The Dismantling-the-Patriarchy Cha-Cha

Click image for video


I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I think I’m doing both. On the surface, this is a hilarious uptake of the original video for women. …but it’s just *headdesk* 

Y’all… no.

This is the exact opposite of what we should be doing. Putting this much emphasis on testicles and their size, appearance, and the supposed importance thereof diminishes the multifaceted nature of who men are. It’s not just about the size of their cocks or the potency of their balls. When we make it all about that, then too many men feel the need to prove their manhood and their masculinity by imposing it on others. Imposing it on others.

This. Is. Rape. Culture.

This is supposed to be a joke, but I’m not laughing.

It’s a tongue-in-cheek look at supposedly trying to get men to accept themselves as they are and see the beauty in themselves so that there’s no need to prove themselves, but the video is too facile and shallow in construct. There’s not enough substance to really drive that point home. It is humiliating to be reduced to nothing but sexual potency in the form of testes. This is all the Patriarchy has given them? This is the only way they can express themselves and still have value? This is dismal. Grow some balls. What does that mean… There is an entire thesis waiting to be written about everything behind the way these men express emotion in this video, whether we think it could ever be authentic, how dismissive that is of men’s emotional states, how that keeps them boxed in, how that compacts them down into two-dimensional figures of sexual strength, the role of vulnerability in this video and how that vulnerability relates to the subject matter — both with respect to the physical tenderness of testicles and their need for protection and with respect to male emotionality and emotional expression.

What this video is also doing is poking fun at us women by parodying the attempt by the Dove True Beauty Campaign (linked above) to bolster our self-esteem because we’ve been shit on for 5000+ years and we’re really damn tired of it. While I have some questions and reservations about that Campaign, the fact remains that the Patriarchy has shit on both men and women for millennia but women are the ones who pay for it daily, with our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our spirits, and our lives. We live in fear of what men need to prove about their maleness and their virility, supposedly housed in those testicles. We live in fear because, far too often, they use us and our bodies to prove whatever it is they think they’re proving. Whatever it is that the Patriarchy has told them is important.

This production is emotionally stunted and not as helpful as it could be. It would be less stressful for all if we actually paid attention to the idea of whether a thing we create is truy useful and supportive for everyone who would see it (regardless of gender, sexuality, race, etc.) before putting the work into producing it because, frankly, I’m exhausted by crap like this. I’d rather be inspired to write, “YES! THIS IS HOW WE DO IT!” Rather than, “*headdesk* Noooooooooo……”

But I will recognize and acknowledge that this sort of thing IS helpful in that it gets me to think, to reflect, to analyze, and then to write about it here. Better to have bad examples of how not to do things than no examples at all, I suppose, because then we have some sort of direction to work with. It’s a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ sort of dance. This cha-cha is getting old for me. I am So Ready for a new dance full of forward motion. Nayyirah Waheed said it best: