George Yancy: owning responsibility

From the NY Times

… That day I learned something about me. I didn’t respect her {my new wife’s} autonomy, her legal standing and personhood. As pathetic as this may sound, I saw her as my property, to be defined by my name and according to my legal standing. While this was not sexual assault, my insistence was a violation of her independence. I had inherited a subtle, yet still violent, form of toxic masculinity. It still raises its ugly head — I should be thanked when I clean the house, cook, sacrifice my time. These are deep and troubling expectations that are shaped by male privilege, male power and toxic masculinity.

If you are a woman reading this, I have failed you. Through my silence and an uninterrogated collective misogyny, I have failed you. I have helped and continue to help perpetuate sexism. I know about how we hold onto forms of power that dehumanize you only to elevate our sense of masculinity. I recognize my silence as an act of violence. For this, I sincerely apologize.

 

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