Columns Jun 18, 2014 at 4:00 am

Not All Menz


shave and a haircut,

two bits!
In response to One Sad Woman's request and Dan's follow along:

I think that OSW is over-estimating the good that comes of people shunning male friends that have issues with treating women (or their chosen partner type) well. In 2012 I realized a friend was a pedophile and looking to offend at a particular event where we were both staff. I turned my back on him, warned the organization and .... no one did anything until 2 years later when he was finally arrested for distributing a massive amount of KP/CP.

Similarly I turned my back on a guy that obviously had "women issues" as in, women were an issue for him. So have several other people in his life including one of his closest friends. Nothing had changed his behavior.

In fact, generally what happens is the person that recognizes toxic behavior gets called out for shunning or bullying or being a flakey mate and finds themselves pretty damn lonely while the jerk continues to carry on until something pretty bad happens.
Hmmm. Not a lot of that kind of bullshit in my social circle. But some years ago, my best friend was at a bus stop. There was an older guy and a woman about my friend's age (early to mid-20s) there as well. The other guy started hitting up the woman--"Hey baby, what's your name? Lemme get your number . . ." etc. She was looking pretty uncomfortable, and finally my friend jumped in and said, "Heather, is that you? It's Dylan, we met at Joey's party last week--how are you?" and on in that vein. She picked it up, and chatted back until the bus came. The other guy looked disgusted and shut up.

So, a very tiny thing, but it's something a guy can do to help out a woman getting street harassment.
Hell yeah, good answer to LW3. Everyone knows not all men are like that, and if you insist on pointing it out at every opportunity, chances are you ARE like that.
Good answers, Dan. Sometimes I wonder if sexual fantasies, imprint on the mind in such a way- that after, you feel you actually had the experience.
I am saving an important quibble for an indefinite period to avoid derailing, just needing to go on the record now as having it.
@3 -- I thought that OSW was going for a different kind of story than a one-off event, but actually... those sorts of events are really important and I'm glad you brought it up because that made me think of it.
*about it. Yeesh. Can't type my thought lately at all.
I wonder what POLY means when he says "I would like to have a main, fulfilling, and committed relationship without limiting myself sexually or emotionally."

In my experience, the naturally poly folks are those who love the idea of their partners connecting with other people. They usually say things like "I need my alone time, and I've had trouble in past relationships meeting the needs of my partners for togetherness."

Those who think first about their own satisfaction are going to have a harder time adjusting to the compromises of making several people's schedules work together. Also, the idea of keeping one relationship as the "main" one works well until it doesn't any more. That can be a hard process to work through. Luckily, there are a growing number of good resources out there. I like Franklin Veaux's site,
Also, I disagree that poly takes "tremendous emotional awareness and communication skills." It just takes an adult understanding that other people get to make their own decisions in life.
I was at school, and some jackass cocky med student is going on about basketball and how such and such team raped the other team. "It was rape" he kept saying. Guy next to me, undergrad, much younger, quietly and calmly said "I don't think you know what rape means", med student goes "No, it was totally rape. 40 points!!" but then faded into silence when he realized he was being - elegantly, nonconfrontationally, and even kindly reminded by another guy that his wording, however normal it was and is, is fundamentally not ok. It was really beautifully done. The shame that med student retreated into (he said this at a table 1/2 female and being a med student knows the rape percentages for sure) was beautiful. If someone had gotten after him about it (if I had been smart enough to say it that well, and it would have been with ice in it coming from me), he'd have gotten bracey and in my face about it and felt justified and righteous about his freedom to say whatever the hell he wanted to and that women were whiny idiots (hope he doesn't go into gyno). But with a few quiet words from another guy he was like a kicked dog.
As for OSW's interest in men standing up for women, here's my favorite essay, by a guy known as pepomint/Pepper Mint.

Nonmonogamy for Men (aka The Valley of the Dolls/There is no Valley of the Dolls)…

My favorite part:
>> There is a core piece of the Valley of the Dolls fantasy that is untenable: the idea that some women will make themselves sexually available to men just because they are that sort of woman. "That sort of woman" does not exist. What actually happens is that women have sex with men because they are attracted to those men. >>

The rest of the essay is also kick-ass.

Just want to point out that men are not in a super secret society who share all their stories. In particular, men who actively voice their support for feminism and drop sexist friends quickly find themselves in a position where they are no longer welcome in traditional male spaces and are excluded from the dialogues where other men reveal that they're cheating on their partners/raping and drugging women/slut-shaming anyone and everyone. That, or the stories are not told in our presence, just like when women are present.

@11 It should probably also be noted that there are lots of poly people without emotional awareness and good communication skills who do it 'badly' and they are every bit as polyamorous as monogamous people who do it badly.
OSW - Not exactly an anecdote but just to help you feel there are good guys out there: one of the things I like best about my husband is that I don't have to be on guard for anything misogynistic in our interactions. I have nothing to prove to him; I don't have to convince him I'm his equal; I don't have to hide every imperfection out of fear it will reinforce any "men > women" bullshit in his head. Because there isn't any of that bullshit. He just completely assumes that he and I are equal partners, and acts like it.

It makes me sad and angry to hear about guys pulling misogynistic/homophobic crap because I know so many guys who DON'T act like that. I just want to smack them upside the head and say stop taking out your asinine insecurities around your failure to live up to some stupid straitjacket image of masculinity out on the rest of us! My husband shops, cooks, does a lot of childcare, is not threatened by women or gay men, is gentle and silly and nurturing and plenty of other not-straitjacketedly-masculine things, but all those things make him a better man, not a lesser one. Also, sexy as hell. Rrawr.

Pretty dramatic statement. Most men (even those in traditional male spaces/wtf?) are not cheating, raping, drugging, and slut-shaming anyone and everyone.
I'm lucky in that I have a few examples for a fellow sad lady:

1. I was working on a play and being sexually harassed in ways that started small and slowly escalated, until I was humiliated in front of my colleagues. My producer offered to fire the guy without hesitation and told me how sorry he was that I was dealing with it alone. The director went on to back me up in the same way, without hesitation or doubt. They are true friends.

2. My dear boyfriend was the primary support person for a friend of ours who was raped. He listened to her story and found her resources when she was still too raw to share with others. He took on her pain with infinite compassion and kindness and supported her through many hard moments, including confronting her rapist (at her request).

3. One night in my college years, I got drunk in front of my boss and coworker, both male. I was way too far gone, and they poured me into a cab, made sure I got home safely, and were kind enough to never mention it again.

