Friday Love: Junot DiazPosted: October 5, 2012
Friday love to brilliant writer, novelist, social commentator, and recent MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, Junot Díaz!
Hurrah for men who help open up the space for other men to speak more honestly and directly about the issues of intimacy that profoundly impact all of our lives.
“There is a built in cultural aporia, a stigmatism in the way that men view and imagine women. It’s generalized, most of us are not aware of how we have acquired a vision of women that doesn’t really encounter or think of them as completely or entirely as human beings.
When I honestly think about the way I was taught to think about women, it was completely instrumental. I grew up with this idea that women were either a mom type figure – someone who did stuff for you – or a figure of your sexual attention. That doesn’t leave much room for in there for there to be more nuanced, more complicated, and more human relationships. Nor does it leave room for one to imagine women as people that are utterly independent of our needs, wants, as they’re not instruments.
If you don’t think of a person as human as you, it’s certainly easy to kind of put a foot in them. It’s certainly easier for you to think, “Well, you know, this can’t hurt that much”, because they’re only just a mule…And I often think there is a fundamental lack of compassion that’s connected to this sort of underdeveloped imagination that most men have about women. Because really that is what we’re really talking about – if I can’t imagine you as fully human, that gets me off the hook of having to be compassionate about anything that has to do with toward you.”
Listen to more of his fantastic insights on relationships, love, intimacy, betrayal, male privilege, and more on NPR’s Forum.