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Why More Men Need To Stand With Women

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The recent conversation we had this week on this website about Santa Barbara killer Elliot Rodger opened my eyes to some issues that I probably should have thought about more before this.

One of the biggest issues is that it is almost taboo for a man to speak out for equality or stand with women against violence or abuse. Many of you probably have seen the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter, which is being used for women to express their experiences with harassment in many different forms. Some men chimed in with their surprise at just how many women have been abused or mistreated…by other men.

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Running a website like this, I have gotten an extraordinary amount of feedback because I am a man. A man writing articles on how he believes men should act in life and in relationships will be seen much differently than a woman who writes the same exact article. I could have published many of the same things under a female name and I would’ve been seen as a “feminazi” or “just another woman tired of how men act.”

Why? Why is this? Because our society has perpetuated the dismissal of women who challenge men to be better, partly because men don’t stand with them when it comes to “women’s issues.” Here’s a reality check: There would be no “women’s issues” like sexual abuse or domestic violence, if it weren’t for the men who were actually causing this harm. So, whose issue is it, really?

Of course there are abusive women and men who are abused, too. In fact, there are also many societal pressures on men that prevent them from speaking out – but nobody thinks so because we don’t talk about those, either. I was actually asked on Twitter if I was gay because my Elliot Rodger piece was “the most feminist thing” from a dude, ever. Well…considering feminism is defined as equality between men and women, I don’t see the problem.

But, why is this “gay?” Why does standing up for women and bringing these issues to light make people think that you are sexually attracted to other men? What a ridiculous, nonsensical thought to even go through somebody’s head…but it still happens. In 2014 it still happens – and if more men would stand up and voice their disapproval of other men being misogynistic, abusive, sexist or oppressive…maybe more people would listen.

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We cannot stay quiet when our sisters, mothers, daughters, cousins, and friends are being harassed. When our girlfriends have been harassed or abused in the past. When our peers and fellow men are the ones doing the abusing. It should cause absolute outrage in us. It is unacceptable.

This is not the time for dismissal of these issues. This is not the time to remain quiet for fear of other men looking at you funny. This is not the time to sit passively in your corner because you don’t want to be a blue fish in a pink ocean.

Gentlemen, this is the exact time when we need to stand together. We need to create a society of collaboration between men and women instead of conflict. We need to be the ones who say “not cool, man” when another guy makes the wrong kind of jokes about women, because if a woman says it, he will just dismiss her. It’s sad, but it’s true.

We need to be the ones who start the conversation among ourselves that women have been trying to have with us for centuries. We need to be willing to ask ourselves what being “masculine” really means. What is it to be a MAN? Does it mean acting superior to our equals? Making jokes about staying in the kitchen or bringing us a sandwich while we chug Bud Lights during the football game and grunt with our friends?

Please.

This is no longer about Elliot Rodger. This is about the other men out there who think like him, because there are plenty. The other men who think they are entitled to a woman, or that they “deserve” a date because they performed some act of kindness. The other men who think they should make decisions for women. The men who are the reason women don’t feel safe walking alone at night.

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This is about the men who make us, as boyfriends, nervous when our girlfriend is somewhere alone. The men who make it so women need a “fake boyfriend” with them because a woman’s “no” isn’t as effective as another man’s presence.

Let us set examples for our younger generations. Let us set examples for our generation, and the generations older than us. Let us be the ones who alter the course of history by saying enough is enough. Now is the time for change, and let us be the ones who bring it about.

_______________________________________

Click here to connect with me on Twitter -> [twitter-follow screen_name=’JamesMSama’]

Click here to join the discussion on Facebook.

Click here for the New Chivalry Movement.

35 Comments

  1. lilchef212010 on May 30, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Thank you.

    • To James on May 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

      SHORT VERSION: You omit the fact both women and men have flaws by stating all the wrongdoings of men, but entirely overlooking the equal wrongdoings of women. Both sexes are flawed in every way, but the fact that you only show one side of the coin proves you are a bad writer, and have no deeper insight then any average commenter.