Don't lose hope--good people are out there.
*sigh* I needed that Dan. Facebook has just been a cesspool of anti-feminism since Eliot Rodgers and it has honestly hurt me more than I realised until I saw this. Every article I've seen about feminism has been derailed consistently by men loudly proclaiming they're one of the good guys so all we women should shut up. And they don't get the irony in it, they just. don't. get. it. I've asked them to let us tell our stories, I've begged and pleaded and yelled and I've gotten nowhere. The message has been pretty clear though, they will not beat me or rape me so I damn well better make them feel special.

Wow, I guess it still hurts.
In regarding One Sad Women's letter: Wow. Deep breath...gut in...release...okay. Shit. I could have written OSW's letter to Dan thirteen years ago.

I agree with Dan in his agreeing with Phil Plait's statement, that more men need to shut up and listen. We DO know there are good guys out there, and that "not all men are like that". Constant mainstream media coverage on violent crimes doesn't help. Nations that reward violence against women do not help.
gnot @12: I wish I could have been there to witness that
asshole getting kindly--by another GUY!---get reduced to a kicked dog
about his uncalled for remark. I agree: I hope that particular med
student doesn't become a gynecologist.

Good guys out there (and I know plenty of you already exist--see the mention of @12 gnot's male undergrad friend): regardless if your sexual orientation, rape is wrong, violence against women as well as men is wrong, and we need you to back us on this one!
I've been sitting here thinking for awhile now, and though I can remember being sexually harassed so many times, and the time I was raped, I'm having a real hard time remembering any time a man stood up for me. Even my husband, the self proclaimed feminist, had a hard time believing me when his friend grabbed my crotch several times at a house party.
I'm having a really hard time with the whole idea of this Men's Rights Movement because while I agree many of the accepted paradigms for men need to change, I don't believe they are lacking in rights.
I very much approve of the way Dan switched the suggestion for stories of men who are doing it right. I know plenty of guys who think they are doing it right and have no idea how often they aren't.

But thankfully, I've got a few men in my life who are doing the right thing.

Like a friend of mine who has a strong internet presence and he frequently discusses oppression related topics like sexual harassment towards women. I've seen him call out other men many times when they are ignoring points made by women that are just as relevant if not equally so. Once he refused to partake in a conversation anymore because he was, "disturbed that men are not listening to women on this subject." That meant a lot to me.

And my boyfriend who gets it when I'm so frustrated trying to get a guy to listen to me about why he should listen to me. Just seeing the cognitive dissonance is a lot. And when I told him I was catching him interrupting me mid-sentence really frequently (studies show men interrupt women far more often in far more contexts than women interrupt men or women), he listened, he apologized, and has been working on doing better. That openness and willingness to see something uncomfortable about yourself is super crucial when it comes to combating gender inequality.

Also, I'd like to mention my many many female friends who have been fighting super hard in online and real life debates to try to convince people that this issue is real and needs to be addressed. It is such an uphill fight, it's so tiring, and I'm so proud of how awesome they all are.
@nocutename? You there?
After not hearing from you regarding the last two week's column threads I didn't piss you off, did I?
If yes, I apologize. If no...?

Okay....back to the current thread in this week's Savage Love column for June 18: Not All Menz.

Thank you, Dan, for excellent responses to this week's letter writers, and another great column.

@16 I don't know whether you're being ironic given the entire point of OSW's letter, but I was simply relisting the things from the original letter, and never implied that that all men are doing that. Merely that those who do know enough to not say so in front of men who make it known they support women, just as they hide it from women.

I've had too many instances of harassment & even abuse in my life from dudes for me to list them here without people thinking I'm exaggerating. But -

"I wanna take a minute or two, & give much respect due

To the - men - who've made a difference in my world.."

(- slight tweak to the opening line of "What a Man" by Salt-n-Pepa )

Thankfully, I have some guys in my life whose support I'm grateful for. The one who pops into my mind if you said - quick, name a male feminist friend - is my pal Jody. A talented, successful animator, Jody has been as vocal & consistent in his support of my rights as a woman as I have been for his as a man married to another man. (So, very.) He & Bryan let me move into their place for awhile, when I left an abusive relationship. Anytime there's geek-related trolling happening - like the schmuck who printed up that BS tee shirt, about liking his fangirls like he liked his coffee - & he hates coffee - Jody's always trying to make the corner of the net/geek space he's in inclusive to all - female, male, genderfluid/genderqueer, etc. He will type the trolls right down into the ground. Plus he's never acted like bisexual people don't exist, like some other of my gay pals do.

Yay, Jody! (You & your hubbie make me smile, J..!)

There's others, but want to make sure everyone has a turn.

@ 20 - bodhirungus - You & your husband need to talk about that incident. Not believing stuff when it happens is a large part of why some women don't talk about harassment & abuse. He's got to back you up any time you don't feel safe.
("Confidential" to D.S. - thanks for writing about this. Have had a hard time telling some guy friends to *just listen*, for awhile. I'm not blaming them. But if you want to understand how to change the situation, to solve the problems with sexism, misogyny, abuse - etc - start by just listening when a woman pal talks about it before jumping in to say you're not like that, not all guys do that or that she's exaggerating or somehow deserved whatever happened to her..anyhow. Thanks for saying it in those words, plainly - just listen.

You're a man, maybe some more of them will listen to you.. :/ )
This is going to sound like a small one, but it's not. When I broke up with my boyfriend when I was 20, he was upset, but said "I don't want to date you if you don't want to date me." 10 years later, he's still my best friend, and I've been good friends with some of his girlfriends as well.

To contrast that, 10 years after I broke up with my boyfriend from when I was 16, I got emails about how he loved me, how I'd never appreciated him, etc. No part of his brain had devoted any energy to thinking, or caring about, what my feelings might be, and why I might not be eager to restart a 10 year dead relationship.

My best friend - he cared (and still cares) about really connecting with me as a person. That old ex, I'm not quite sure what his deal is, but I think he thinks of me as more of a possession that he lost than a person to interact with.
LW1-There are several examples of poly people that you can point to. Author Laurell K Hamilton is in a poly reationship, the entire reason that Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher divorced was that he broke the rules of their triad and one can argue that plygomy is a subset of polyamory and that community is trying to seperate themselves from the crazy cults.

