Sexist Talk About Women Affects Women. No, Really!

It’s embarrassing to admit to sexist behavior.

Especially for a married man. Especially for a liberal. Especially for a dating and relationship coach who specializes in helping women.

But I don’t write this blog (or offer advice) to look good. I write here as a reflection of reality. Yes, I believe I’m one of the good ones – and yes, even the good ones have been raised in a society that objectifies women – and have been known to make mistakes once in awhile.

Today’s article on sexism comes courtesy of Sam Polk, a former bond trader who was immersed in the culture of Wall Street. Writes Polk, “Most of the sexism on Wall Street occurs when women aren’t in the room. “Bro talk” produces a force field of disrespect and exclusion that makes it incredibly difficult for women to ascend the Wall Street ladder. When you create a culture where women are casually torn apart in conversation, how can you ever stomach promoting them, or working for them? There are many reasons that men still overwhelmingly populate trading floors and boardrooms, but this is one that has gotten too little attention.”

Outraged men (MRAs, certain Trump voters) may say this has gotten way too much attention. “It’s not us; it’s the feminazis who are trying to emasculate us!”

Except, of course, that’s not true. As the article points out, only 2% of hedge fund managers are women. Given that women are half the population, that’s not just a “women opting out of work for motherhood” issue or a “women and math” issue; it’s a women have a glass ceiling on Wall Street issue that is culturally ingrained.

Outraged men (MRAs, certain Trump voters) may say this has gotten way too much attention. “It’s not us; it’s the feminazis who are trying to emasculate us!” Except, of course, that’s not true.

Most Wall Street guys would admit as much, but they rarely do or say anything.

Why not? Because, according to Polk, “it feels really good to be in the in-crowd. A few years ago, when I heard reports that Yale fraternity brothers had marched through campus chanting, “No means yes, yes means anal,” I was aghast. At the same time, I understood the thrilling camaraderie those young men must have felt from joining together to say something obscene, and to recognize that our culture had granted them that power.

Men have been inculcated by dads and coaches with an ideal of masculinity and male bonding that includes, and even revolves around, the objectification of women. I knew from a young age that my dad was a “tit man.” My high school baseball coach often talked about which senior girls had the best bodies. In many ways, objectifying women was the rite of passage through which I entered the world of men.

That helps explain why I stood silent hundreds of times as men objectified and degraded women. Protesting would have violated the sanctity of the men-only space, and would have risked interfering with the bonding that goes hand in hand with the objectification of the other sex. It would have been embarrassing and emasculating. And it would have been bad for my career.”

Yeah, that sounds about right. It’s not cool or popular to stand up for women when you’re a man. You risk getting called out as a pussy, a traitor, or in the inimitable words of the MGTOW crowd, a mangina. (Ha!)

They can all go fuck themselves.

I’m no longer going to sweep sexism under the rug as if it’s a victimless crime. It’s not. Women are the victims. And we should be talking about it.

I do think that there is value in women understanding what was written above – that men ARE driven by testosterone, are inculcated into objectifying (and often bond from it), and few men have the courage to shame and alienate their friends just to take a moral stand.

That explains what’s happening. It doesn’t begin to fix it.

I may still have moments where I’m immersed in bro culture – football games, bachelor parties, guys’ nights out. I may still engage in objectification based on primal attraction and the culture in which I grew up. (Hey, I’m self-aware, not perfect.) But I’m no longer going to sweep sexism under the rug as if it’s a victimless crime.

It’s not. Women are the victims. And we should be talking about it.

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

Join our conversation (77 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Orlando

    Thank you for this post. Finally another man says what I feel. Objectifying women hurts everyone. I strongly believe it plays apart in failed relationships and in cheating. It takes courage to introspect and take responsibility for our thoughts and actions. Respecting women behind closed doors in the “locker room” is one big step for men to lessen the mistrust between the sexes.

