4) We can be emotionally unavailable. Not to say we’re autistic or sociopathic but some men believe themselves to be (or pride themselves in being) impervious to the emotional. Tacit norms label the full gamut of emotions as taboo and in order to heed your duties of manhood, we shelter tears lest we be held accountable for them and written off as a girl or homosexual. Stemming from older generations where this was more rife, we are our father’s sons. (A close friend of mine still prides himself in having never cried. His wife attests to it too.) Stoicism, rather than perfunctory introspection, is widely understood as a masculine trait and until we divorce these characteristics from one another, men will continue to displace their sentience erratically, using women as punching bags, even if just verbally. To be sure, empathy is a muscle that MUST be exercised, so I encourage you to question yourself and challenge this archetype.
3) Beauty’s pedestal: This goes for both sexes but I believe men are more culpable. The point being, we award too much to appearances and allow it to influence our perception of others. “Have you met Karen? She works in Marketing. She’s so hot.” “Damn, I’ll definitely have to meet her then!” And when you do, her jokes are funnier; thoughts are perfectly insightful; ideas are intrinsically novel; touch is more enchanting; requests are registered as tests of affection. However, maybe there’s more to Karen than her tight ass. (Or, maybe not – I don’t know, I just made her up.) Will I ever grow up out of this insatiable, often times incorrigible, POV? While I’m unable to dissociate myself from my neurological makeup, and my sensitivity to visual stimuli, I try not to remain spellbound by beauty and break free from this Mortal Kombat “FINNISH HIM” daze whenever I can. After all, we are not identical to our thoughts, emotions or desires.
2) Catcalling or street harassment is unwanted comments – most often, sexual or objectifying – made by strangers in public spaces. While this is commonly tied to urban areas, make no mistake; this is a global issue with contemptuous consequences. According to a Washington Post article published in June of 2014, the nonprofit organization Stop Street Harassment released their findings in the first national study on catcalling. This bar graph notates the percentages of public harassment in America by gender. Compared to similar polls conducted (for instance, from another anti-harassment organization, Hollaback!), this graph’s estimates may be conservative. You may remember the #NoWomanEver campaign on Twitter, followed by the less meaningful #NoManEver trend, or the Hollaback! video 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman, or Jessica Williams’ version of it from the Daily Show. The purpose of these pieces is to raise awareness to incredulous men by providing proof of what so many don’t experience or see. It’s worth noting that shameless men that catcall women are also jerkoffs to other men but in less of a lecherous manner.
1) According to a 2010 CDC report, approximately 1 in 6 women are victims of abuse (compared to 1 in 71 men). It’s no secret that unconscionable men embodying much of these 13 Reasons Why Men Suck are the initial perpetrators but it doesn’t end there. How those in the media, criminal justice system, and state legislature deal with victims, and the alleged, is just as relevant. How many spotlight cases from this year alone can you think of? Brock Turner and all the victims of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump probably come to mind. Whether every story is true, I don’t know. What is imperative here is that we don’t shun those who do speak out. (Most instances of abuse aren’t officially reported.) Ironically, we can do this while remaining slightly skeptical in cases mired in political leverage, as seen with this past election. Only with a safe space in which these victims can tell their stories can they finally have a chance at proper justice and vindication.
Agree with my list? Was there something I missed? Let me know!
And remember, we don’t all suck. :p
-Single Guy in NYC