So who wants to start a betting pool on how long it will take for some dude to come racing in the comments crying 'misandry' because he's asked to actually listen to women instead of defending himself?
To OSW - Yes, some men do things that are great and stand up for women. My ex-husband once stopped the car and followed a man that was clearly abusing his partner in the parking lot up to their apartment threatening him and trying to put a stop to it. Guess what the punchline is - that ex-husband also physically abused me behind closed doors. So yes, while we should applaud the efforts that some men make, a single (or even multiple) public act(s) does not define a feminist. When good men automatically assume that they are the majority (which I hope they are) and discount the massive numbers of women (and men) affected by bad men in this world. they only contribute to the idea that women are not to be listened to or trusted in their view of the opposite sex. I applaud women for standing up to say what needs to be said because #yesallwomen are not heard enough in our society and #notallmen are willing to shut the fuck up and listen to what we are really trying to say.
I thought the #notallmen tag was still first though, isn't it where #yesallwomen comes from?
@auntie Griz: I'm not at all upset with you; I'm sorry if I didn't reply to something you wrote; I felt like I was already dominating the comment thread and people could stand to see a little less of me. I also plain got tired of typing all the time!
Dan actually has it a bit backwards - "Not all men!" has been a response to ANY feminist complaint about misogyny, assault, and sexism for as long as the feminist internet has been around. It serves to shut down the conversation and turn it back around to the people who REALLY matter - the men. #YesAllWomen was a response to both the Isla Vista shootings and the "not all men" meme. People who responded to #yesallwomen tweets with sincere and unironic #notallmen tweets? Missing the irony gene and probably beyond reach.
I'm not sure "bad at relationships" --> "must be polyamorous." Which Dan et al get at in their last paragraph. I can also think of some late 19th and early 20th century poly people, e.g. Joseph Needham (scholar who did groundbreaking work on early Chinese science). If the last time you read history was in high school, consider going back as an adult and discovering all the parts that were skipped over in 9th grade civics.
Having fantasies is not cheating, it's having a brain. The only time it becomes objectionable is a subset of when porn becomes objectionable: when you neglect your partner because you prefer to interact with much-easier pretend people.

It's truly puzzling to me that anyone thinks "when we're together, I like to pretend you're someone else. Someone much sexier" is a helpful thing to tell their partner.

From your short letter it sounds rather like you have arrived at the point where deep down you don't want a future with this person, but they're a really nice person. They have done nothing wrong. They have all the qualities you might be looking for. I'm not going to make a firm diagnosis on so little, but consider that "I don't find you enough, but I do find you comfortable, and I'd like to see other people" may hit her as dialing back your relationship while keeping her on option. Asking to dial things back is usually a death blow, and not without reason: it's pretty much impossible for the other person not to feel rejected, because you are rejecting what you have with them.

Also consider that open relationships, per what I've read here, are supposed to grow out of happiness, not dissatisfaction. If things aren't working, adding more people doesn't help.
Call me judgmental, but it doesn't sound like POLY actually wants to be poly. As far as I understand it,polyamory is a romantic relationship involving more than two people. There may be dating, but the idea is dating to find a relationship.

What POLY seems to describe is an open relationship. He wants one central relationship and then some NSA play. Two different things.
Men that use the not-all-men defense are just like the people that use the not-all-christians defense. They add nothing to the conversation, and seem to want a f-ing medal for not behaving reprehensibly.
So how much commission did Diana Adams earn for this month's column?
It's nice that Dan called on gay men to fight misogyny but it would have been better if he'd called out gay misogyny. I'm not saying gay men are particularly misogynistic, but those who are often seem to think that being gay gives them a pass. The excuse is either "I'm gay! Clearly I didn't enjoy grabbing her breast!etc OR It's harder to be a gay man than to be a woman so my misogyny doesn't count!"

The same rule applies to all men, regardless of orientation, just because you don't find a woman attractive does not give you license to treat her like shit.

It's been said that you can always tell who a racist is because it's the person who always says "I'm not a racist, but...".

So if a guy finds it necessary to point out he's not mysogenestic, he might be the first one we want to look at.
Eh, there's been a few times where I've been clearly upset with a partner or date in public and some guys have checked to see if I'm okay. But plenty of women have done that too.

What sticks out in my mind is the times I've been sexually harassed and told my male friends about it and they laughed. Or didn't think it was "really harassment". Or straight-up didn't believe me.

That time I was at a concert in the mosh pit when I was 16, and I looked down to see a hand clamped over my right breast, massaging it. I turned around and found a dude leering at me before disappearing into the crowd. So I followed him, grabbed his shoulder and kicked him in the balls as hard as I could. Afterwards, I told my group of male friends that had come to concert with me, and all of them thought A) "He wasn't really grabbing your breast on purpose." Bullshit. and B) "You shouldn't have kicked him." Yeah, two wrongs don't make a right, and yes I committed assault, but hopefully that piece of trash will think twice about feeling up an unsuspecting teenager. I don't lose sleep over kicking him, I did lose friends over the guys who wouldn't believe or support me.

Or the times I've been masturbated at in public, on public transit or on the street, cussed the guy out, told male friends, and they all laughed, or insisted I should be flattered. "What's the harm?" they all ask. The harm is I was minding my own business, commuting, wrapped up in my own thoughts, and all it took was one self-gratifying asshole to make me feel like all men see me as a walking fuckhole and nothing else. That's the goddamn harm.
While I thought #YesAllWomen was great in starting a necessary global conversation, I feel 140 characters can be limiting.

This provides a much fuller picture of the misogyny women face everyday:…
Oh no! Diana Adams said that poly people who can be out should be out in order to fight the stigma of being poly.

Doesn't she know that suggesting that people SHOULD come out to fight against negative stereotypes and misconceptions is apparently bullying and phobic?

At least it seems to be when someone is of the opinion that gay and bisexual people who can be out should be out.

Diana Adams might want to get used to being knows and the Polyphobic poly-advocate if history is any indication of how these things go. She will also need to get used to the glitter bombs.
I usually try to pause between reading a letter and knowing Dan's response so I can get a sense of my gut reaction before having my judgment influenced by Dan's. In this case, it was the line "I just want the rules to fit me so I don't have to be considered a cheater" that jumped out. I believe I do understand what polyamory is. I do believe it's not a horrible thing. But the way POLY phrases it, it sounds like he wants to cheat without being called out for being a cheater. It sounds like "I just want to copy off of someone else's paper without being hauled off to the principal's office" or "I just want to be lie around the house all day without being called a slacker and a mooch." I don't know. I hope I've got it wrong, but that's what it sounded like to me.

