Are confident women incapable of viewing men as human beings?
There’s a vile article by a blogger named Matt Forney making its way around the web recently that I refuse to link to because I don’t want to give him the satisfaction. The piece is called “The Case Against Female Self Esteem,” and while his ideas are hardly worth considering or engaging with, the conversation he brings up is an important one, so I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on his general theme and respond to some of his points in a broad way that I hope will be useful.
The first thing I’d say is that every human being has every reason to love him or herself. We are each blessed with a body, a brain, a heart, and the gift of life, and it may sound corny but we are each a treasure. We don’t earn respect through action, we deserve it from the get go (from ourselves and from others) because we are human beings. Civilized society is based on this notion, as well as the notion that we deserve the right to make our own choices and to love and be loved.
Secondly, there is a difference between insecurity and vulnerability. Insecurity is the tendency to question yourself, your qualities and your choices in an non-constructive way. Vulnerability is the amount that you let people into your heart and your world, the amount you let yourself care and be cared for. It isn’t always easy, but it is possible to be strong, confident, and secure as well as vulnerable. It’s what a lot of us are aiming for. You don’t have to choose between the two.
Thirdly, there are many definitions of success, and no one person has a monopoly on what it means. Any job or activity you partake in, no matter how conspicuous, that makes someone else’s life better in some way is important and worthy of praise.
The fourth thing I’d say is people are romantically and sexually attracted to other people for all kinds of reasons, some of them conventional and some of them unconventional, some healthy and some unhealthy. A man who is attracted to a woman solely because she is dependent on him, because she is nervous and intimidated by him, is not necessarily a healthy man, and is certainly not a standard-bearer for all men. And he’s probably not the kind of man that anyone I know would be all that into.
The fifth thing I’d say is evolution doesn’t explain everything about who we are and how we act, and those who have a mental illness or use prescription drugs shouldn’t be judged or written off in some overly simplistic theory of sexual politics.
And lastly, someone once said prejudice is the mistaken hate that arises when you think you understand a group of people better than they understand themselves. Some random blogger can spew a lot of disgusting ideas about a group of people, ideas that make sense to him and that explain or justify his own pitiful experience and obnoxious behavior, but that doesn’t make a single one of his ideas objectively true, or even worthy of consideration. Whether Matt Forney actually believes what he’s saying or not is irrelevant. In the end, he knows his words will cause others a lot of unnecessary misery, and only a weak excuse for a man with very little self-esteem himself would put them out there. Perhaps he should be put back in the yard where he belongs and dig up the bone he misplaced an hour ago. That bone might come in handy later if he gets hungry.
“The truth which makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.” – Herbert Sebastian Agar