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Letter to the Editor: Constant violence directed at women highlight male privilege

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Late last week, I was extremely saddened to hear about the murder of Ohio State student Reagan Tokes. My heart aches for her family and everyone that knew and loved her.

With that said, I think this very sad and unfortunate event, among too many others before it, requires me to address the male privilege, for lack of better words, I face in this community, and the world at large.

Yes, I have parked my car more than once at this very same location and have left Bodega, where Reagan Tokes worked, at the same time or later as when this horrible crime happened. I love being out and about and driving around at night. Getting around Columbus and exploring, no matter what time of day or night, has been a great stress reliever for me over the past year in my very busy and stressful life. It’s an unquestionably necessary part of my love for cities and communities. As an urban planning student and busy professional, it’s quite often the only time I see the communities I’m directly impacting near and far. But I can do so because I feel mostly safe and wouldn’t think twice about being out and about at night.

It saddens me that we live in a world that because of one’s gender or sex, there is a dichotomy of freedom and safety. This most recent incident, along with countless other incidents before it, really leaves me wondering what can be done about the role of toxic masculinity in today’s world — which we see coming from a level as high as our world’s biggest leaders, to individuals we know and encounter in our daily lives.

I know as a male I possess an unfortunate and unequal power, but I also feel a lack of this power in our culture to facilitate change in the hearts and minds of so much I see in our community and around the world. The world is a broken place, and it’s going to be very hard to put it back together. I know I need to try harder to be the change. I know I haven’t done enough in my own life to address the many aspects of toxic masculinity, and throughout the past year, my eyes have been opened by thinking differently and much harder about these things.

Unfortunately, the discussions and actions needed to address gender inequality bring an unneeded stigma, have extremely large political implications and are not regarded as a “cool” or “manly” thing to discuss. The truth is, we still live in an extremely gendered world — one where many majors and degree programs are made up of a student enrollment of over 90 percent male students, but more importantly, one where women don’t feel safe to simply be who they are or do want they want to do in life.

Men can do so much to bring change, and it’s time for other men like me to speak up and bring a culture of change and equality for women in everything we do. Be fearless in support of everything you can do to create a safer and more equal world, because every woman should have the same power and abilities as I possess without any fear.

Joachim Bean
Graduate student in city and regional planning

8 comments

  1. This horrible crime had nothing to do with male privilege…the accused is a repeat criminal sex offender! This animal is a savage and should have been in jail for 20 years the first time. The judicial system failed this woman and her family. This predator will get his in the end but to be clear this crime had nothing to do with PRIVILEGE!! You disgust me trying to connect this crime to your Leftist view of the world.

    • Let Me Help You Out, Max

      Dear ‘Max,’

      You don’t know what you’re talking about, it’s obvious you don’t know what you’re talking about, and it’s also obvious that you’re so twisted up in this right vs. left shadow war that you don’t care if you understand what you’re talking about. Do you think it might be more dangerous for a woman to walk around alone at night than it is for a man? Is is more likely that a woman might be sexually harassed or attacked by a stranger? If so, then you believe ‘male privilege’ exists, too–you’ve just been trained to sputter every time someone uses that term. You don’t need to sign paperwork to accept this advantage–you just have to be a dude. And accepting it doesn’t mean you are bad, or that men are bad, or that it’s easy or simple to be a man. But denying it means that you believe the Department of Justice fabricates statistics. Sure, maybe the murderer shouldn’t have been released from jail–but how is that incompatible with the concept of ‘male privilege?’ Calm down, stop using block capital letters and exclamation points, learn something about a concept before you let it ‘disgust’ you, and maybe you’ll be able to make a compelling argument, rather than just conveying a lot of misdirected anger.

      • This was a senseless crime committed on an individual basis. The actions of criminals does not indicate “””””male privilege””””” because “male privilege” is a commentary on legal societal norms. Also being condescending doesn’t make your point valid, it makes you arrogant.

        • Oh, reeeeeeally, Andrew?

          Sorry I offended you, Andrew. I do have a habit of being condescending to people with poor written communication skills–it is my opinion that hyperbolic attacks, poor grammar and the typological equivalent of shouting at the top of your lungs all tend to indicate a lack of thoughtful engagement and a failure to grasp the nature of the rhetorical situation–but fair enough, none of my business if a random fake name on the internet wants to pitch a fit like a preschooler.

          TL;DR: If you want respect, don’t act like a child throwing a tantrum.

          More importantly, did you read the original letter? It’s not even about the criminal. It’s about the -fact- that women have more to fear when they walk around alone at night than men do. The entire point, which you are missing, is that it’s not a thing that you are necessarily ‘doing.’ This is not about blame–it’s about acknowledgement. It seems like you’re saying there’s no such thing as male privilege because it’s not a social norm for men to commit sexual violence against women. Agreed. It’s not. Did rape just disappear? Ahh. Well, then. I guess it’s still a thing.

  2. If the perp is male and black, why blame it on “toxic masculinity” and not “toxic blackness”? Funny how in leftist view projecting individual behavior on one type of group (males) is fine, but projecting onto another type of group (blacks) is a taboo.

  3. Confirmation Bias Sucks

    Considering that far more women commit infanticide compared to men, I’m waiting for your op-ed on the culture of toxic femininity…..oh wait, that would disrupt your sacred feminist worldview, wouldn’t it?

    Progressives, there’s a reason why so many are turning away from you…

  4. Sleepy Toxic Fem-Bot

    Because maleness is part of the dominant culture, and Blackness is not. And being part of the dominant culture is an advantage. If you’re really interested in discussing why I don’t think ‘Toxic Blackness’ is a fair term, I’ll do it, but if you’re just interested in pushing some kind of ‘Black people are bad’ type of message, I’ll just leave it at ‘race and gender are pretty different, don’t you think?’

    As for Bachelor #2, “Toxic Femininity,” exists, I’d say, but we don’t really have a female culture that embraces the joyful experience of having one’s uterus scraped (hi-five!), so I’m not sure you really have a grip on this terminology. If you want to write that op-ed, I’m sure the university community is clamoring for some masculine commentary on female reproductive rights, so by all means, lay it out for us. Personally, I am really over discussing abortion with people who can’t possibly have abortions, so until that sunny day, friend.

    • Confirmation Bias Sucks

      Hey Sweetie, notice I made NO references to abortion…NONE. That’s called “jumping to conclusions”. I am referring to the easily cited fact that women commit acts of infanticide and child violence on a greater scale than men do. But……you are a feminist after all, and facts that make your worldview of “evil cisgendered capitalistic white supremacy patriarchy made me do it” stand on shaky aren’t terribly popular with you.

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