My first reaction was that POLY doesn't need to come out to his family and friends. He needs to be honest with the women he's dating. He needs to say right upfront that he's failed at monogamy before and isn't trying for monogamy in the future. He needs to be clear that he and said woman will be hanging out together if she's into it but that he's never going to be her one and only. Then let her decide if she wants to go on that first date.

He says his reason for coming out to his family and friends is to stand up for the poly community, but I distinctly thought it was so he could announce how studly he is. Call me a cynic, but it sure sounds like he's saying "I'm an asshole, and I'm not making any effort to change. You have to put up with me." Maybe it's like the difference between the ADHD child who can't pay attention in the classroom and the undisciplined brat who doesn't want to, the kid who could behave himself if he ever met a consequence for not.

I just can't imagine this guy telling his sisters and his cousins and his aunts about his new poly orientation and their all clustering around him to set him up with that nice poly girl they met at the church picnic because they have so much in common and might hit it off. Wouldn't that be his purpose if he was sincere in wanting a terrific relationship where she has as much freedom as he does?
If fantasizing about fucking someone else while you're fucking your partner is cheating, MFOW, then we're all adulterers.

Really? Not me. I mean, I've done role play, I've jacked of to porn, and I've fantasized quite a bit about fucking other women, but I've never fantasized that a woman I was fucking was someone else. I'd much rather be there in moment than off in my head. Maybe that's because I've only ever had sex with sexy women.
To One Sad Woman
I was in an abusive relationship 10 years ago while in college. After I dumped my abuser he continued to stalk me for 2 years. For the record I went to school and lived in a very liberal part of a very liberal state.

My experience during that time was that it was the men around me who provided me with the most support, emotionally and physically. An overwhelming number of the women I dealt with, including people I had considered my friends, told me that I must have done something wrong or that I was exaggerating. They refused to provide a buffer between me and my abuser and actively supported him getting close to me. It was the men who stood up to him and responded to my requests of how to create a safe environment for me.

Now, I should say there were women who provided me with back up but I was surprised by how many male friends stood behind me and made sure I was safe. I had been nervous telling the guys about what had happened because of my bias that men wont understand, but in the end they were there for me. It taught me that when it comes to these situations gender isn't a factor in support it's who the people are at heart.
Maybe men should shut up and listen?

When women are talking about the experience of being women, men should shut up and listen.

When women start lecturing men about the experience of being men, about our psychology and motivations, then they should shut up and listen.

When we're talking about how men and women should deal with each other economically, politically, socially, then no one should be told to shut up and listen.
One day in high school a group of surfer dudes I knew called me over from across the quad. They smiled and waved as I walked toward them. When I reached them, and greeted them..What's up, etc. one of them said "Steve's been wanting to ask you a question." Long pause..Steve: Can I suck your nipples? Five of the six guys bust out laughing. It was totally humiliating and they loved it.One guy obviously didn't know it was coming..practically did a spit take, immediately starts yelling: "What the FUCK is wrong with all of you. That is so uncool. You guys are twisted etc" He lead me away asked how I was, said not to worry about those idiots etc. Surprised me because I didn't know this guy well. Always seemed nice and polite but quiet and a bit shy. Back in high school his name was Eddie he's known by a different name...Eddie Vedder. Thanks Ed : )
@46 - and yet, I find that a lot of the time, the men in my life NEED me to do exactly that because they've been so alienated from their own emotions. So I get what you're saying, in spirit, but I think it's a bit more subtle and complicated than that.

Men get PLENTY of chances in this society to talk about their motivations and experiences...provided that they talk about them in a way that supports the patriarchal narrative. Guys talking about things in a truthful way, talking about their own pain and vulnerability? That's where it gets more complicated. Can we develop this rules a little? Can we recognize that patriarchy makes it a little more difficult than the neat little sum you've laid out?
@43 Crinoline

'where she has as much freedom as he does?'

This is what I have bumped into: partners that want their freedom but don't want me to have the same and equal freedom.
OSW: If the hashtag campaigns are getting you down about men, might I suggest taking a break from Jezebel and whatever other outrage porn sites you are visiting and just take inventory of the real flesh and blood men in your life. Surely there are a few redeemable ones in the bunch.

@35 "polyamory is a romantic relationship involving more than two people."

It can be (such as a triad or quad). But it can also mean network poly, where each relationship is separate from the others, but people may have more than one relationship. 

We do need to remember, of course, that Elliot Rodgers ultimately killed more men than women. That doesn't change the importance of discussing his motivations, which were deeply misogynistic, but we do need to remember to leave some time in the discussion for the fact that toxic masculinity is a danger to male-bodied folks, too.
@49, unless that's your kink, those are called ex-partners.
@43, I had the same reaction. I was surprised Dan didn't just refer to Sex at Dawn, let POLY know that humans, in general are non-monogamous, and the question of whether he is poly isn't able to be determined by the letter as written.

POLY may be poly, depending on what the definition of poly is. I assumed it primarily includes people who want multiple sexual/romantic relationships for themselves AND their partners. POLY may feel that way but his letter merely indicated he 1) has a desire to sleep with other women despite being in a relationship, and 2) has cheated. Almost all men fit category 1. Somewhere between 30-50% of people fit category 2, depending on what stats you believe. By those standards most people are poly which would render poly indentity meaningless.

To answer his question about "coming out" to his friends and family-how does that go? "Hey pal/dad/co-worker: need to let you know I feel the need to sleep around even though I am in a committed relationship. Please respect my identity."

To be sure POLY needs to let his potential romantic partners know. Good on him for realizing this and choosing to be honest up front with his future romantic prospects.
My husband will routinely get involved in a "debate" going on between a woman/women and some mansplaining, lightly misogynist idiot guy. He'll repeat the main points being articulated by the women, watch the guy suddenly do a 180 and then call him out on being completely dismissive of those points until they were spoken by a man.
@LadyLaurel: Even when trying to understand a man who struggles to articulate his feelings, there should still be a good deal of listening involved. You may even want to consult other wiser more articulate men for insights. Same goes the other way around.

And ditch the "patriarchy" bugaboo, it's designed for blaming, not understanding.
@54 - "To answer his question about "coming out" to his friends and family-how does that go? "Hey pal/dad/co-worker: need to let you know I feel the need to sleep around even though I am in a committed relationship. Please respect my identity.""

Actually, it's more like, "Oh, I'm starting a new relationship! He's great and I want my friends and family to meet him and share my joy, but I can't because he's a secondary relationship and I'm supposed to treat this like it's a big, dark, kinky secret FOREVER."