      God.. you Sir, are a hack of a writer. Are you even formally trained? Or are you just someone from Boston that thinks because you have a web domain with your picture, it makes your “opinions” in any way insightful, or useful. Because from what I can see, they aren’t. I see a person giving lazy, face-value, one sided answers to complex problems. I’m sure you think you gotten yourself to believe that your opinions are great, and make bold statements that people too lazy to investigate things further can just jump on and agree/ disagree with.

      You know what a good writer/ journalist does? They look at things from both perspectives. They look into the causes and less into the results. You are not that writer. Your advice, or whatever you want to call it, is stilted and just trying to keep in line with your other articles, regardless of the complexities of different issues. You give a bullshit, cookie-cutter answers to complex events, and guess what? You May Not Have the right answer.

      I can basically prove all of this, within this one article you’ve written. All I need to do is ask you:

      -You make several points about the wrong behaviors and attitudes with men, but not once mention wrong behaviours and attitudes with women. Knowing that women and men are both human, flawed and imperfect, where, Mr. James Michael Sama, are the points on women?? Are there Zero that you’ve mentioned?

      With this you are making the statement that women are without flaws. Therefore, you are wrong, Mr. James Michael Sama. Because women are equally capable of day to day poor behaviour, up to horrendous acts extreme as extreme Elliot Roger, because again, we are ALL flawed humans. You do not give a complete picture, you see. I feel bad for those who read your post and think you somehow have a better understand of things than them, because you clearly don’t.

      • James Michael Sama on May 30, 2014 at 10:38 am

        Hi Chris,

        Thanks for your input and taking your valuable time to read my articles. Formally trained? No, I am a guy from Boston who started a personal blog to give his opinions, just the same as 60 million other people on WordPress. Never have I claimed otherwise.

        As a new reader, I don’t expect you to have knowledge of all of my articles. Perhaps these few examples will address your accusation of never mentioning women:

        http://jamesmsama.com/2014/02/18/5-things-making-women-less-ladylike/

        http://jamesmsama.com/2013/07/11/where-have-the-ladies-gone-class-and-the-modern-woman/

        http://jamesmsama.com/2014/03/19/most-girls-arent-ready-for-a-good-man/

        http://jamesmsama.com/2013/11/11/6-reasons-youre-still-single-part-1-girls/

        There are more, but forgive me for not taking too much of my time looking them up for you.

        I believe in this very article I do say that women also abuse men, do I not? I don’t ever remember saying that women are without flaws. Those are your words, not mine – sir.

        Nevertheless, thanks again for taking your time to read the personal opinion blog of some kid from Boston who just wants to get his thoughts out into the world.

        Best,

        – James



      • erika on May 30, 2014 at 11:10 am

        I can honestly say I’m baffled at your long winded, and often repetitive response to this article. Obviously you have not read other articles written by James, and you seem to be of the mold in which he speaks in this very article….

        As a woman myself, I find that I often need to be on the defensive when men approach me because I’m afraid that my “no” response will often be met with anger or hostility that I’ve dared turned a man down. As a survivor of molestation from my father, raped as a teenager and then my ex husband who wanted me to be a submissive wife in every aspect, I say that James article is exactly what this country needs to hear.

        When men sit idly by and watch as other men harass women in any way, they are saying it’s okay when in fact it’s not. Women have these wonderful things called instincts, and we need to use them to our full advantage when it comes to men. So many times I’ve had men approach me, men that I don’t feel comfortable about, and I feel the need to tell them “I have a boyfriend” or “I’m married” just to get them to back off, even when it’s not true, because again, I don’t want to be a victim to a man’s anger again (see above).

        James never mentions that women are without flaws. He often says in his articles that no one is perfect, and as a society we need to stop expecting “perfection” that doesn’t exist.

