Dear Men of America: Stop. Please Just Stop.
I recently wrote a post called "Dear boys heading to college" to give our young boys a few tips on - in a nutshell - how to avoid raping their co-eds.
It took me until now, a year deep into this terrible Presidential election, to realize that perhaps our men need some tips too. The rhetoric and vitriol and misogynistic behavior coming to light since HRC started campaigning has been rampant. Obviously, I'm not saying "all" men in any way; but "many" men still do not know how to appropriately relate to and communicate with - let alone respect - women. They are intimidated and offended by a woman asserting herself and seeking power and control so they try to knock her down.
And I think it's gross.
So here is my note to these men who need to learn some manners and get a grip. This is my input on those things that to this day need to STOP.
Dear Men of the U.S.:
1. Stop judging women on their appearance (e.g. body, face, clothes, hair, even tone of voice) in any other place than a beauty pageant. We are sick of it. And don't call women "fat." We know you know it's a sore spot for us. We know you use it to exert power. But since it's usually coming from a dude who is himself fat and probably also has a small dick, it's rather hypocritical, doncha think?
2. Stop telling women to smile. We aren't mannequins. Why should we walk around smiling for no reason? We don't smile unless we are happy or think something is funny or meet someone cool, which isn't you if you are going to say bullshit like that. ("Resting Bitch Face?" That's bad too.)
3. Stop telling women they are being "bitchy," "emotional," "shrill," "upset," "hysterical," or "wound up" when they express their opinion or get heated about an issue at work or in a relationship. When men get upset they are "angry," "passionate," and "excited" and it's all seen as normal. When women get "heated" men try to label them as "emotional." It's sexist! You're busted, fellas.
4. Stop insinuating that women don't know anything about or are not interested in/good at things like sports, cars, business, driving, following directions, action movies or any other traditional "male" dominated hobbies, topics or roles. This idea that women like romantic comedies and shopping and that men like football and carousing and shooting the shit is so very 1950s. It's 2016 guys - haven't you figured out yet that we're good at everything!?
5. Stop looking a woman up and down when meeting her, catcalling her on the street, touching her without her permission and calling her "hon," "baby," "sweetheart," "dear," "young lady," or "missy." Women are not objects for you to toy with or touch. We are not "sweeties" that need to be talked down to. We are Presidents of the United States and brain surgeons and scientists!
6. Stop mistaking tears, shyness, silence or calmness for apathy, forgiveness or lack of understanding. She's actually just taking her time, remaining calm and putting together a plan...to take you down.
7. Stop mansplaining, manterrupting and bropropriating. Isn't it enough that we only make $.72 to your $1.00 at work, you have to talk over us and take credit for our ideas too?
8. Stop talking about - or fuck, making decisions and choices about - women's bodies and women's health. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.
9. Stop commenting on "that time of the month" and insinuating it means women get "bitchy." And actually, stop labeling women as "crazy" in any way. Do you realize that women get their period and have all those hormones every month so they can CREATE LIFE? What can you do??
10. Stop holding women to a higher standard of behavior, ethics, responsibility, work product and expectations than men. Men are very flawed. VERY. This idea that women cannot be flawed is outrageous. We are all human. This is where the Hillary-bashing makes me especially crazy. She is a woman. She has - and wants - power. That doesn't make her your enemy. Women with power are not to be feared. Perhaps they are to be revered. Women know how to run shit. We know that you bashing women and their successes is to overcompensate for feelings of your own inadequacy, intimidation or powerlessness. Don't be that guy. Or at least, try to hide it better. We aren't trying to steal your power - or your masculinity - we are trying to gain our own.
There you have it. Now shape up!
In anticipated appreciation,