For some reason, the whole concept of feminism and not being misogynistic is very complicated for some men. This new era in which we’re illuminating some of the atrocities against women—the blatant and the subtle—has some men behaving a little wonky. Some men are so intent on proving that they aren’t part of the problem, that you can’t help but wonder if they’re just compensating for being a big part of the problem. The men who were always respectful and feminist don’t need to prove it—they don’t need to post-feminist rants on Facebook every day or yell at other men anytime they think they spot misogyny. The good guys have been fighting the good fight the entire time, so they don’t feel the need to bust out the big, shiny guns now that our society is becoming a little more woke. Here are things guys who think they’re the good guys do.
Scare off other men, to hit on us
See a man hitting on a woman, tell him to leave her alone, to back off, to respect her privacy…all so he can just swoop in and hit on her after that guy leaves.
Compare us to other women
“But you’re not like most women—you’re not needy/emotional/irrational.” This isn’t a compliment to the woman receiving the comment; it’s an insult to all women.
Ask permission to do something terrible
Just because you ask permission to do something grotesque/provocative/degrading doesn’t mean you aren’t grotesque or degrading. Asking permission should be the baseline requirement. And hopefully, you don’t feel the urge to do degrading things in the first place.
Warn us about other men, by showing us
Warn us that men around the office might say gross things like (and then they just say all the terrible things in a list) or warn us that men might harass us physically in certain ways (and then physically demonstrate those ways). Gee. What heroes.
Talking badly about men
Feminism and standing up for women doesn’t mean just hating and putting down men. But some of the “good guys” out there think they’re feminist heroes by talking about how awful all men are.
Sit in the friend zone and feel entitled
Ah yes. The passive entitled misogynist. This guy sits in the friend zone with you for years, believing he’s earning the right to sleep with you one day because he didn’t try for so long. And when you turn him down he yells at you for misleading him, or “Not appreciating the good guys!”
Be really open about being players
Mr. Slick who thinks he’s empowering women by being “open and honest” about the fact that he just wants to have sex and is having sex with a lot of people right now. But then also encouraging women to be more “sex positive” by sleeping with him.
Brag about dating plus size women
If you really love someone (or at least care about them) you don’t brag about their flaws to the rest of the world as a way of gaining chivalry points.
Brag about hiring females
Nobody should be getting gold stars for hiring women. Let’s not hand our rewards because someone is just not sexist. Hiring women should be the norm—it’s not something to brag about.
Adjust their tone/language for women
The “good guys” love to tell the other men in the room to adjust their language because there is a “lady in the room.” How about they adjust their mindset so they don’t even want to say the awful things they say when we aren’t in the room?
Is equally critical of men’s and women’s looks
As a way of proving they treat men and women equally, some men don’t cease to be critical of female looks: instead, they just also become critical of male looks. Why don’t they just stop judging people on their appearance, altogether?
Never pay for dates
Okay so that’s just called being cheap and even a mooch. Want to treat women as equals? Then pay half the time.
Never open doors/help a woman with bags
Opening a door for someone or helping someone carry a bunch of bags isn’t sexism or old school: it’s human decency. We should all be doing this for each other, no matter our gender.
“Hey, I’m here. DTF. Let me know. Your choice.”
Oh yes. The guy who says, “Hey I just want you to know, I’m available for sex. If you’re interested, I’ll be right here. But it’s your choice obviously.” Oh my gosh! What a gentleman! Not forcing himself onto me and all.
Criticizing women for wearing makeup/plastic surgery
Believing women shouldn’t feel pressured by society to look a certain way and criticizing women for wearing makeup are two very different things. But the self-proclaimed “good guys” don’t seem to get that.