point about spirituality. Just follow and adhere to the knowledge, the emotional depth, and the spiritual grounding of the women and trans people in your life. You will know a happiness far superior than anything you ever imagined.
Never apologize for being humanity’s one and only hope: This article is redundant. Indeed, the very fact that this article actually needs to be written is a grotesque testament to the misogyny, patriarchy, and heteronormativity across the globe. Thus this final point is nothing more than a semi-rant, mostly aimed at my fellow cis-men. Not only is there nothing for women and trans people to apologize for, all men across the globe would be irredeemably stupid if they failed to accept the leadership, wisdom, and nurturing guidance of the women and trans people in their lives in order to come out of this gargantuan mess we call the human civilization.
Gender-free matriarchy anyone? I know I’m game.
[PS: If you liked this post, you might also be interested in this podcast entitled “Honoring the gender-free divine feminine“: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dayinthelifeofthehappiestguy/2015/09/26/honoring-the-gender-free-divine-feminine–podcast-14]