  2. 2
    CaliforniaGirl

    What can you expect if all those young boys are raised on music and shows where every second word is bitch or fuck and all those naked girls can be yours if you are the man. My girlfriend’s 10 year old son was talking to his friend about how he has a side bitch. Maybe he picked it from his coach at school, who knows? And why to go far when a presidential candidate just grabs them by the …I don’t see why anyone should be even surprised…

  3. 3
    KK

    This won’t change until parents instill values in their children and model those same values through their own behavior.

  4. 4
    Sonia

    Don’t worry, guys. For every woman you’ve slept with, at least 10 other women know the size of your penis and the quality of your bedroom prowess – and it’s highly unlikely you got a 10/10.

    I say this not to justify either side’s behaviour, but to be realistic that this isn’t going to change much. Men bond by talking dirty about women. Women bond by talking dirty about men. As long as we’re conscious of it and don’t go too far, we’ll be fine. Posts like this definitely help, so thank you, Evan.

    1. 4.1
      Buck25

      For every woman you’ve slept with, at least 10 other women know the size of your penis and the quality of your bedroom prowess…”

      Sonia,

      We know that; one more incentive (as if it were needed) for us to make as certain as we can that a woman’s experience in bed with us is the best we can possibly give her; it’s not just considerate, and the right thing to do; it’s also damn good “advertising” (advertising for which, at least in the now-distant past, I have had occasion to be grateful) 🙂

      That part of it aside, both genders do a bit of “objectifying” the other, and I doubt we are going to be able to eliminate the behavior entirely; the key, as you noted, is to be aware of it, and keep it within appropriate bounds. What might those be? I recall Justice Stewart’s remark about “obscenity”; he said he couldn’t precisely define it, but he knew it when he saw it. Perhaps that’s the sort of standard that applies here. Once upon a time, at least in the part of America I’m from, we had a quaint little concept called “manners”; it wasn’t always perfect, but it did serve as a sort of social lubricant which lessened any unpleasantness, and eliminated most of the more boorish sort of behavior. Alas, these days it seems to have mostly vanished, cast aside in favor of a rather poor substitute we call “political correctness”. This last seems to be a rather blunt instrument, and I would urge some caution in wielding it, as that may have unintended consequences. I’m a little leery, as John is below, of the sort of social engineering which is a bit too enthusiastic in its shaming of ALL masculine behavior. I’m afraid I can’t endorse that, any more than I can endorse the idea of either gender actively looking for things to feel offended by. (I wonder if some women today, wouldn’t be “offended” by a man they weren’t interested in so much as tipping his hat to them, as was common custom when men usually wore a hat in public; I don’t see that the practice did any significant harm to either gender. I mean, a polite “hello”or a polite simple compliment, hardly seems to me to be “harassment”, much less a threat of unwanted advances, or worse. Do we no longer know the difference between talking with or about each other, and degrading each other? I really think there is one, and like Justice Stewart, “I know it when I see it.”

      1. 4.1.1
        Henriette

        @Buck25: (Last I read from you, you wrote you wouldn’t be back!  Truly glad you changed your mind.  xox)  I think that most of us know the difference between talking about each other and degrading each other, but ~ as usual ~ an ugly minority who does (or doesn’t care) makes life unpleasant for the rest of us.

        I wish Polk (cited by EMK) had been less sweeping in his statements.  Men have been inculcated by dads and coaches with an ideal of masculinity and male bonding that includes, and even revolves around, the objectification of women. I knew from a young age that my dad was a “tit man.”  That might be true in his experience, but the vast majority of coaches and dads I know teach their sons to respect women.  As I responded to an acquaintance who explained her desire to wear a hijab with (no joke), “Let’s face it, men are pigs;” “Maybe your father, brothers and sons are pigs.  Mine are honourable, thoughtful people.”  

        The breakdown in a commonly-accepted and -practiced manners certainly doesn’t helped.  I also wonder how the spate of young women (Kardashians, Instagram “models,” etc) who objectify themselves while claiming empowerment confuses a new generation of boys and girls about the nature of objectification.  Certainly, thoughtful and involved parents/teachers/ coaches etc. can help them navigate this minefield, but it’s not easy.

        Finally, as much as we must stand firm against harmful behaviour, we should remember to appreciate what is right.   When was the last time I acknowledged a guy friend for declining his clients’ invitation to strip clubs, or praised my brother for always talking about his ex-girlfriends respectfully?  Do I tell women it’s not okay when they speak about men as we wouldn’t want them to speak of us?  So easy to point fingers, a bit harder to examine ourselves or seek out and thank the  the good.

         

      2. 4.1.2
        KK

        Buck25 said, “Once upon a time, at least in the part of America I’m from, we had a quaint little concept called “manners”; it wasn’t always perfect, but it did serve as a sort of social lubricant which lessened any unpleasantness, and eliminated most of the more boorish sort of behavior. Alas, these days it seems to have mostly vanished, cast aside in favor of a rather poor substitute we call “political correctness”.

        So true!!!

      3. 4.1.3
        Lisa

        I’ve never told a girlfriend about a partners size or how he was in bed.  But!  I was lucky enough to be told by a great mom never to be such a petty girl.  It’s an organ and you can hurt a man deeply making it a topic amongst the girls. She also told me never to egg a man on to fight for me ie; ”  Mike said I’m this and he wants me” or ” he keeps staring at me”  things that will most likely pass and our men don’t need to hear.  I had two gf who I think really loved the drama of it.  I’m thinking I don’t want to see someone I love in a physical brawl over some childish bs.  Many men will want to beat their chests. So there are some exceptions the rule of girl talk.

        1. KK

          Thanks, Lisa. Neither have I or the women I know.

        2. Emily, the original

          Lisa,

          I’ve never told a girlfriend about a partners size or how he was in bed.

          Never? I tell my best friend. I don’t go into too much detail about a man’s body, but I do give details about the encounter. My best friend could tell you the names of the guys I’ve had the best sex with and who’d I’d rather never hook up with again.

    2. 4.2
      Angela

      I see your point but I don’t talk about mens bodies to other women like this. I feel it is disrespectful. Men cant help their genetics and how their bodies turn out.

    3. 4.3
      AMT

      While it is not okay for any gender to objectify others based on their gender, I think it is important to recognize that it’s not just an issue of “locker room talk” by either gender. Men have a history of oppressing women. When they do it, it perpetuates the system of oppression and rape culture. And although it will never go away entirely, we absolutely can do something about it with education, conversations, and increasing equity in access to services and jobs.

    4. 4.4
      Persephone

      Sonia, the coversation you describe is so different from any reality I have. I would not be comfortable in the presence of that type conversation. I am not alone. I have heard other women in my circle say, in respnse to such talk, “Ewwwww, too much information!”

    5. 4.5
      Liz

      It is not the same thing. Mainly because the objectification of women in western society leads to violence and aggression against women. It is in itself a form of microagression. Furthermore, tho women may speak about their sexual relationships with men in private, mens’ bodies have not been viewed as sexual objects through out history. There is a HUGE difference. Nor is it this type of behaviour anywhere near as pervasive amongst women as a form of bonding and proof of femininity. So please stop belittling this deeply disturbing and important issue with the oh so common: “but women do it too”. We as modern women must stop excusing this behaviour. Our daughters deserve better.

  5. 5
    John

    “Objectifying” women without being a scumbag is possible. I love to see a beautiful woman. I don’t say sleazy things to them. I just say, “Wow!” I might say, “Looking beautiful today.” When I compliment women in a classy way, they love it. Sometimes they blush and run away. We have to be careful not to drum all of the masculinity out of males. In our society, we are playing a dangerous game of shaming men on ALL masculine behavior. Of course there are negative aspects of masculine behavior as well as negative aspects of the feminine. I am definitely not into living in a society where gender is not recognized. I love being a man and I love appreciating a woman’s beauty. I certainly hope we all don’t become a bunch of neutered office drones repeating politically-correct platitudes to each other.

    1. 5.1
      KK

      Nice comment, John. Agreed.

    2. 5.2
      Emily, the original

      John,

      Women like to hear compliments from one very specific subset of men: Men they genuinely like and/or are interested in.

      If you are saying “Looking beautiful today” to random women on the street, it’s probably not appreciated and instead makes them uncomfortable. It may even make women who you do know (co-workers, neighbors) uncomfortable as well. Depends on how well they know you. Depends on if they like you and you have a rapport.

      1. 5.2.1
        Henriette

        Meh, not all women.  It depends on how it’s done.  If a guy passes me by on the street and says, with a nod and a smile, “you look lovely today”, it puts a spring in my step and brings me not one jot of discomfort.  On the other hand, if he stops, stands too close to me, mouth-breaths heavily and stares at my nipples while saying the same thing, I won’t appreciate it, even if I am (er… was, until that moment) interested in him.

        1. Emily, the original

          Henriette,

          That’s pretty much what I wrote. It depends on who says it and how it’s said. A big majority of compliments are probably welcome, but then there’s that one creeper who ruins it for every other man … And a creeper NEVER seems to know he’s a creeper. Or he just doesn’t care how uncomfortable he’s making women.

      2. 5.2.2
        John

        Hi Emily,

        I know you are trying to be helpful, but the sad thing about your advice to me in your above comment is your telling me to bridle my positive masculinity because you don’t know me. I hear women who are not friends complimenting other women and that is okay. Why not a man? I am not insulting women and I am not following them down the street breathing down their necks. I am saying they look attractive. If I see a woman I am attracted to, I approach her. I am a man and that is how it works. It may not be convenient, but how can we meet if I can only talk to women in bars or at parties. You may meet the man of your dreams in an “inappropriate” place like a grocery store or standing in line at the movie theater.

        If you choose to be uncomfortable by compliments given to you by men who pass you by in public, I’d say that is tragic. If you feel that a man has to know you to say your dress looks good, then I’d say your desire for control is off the charts. The thing is Emily, you cannot control other people’s comments. You can be uncomfortable and offended and a guy can say you look beautiful and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. If being complimented is the worse thing that can happen to you, I think you are doing pretty good.

        1. Emily, the original

          The bottom line is, Mr. John, it’s only sexual harassment if a woman doesn’t like the man making the comment. How does he know if she’ll like him? He doesn’t.

      3. 5.2.3
        KK

        Hi Emily,

        How has anything John said constitute sexual harassment??? Saying hello or giving a compliment is a far cry from sexual harassment and I think it does a HUGE disservice to people who have actually experienced true sexual harassment.

        If someone you aren’t interested in compliments you, say thank you, and walk away.

        I might have you confused with another commenter, but are you the one who had a guy at work that kept approaching you? Why not simply say you aren’t interested? Most guys will back off. If not, then and only then, is it considered harassment.

        By law, at least where I live, you have to let the person know you don’t want any contact. Ask me how I know.

        I think what you said about women only wanting attention from certain men is true. However, what’s your solution? Harassment suits against any man that dare approach you because he isn’t a mind reader?  I’d prefer not to punish men simply for showing interest. It’s usually a pretty simple solution if someone is giving you unwanted attention.

        1. Emily, the original

          KK,

          No, nothing John said was harassment. I was half-kidding. I should have made that clear.

          I might have you confused with another commenter, but are you the one who had a guy at work that kept approaching you? Why not simply say you aren’t interested? Most guys will back off

          Yes, that was me. Actually, no, that’s not true. A lot of guys will keep trying, even if you don’t respond. It becomes tricky in a work situation where you have get along with people. What this guy said to me wasn’t offensive — he kept asking me if there was a Mr. Emily — but I just didn’t feel like dealing with that kind of attention. Don’t you ever have days where you just want do your job and go home? It was pretty obvious (within minutes of meeting him) that he was going to start pushing for that type of interaction. Had I been interested, I would have reciprocated and given him a wide opening to do so.

        2. KK

          Hi again Emily,

          “It becomes tricky in a work situation where you have get along with people. What this guy said to me wasn’t offensive — he kept asking me if there was a Mr. Emily — but I just didn’t feel like dealing with that kind of attention. Don’t you ever have days where you just want do your job and go home?”

          I get it and you’re right. It does become tricky at work. I’ve had those same experiences and so has every one of my female friends. I don’t know the solution. It’s much easier if it’s a stranger on the street than with someone you have to work with, or FOR!

    3. 5.3
      Angela

      Objectifying women and being sexist is being a male. LOL Thankfully not all men are this way. Thanks Evan for the words in this post!!

    4. 5.4
      AMT

      I think it is important to recognize how judgments about a female’s appearance may be perceived. Just because someone judges a woman positively doesn’t remove the fact that it is a judgment that could just as easily go the other direction. Having been criticized my whole life on my appearance, often comments about my looks, even ones meant to be nice, make me extremely uncomfortable.

      Just from a personal perspective, the comments that are more of a recognition of who I am are the ones that are meaningful to me. If a man were to say, “Wow, that is amazing that you are getting your doctorate, you must be really intelligent,” that would make me feel like he took a moment to figure out who I am and say something positive with substance. Also, (hopefully) I will always be smart, but looks fade. If my only value to you is my appearance, then that is frightening to me.

      I’m guessing you’ll say I’m overthinking this or being too politically correct. However, saying things with good intentions but without considering the consequences is not masculine behavior, it’s privileged behavior and it’s important to recognize it. Just because you use a racist term with good intentions doesn’t make it any less hurtful to the receiver. Just because you throw a rock without meaning to hurt anyone doesn’t mean you don’t have to apologize if you hit someone in the head.

  6. 6
    Tim

    Sexist, male-only conscription and a sexist 99% all-male front line fighting force affects men.  Really!

    1. 6.1
      Callie

      Agree. Hence why feminists are working to get women equal rights even within the armed forces. Trying to get the army to allow them to fight in positions they so far have not been allowed to. It’s tough though when some guys are insisting that men won’t be able to fight alongside a woman or take orders from her etc. We still have a long way to go, but it’s at least a start.

      As for conscription, ditto. I absolutely believe that if we’re ever in that situation again, women should be conscripted along with men. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a feminist who wouldn’t feel similarly. I remember as a kid thinking about equal rights and studying WWII and saying to my parents, “It’s scary, but I guess if this happens again, women would also have to go to war.” Because that was equality.

      So yup! Definitely we need to keep working on it. Though I do hope we’re never in a situation ever again where people are forced to go to war against their will or desire or beliefs. But that’s a separate conversation 🙂 .

      1. 6.1.1
        KK

        I’ve never understood how a minority of women can insist on changes that affect ALL women. The latest polls show 32% of women identify as feminists.

        1. Callie

          Well there’s a difference between a label and what people want. The term “feminist” is a loaded one for many, and many women don’t want to wear it because they understand the backlash from calling themselves such or they actually believe that BS lie that feminism is man hating, women need to be superior, crap etc. But if you ask a woman if she wants equal pay, equal rights, right to decide what happens to her body, respect in the workplace, the ability to make choices for herself, a desire to feel safer walking down the street, to not be objectified etc etc and so on, then you’ll find many many many women support such things.

          So yeah, it doesn’t really matter about the label, it’s about what women want, not what women want to call themselves that matters. So can you give me stats on whether it’s a similar majority who doesn’t want equal rights, pay etc?

      2. 6.1.2
        KK

        Callie,

        “So can you give me stats on whether it’s a similar majority who doesn’t want equal rights, pay etc?”

        None exist that I’m aware of, but I’d be willing to guess that 100% of all women want equal pay, etc.

        A better question, (back to your original comment), is what percentage of women want to be forced to join the military by draft, and what percentage of men feel those women are just as capable to be on the front lines?

