Here’s the thing. Men in our culture have been socialized to believe that their opinions on women’s appearance matter a lot. Not all men buy into this, of course, but many do. Some seem incapable of entertaining the notion that not everything women do with their appearance is for men to look at. This is why men’s response to women discussing stifling beauty norms is so often something like “But I actually like small boobs!” and “But I actually like my women on the heavier side, if you know what I mean!” They don’t realize that their individual opinion on women’s appearance doesn’t matter in this context, and that while it might be reassuring for some women to know that there are indeed men who find them fuckable, that’s not the point of the discussion.
Women, too, have been socialized to believe that the ultimate arbiters of their appearance are men, that anything they do with their appearance is or should be “for men.” That’s why women’s magazines trip over themselves to offer up advice on “what he wants to see you wearing” and “what men think of these current fashion trends” and “wow him with these new hairstyles.” While women can and do judge each other’s appearance harshly, many of us grew up being told by mothers, sisters, and female strangers that we’ll never “get a man” or “keep a man” unless we do X or lose some fat from Y, unless we moisturize//trim/shave/push up/hide/show/”flatter”/paint/dye/exfoliate/pierce/surgically alter this or that.
That’s also why when a woman wears revealing clothes, it’s okay, in our society, to assume that she’s “looking for attention” or that she’s a slut and wants to sleep with a bunch of guys. Because why else would a woman wear revealing clothes if not for the benefit of men and to communicate her sexual availability to them, right? It can’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that it’s hot out or it’s more comfortable or she likes how she looks in it or everything else is in the laundry or she wants to get a tan or maybe she likes women and wants attention from them, not from men?
The result of all this is that many men, even kind and well-meaning men, believe, however subconsciously, that women’s bodies are for them. They are for them to look at, for them to pass judgment on, for them to bless with a compliment if they deign to do so. They are not for women to enjoy, take pride in, love, accept, explore, show off, or hide as they please. They are for men and their pleasure.
- *Man walks into a store and finds employee*
- Man: Alright, I've had enough. Why haven't you guys hired me?!
- Employee: Uh...well sir, when did you put in your application?
- Man: I never filled out an application.
- Employee: Well sir, we can't consider you for employment if you've never filled out an application.
- Man: No, that's bullshit, because I've been coming here for years now, and every single time I tell you all how much I love this store and how much I appreciate your customer service, unlike some of your other customers might I add!
- Employee: Well, but that doesn't-
- Man: AND I even told you that I didn't have a job!
- Employee: But sir, that doesn't indicate to us that you would like a job at our store. And again, if you've never filled out an application, we can't consider you. Besides, we're not hiring.
- Man: OH! Not hiring, HA! What a laugh. I see your store go through seasonal workers all the time. They come and go like nothing, but you won't consider me as a part-time employee even though I KNOW you've been looking for workers to fill positions? That's insane!
- Employee: Sir, we've been looking to hire a few people for management positions. Do you have any management experience?
- Man: Well no, but what does that matter?
- Employee: ...Well sir, that's what we're looking for. You won't be suitable for the position without management experience.
- Man: Oh that's such a load of crap. You know, you'll be waiting around a long time for a manager if you don't lower your standards a little. Who cares if someone knows how to manage a store? I LOVE this store and I'm willing to work here, that's all that should matter to you.
- Employee: That...doesn't make any sense.
- Man: NO! I'm done. This is over. From now on, no more Mr. Nice Guy.
- Man: Fuck you, slut.
Boys are told from a young age that whatever they do will be excused under the “boys will be boys” mantra, and that “boys will be boys” mentality leads to what I call the “BOILING FROG” problem of women’s sexual boundaries. I call it that because if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump right out, but if you put a frog into a pot of room-temperature water and slowly heat it to a boil, the frog will acclimate as it heats and never jump out, eventually boiling to death. Similarly, when we learn as young girls to tolerate “low-level” boundary violations like the ones we often are forced to suffer in silence at school, at home and on the street – bra-snapping, boob-grabbing, ass pinching, catcalling, dick flashing “all in good fun” relentless violations that adults and authorities routinely ignore – it makes it harder for us to notice when even greater boundaries are being violated, eventually leading to the reality that many women who are raped just freeze and fall silent, because that’s what they’ve been taught to do over and over since day one. You tell me what’s more infantilizing: repeatedly letting boys (and grown men) off the hook for their behavior because “boys will be boys” and we can’t ever expect any differently, or creating a consent standard in which all partners take active responsibility for their partner’s safety, and which acknowledges the truly diseased sexual culture we’re soaking in every day.
