I am so done with these stupid arguments of “boys will be boys” and “guys are assholes” or “women have to protect themselves because men have no control over their urges”. Bullshit, I call bullshit on this. These men are just being lazy. They don’t want to change anything about their behavior in the slightest and just put all the work at women’s feet.
Isn’t that insane? Why should women have to control all their behavior just because we expect men to be brainless sex machines? No. I expect more from men. I expect human decency from them. I expect that when they see a helpless woman, they protect her. I expect that when they have the power and opportunity to take advantage of someone, that they refrain from it. I expect basic human decency from men.
Let’s teach our boys that: that there is no excuse for behaving like an asshole. Men are not wired to jump on anything that moves and fuck it. They are perfectly capable of controlling themselves.
Let’s teach our girls that: expect boys and men to be decent and when they are not, call them out on it. Tell people that this man or boy was behaving indecently and we will be there to correct him. We will support the victim and blame the perpetrator.
Why is this so hard for us to do? Why do all these worries about “false accusations” spring up in our mind? Why can we not expect men to be just a normal, sympathetic human beings? Isn’t that normal that when you see someone in a potentially dangerous situation, that you help them instead of abusing them? Isn’t it normal that when you have power over someone as a boss or mentor or in any other capacity, that you teach that person and support them, instead of pressuring and threatening them to give you sexual favours? Why do we look at these situations and kind of shrug our shoulder and say “Well, what do you expect? Men are assholes.”
No, men are not assholes. Men are men and assholes are assholes. Assholes can be men or women. Let’s confront the assholes and stop blaming all men for the outrageous and criminal behaviour of a few powerful but rotten men and women. Stop protecting them by saying these useless empty words that stop us from progress by keeping us in a safe zone, instead of going the uncomfortable way of blaming these assholes and pulling them down from their positions of power.
Do you know who I want to see in positions of power? Responsible men and women with basic human decency, who will do their job well and not spend their time harassing people, who depend on them.
This goes beyond the workplace. We have power over our loved one’s: spouses, siblings, parents, children. We have power over the people that are entrusted to us as teachers, neighbors, friends and colleagues. In all our relationships we need to expect more from everyone and we need to point out damaging behaviour. Don’t stay silent anymore.
So what can normal men do to change? Stop silently accepting this behavior as normal. You would not go up to a woman and touch her inappropriately, so why do you excuse other men, because she was wearing a short skirt? You would not rape a woman who is black out drunk, so why do you excuse rapists because of it? You would not truly think that a woman got her promotion only because she is attractive, so why do you nod when your jealous colleague suggests it? Speak up! Challenge other guys when this comes up, say “That is outrageous! How can you say something insane like this?”
And when they challenge you back with platitudes like “You know what I mean!” tell them “No, I don’t. Tell me what you mean.”
Speak up, challenge them, please do! These things might seem like nothing to you but they all come together to build this society ,where asshole’s feel comfortable harassing women, men and children openly and getting promoted for it. Even though it should be absolutely normal to challenge these kinds of thoughts, women will see you as a hero for it because it is so rare for a man to support women in this. Isn’t that sad?
And your discomfort in speaking up, that is what should warn you and tell you – scream at you – that something is wrong here. Why are men more comfortable saying something outrageous like “she deserved it” but feel discomfort saying “he is responsible for his actions!”? Isn’t that censorship? Isn’t that the truly outrageous thing then? What kind of bro code protects rapists and harassers? Do you really want these guys to be your bro’s?
Speak up, let’s change this society together, step by step:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” (quoted by several men like Edmund Burke and John F. Kennedy)