         

        1. Shaukat

          @KK,

          It’s well established that during the draft most men also resented being “forced to join the military,” so that statement is irrelevant to the issue of equality. No one is suggesting that men or women be forced to join the draft. Regarding the second point, even in the 1990s there was a prevailing consensus that homosexuals were incapable of fighting on the frontlines, a view which is now in disrepute. In other words, what moist people “feel” is irrelevant if their “feelings” are divorced from reality and rationality. This would apply to Morris’ comment below as well.

        2. KK

          Hi Shaukaut,

          In response to your, “No one is suggesting that men or women be forced to join the draft”.

          First, if necessary, the draft will go into effect which negates your part of the statement concerning men.

          And all it takes is a little foresight to realize that this is what will happen eventually, with women as well, as long as they keep pushing the issue.

          I don’t know if you watched the debates for presidential nominee or not, but it was actually a question. All the nominees (that were asked) said they would be in favor of a female draft. Now, do I believe they really believe that’s best? Nope! I think they all wanted to be politically correct.

          I’m not sure how you think my feelings are divorced from reality. Only 15% of active duty military is female. That kinda gives you an idea of the number of actual women that WANT to be in the military.

        3. Shaukat

          Hi KK,

          I did watch the debates, but don’t remember that part. In my opinion, there will never be a draft in the US again, because it became clear after Vietnam that it doesn’t lead to anything good. However, if there was a possibility, I would oppose it for both women and men, not along gender lines. With adequate training, I’m sure the women who choose to sign up for the military do well.

          That said, in my view equality is not synonymous with identical. It simply means, roughly, fairness and justice. So, if there was a job position that required massive upper body strength, then of course I think it would be reasonable to exclude most women from it (and probably many men as well).

          Also, I didn’t mean offense when I said ‘divorced from reality.’ I was referring to the part of your statement where you implied that many men may not ‘feel’ women are qualified. I would want to see evidence that they’re not qualified is all I meant.

        4. KK

          Shaukaut,

          ” In my opinion, there will never be a draft in the US again, because it became clear after Vietnam that it doesn’t lead to anything good.”

          I sure hope you’re right! I’m not quite as confident, unfortunately, given the current circumstances.

        5. Persephone

          Callie, what percentage of men want to be drafted? Probably about the same percentage as women. This country will never have a draft again as a means to build a military.

          My sister joined voluntarily. The sexism was so bad that she was blocked fom advancing in certain areas she was skilled in. Our military was deprived of the benefits of one highly talented individual, and they pushed her out by talking sexist to her.

           

           

    2. 6.2
      Buck25

      Tim,

      Have you ever been in combat? I have been, and it’s not something I would wish on anyone. Infantry combat is not some damn video game; the bleeding and the dying, the killing and the fear are all too real, there are no “do-overs” or “extra lives”, and anyone who carries a weapon into battle, and is lucky enough to come out alive, carries the awful memories of what he has seen, heard, felt, and had to do, for the rest of his life. There is honor, courage, sacrifice and a curious mix of pride and humility in it, but overall it’s a hellish experience; it’s telling that few who have lived it want to talk about it much, if at all.

      A lot of conscripts had to fight in Vietnam. I fervently hope that’s the last time, at least on our side, that draftees who never really wanted to be in uniform in the first place are sent into battle. Modern weaponry may have done one positive thing-rendering massed armies as we used to know them obsolete, and thus making conscript armies a relic of the past. I hope so.

      So I hope you understand that, while I’m all for women having equal responsibility for pulling their own weight, this is one area where I’d honestly rather see them do it in other ways, besides direct combat. My instinct is to protect and defend women; I don’t know whether that’s just hard-wired biology, or whether it’s simply what men of my generation were taught to believe we were expected to do, and I don’t think it matters, really. All I know is that I wouldn’t want a woman watching my back in combat; not because I wouldn’t trust her (at least if she’s properly trained), not because I think a woman can’t be just as fierce as any man (experience says she can be), but because I think there’s something good and and different and special within a woman’s spirit, that’s worthy of being protected from learning something a man learns in the heat of battle. What is that? The awful discovery that for all of his civilized values and inhibitions, there is within him a terrible, primal darkness that can override everything he believes in, and for a few moments turn him into a soulless, remorseless, merciless killing machine. That is a bit of self-knowledge that any sane, rational, civilized human being can well do without, and no one is quite the same again after acquiring it. That is all.