It's also like, "Yes, you saw my husband out with another woman, and yes you saw him kiss her. No, he is not cheating on me. Sorry that you've been torn up inside with worry while you spent all that time working up the courage to tell me what you saw, thinking you'll be destroying our marriage, but we figure, other people have a right not to know about our sex lives, right? Right?"
@46 seandr

'When women start lecturing men about the experience of being men, about our psychology and motivations, then they should shut up and listen.'

Really? Where is that happening? Perhaps you could provide some examples.

OTOH, I have watched / read plenty of men explain women's experiences to them. Over and over again. Hence: Mansplaining.…
@56 - I'm completely with you as far as the listening, I've just found that this is how it is. As for consulting "wiser men," does reading what male psychologists have to say count? At any rate, as long as the men in my life continue the habit of thanking me profusely for helping them get in touch with and name their feels, I'm not going to go back to accepting explanations that oversimplify their motivations and serve only to reinforce rigid gender roles. If "guys talking about their experience," means taking statements like, "oh, men are just more likely to cheat, "guys are just simpler emotionally," "guys just need to get their aggression out, we're naturally aggressive," "guys just aren't as interested in love," "men are more sexual," etc., at face value, nothing doing.

Patriarchy is a "bugaboo"? Only used for "blaming"? Dude, I thought you seemed smarter than that. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you haven't had the opportunity of talking to any non-zero-sum feminists, but somehow, I have the feeling you're about to prove me wrong...
@58 - as a sex worker, I encounter it all the time when certain feminists decide to paint all of my clients with the same brush in terms of their motivations. Spoiler alert: they think that all men who employ sex workers do it because misogyny. And that's dumb.
My husband was holding my very eye-catching purple Coach bag once at an outdoor concert/bar/dance club place while I went to get drinks. I came back around to watch him showing a woman the purse (and even letting her "try it on") where to buy it, how much, etc. At no point did he ever mention to her that it wasn't his - even when the woman told her friend "this guy's satchel is awesome".
We have had lots of drama moments and she-can-do-it better events but this one really sticks out to me as defining what a real man is: he doesn't view being seen as effeminate as something to be ashamed of. Being a woman isn't BAD. He never once had to take his dick out or exclaim that he was just holding it for a minute while HIS WIFE went to get drinks or hold the bag awkwardly like he had never seen one before.
And props to her for never pulling that "you're such a sweet boyfriend" or "you must be utterly flaming to wear a purse like that!"
And it really is a fucking awesome handbag.
@61 - my husband did something like that when he had to hold my leopard-print clutch purse for me at the gym (he had a lock on his locker, I didn't). I told him I thought the other men would understand if he said it was his wife's, but he shook his head. "I'm just going to say, 'It makes me feel pretty!' and they can deal."
My noble dudes story...

I was a fraternity sweetheart in undergrad and this fraternity had an annual "around the world party" where there were different shots in every room of the house. After getting off work and heading to this party, and in the granddaddy of all crappy decision making, I decided to "make up for lost time" and really consumed too much too fast... I was vomiting off the back porch before too long and obviously impaired. For some gross reason this didn't seem to deter two of the guys (not brothers) as they kept invading my personal space and weren't backing off even though I could barely hold conversation (or my head up). A few of the brothers noticed this and abruptly shouted, "okay party's over, everybody out." When these two guys started lifting my elbows to get me off the couch, the fraternity brothers stopped them, asking them what they were doing. One of the guys said something about me obviously needing a ride home blah blah blah but one of the brothers quickly shut that down with a stern, "she's got friends for that." The two guys huffed off and the one of the brothers grabbed a bucket and a towel and led me to a bedroom. He told me I clearly needed to sleep it off, my keys would be in the key jar when I was sober, and he proceeded to turn the lock and shut the door behind him as he left.

I woke up with a shitty hangover... really the only acceptable shitty consequence of too much alcohol. I am forever grateful to those men for looking out for me when I failed to do so for myself.
@albeit: One notable example is Andrea Dwokin and her crowd explaining that porn makes men rape. Or anyone who explains that men do what they do because patriarchy.
Thanks for once again derailing and mansplaining, seandr. Super helpful and doesn't make you sound like a latent misogynist at all.
@LadyLaurel: Does reading what male psychologists have to say count?

Absolutely. I'll add that there are wise women who are experts on men as well (sounds like you may be one of them), and they become experts by listening to and observing men, informally or in a scientific context, not by sequestering themselves away in classrooms and academic departments and editorial boards filled with only women.

As for patriarchy, if you think that concept gives you insight into the male mind, and that it doesn't entail any blame or value judgments, I'm not going to convince you otherwise. It's a vague concept and different people use it in different ways. I'll just say that it hasn't contributed anything to my understanding of myself or any of the other men in my life that I'm close to, including my sad sack right-wing uncle. Of course, the Jezebel crowd would explain that I can't see the patriarchy in my head because I'm blind with privilege. So I should therefore shut up and listen. And around we go. Yawn.
I love when teh menz trot out Dworkin* as some "proof" of teh misandry... as though they've actually read her work or care that there's been at least two separate waves of feminist thought since then. #douchebro

* The very least you could do is spell her name correctly.

While in my first year of law school, I spoke up in class with what my professor seemed to think was a relevant point. This was a tiny validation. Law school is full of soul crushing. As soon as my prof stopped nodding, a middle aged man who was a VP for our university (and attending class for free as a result), interrupted without raising his hand to say the exact same thing I did. My older male professor called him on it. Although the classmate was probably just not paying attention, my prof made me feel worthy of attention that day, even by the old men who were already in charge.
@68: I'm genuinely confused. Isn't this basically #NotAllFeminists? What makes that different from #NotAllMen?

More generally, why is #NotAllMen generally considered shitty while most other groups pointing out that the bad apples among them don't define the whole group would not be considered shitty? Is it because it tends to be a shibboleth for otherwise misogynists? Is it because it's set up in opposition to #YesAllWomen? I just can't imagine e.g. Muslims catching flak for wanting to reiterate that they're not all terrorists in response to 9/11, etc.
there might be genuinely poly peeps out there. but, 'poly' seems another word for 'spoiled person of the western world who is bored by meaninglessness, creating tension where he lacks creativity in his life'. just saying. letter nr 1 perhaps you're not poly! perhaps you are incapable of making a choice and living it or perhaps you are one of those people who likes to blame others/the relationship for their own dullness. there are quite a few selfish vampires out there, i've noticed. if you live in la la land of the americas, yes you can probably have it all. no, you can't have it all at once. hmm..your partner will never fulfill all your needs at once, either. responsibility and patience is sexy, though!
@OSW: there's an excellent post, with a very long comment thread, called "Stuff What Boys Can Do" over at Fugitivus.…

"As for patriarchy, if you think that concept gives you insight into the male mind, and that it doesn't entail any blame or value judgments, I'm not going to convince you otherwise."

