It’s been a few days since I came across the rather startling comments section of a CNN article on street and sexual harassment of women. I observed a group of anonymous male commenters tripping over themselves to normalize some rather abnormal behavior. They claimed that ALL men at one point or another were inappropriately sexual towards a member of the opposite sex. That this was standard behavior and that women should just accept that this is how guys are. According to these persons, it didn’t matter if a man had an upbringing which taught him to be respectful of women. All people are vulnerable to peer pressure, right? Well, men are no different, and even a “nice guy” will gladly humiliate a woman to tears in public if it means bonus points with his buddies.
I thought about what I read for awhile. I actually was going to submit an article immediately, but I was a bit pre-occupied. And also upon review, what I initially wrote didn’t, I feel, properly convey my indignity at what I had read.
First, this “everybody does it”, “boys will be boys” nonsense has always irritated the living crap out of me. “Boys will be boys” when they’re seven-years-old and have only been wiping their own behinds for a few years. Little boys have Cookie Monster pajamas, chocolate milk mustaches, and consider building a LEGO kingdom a productive afternoon. These type of man-children will have you and everyone else believe that all grown men are incapable of conducting themselves like sensible empathetic human beings, especially where women are concerned. And even more pathetic, that women should just not question this logic.
Even if I were to believe that all men were sexual-harassing creeps at heart, why would I accept this as a reality that is not worth changing? Clearly something needs to give somewhere.
Second, what does it say about you as an individual man when you have to slink into a space (as we’ve seen here) and defend degrading and harassing behavior? Especially under the banner of “all men do it or want to do it”? I call that projection. I call it a sad little cop-out for damaged males who, rather than seek to change, seek instead to make everyone else think that their backward and lewd behavior is the standard.
Do men who are sexually attracted to women say and think sexual things with their buds in private or when said women are out of ear shot? Duh. Hardly clutching my pearls at that reality, especially since the opposite is just as true in the 21st century. “Magic Mike Night” was not a little get together to discuss pie recipes at the local karaoke bar. Ladies like to talk dirty, too. But there’s a difference between attraction and predation, especially when the control and degradation of women is how someone gets their rocks off. If you as a so-called man feel powerful when you publicly humiliate a woman, you have issues. There is no room for debate in this regard: It’s not all men, it’s you and men like you.
Some women would read comments like that and take it as a confirmation that they need to be prepared to pepper spray any male that comes within ten feet of them. I’m only half-kidding, because the perpetual fear of violence at the hands of a man, any man, is a sad reality that many women live with every minute of every day.
Personally, I take it as an affirmation that some males are so full of hatred towards women that they feel totally justified in their treatment of those they harm and seek to harm. And I know that no, not all men are like this. But it isn’t enough to know it, you have to smack these persons over the head with the fact and refuse to let up. Do not let these persons hide behind their gender as an excuse to behave in a deranged way. Call them out as DBR individuals. If there’s anything a DBR hates, it’s having the spotlight on themselves in all their trifling glory (another post for another day). This is something that both men and women must do, but especially men.
As a man, you need not feel obligated to let these type of damaged males hide among your ranks, sure in the knowledge that other men won’t call them out because “Bros before hos!” and blah blah blah. Do you really want women to look at you and associate you with C-R-E-E-P-S? Don’t let such persons like this normalize their behavior and tie it to you. Call them out however and whenever you can.