Recently, one night I got a hankering for a Jones’s brand cream soda. I put on my pants and got in my truck, driving toward the nearest Shoppers Drug Mart to buy myself some flavoured sugar water.
A few streets from my place, a large billboard overlooks a busy intersection. The advertisement on it lately has been for a technical college, showing a trio of pretty young women wearing a mechanics overalls, a nurses uniform and construction workers get up of a hardhat and bright orange vest. The slogan was so dippy sounding piece of garbage (“Choose you career, choose to excel”). Having worked various blue-collar jobs in my life, it was a little amusing to see the college was pandering to the female demographic, since every trade-centered workplace I’ve ever been has been a complete sausage fest.
More Canadian soldiers (the vast majority men) have died from suicide than from combat in Afghanistan. When one female officer was killed early in the war, major news outlets all over the country stumbled over themselves to memorialize her. A veteran buddy of mine who got a medal for bravery in a fire fight is currently drinking and drugging himself to death, and in all likelihood he will kill himself or die in an accident within the next five years. I doubt the CBC or the Prime Minister will give him any acknowledgement.
My route took me by the city’s university. On the corner of another busy intersection, at the outskirts of the school’s sports field, several large banners had been strung up to advertise goings-on at the university. One had another smattering of pretty young women, with a few token ethnic males thrown in, saying classes were still available for sign up. Another beside it advertised the Take Back The Night Walk, a female-focused event where a horde of women and their male mascots walk around the city after night to prove that it’s safe for women to do so without getting raped, or something.
In the United States, men experience rape on a level comparable to women, to say nothing of the vast amounts of false rape accusations leveled at men, some of whom go to jail where they get to experience rape firsthand.
A few minutes later I pulled into the Shoppers Drug Mart parking lot, getting out and going to the entrance. On the door was a homemade poster, promoting a bake sale. All proceeds were going to go to the Woman’s Resource Centre. Behind, taking up the upper half of the wall in the entrance area, was a large mural of three different pictures. On one was a grandmother, mother, and daughter frolicking in a field of flowers; on another, a woman stands in a billowing field holding a towel out behind her with a look of serenity on her face; on the last, a guy laughing, staring lovingly at his woman who is in turn staring toward the camera, a smug smile on her face.
The usual mean-nothing-feel-good words underscored several of the pictures: Family. Life. Love. In a way, it’s almost like living in the great propaganda ages of the past, except instead of giant posters of lantern-jawed soldiers and immaculate war machines driving into the distance, underlined by the words VICTORY!! and SACRIFICE!!, I’m surrounded by images of smiling women, all ages and sizes, looking down on me.
Women overwhelmingly initiate divorce, and self destruct their families, with men suffering the financial ruin and government-mandated alimony and losing control of their children, regardless of how capably the mother can raise them.
I went inside the store, making my way toward the drink aisle. As I did so, the best of the 80’s blaring through the intercom cut out, and a smoky-voiced woman reminded Shoppers Drug Mart customers that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. She droned on about how many brave women would be subjected to the cancer in their lifetime, and how Shoppers Drug Mart supported these heroes, calling on us shitlord customers to do the same by donating to the cause and worshiping the women in our lives for living with the curse of having boobs that might one day sprout a tumor. When I reached the drink isle, finding my Jones cream soda, I saw that the drink company also supported Breast Cancer Awareness month by putting pink caps on their bottles.
Apparently September was Prostate Cancer Awareness month, but there weren’t any brown ribbons on display, nor any advertisements for it even though 233,000 men are anticipated be diagnosed with it, and there are fewer women expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer (232,570). Even the NFL, whose majority fan base is men, have the players don pink while remaining comparatively silent on prostate cancer.
So I picked up my pink-topped cream soda and went to the checkout line. I looked at the various magazine covers while waiting to pay. No male faces stared back at me, even though there were economic and business and general interest magazines on the rack. Maclean’s magazine was currently sporting a cover proclaiming REVENGE OF THE TEENAGE GIRL. Apparently the teenage femmes of today are going to finally knock down, once and for all, the insufferable patriarchy we all are chafing under. The teenage girls of today will grow up and single-handedly reverse the debaucherous hook up culture, completely equalize everything between the sexes and build a bridge across the bloody river so no one will ever again be kept out of Sto’Vo’Cor.
The two teenage girls in front of me were too busy on their iPhones to notice me leering at their bums, every supple contour of which was shown by their paper thin, body-clinging yoga pants. I could only assume they were too tuckered out from saving the world all day to take notice of their surroundings and had to leave their modesty pants at home.
The ongoing recession has been devastating only to men, who lost the majority of the jobs and have not managed to get them back. This is doubly destructive to men’s psyches, since 3 out of 4 women will not date an unemployed man.
I paid the female cashier for the soda, left the store and got into my car, driving home and listening to several female pop stars croon about their broken hearts and reckless nights, pleading for the callous men they debauched themselves with to love her even as she grows old and has literally nothing left to offer.
Soldier suicides get a passing mention in the main stream media: women writing articles in prestigious newspapers about the lack of men who match their narcissistic needs go viral and stimulate a massive public debate, replete with talk show appearances and more women writing similar articles. Fat, lazy, borderline retarded women write articles about the lack of handsome, rich, and otherwise perfect men refusing to date them and they receive an outpouring of sympathy and well-wishing from both sexes. I write an article mentioning that I can’t find an empathetic woman amongst the narcissistic, selfish creatures that constitute the female millennial and I receive emails wishing death upon me.
I got home, checked my texts. A girl I had been excited to see later that week blew me out, saying she doesn’t want to hang out any more. It was obvious that others whom I had been waiting to hear back from for days had ghosted and faded on me. Having no immediate prospects on the horizon, I flipped through the Tinder app, prostrating myself to be judged solely on my looks in the hopes that I might be judged worthy to have some mediocre physical intimacy flung my way to stave off the depression that comes with sex deprivation.
If this truly is a patriarchy we’re currently living in, all I can say is that I can’t wait for today’s teenage girls to grow up and guide us into a Matriarchal paradise. Judging by what I’ve seen of how a patriarchy works, under a matriarchy it will be men who are constantly celebrated and boasted up at the expense of the opposite sex. Because right now everywhere I turn and everything I see is all about women. Women being lauded in the news and magazines, women being celebrated on murals and in movies, women’s problems dominating the public discourse.
I fervently await the matriarchy’s coming. It’ll be nice not to be hated, belittled and held back simply because I was born with the wrong set of genitals. It’ll be nice to be able to have a public conversation about male concerns and worries without having to deal with a collective role of the eyes, and a snarky little mumble of: “Right, it’s sooo shitty being a man.”
It’ll be interesting to see how it feels to be treated like a human being for once, instead of simply as a sex toy, an ATM, a taxi driver, a faceless laborer, mere cannon fodder or an otherwise disposable asset whose sole existence is to make women’s lives even more comfortable. Being appreciated by the people and society you build and maintain… Wouldn’t that be somethin’?