        While I may not agree with every single thing he writes, I try and see it from his point of view. He’s not trying to lead people down a dark path, he’s trying to help people be better people, better versions of themselves. Which leads me to ask you: What in the world is wrong with trying to help people be better versions of themselves?



      • Steve Horsmon on May 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

        James doesn’t need anyone to come to his defense, but I can’t resist commenting.

        Your juvenile comments and lack of research on the balance in James’ articles is typical of a young man who has not yet chosen what he stands for….typical of a man who blames others for how he feels. He is a man who has yet to grow up.

        James has a world view about personal accountability for both sexes and isn’t ashamed to write about it in many forms.

        Any man who feels pressured or offended by being urged to think, speak, and act as a better man is a big baby. Yeah, I called you a name.

        Sure, we’re all flawed. That never means that men cannot first address their own behavior before seeing it in others. We surround ourselves with those who share our values and remove those from our life who don’t.



      • Dyann on May 30, 2014 at 1:42 pm

        This response speaks to the fact that “To James” doesn’t have any understanding as to what the writer, James Sama, is sharing…

        As a woman, I find great hope and solace in many of the words that James writes. It’s comforting to know there are some men who are doing their best to be respectful of women and honor us for our differences.

        Women want to give to men in the best ways possible, but not when we feel objectified, condescended to and disregarded. Unfortunately, too many men have become accustomed to and expect other men to treat women with insolence because we “deserve it” or we need “to know who’s boss.”

        I say, “Keep writing James! Thank you for your perspective and the effort it takes to keep putting it out there for us all to read!”

        I always look forward to a new article from you in my inbox….



      • Melissa on May 30, 2014 at 4:27 pm

        Sorry dude, but this isn’t about you. You obviously are missing the point if you’re just going to turn this around and make it about you/your gender. It’s very telling of your mindset.



      • Ashley on May 30, 2014 at 8:50 pm

        Of course women have flaws, and as a matter of fact, James has given advice to women on ways they can improve themselves as well. This just happens to be an article on giving advice to men. However, it doesn’t have to exclude women. I like this blog because he’s one of the few male bloggers I know that knows how to point out flaws of both men and women and do it respectfully. A lot of other blogger lack that ability. He gives his own opinion, but since he’s a very successful man in many ways, I think a lot of people want to listen to what he has to say. I have learned a lot from him.



    • Margarita on June 1, 2014 at 2:11 am

      Whatever to the obviously man who is NOT a a gentlemen what is it Chris something….

      Mr. Sama you are to be applauded for a Voice so strong, courageous and women should act the same when they are bashing and abusing men perhaps then we shall go back to an era of being Ladies and Gentlemen… Thank you keep on keeping on
      Peace to you

    • Robert Talbot on June 20, 2014 at 9:29 am

      What is the point of this article….. To bash men, or to paint women as victims?

      Our society has broken down into nurture-less society. Men and women both work 50 plus hours a week and loads of responsibilities when they get home, so it doesn’t leave much time for a caring attitude.

      Maybe just maybe we need to start focusing on what really matters. Living life and enjoying it.

      If we’re are miserable with our lives and ourselves, we only have one person to blame.

      Peace and Love,

      Robert

  2. Richard on May 30, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I never thought of myself as a blue fish in a pink ocean but I guess that’s where I live and it’s sad but true. I’ve taught my son the same values and he has instilled them in his daughters and step daughters, this won’t change the world but it’s a start. James, thank you again for the worsd you speak and the truth behind them.

    • Dyann Bridges on May 30, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Actually Richard, your efforts can change the world. You may not realize just how far your singular chivalrous acts can reach. On behalf of women everywhere… Thank you.

  3. vaughtgn on May 30, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Thank you.

  4. CL Mannarino on May 30, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Thank you.

  5. Holly on May 30, 2014 at 10:13 am

    James, you are truly amazing and I thank you so so SO very much for striving to make it better for females and males equally. I am so glad that there are people, gentlemen, such as yourself. Thank you for all that you write and express freely about. Thank you for giving women hope, and thank you for moving towards a new chivalrous movement within this generation. We need it desperately and I thank you 1000 times!

