By Rich Karski, Contributor
I like to consider myself a male ally. Somebody who will vocally support my female friends in their quest for equality. But I cannot be that man today. For you see, I ate too much spaghetti. And my stomach really hurts.
I wish I could extol the virtues of feminism. I wish I could convince others to follow my example. I wish I had not eaten so much spaghetti.
I certainly wish I could take a stand against the violence that plagues women every day. Not only physical violence that women endure from spouses and strangers alike, but the verbal violence they on the street, or the harassment they face online for simply stating an opinion or attempting a joke. I wish I could stand against all those things, but my spaghetti greed has rendered me unable to stand at all.
I would love to stand up and address the wage gap. To speak out against the system of economic control that men have over women. To talk about how it is put in place to ensure that husbands have dominance over their wives, and attempts to force women back into the kitchen where the patriarchy assumes they belong. But it is I who is in the kitchen, doubled over with spaghetti-gut.
The world needs to hear more men denounce the objectification of women. To say that a woman’s looks do not determine their worth. To reinforce that nothing a woman wears makes her mine to ogle or harass or possess. Alas, all I possess at the moment is this dreadful spaghetti bellyache.
Men everywhere need to be told that words like “bitch,” “slut,” “whore,” and especially the c-word are entirely unacceptable. And I would be the man to tell them that, had I not been screaming mere seconds ago at all this spaghetti I got gurgling in my midsection.
If only all men could see the world the way I see it. If all men could accept that women should have agency over their bodies and that men would stop wasting their breath arguing against women’s reproductive rights. I will only use my breath to empower women. Whatever breath I have left at least, as the spaghetti seems to have worked its way into my lungs.
I am aware that some men may not be as strong as me. Some men may be so insecure that they need to hide behind the inherent societal advantages their gender provides them. For these men, an amount of spaghetti equal to what I have eaten would surely prove fatal. Yet here I am, merely blind.
Maybe, in a way, just knowing that I would participate in feminism is enough. After all, who am I trying to impress? My girlfriend? My sisters? My mother? I already tried to impress them. They just got mad that there was no spaghetti left and said I ruined dinner. Luckily, as a feminist, I understand that women are complicated.
Now that I have had time to reflect, this is the perfect metaphor for feminism. I ate all the spaghetti, like women are doing all the feminism. What they need is more strong, handsome men to help them make feminism happen. Much like I need strong, handsome men to help me to the car and take me to the hospital.
Fear not, though. For when the strong and handsome men come to take me, I will convince them to take up our mutual cause. To use their strength to further the cause of women and to fight on the side of justice. They will be so impressed with my commitment that they will lift me onto their shoulders and parade me around as a hero, but hopefully not too fast because I’m still dealing with this very bad spaghetti mistake.
I implore you: weep not for me. There are women out there every single day, on the front lines, making sure that feminism gets done and it gets done good. While I cannot do my part to stand next to them, what I have done is in many ways just as admirable. After all, a woman’s stomach could not have possibly held the despicable volume of spaghetti that is currently turning my blood to a gluten-y paste. And was it not I, with my reckless spaghetti consumption, that rallied the strong and handsome men to our cause? All I ask is that you remember my sacrifice once word gets out that I requested a male doctor so that when I said “Spaghetti, amirite?” I would be met with an understanding nod instead of a scornful tsk, tsk. Also, please donate to my Kickstarter. Stomach pumps aren’t free, no matter how many times you suggest a Subway-type rewards program. Thank you and God bless.
Rich Karski is a writer and a raccoon enthusiast. Send all raccoon-related content @RichKarski on Twitter.