I feel like it’s time that we address the real reason why “chivalry is dead,” why it seems to be okay to speak harshly about and to women, why men feel like they can say and do anything they want to women and why there’s a gross lack in our society of guys actually being men.
The truth is, it’s your fault. You’re responsible for all of it.
Over the last few weeks I’ve read a number of articles and blogs and listened to a number of speakers, not just men, on the topic and the collective opinion is that men act the way they do because you accept it and you’ve lowered the bar for how men should act. There is also the “boys will be boys” camp. And most recently the “it’s just locker room banter” camp.
Some of these writers and speakers may not have intend for that to be the message and some even tell men that they have a responsibility to behave a certain way regardless of what the culture deems acceptable. Others blatantly dismiss these obviously offensive and hurtful, sometimes criminal, comments and actions. All in all, the shared view seems to be that 1) either women are too sensitive or 2) if they were to set the bar higher and expected better of men, men would rise to the occasion.
What a Relief
As a guy I’m relieved, because that takes a ton of pressure off of me. I mean, if you women set the standard and tell me what I should be doing and than all I have to do is follow those rules, primarily while I’m around you, then sweet!
I guess what I’m saying is that it’s your fault and your responsibility to change it.
- We don’t open the car door, because you stopped expecting it.
- We don’t pay for dinner, because you stopped expecting it.
- We don’t hold doors, because you stopped expecting it.
- We would rather “hook up” than date you, because you stopped expecting it.
- Pornography isn’t a big deal, because you started accepting it.
- Sleeping around is cool, because you started accepting it.
- We act like your body is ours, because you let us.
- The way you dress reveals your level of invitation for us to “be boys.”
- Referring to you as “bitches” is cool, because you started accepting it.
- Guys knocking you up and then stepping out and making you a single mom is “just the way it is”, because you accept it.
- Us refusing to take responsibility for our relationships, kids or our bills is acceptable, because you let it be.
- Refusal to be monogamous and even adultery is commonplace because you let it be.
- Refusing to grow up and sitting in our mother’s basement playing video games all day, until we’re 30 (which is really just prolonged adolescence) is the new “thing”, because you let it be.
We Should Absolutely Ignore This Stuff
Never mind that throughout history women have been viewed and treated as second-class citizens. Even if they were free, that often just meant they didn’t have to sleep in the slave or servant quarters and no one but their husband could punish them. It also doesn’t matter that in many countries women are still treated this way; not allowed to go to school, or drive, or be treated as human.
Never mind that for generations men have been applauded for their sexual exploits and prowess, meeting together to pat each other’s backs in recognition of their successful sexual conquests. Eventually we even titled them “studs”. All the while women were deemed whores and sluts and publicly ridiculed for something most “men” are held in esteem for.
Never mind men have always made the rules and they were rules that ensured women weren’t afforded even the most basic of rights.
Never mind that some priests and pastors misinterpret scripture like, “Wives submit to your husbands.” Then take it out of context and translate “submission” to mean “subservient.” Then give men the “permission,” for centuries, to use it to abuse and manipulate their wives.
Never mind that the absent father epidemic in our society have left boys to figure out manhood on their own and that the responsibility for that has been placed squarely of the shoulders of the gender that for generations have been told they aren’t in the same class as the men they’re supposed to be teaching.
Never mind any of that, somehow it is probably still your fault.
If This Were a Letter to Guys
If I was writing this letter to guys, I might say something like, being a man is your responsibility regardless of where women set the bar. The way that men have historically treated women is absolute garbage, completely unacceptable and our fault, because past men have propagated that behavior and we have accepted it. Guys, we ought to set the expectations for what it means to be a man and that only happens through real conversations between men and men AND women and men. Then we can start to hold each other, as men, accountable to those standards. We should not be okay with or accepting of any guy “just being a boy” or “locker room banter” because those “jokes” encourage and reinforce behavior that hurts, disrespects and violates women. Personally I believe that our example of manhood is Jesus (Click HERE for a number of blogs I’ve written on that topic), but if you don’t, at least maybe we can agree that we are failing to produce real men; men that respect and protect others. Maybe it is time that we raise the bar, because society, the women in our lives, and the next generation deserves that from us.
That is what I would say if I were writing this to men, but I’m not, so women, it falls to you.
But It’s Not a Letter to Guys
So, it seems like your failure to set the standard for us has devolved men into boys and caused men to act they way they do. There’s probably no other reasons, right?
Well, that’s it. I hope this was helpful and you are all more willing to change the way you’ve been acting. I wish you all the luck in the world, because no doubt you’ll need it… it is sure to be a heavy task.