Monday, September 9, 2019

A Short Rant About Not All Men

                   woman wearing black top standing near yellow wall

I have been catcalled more times than I can count in the past week. Yelled at from moving vehicles, mostly. Honked at. Startled. Today I was walking in a pair of slacks and a loose t-shirt that covered my butt. I was reading. And someone yelled NICE ASSSSS in the most lewd voice I can think of. Yelled. I couldn't even tell where the voice was coming from, just that it was male.

I'm no supermodel. This happens to pretty much every woman I know regardless of clothing, weight, attitude, etc. Some of us are more likely to mention it than others, but it happens all the time.

I don't walk in bad neighborhoods. I wear casual clothing that is appropriate for my professional job. I don't swing my hips around hoping someone will think my ass looks nice. 

It's not all men. I know it's not all men. I know there are good men out there, I married one. But there are so many Sucky, Sicko, Horrid men that a modest, married woman can't walk on a sidewalk in a decent neighborhood with her nerdy head in a book without getting harassed. 

Now I'm sitting here feeling a bit sick. Feeling a bit slimy. Shaking a little. Definitely angry, in case you couldn't tell. And I'm thinking about how when women like me speak up about things like this the response is usually: Well what were you wearing? Probably just a bad area. IT'S NOT ALL MEN. 

No one said it was all men. When I say: I don't like toxic men, it's like saying: I don't like wormy apples. 


No, no they're not. I agree with you. Not all apples are wormy. Not all men are bad. I prefer my apples not wormy and my men not bad. I LOVE masculinity. I think it's awesome. I just don't like the toxic kind. And for the record I don't like toxic forms of femininity either, and I'll spend my life doing my best to be a not-toxic person And You Should Too. Cool? Cool. 

Let's just stop pretending this isn't a problem. Let's stop pretending that the attitudes that lead SOME men to think catcalling is okay can also lead to Much. Worse. Things. And you might not buy the whole one in three women are qualified to say #metoo statistic, but in my general experience it appears to be pretty true. One time I grabbed three of my girlfriends at random and asked, and sure enough, one had been raped as a little girl. And that's scary. And horribly, horribly sad.

Honestly, it doesn't matter what the statistic is. It doesn't matter if you think "rape culture" isn't a thing. It doesn't matter if you think "toxic masculinity" isn't a thing. For those of us who love someone who has been raped. For those of us who have experienced a toxic man (or fifty) first hand. For those of us familiar enough with the problem to see it everywhere: our hearts cry out to be heard and believed.

Please someone believe us. Please someone help us stop the evil men in the world. The ones who rape little girls. The ones who touch us while we're at work. The ones who yell slimy things from car windows. Please stop saying it's not real and just do whatever you need to do in your little corner of the world to make it safer. I don't care if that means changing your ways or just being sure to teach your sons right. Please just don't deny that this is real. 

And while we're at it.

PLEASE CAN WE STOP PRETENDING THAT PORNOGRAPHY ISN'T PRETTY MUCH THE PROBLEM HERE. Please can we stop pretending that the majority of men don't look at pornography and at least begin to forget that butts and boobs belong to human beings with souls. Some act on that in different ways than others, but it is the natural fall-out. I'm not saying I think all men who look at porn are evil, but I truly believe that pornography is the root that easily grows toxic masculinity. Pornography is the root that grows rape culture. Pornography is the root that grows every form of the dehumanization of women on the spectrum: from catcalls to violent rape. And if you deny "toxic masculinity" and "rape culture" are legit, you can't deny how widespread pornography is. 

If you are male but you are convinced you are not a toxic male ever in any way, And You Don't Use Porn, then I believe you. I believe you have a healthy attitude toward women. I believe you have nothing to worry about, and you can leave this post feeling totally not called out because I wasn't talking to you at all. Go in peace.  




That's all I have to say about that I guess.

Leave a comment if you would like to share. If you want to discuss. But while I don't like squelching free speech, I do reserve the right on this post in particular to delete comments if I believe they might prove hurtful to someone else. This applies both to my blog itself and to any social media. Thank you for being respectful.

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