Here’s the thing. Men in our culture have been socialized to believe that their opinions on women’s appearance matter a lot. Not all men buy into this, of course, but many do. Some seem incapable of entertaining the notion that not everything women do with their appearance is for men to look at. This is why men’s response to women discussing stifling beauty norms is so often something like “But I actually like small boobs!” and “But I actually like my women on the heavier side, if you know what I mean!” They don’t realize that their individual opinion on women’s appearance doesn’t matter in this context, and that while it might be reassuring for some women to know that there are indeed men who find them fuckable, that’s not the point of the discussion.
Women, too, have been socialized to believe that the ultimate arbiters of their appearance are men, that anything they do with their appearance is or should be “for men.” That’s why women’s magazines trip over themselves to offer up advice on “what he wants to see you wearing” and “what men think of these current fashion trends” and “wow him with these new hairstyles.” While women can and do judge each other’s appearance harshly, many of us grew up being told by mothers, sisters, and female strangers that we’ll never “get a man” or “keep a man” unless we do X or lose some fat from Y, unless we moisturize//trim/shave/push up/hide/show/”flatter”/paint/dye/exfoliate/pierce/surgically alter this or that.
That’s also why when a woman wears revealing clothes, it’s okay, in our society, to assume that she’s “looking for attention” or that she’s a slut and wants to sleep with a bunch of guys. Because why else would a woman wear revealing clothes if not for the benefit of men and to communicate her sexual availability to them, right? It can’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that it’s hot out or it’s more comfortable or she likes how she looks in it or everything else is in the laundry or she wants to get a tan or maybe she likes women and wants attention from them, not from men?
Why You Shouldn’t Tell That Random Girl On The Street That She’s Hot » Brute Reason (via brute-reason)
The result of all this is that many men, even kind and well-meaning men, believe, however subconsciously, that women’s bodies are for them. They are for them to look at, for them to pass judgment on, for them to bless with a compliment if they deign to do so. They are not for women to enjoy, take pride in, love, accept, explore, show off, or hide as they please. They are for men and their pleasure.
My dog understands the word “No,” so how are you going to tell me teenage boys don’t know the difference between rape and consent?
if you think men don’t have violent and uncontrollable mood swings you have obviously never spurned their romantic advances
because that’s when they turn into assholes
Those aren’t men, ladies.
They are men, though. Having a separate category for the misogynistic ones so that you can feel better about your masculinity doesn’t help.
‘they’re monsters’, ‘not real men’ or ‘freaks’ does not correlate with women’s experiences - and what’s more, rape culture is so deeply entrenched in our society that trying to make it into an outlier is to ignore the threat of violence that we face every fucking day.
Men who consider themselves allies need to look critically at how we teach masculinity to men and how we can ensure they value consent and respect the women they’re attracted to. Even when that isn’t reciprocated.
Because I’m tired of being scared to turn a dude down, and telling me that he isn’t a man changes nothing in that scenario.
As a culture, we still refuse collectively to accept that most rapes are committed by ordinary men, men who have friends and families, men who may even have done great or admirable things with their lives. We refuse to accept that nice guys rape, and they do it often. Part of the reason we haven’t accepted it is that it’s a painful thing to contemplate – far easier to keep on believing that only evil men rape, only violent, psychotic men lurking in alleyways with pantomime-villain mustaches and knives, than to consider that rape might be something that ordinary men do. Men who might be our friends or colleagues or people we look up to. We don’t want that to be the case. Hell, I don’t want that to be the case. So, we all pretend it isn’t. Justice, see?
Actually, rape is very common. Ninety thousand people reported rape in the United States in 2008 alone, and it is estimated that over half of rape victims never go to the police, making the true figure close to 200,000. Between 10 and 20 per cent of women have experienced rape or sexual assault. It’s so common that – sorry if this hurts to hear – there’s a good chance you know somebody who might have raped someone else. And there’s more than a small chance he doesn’t even think he did anything wrong, that he believes that what he did wasn’t rape, couldn’t be rape, because, after all, he’s not a bad guy.
Laurie Penny, “It’s nice to think that only evil men are rapists - that it’s only pantomime villains with knives in alleyways. But reality is different.”
And while it’s important to say that not only cis men rape, this is why I can count my friends who are cis men on the fingers of one hand.
Literally like the only way
mostmen can think of a woman as a person who shouldn’t be raped and abused is by thinking of her as “someone’s daughter”, “someone’s wife”, “someone’s sister”, etc. They can’t just think of her as a woman unto herself who SHOULD NOT BE RAPED WHETHER OR NOT SHE IS A SINGLE ORPHANED ONLY CHILD, that would be weird. She must belong or be connected to someone in some way in order to be a person worthy of respect.
an actual thing my thirteen year old brother just said
- if girls are asking to be raped because their clothes don't completely cover all of their bodies, then boys are asking to be kicked in the balls just because they don't wear cups everywhere.
My class today
- Me: So when you see the 4 year old boy pull the little girl's hair...
- Students: He likes her!
- Me: Now they are around 11 or 12 and he grabs her arm and wrestles her to the ground even though she calls him a jerk and yells at him to leave her alone.
- Students: That is just how boys are.
- Me: Now they are 18 and he grabs her arm and--
- Students: Oh, that's not okay.
- Me: Really? How would he know? How would she know? How would you know? You just told me that for the first 17 years of these children's lives that you thought it was cute, sweet, and natural for a boy to grab a girl and be rough with her.
- Students: Oh.
- Me: Oh, is right.