    Warmest Regards,
    Holly

  6. Leah on May 30, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Thank you. You give me hope.

  7. questforahusband on May 30, 2014 at 10:21 am

    This is a big movement. A huge challenge, but it would be incredible to see a shift in society. TV shows model behavior of men being dismissive of women and women being disrespectful of men. A lot of our parents aren’t great examples causing a need to rewire our own brains. There are layers and layers.

    I remember when my ex-husband had an affair and I was talking to my dad about it. I expected my father to be angry. I’m his daughter. If it were my daughter, I would be angry. He wasn’t, his response was dismissive and he said. He’s a guy. That’s what happened. I almost fell over, but it changed how I saw me. Suddenly I wasn’t worthy enough in my fathers eyes, there was no way I would be worthy enough in anyone else’s either.

    Fortunately, I have had a shift and no longer feel that way, but I am far from the only woman who has a painful mark due to an influential man on her heart.

    A change in how we choose to view each other and treat each other is so very needed!

    Awesome truths in this article James!

    • Little Miss Menopause on May 30, 2014 at 11:01 am

      I am stunned at your father’s response to that situation. Although now that I think of it, when I reported back some disturbing gender incidents that were quite appalling for me as a young girl, I was also told “boys will be boys” by my own Dad. I am glad to read you worked beyond that.

  8. chris on May 30, 2014 at 10:28 am

    SHORT VERSION: You omit the fact both women and men have flaws by stating all the wrongdoings of men, but entirely overlooking the equal wrongdoings of women. Both sexes are flawed in every way, but the fact that you only show one side of the coin proves you are a bad writer, and have no deeper insight then any average commenter.

    God.. you Sir, are a hack of a writer. Are you even formally trained? Or are you just someone from Boston that thinks because you have a web domain with your picture, it makes your “opinions” in any way insightful, or useful. Because from what I can see, they aren’t. I see a person giving lazy, face-value, one sided answers to complex problems. I’m sure you think you gotten yourself to believe that your opinions are great, and make bold statements that people too lazy to investigate things further can just jump on and agree/ disagree with.

    You know what a good writer/ journalist does? They look at things from both perspectives. They look into the causes and less into the results. You are not that writer. Your advice, or whatever you want to call it, is stilted and just trying to keep in line with your other articles, regardless of the complexities of different issues. You give a bullshit, cookie-cutter answers to complex events, and guess what? You May Not Have the right answer.

    I can basically prove all of this, within this one article you’ve written. All I need to do is ask you:

    -You make several points about the wrong behaviors and attitudes with men, but not once mention wrong behaviours and attitudes with women. Knowing that women and men are both human, flawed and imperfect, where, Mr. James Michael Sama, are the points on women?? Are there Zero that you’ve mentioned?

    With this you are making the statement that women are without flaws. Therefore, you are wrong, Mr. James Michael Sama. Because women are equally capable of day to day poor behaviour, up to horrendous acts extreme as extreme Elliot Roger, because again, we are ALL flawed humans. You do not give a complete picture, you see. I feel bad for those who read your post and think you somehow have a better understand of things than them, because you clearly don’t.

  9. Little Miss Menopause on May 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

    As usual, this was brilliantly written and as the mother of two gay 21 year old twin sons, I am constantly being asked if their nice/respectful behavior toward girls while growing up was one of my first indications that they were gay? What????? Thank you for visiting my blog btw and looking forward to more insights right here.
    Stephanie