Look, I can't really defend myself when you're throwing this vague guilt-by-association at me just because I used the word. It's not a "vague" concept, unless you consider the idea of, "rule of women by men," to be "vague." Do you consider facts about the representation of men in leadership or the predominantly male ownership of land and control of economic resources to be "vague" as well? Or do you simply hold to some idea that those things don't have a very real impact on women and how free we are in the world?

"they become experts by listening to and observing men, informally or in a scientific context, not by sequestering themselves away in classrooms and academic departments and editorial boards filled with only women. "

This is a false binary. I did the academia thing, I did the Women's Studies thing, and it was quite valuable to me. But then, I had a teacher who was very clear that we needed a more nuanced and thoughtful approach to this stuff than, "men are bad," and discouraged thoughtless misandry in favor of real analysis of history. And yet, there weren't a lot of men interested in her classes, though the ones that came seemed to appreciate them...

I consider myself a feminist, but I also consider myself in a broader sense to be...I dunno, I like the label, "gender liberationist." I think men are overdue for their own revolution against patriarchy.

And I'm a phone sex operator. I love my job, I respect my clients and the work necessarily keeps me in touch with the reality of men's emotional vulnerability and fear. Vulnerability to women and to other men, and the anxiety men feel at trying to live up to patriarchal standards of dominance and "strength" while also feeling a need to live up to the demands of feminism.

A boy studies hard and does well in school. His parents are able to help him pay for college. Between natural talent and studying hard again, he does well there too. In his first jobs, he works hard, treats everyone with kindness and consideration, gets along with everybody, and is promoted. He marries happily to a terrific supportive wife, is faithful to her, and spends time being a good father to the children-- though she's the primary caretaker. He climbs the corporate ladder and makes good money.

At some point it's pointed out to him that he's making considerably more money than women on the same rung of the ladder and that there are precious few women on that rung. There are no women above him. While he's worked hard, what women there are have worked harder, and they don't have someone at home taking care of the kids for them.

While he likes to think he'd do the right thing if he stumbled on an egregious example of a man hurting a woman by beating or raping her, is he an asshole for taking his paycheck and spending it on his wife and his children and his home in the suburbs? It's obvious that he's gotten where he is in some part because of male privilege, but certainly not entirely. He's likely to attribute more of his success to effort than to luck, and there is some basis for that point of view, but there's also a good argument for the position that he got to where he is on the backs of women who weren't able to negotiate for as much.

Should he be speaking out about the unfairness of the system? Shouldn't he be demanding a pay cut because it's not fair that he makes more-- or at least offer to share his extra with the women he works with? Oh, but wait, he already shares his hard earned money with a woman.

I don't have answers. My point being that beating, drugging, and raping make the news, but a more subtle kind of "violence" is perpetrated on women all the time, and men never get called out for it.

@68 - misandry is very real, and it usually comes in forms that perpetuate patriarchy by portraying men as inherently dominant, violent, cruel, etc.

What *isn't* real is matriarchy. Don't confuse the two.
@74 - having a husband share his earnings with you does not equality make. Having a husband who's willing to stand up for you in situations where you know you're dealing with someone who will only listen to a man? Does also not equality make. I've had to explain this to my husband so many times, and I know it's hard on him because god knows I don't want him to think it's unappreciated that he takes care of me. But that doesn't change the fact that what I want is to live in a world where that's not required. I'd also like my relationship to be free of that sort of dependence because it can raise questions about the extent to which I'm with him of my own free will.
For OSW, two stories to give you some hope:

#1: On our first date, my now-fiance asked me if he could kiss me. He has never been anything but completely respectful of me and my bodily autonomy. Even now that we're engaged and constantly "grabby" with each other, I know that he would stop if I asked him to, as I would for him.

When I decided to take up burlesque dancing last year, he was 100% supportive and enthusiastic. Not a trace of hesitation or jealousy of other men watching me strip (which is, unfortunately, something I've seen other dancers have to deal with). He has never, EVER, treated me as his possession or as anything other than his equal.

#2: A friend of mine bills himself as a "recovering sexist". He has for several years now been educating men (or trying to, anyway) on why their standard treatment and expectations of women are flat-out wrong. I don't know if he started this hashtag, but he's been combating #notallmen with #allmencan, suggesting ways for men to fight misogyny as opposed to defending their behavior.

His nutshell speech:

"Men are not entitled to women. Not to their smiles. Not their attention. Not their time. Not their bodies.

Men. Are not. Entitled. To women."

He's awesome and I hope more guys take after him!
I've had very few men stand up for me in my life. Most of the time they've just watched and done nothing, or laughed and told me to stop taking it seriously. Like when I was held down in front of others by a guy who was trying to yank my shirt up, or the leader of my dojo who stuck his tongue in my ear (I quit after). Ironically I'd joined the dojo to learn to fight after I'd been stalked by another man, my physics TA. I still have serious problems with sex, and cannot bear to be held down or tied up in any way. Any attempts to do so end with me huddled in the fetal position, crying and shaking. That or throwing up. It has that effect, too. I learned in my first marriage that I couldn't count on my husband to help me in any way. My second one is much better, and he is a great guy. I still have a hard time trusting that he won't treat me the way the last one did (oh yeah, the first husband also threatened to post naked pictures of me all over the internet).
@74, realistically, he should mentor women who are coming up the ranks and give them opportunities to shine; he should encourage male colleagues to work less when they have young kids; he should work to improve the family leave policies at his work, and he should speak up for women when they are considered for leadership positions. And he should shut down his male colleagues when they say "she got pregnant; she's not serious about the job." Also give money to Planned Parenthood and vote for politicians who might make him pay higher taxes but will help break down the patriarchy bit by bit.
@32 is right. #Notallmen came first.

