Over this past weekend two very interesting videos have appeared in my content stream, both of them presenting some really powerful dramatisation of what it would be like if men were treated as women, by women acting more like men. I don’t know if they’ve gone air-borne as a result of the Santa Barbera shooting or just by coincidence, but here they are.
The first video is a French (subtitled in English) short film using all actors. There’s some loud music running the first 45 seconds – you won’t miss anything by skipping ahead. The video is over 10 minutes long, but don’t let that put you off – press play and I’m quite sure you will watch to the end!
Note: there is some nudity but it’s done very tastefully and adds to the impact of the story.
As a male, this really gives me some insight into what it’s like to be a woman – and I know that women aren’t attacked every time they go to work and not all men are pigs, but the reality is that the world is largely dominated by the physically stronger gender and for a woman to simply exist among them and their relentless desire – as a woman I think I would very quickly become agoraphobic. Show this one to the men in your life.
Because getting cat-called at while walking down the street at 8 a.m. is not a rare occurrence.
Because women are taught how to avoid being assaulted or harassed, rather than men being taught how to treat others with respect.
Very powerful stuff, perfectly and poetically stating what I was struggling to express in the preceding paragraph.
The second is quite a contrast to the first, turning the tables in much the same way but with an emphasis on male suffering. It uses actors on hidden cameras in a busy London park, pretending to argue, to see what people around them do.
More powerful stuff. The 40% figure really surprised me. It shouldn’t. I understand why it’s less spoken of. To be abused by a woman means the loss of any sense of strength or power or control, which is exactly what a woman feels if abused by a man. The difference is what happens when you tell someone about it, because the moment a man admits he was abused, male and female alike give him that look – some even say it outright: “What are you, a man or a mouse?”, “Grow a pair”, etc., and suddenly you’re weak in someone else’s eyes too.
By posting both of these perspectives I risk giving the impression that I’m trying to equate the suffering of male and female abuse victims, and actually I’m not sure I have a problem with that. Why? Because the reality is that gender has nothing to do with this. It’s not man vs woman, it’s abuser vs victim.
Bottom line: everyone should stand together in support of victims and defiance of abuse.