  10. erlenstar on May 30, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Chris, the article I read, DID mention that women also do the same thing so not sure what you are referring to. If you read his other posts, he has articles on women and men. As a woman, I like this blog because I agree with most articles including this one but will mention that I also think that women should not put themselves in positions that attract bad behavior either. We, as women, need to project the image we want the guys to have and promote good behavior and stand up for bad behavior. Too many women have the same sense of entitlement that they are ‘owed’ something because they are beautiful or were hurt in the past. This has been my issue meeting a good man. I am pretty(so the guys tell me), stable, no drama, can cook and like to do outdoors stuff and have no baggage but for some reason men are intimidated by this and would rather go out with the girl you always hear them complaining about who spends all their money and is non-appreciative! From my perspective it is because the men are all in a contest to see who has the hottest girlfriend/wife instead of being with someone you are really happy with! Quit worrying about what your friends think and think for yourself! I would rather be single and happy then conform to what the other men and women are doing out there. Thus why I like these articles, because there needs to be a shift on both ends if anything is going to get better and this article happened to be about the men’s side. Keep writing great articles!

  11. ashokbhatia on May 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Good points here.
    Wonder if you have come across this post:
    http://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/women-in-trousers-men-in-skirts/

    • James Michael Sama on May 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Thanks! I have not, actually – but I will give it a read. Thanks for sending it my way.

      – James

  12. NE.Perkins on May 30, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    There would be no “women’s issues” like sexual abuse or domestic violence, if it weren’t for the men who were actually causing this harm. – Well stated and a truthful post I am grateful for. Thank you. I wrote a blog with statistics and a couple articles here: http://neperkins.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/yesallwomen/

  13. Dyann Bridges on May 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Reblogged this on The Body House and commented:
    OK… here’s another great post from James Michael Sama. Guys please read this and find a way to put to rest any hostility you may have toward women. We women are not perfect but, we need you guys on our side!!! Let’s improve together!

  14. Drew Long on May 31, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    James,

    I could not agree with you more. This is why I penned the “Fierce Gentleman Manifesto” back in September of 2013.

    I hope you (and your readers) will take a moment to read it. I firmly believe the responsibility for creating a better world lies with us – so I hope you’ll join us, if you feel so moved.

    http://www.fiercegentleman.com/manifesto/

  15. WildMexicanRose on May 31, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Thank you! Great article!

  16. Albert Qian on May 31, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    So I am curious then, James, because I’ve read your posts and have asked you questions on Facebook and have been ignored — with the only time ever getting a response when we’ve argued about the cost of dinner in ratio to the type of date you’re on (which I admit, was kind of entertaining).

    I want to hear you write about how chivalry, dating, and courtship are all connected. Inherently speaking the act of courtship happens because one is attracted to another, and desires their company. Loosely looking at that definition, company could be anything from having dinner together to dating to hooking up, with chivalrous acts as the act of courtship. Tightly looking at that definition, I’m not sure where to begin because if we approach it that way, we all have a little bit of Eliot in us. We all want to be wanted, to be loved, to have the physical, emotional connection. The few who do get it are looked upon as amazing.

    So where then, do you draw the line between “wanting” and say, a rightful desire? Where do the ethics of dating fall into place, since they are so unspoken, now brought out by the killings of Eliot Rodger? While none of us deserve to have sex, to be in a relationship, since such a privilege is earned, how does chivalry serve as the answer? Opening a door for someone when you are single does not warrant a relationship. Neither does helping someone study, listening intently, making someone feel secure either. Those are things people should do for each other regardless whether they are dating or not.

    I feel like at the end of this whole conversation, there’s no more room left in even advocating people date, because saying that you desire someone sounds like a guilty thing to do.

    Interested to hear your response.

  17. Nikki Babie on June 2, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Reblogged this on THE OFFICIAL NIKKI BABIE BLOG.

  18. […] people don’t usually publicize. While harassment is unacceptable and I have written exactly why more men need to stand with women (please, read it), I believe it’s important to keep the reigns on this conversation and not […]

  19. Basani on June 4, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Reblogged this on C4-Suite and commented:
    Building the road to gender equality one blog at a time.

  20. […] relationships if we do not appreciate every human nuance of the people we are building them with. More men need to stand with women and chance these […]

  21. curtaincollections.com on June 13, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any recommendations?

  22. […] This article was originally seen on James Sama’s Blog […]

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