Also, sadly, though I usually think that I'm surrounded by fairly enlightened men in my work and personal life, when I experience something like gender bias or sexual harassment, the men I know totally fail to understand it. For instance, when my boss was treating me differently than my male colleagues (I live in a male-dominated workplace), all the male friends or colleagues that I spoke to about it said something that either excused him or blamed me, like: "he's probably just attracted to you," or "are you sure you aren't acting differently than the men" or "it's probably in your head, how do you know it has anything to do with you being a woman?" Whereas all of my women friends say: "ugh, that happens to me too" or "what a jerk."

In my experience, even smart and kind people have a really hard time understanding or believing something that's outside the realm of their experience. My (ex) boyfriend was a sweet guy, and if some stranger were to assault me or call me a bitch, sure, he would "protect" me and want to kill the guy. But if someone whistled at me from a car and I told him about it, the first thing he'd do would be look to see if my outfit might have been inviting it. Ditto most guys I know, I'm sad to say.
A few years ago my girlfriend and I were waiting for the subway, when a guy started verbally abusing and threatening his partner. I turned to her, and asked whether she needed help. She said yes, so I asked the guy to back off. He started yelling at my girlfriend, telling her to mind her own business. I intervened telling him to stop and asked my girlfriend to get the subway staff. I kept between him and his girl until subway staff came and escorted him out.
Not heroic on my part, something any guy could do.
Also, on the positive side, the very best example I know of a man who uses his position to truly stand up for women is Stranger writer Paul Constant. He holds himself accountable, he holds other men accountable, and he backs up other women writers/bloggers when they speak out. Just sayin'. Good job Paul. It makes a difference.
For OSW's post, I still love my friend Chris's blog post about this one day on BART:….

For OSW's post, I still love my friend Chris's blog post about this one day on BART:….

And to bring this whole post full circle, he's poly, living happily in a household with his partners and their new baby, and it totally not an entitled, spoiled, white dude who is bored with the demands of a Real Committed Relationship. Well, okay, he's white. But their relationship is very real and committed and poly.
@31 nocutename: Hey! I'm glad to hear from you after all this time and that there weren't any ruffled feathers. Like you, I have actually been doing the same thing in reading comment threads more and typing less, too.
Aren't we lucky to be just time for the Not All Menz fray? Hoo boy.
A straight male friend of mine has two friends who are a lesbian couple. When they kiss in a club, men would often come up to them, start groping if they were kissing only to draw the attention of men (damn lesbian erasure!).
He would go and politely tell the guys to go away and they would always leave the girls alone after that.

Nothing extraordinary in itself, but what I liked is that, by telling me about it, my friend said he was shocked that those guys would only comply once a MAN stand up for the girls, not when the latter ask them to.

So basically he was doing the right thing, but was also aware that he had to play within a fucked-up system.
@43: Me three. I had the same reaction. I'm not a poly person, but I'm pretty sure "rules that fit me" is not exactly how it works. I'm not sure this guy was terribly articulate, so perhaps he merely expressed himself poorly, but it sounds like things might not work out well for him because he's not really considerate of his partners.
@74 (I swear I will not derail this thread)....

In varying degrees my situation is like that you described and there are very few women on the same rungs I am at now. There were lots of women on the rungs with me when I started in finance and consulting. At these corporate type gigs, the entry level salaries were fixed so we all made the same cash.

There are probably 100 different reasons why so few women make it to the top rungs and surely sexism is a factor. But from what I see, issues 1-90 are related to motherhood.

Where I work time is money and generally the more time you put in (if put in efficiently) the more clients you have and the more money you make for the company and, accordingly, for you. Careers usually take off in years 7-20 which is around when people hit their early 30s, i.e. the early childhood years for young professionals. And it's at this crucial professional development stage that almost all of my female colleagues who were every bit, if not more talented than I am, dropped down or dropped out to have kids.

Now combine that with the fact that most of the best and brightest women are married to the best and brightest men (I think Charles Murray has a book about this). Financially, many of the women don't need the money because their husbands do well. I was lamenting to my partner that the bright female analysist I recently hired will be gone in 5 years right around the time her husband finishes his ortho fellowship.

FWIW, this is a big problem for companies too. I “overpay” (i.e. looking strictly at productions numbers on a spreadsheet) the females in our company because I need them here over men. Partly because Forutne 500s require diversity from their partners and vendors.

The solution seems to be that women need a “wife” to take care of the domestic so they can focus on penultimate careers (assuming they want that), but I see very few women marrying "down" that would allow that.
I do not feel any more need to express “not all men are like that” any time a story is published about some psycho any more than a woman might need to express “not all women are like that” when one fills her minivan full of her kids and drives it into a lake.
I've been very lucky in that almost all of the men in my life have been absolutely awesome when it comes to treating women well and fairly. But I'm a woman, and YesAllWomen, so here's a story that matches OSW's request.

In ninth grade - as with pretty much all of high school - I was basically the quietest girl in my class. Bookish, very shy, and not at all noticeable - fine with me. One day at lunch I was eating lunch at a full cafeteria table full of a mix of solo eaters when my uniform skirt kept falling against my right leg in a funny way. I readjusted my sitting position a couple of times before I realized that this was happening because the boy to my right - a male classmate I'd never interacted with in my life - was very subtly playing with my skirt under the table. I didn't acknowledge him, but did suddenly get up and walk to another location. He followed me, sat down next to me, and kept doing it, so I got up and abandoned my lunch tray only 2/3 finished and walked out.

My history teacher - male and middle-aged - came and found me in the library afterwards (my natural habitat) and asked me to come into his office. He said he'd been on cafeteria duty and noticed that the boy to my right had been following me around and bothering me in some way or another, and asked me if I'd be willing to tell him what happened. I was, and I did. He thanked me and reassured me that this was not even a little bit acceptable. Then he went and dragged the boy into his office for a severe talking-to. The boy showed up absolutely in tears to apologize to me afterwards and tell me that he would never do it again. History teacher followed up with me and explained that the boy had been trying to impress his male friends at another table. (By sexually harassing a girl. Yeah. Lovely.)