I hate that society discourages men from sharing their stress, worries, pain, love, and dreams. It’s so unhealthy and mentally/physically exhausting.
Like they don’t have to tweet all their feelings. But evening sharing with a significant other is difficult for many men.
And I unload everything on my significant other. It’s freeing, it helps me think as I talk it out, bounce ideas off one another. There’s always the option of journaling…but I fear men will see that as too feminine
I do not subscribe to the idea that “men will only do what you will allow them to do” because it is completely ridiculous to attribute men’s responsibility to women.
People often use this as an excuse to justify cheating or even domestic abuse. But I can tell you that it was clearly communicated that I wanted a monogamous relationship and yet and still….he cheated. Also most women to my knowledge don’t want to be victims of domestic violence. I don’t think men hit, manipulate, or control women because we let them, its because THEY wanted to. STOP placing that blame on those who have been battered and place that on the BATTERERS.
Place that blame on the RAPIST and not the rape victim. Am I supposed to also assume a woman allowed herself to be forcibly taken sexually?
This notion was instilled in people by their parents, and their parents parents who come from a society steeped in gender roles and alot of other problematic shit.
Men will do what they want whether women allow them to or not and its best we start acknowledging that so we can stop misplacing blame on women and focus on re-socializing our young boys.
I have learned new information in this case that leads me to believe that he is innocent and there is a case of mistaken identity.
1. He took two lie detector tests and both indicated he was not lying about his innocence. However, this evidence was NOT ALLOWED IN COURT!
2. They gave the girls a picture of the basketball team and let them pick their perpetrator. Im willing to bet the whole team is black, and these white girls picked the closest resembling guy they could find. Also the players may have all been wearing their jumpsuits at the time of the attack.
3. Screw whoever on the team really did it and is just watching his friend take the fall. You’re messed up buddy!
I just…don’t know.
No. No. No. This article was stupid. I don’t believe in all this “letting a man be a man and a woman be a woman” argument. What does that even mean? What does being a woman actually mean? I’m supposed to stand around and look vulnerable and needy hoping someone will notice and wisk me off in a horse and carriage? If I WANT something I’m going to get it. She says there’s too much uncertainty approaching a man and then always wondering if he only wants to smash…how’s that different from him approaching you and…always wondering if he only wants to smash? Why aren’t you making your intentions clear when you go forward in your approach? If you’re going to be bold and go for it, why aren’t you also being bold enough to say “aye I’m looking for a relationship later not just sex”, and if he leaves then you know what he was there for.
When you sit on your ass and let good people pass through your life because you think its “their job” to approach you, you’ll be complaining later about why there’s no good people in your life.
But the rest of this list, not barbequing? Wtf? Shut Up!
Good Evening Fellas hope you all had a remarkably productive day,
I’m writing to you wonderful gentleman today to finally show you the attention you’re certain we’re always giving you. I know you all tend to believe when I leave my house in the morning I’m concerned about impressing you (I may secretly whisper to myself whether ____ *insert cute boy from class name* will notice my hair is different), but the fact of the matter is….we don’t.
Nothing we do is for you. It might have been in 6th grade, but as I have turned 21 it has, admittedly fallen out of my daily routine. Caring in general has fallen out my routine but I try to incorporate it here and there…but I digress.
We just don’t do anything for you. Its important that you all realize this because it’s this very thought, the very essence of this belief that our actions and dress are for you, that contributes to frequent street harassment and sexual violence (as you all feel a sense of entitlement since…you know…we’re dressed for you). So if you all can just push this little myth from your minds that would be absolutely wonderful, then you wouldn’t feel the need to comment on what I’m wearing, no matter how short or long my skirt is (as I have actually been berated for having TOO many clothes on, I guess that problematic for you fellas).
Um, also this idea you have about women being hoes..I just would like you to pull out your little black book and count how many women you’ve had sexual relations with. Is that number equal? Is it more? We actually would appreciate an end to the double standards, so if you could just not worry about us and what number of sexual partners we cap out at that would be fantastic.
Also we’d like to go on dates still. A date doesn’t involve sitting on my couch watching netflix with me. Dates shouldn’t begin and end at my apartment. I just want you to try a little harder. If not for me, for yourself.
Lastly, please do not hit me up just because you’re in town if you never hit me up when you’re away. This is rude and slightly disrespectful as I assume you only want to speak to me to satisfy some need you’re currently experiencing. Spare me.
It is fallicious reasoning that for the black man to be strong the black woman has to be weak. Those who are exerting their ‘manhood’ by telling black women to step back into a domestic, submissive roles are assuming a counterrevolutionary position.
i can’t. And I won’t.
They said the media was anti-male….then I shut down my laptop.