Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Hey Guys! Can We Stop Being Dicks Please?

I'm really not an expert on this topic, I just had to say something.

I shared the title of this post with a friend of mine. He declared my request was like asking a tree to stop growing leaves.

I don't buy it.

Here's a story I heard last night from a couple female bike riders:

Woman 1: I'm going the same speed as a car, and all the time I get guys just yelling at me as I go by "HEY NICE BIKE!" I don't know what they're expecting, that I'll just slam on my breaks to talk to them? I've even had some guys try to slap my ass as I'm flying by. They've never got me, though. 

Woman 2: Oh that's the worst. I had a guy actually get me. I was just getting on my bike and he walked by and *smack*!

Well, surely this is an isolated incident, right? RIGHT?*

Dudes.

No, really. DUDES! What the hell?! Who the hell was your father? Your grandfather? Would they approve of this kind of Neanderthism? On the off chance your male family is as dense as you are, here's a better question:

Would you watch with approval as someone treated your mother, sister, or grandmother this way?

Now let me try to answer some of your objections without calling you a neanderthal.

Y'know, it's not just guys who are assholes! I've met some pretty shitty women too... 

You met another person who was kind of shitty? Sounds like there's a lot of them in this world.

In general, do I think people as a whole could do a better job at not being dickbags? Sure I do.

I would note though, that while the plethora of douche in this world may not be sex specific - randomly sexually assaulting women in passing seems to be an overwhelmingly male trait.

I don't get what the big deal is. I'd love it if random women started smacking my ass while I was going about my day. 

.....

I'm going to provide the benefit of the doubt and assume your ass is some glorious piece of man meat that all would want to come in contact with - and we can even set aside the different life you've inherently experienced growing up as a man to the oft-sexualized female perspective.

Perhaps you should get comfortable with the idea that just because you'd like something to be done to you, doesn't give you the right to do it to others without consent. This is always true - but especially true in sexual interactions.

Maybe if they weren't wearing...

Nope. Stop. You're being a neanderthal.

So, what's in it for me? Currently, I get to slap women's asses, so if I stop I should get something better, right? 

Well, that's a pretty fucked up way to be thinking about it, really. But YES! See if you stop treating women like an object for your consumption and actually get to know them, as independent and unique beings, you might grow as a person. You might learn more about someone else's experience, and learn some empathy. You might become a more rounded person and this may serve you better in both social and professional venues.

And frankly, if this is the kind of crap you're pulling currently, you have A LOT of growing to do.

A note to the men who aren't colossal douche bags 

If you see this kind of shit happening, or even other general stupid comments about women when among men** you gotta step up. It's not good enough for you to simply not engage in such obscene practices. You need to actively stop other men from this kind of garbage.

It's really not enough to simply not be a dickbag. We need to band together against the dickbags and make it known on every occasion that this kind of business is not okay.

If you're afraid of a physical confrontation, congratulations you've reached the point of understanding a fraction of the fear women are experiencing currently.


*This is nowhere near an isolated incident. These examples I provided are a mere tip of the iceberg. Many other stories, often more horrific, have been shared with me in confidence which I won't outline here.
**A man proclaimed this weekend that "All women are planning for their weddings from childhood. It's in their genetics." No. Not genetics. Not all women. Just... no.

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