Author A.R. Moxon has noticed that a lot of men don’t seem to “get” why women are “so angry” these days. So he’s decided to do something about it.
He invited men to engage in a little empathy-building exercise with him. He wanted men to be able to understand why women are so frustrated with how little progress has been made in terms of how we contend with sexual assault and violence in the US.
He told Bored Panda that he thinks men have been getting away with not being empathetic for too long:
Speaking on the societally-macro level, empathy has been largely a one-way street when it comes to gender roles and dynamics.
In my experience, women are empathetic toward men, while men tend not to be particularly empathetic toward women.
Put another way, women have to think about what men are feeling as a matter of survival.
Men aren’t in a similar situation, and so, if they don’t want to, they don’t. And, by and large, we don’t want to.
The impetus for A.R.’s empathy exercise was the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice.
It’s unfortunate that this kind of exercise even needs to be spelled out, but hopefully it has helped a few men understand how a lot of women feel.
He begins by likening getting kicked in the nuts to experiences women have had.
A.R. takes a lot of care to really provide examples that might make men relate to what some women have experienced.
A lot of women are told “boys will be boys,” as if that excuses any number of behaviors.
A lot of women also feel like men are constantly examining their bodies, and judging them by what they see, or expecting women to look a certain way to please a man.
Some women try to protect themselves from unwanted behavior and attention by changing how they dress.
And many women know other women who have experienced the same uncomfortable things that they have.
Many religious institutions instill shame into women from a young age, especially as it pertains to anything to do with their bodies.
Sometimes, women aren’t sure they can even trust the men that they’re in relationships with.
When women do confront men who have assaulted them, or even try to report the assault to authorities, they aren’t always treated well.
Women are also the ones who have to pick up the pieces after being assaulted, even though they are the victims.
A.R. then steers the conversation to Brock Turner.
Women also have to contend with men complaining that there’s a “witch hunt” afoot when women talk about sexual assault and violence.
Inevitably, the exercise turns toward a certain President of the United States.
When it comes to that particular POTUS, everything A.R. is hinting at is easy to Google and verify.
Then, A.R. begins to allude to the 2018 appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh was accused of assaulting Christine Blasey Ford, who went on to testify against him.
He’s simply asking men to put themselves in the shoes of women around the world, but it’s a tall order.
Of course, one thing that hasn’t been brought up so far is that sexual assault and violence can have lifelong consequences for women.
So, basically… it makes sense that women are a little mad these days, right?
A.R. also points out that an exercise like this shouldn’t be necessary, but somehow we’re in a world where it is.
What did you think of his empathy exercise? It’s pretty powerful.
Make sure you share this one and let us know what you think about it in the comments!