  7. 7
    Morris

    “they actually believe that BS lie that feminism is man hating, women need to be superior, crap etc”

     

    Or there actually is a segment of the feminist population that has practiced just that. And without much backlash for other feminists.

     

    Men don’t get to tell women how they feel and women don’t get to tell men how they feel. It’s pretty safe to say the majority of men don’t feel feminism is all about ‘equality’. Doesn’t really matter what feminist say the definition is or is not. Clean house than maybe things will change.

    1. 7.1
      Angela

      Those women you are talking about are not ‘femanist’. Thats a different thing entirely. Femanism is what Callie described. Every time I hear a man say things like this I ask myself “did men want us women to sit around and wait to be told it’s ok to be a human being and be able to vote and work outside the home ect…..’ Is that what would have made you all happy? And when would you have exactly have ‘grated us’ that right? Without the femanist movement? I as a woman don’t want to be above men or superior. I just want to be able to live my life as I see fit just like men can do

      1. 7.1.1
        Angela

        *granted

      2. 7.1.2
        Morris

        Well they call themselves feminists. And like I said. Feminists aren’t really focal about calling them out so…

         

        And I didn’t say nothing good came from the movement. It obviously has. But let’s get real. It’s been decades and it still has a PR problem. Even the majority of women don’t associate with it. And don’t get me started on POC and especially women of color.

         

        You want real change? Let a new movement take over. One that comes from and is lead by POC and especially women of color. It’s really time for caucasian women and their white knights to take a step back. They did a lot of great things. But after decades and having feminism still be a bad word. Maybe it’s time for a change of leadership.

  8. 8
    FG

    At some point, enough is enough. Sorry to point out the facts, but reality and wishful thinking do eventually clash.
    – Women objectify themselves. Men have nothing to do with millions of selfie nude pics, with clothing that borders on indecent exposure, nor with the narcissistic culture that promote the previous.
    – Men prefer to work with men.. Shocker, women prefer to work with men also. No soft skill, PC BS or emotional upheavals. There must be reasons.
    – Women are paid less than men? Disproven time and again. The US Dept of Labor published a study in the early 20th century, looking at mills and manufacturing plants. Men got paid better than women in forceful labor, but WAIT, women were paid better than men in areas of dextrous tasks. In the first case, men were better, in the second, women were better for that specific role. Wages reflected that. If women earn less than men, on average, there are specific reasons, they are justified, and if this ever changes, society as we know it will come to a screeching halt. Do your research properly! You will find, for instance, “female MDs earn less than male MDs”, because they work LESS.
    – Women are more likely to get promoted. There is an affirmative action component. There is another far more painful component that I might eventually raise, but it is an altogether different can of worms.
    – Women in sports, and their paygrade? The Williams sisters challenged men, way back when, and a man ranked 300th showed up, and closed that argument. The Matildas (Aussie natnl women’s soccer team) needed opponents to practise. They got hammered 7-0 by a boy team of “under 15”. Case closed.
    – Shocker conversation, but NOT in the American mold. Two women, a Russian MD and a Georgian Masters or PhD (sorry, don’t remember) landed on the topic “why are men better than women” (not my doing, and I chose to let them work that out by themselves as a privileged active listener). So 2 of the 5 most intelligent women I’ve ever met had a lot to say about that,and maybe some day I’ll share their arguments and conclusions. I will say this: due to the blunt, realistic Eastern European approach, this was not about fairy tales.
    So in case you hadn’t noticed, we have profound societal problems that need serious deep-thought before a fix is in, and quite frankly, if this is an issue (and perhaps SOME men, of a certain background, education, etc., are guilty of exceeding boundaries), I find it a navel-gazing exercise of at best 2nd, and likelier 3rd, rank in terms of what really matters.

