[content warning: rape, rape culture, misogyny, misogynoir, street harassment]
@Crommunist shared some really important tweets about this “men are hunters” crap that gets used to justify everything from street harassment to rape. I really appreciate his commentaries on rethinking masculinity outside of a patriarchal framework. Here he conveys how male self-hatred and devaluation in patriarchy is what would make such a description justifiable to a man. Clearly patriarchal thinking harms men as well; it justifies them dehumanizing themselves as an excuse to harm women and be oppressive.
A Black woman and mutual follower on Twitter recently described a street harassment experience (and of course I can relate to this, as you know) and a Black man replied to her about men being “hunters” and that she shouldn’t take street harassment (at night no less) personal. What?
See, the “hunter” thing is an especially dangerous perspective for Black men to take on. While doing so might make them feel like “peers” with patriarchal White men, because of racism and the history of dehumanization of Black men’s bodies and masculinity, the “hunter” thing simply becomes the “brute” controlling image type. And despite the fact that White men basically sexually assault White women with impunity, Black men still remain the face of the rapist in society while the face of the victim/survivor is always a White woman. Nevermind that the actual reality of violence that Black men inflict on Black women is erased by the aforementioned racist conception or that with the exception of Native women (who White men primarily rape, in addition to White women), most rape occurs intraracially anyway.
Men who ascribe to this cruel dehumanization of themselves to justify violence against women as “natural” need to think about why they think this is okay. They say this so effortlessly which of course reveals patriarchal socialization. It doesn’t get any easier to hear and worse is when they say it while women are recounting street harassment/sexual assault experiences and seeking support among other women online. Derailing women speaking about abuse to justify the abuse in any way is also abuse.