The boy and I never interacted again, which was perfectly okay with me; I don't recall ever being in a class with him, and I'm guessing that he and his friends were too embarrassed to go anywhere near me again. Here's hoping that this particular boy also never took advantage of a girl/woman again - either for the sake of a really messed-up attempt to impress other guys or for any other reason. My history teacher was an absolutely wonderful man and also a brilliant scholar; now I've made myself miss him! :)
This is a story about my boyfriend.
I was sexually assaulted by a friend the day after my boyfriend lost his virginity to me. I was terrified that if I told people they would have anger towards the person who had assaulted me, and that would take over everything else. What I really wanted was for my loved ones to focus on me and the support and love I needed. When I told my mother, the first thing she said was "well, did he tie you up?" When I told my father, I told him that I didn't want him telling anyone. That very day while I was in school, he told my step mom. He didn't give me a chance to tell her myself. All this hurt, but the person that I was most scared of telling was my boyfriend. I didn't know what his reaction would be.
His reaction was to sit and listen to me, and ask questions when he was confused about something. His reaction was to hug me when I asked him to, and to let me cry on his shoulder for as long as I needed. His reaction was to have his own hurt emotions about it, but not let them get in the way of mine. His reaction was (and still is) to be my sounding-board, and to let me heal. His reaction was perfect.
When my eldest son was of the age to be interested in girls, I taught him about consent. I told him that he needed to ask girls if it was okay to ___. Is it okay to hold hold your hand, okay to kiss you, okay to ___. Now, his son is of that age. I told his mom that she needs to teach him about consent.

I didn't teach my younger, somewhat autistic, son about consent because he seemed far too shy for it to be an issue. Then, his step-sister was somehow traumatized by him. That was several years ago, and resulted in my son being ostracized by all of his step-sibs. He claimed not to know what he did that she was upset about. I still don't know what happened, and probably never will.
A friend of mine (a gay man, if it matters - I include the detail because, given what transpired, it helps to shatter some stereotypes) had some acquaintances over. One of the guys began beating his wife in the yard. No one could make it stop.
My friend went into his house and came back out holding his handgun: "If you don't stop this right now, I will consider you a threat to everyone here and shoot." (He was in FL, so that carried water.)

Heavy handed? Sure.
But he stopped.

Sad postscript: My friend did call the police - Florida's not quite the Wild West yet - and the wife took her husband's side, bruised an battered as she was.
Thank you, Dan.
@88 Tim, yeah- think the biological model would have caught up with the business one , eh? Like, get with the programme biology ..
when I was working on a construction job site for an engineering company, I regularly got treated to delightfully sexist/demeaning/derogatory/harassing comments. Like the day I wore my hair in two braids: "Hey, your hair reminds me of handlebars." Or, when riding in a truck on the worksite between two men: "hey! Do you like to cross-country ski?" They called me "jungle bunny" when they found out that my boyfriend was from India. Or when I got laryngitis: "who wore your throat out last night?"
In my twenties, I got drunk at a few parties. More than once, I've had men try to get into bed with me at those parties, without consent. I've woken up, still drunk, with hands up my shirt, or my skirt.
I think about the time, when I was tree planting, a coworker put his hand up my dress and fondled my breasts in front of the entire camp when we were out at the bar. NONCONSENSUALLY. When I kicked up a fuss, his foreman told me to cool it down, and that I was 'overreacting'.
No, not all men. But all those guys over the years? They're the ones who would deny that they were guilty of sexual assault. They'd be the first to yell: 'not all men'. I agree with you, Dan. Sit down, #NotAllMen, and stfu. My experiences were valid. They were real, I lived through them, and while I joked my way through all of it, underneath I was always frightened, humiliated, and wondered if I was to blame for their actions. If I deserved to be treated that way.
And when it comes to 'treating women like they're actual human beings', there is no fucking medal. You don't get praise and snuggly hugs for not being an asshole, you just get the satisfaction of knowing that you're not an asshole. Make your own "I'm not an asshole to women medal" and wear it on the inside. Proudly.
Sounds to me like POLY might be more looking for Monogamish, than actual Poly?

Poly might be the hip 'in thing' right now, (and I know I will catch sh*t for that, and that there have always been successfully Poly people, no offense, just aiming at the hipsters trying it out for the kudos here), but I know I would never have the emotional lady-balls to pull it off, and nor would I even try. And I consider myself fairly emotionally literate.

I have seen many people try and fail.

I am not trying to be Debbie Downer, but just a little realistic here, and to stick up for those of us who feel a little pressured sometimes by the current hipness of Poly. It doesn't work for nearly as many people as people would like to think it does.

I am not saying don't experiment, but just that Monogamish might be a better, less loaded conversation.
Not all men?
I have been in a number of negative situations in my life, what women hasn't? Not once, have any of the other men around, ever stepped up and stopped it happening. Not once.

I am sure there are good men out there, and plenty of them, I know there are, but the saying comes to mind about evil happening when good men fail to take action.

I can understand why though, generally speaking, if a guy gets in another guy's face, there are consequences. I get that. I do. You never know if they are going to go batshit and hurt you too. Men sometimes have guns and knives.

I have had to step up myself a number of times in defense of other women though, on buses, in bars, you name it, and be that woman who stands up for her less able sisters.
Maybe it's easier, women don't generally risk getting punched in the face by guys, or worse. Most men won't actually physically HURT another woman, even if they do sometimes sexually assault us, a punch in the face still seems too taboo, thankfully. Whereas they will think nothing of hurting another man.

I am not standing up for any men who don't step up here, quite the opposite, just saying that there's sometimes a reason why other men don't feel safe enough to step in.

It's still bullshit though, which ever way you look at it, when they don't.

Men, we need you. It's a scary world out there, if you don't protect us sometimes, bad things happen, despite how many other women there are like me around, who are not afraid to take on a jerk face to face and take a risk for a sister.
Brief timeline correction: #YesAllWomen was in response to #NotAllMen, not the other way around!

But here: My dude and I were friends for a long time before we made it official, and he totally stepped in for a platonic slowdance before some creeper that had been on my ass for a while could get to me, just a few months before we got all boyfriend/girlfriend. He's a great dude.
Being whistled at is a problem for women now? At what point does this become repression of male sexuality? Are men now expected to feel like pieces of shit every time they find a woman attractive? How ashamed of sex does a woman have to get before it becomes unreasonable for her to expect men to accommodate her? "Your new hairstyle is attractive, Helen." "Stop it! I'm not just a fuck hole!"

To be fair to men who feel the need to point out that we're not all violent, rapist assholes, women do often speak as if men in general are the problem. Framing the issue as men vs. women invites this misunderstanding. How about being against rape, violence, and harassment period rather than specifically women being victimized by men?
Nursepotter wrote: Or, when riding in a truck on the worksite between two men: "hey! Do you like to cross-country ski?"

First, that's funny. Second, the proper response for the woman to make is, "There'd be no point in me doing that since I'm sure you boys are way better at it than me, what with all the practice you've had."

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