This is a post I’ve been hesitant to write, and I’ll explain why in a bit. I don’t know why, perhaps it was the combination of the backlash from the Gillette ad and seeing a lot of hateful and disgusting comments and actions from men lately, but I felt compelled to write this today.
I saw a post shared earlier by a dude who said he was tired of being an ally to women because they always go and date shitty men and not him, so what’s the point? I also saw a comment somewhere by another dude essentially saying if a man and a woman are hanging out a lot together, there should be some expectation that “things will happen.”
Look, if you have an ulterior motive for standing up for women (“why won’t they date me?”) you are not really standing up for women, you are in it for yourself. It’s ok to have feelings and to respectfully bring them up with the person you’re having feelings for, but if that shit isn’t reciprocated, move on. Women don’t owe you shit.
To the latter, I can’t even… I have a friend who during the campaign knew I wasn’t getting decent sleep on my air mattress so she insisted I sleep in her guest room with an actual bed a few times. I took her up on the offer and the sleep was awesome and I was super thankful.
I have had friends who happen to be women come over and just chill, I’ve gone to their houses to just chill, we’ve gone out on the town and chilled. This is chill for real not “Netflix and chill” chill. Nothing but the awesomeness of friendship happened.
I go out to eat with women friends all the time. I have a friend who has beer flights with me every other Wednesday. It’s awesome and one of the highlights of my month. She and I talk beer, relationships, mental health, all kinds of stuff.
My DMs and text messages are boring AF. Lots of cat stuff, some divorce stuff, so many memes. I’m in a group chat with myself and nine women, nine amazing friends. We give each other advice, crack one another up, look out for one another and just have each other’s backs.
My point is, We men have to have real, deep conversations with ourselves and amongst one another about what the bare bones MINIMUM level of respect towards women should be.
Because here’s where I expand on why I hesitate to post this. This isn’t about me patting myself on the back or trying to make myself look good.
Like…no, I am doing what should absolutely be the minimum. To paraphrase Chris Rock (and I guess Michael Scott), dudes want credit for the shit we’re SUPPOSED to do. We’re supposed to respect women, we’re supposed to not see them as prizes, we’re supposed to not be dicks and definitely not show them to anyone unsolicited.
That’s what bothers the hell out of me. The bar is so goddamn low and we manage to fuck it up anyways. All of us. I make mistakes too. But it should be so simple. Don’t be an asshole, don’t be a creep, don’t be a stalker. If you don’t do any of that – congrats, you’re doing the minimum, like me. Don’t pat yourself on the back though, we have A LOT of work to do to raise that bar.