    1. 8.1
      KK

      Hi FG,

      You said, “Women objectify themselves. Men have nothing to do with millions of selfie nude pics, with clothing that borders on indecent exposure, nor with the narcissistic culture that promote the previous.”

      I have to disagree with this. Not all women objectify themselves, take nude selfies, or dress indecently. I’d say most women don’t. But who do you think asks women and girls to send nude selfies? Men and boys! It’s wrong (in my opinion), not to mention stupid, but some girls and women fall for it. If I’m going into a store and hear some guy say, damn, that’s a MILF, he’s just objectified me. We shouldn’t have to put up with this crap. It isn’t flattering. It makes you feel small. But I’m not going to blame ALL men for the actions of a few social retards.

      AS to your other comments, I’d like to see or read where you got that information from. Not to challenge you, but simply to read it for myself. 

      1. 8.1.1
        Caroline

        KK-the problem with FG’s overall “theory” is that it seems he believes men are superior to women. Indeed, men are superior in some aspects. He does not seem to consider women are superior to men in different areas. Women don’t want to be men. Women want to bring their abilities and qualities that honestly men don’t have, at least very often, to the table. Men generally have a very focused linear way of looking at things. That is a good thing unless they are incapable of considering other factors. Women tend to think in an interconnected way. This can be good because they consider more factors yet they may get too bogged down in all the elements too. FG does not seem to consider that companies with the highest representation of women board directors attained significantly higher financial performance on average. This is a current study done by Catalyst. It’s disheartening to read many of the male commenters input on this blog at times (certainly not all male or all male comments) who just have this consistent view that women in general are privileged or feel entitlement. I find this pretty ironic considering the current state of our republican party’s old mad men rat pack mentality. It seems like some men can’t seem to believe women want what they want. The right to pursue their personal happiness without fear of prejudice in their personal and professional lives. I personally appreciate men and their outlook on life and qualities. I applaud the differences between the sexes. Yet I’m exhausted thinking many a man is trying to pigeonhole women. They think women need to be this way and not that way. If they are feeling pigeonholed by women, they need to consider we feel the same.

        1. KK

          Hi Caroline,

          “KK-the problem with FG’s overall “theory” is that it seems he believes men are superior to women”.

          That’s certainly the impression I got.

  9. 9
    John

    Hi Emily

    The bottom line is, Mr. John, it’s only sexual harassment if a woman doesn’t like the man making the comment.

    It is not sexual harassment if the woman doesn’t like the man. It’s total BS to say a man is “harassing you” by saying he thinks your dress is attractive.  I’m not saying, ” Let’s go have sex.” I am saying, “that dress looks beautiful on you.” There is a difference Emily. This kind of politically correct crap is what pisses masculine men off. These BS rules women try to enforce about who gets to speak to them and who doesn’t. How the hell would a man know if you like him if the two of you never met. This is an entitlement mentality. Ridiculous.

    1. 9.1
      Emily, the original

      You can talk to whatever woman you want to, but women aren’t necessarily always open to receiving sexual attention. Even Marilyn Monroe, a woman who obviously courted such attention, would walk around NYC with no make-up and a head scarf to get some relief sometimes.

      1. 9.1.1
        Buck25

        “…women aren’t necessarily always open to receiving sexual attention.”

        Emily,

        I get that, like most men who try to behave as gentlemen; but much as I appreciate your usually thoughtful comments here, I have to say that I think on this particular thread, you’ve gone a little overboard.

        A simple hello, or compliment is not necessarily “sexual attention”; sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. For instance, I daresay that those  (quite obviously) married women who have stopped  to compliment me in pubic because they admired my style of dress had no sexual intent in doing so. Even if the intent is somewhat (or largely) sexual, though, so long as it is brief and polite, and not laced with such things as blatant sexual innuendo, crass comments, catcalls, or unwanted touching (I’m all for women not being subjected to any of that), you’re entitled to one simple remedy-just walk away. Beyond that, I don’t think we can place women on some pedestal of untouchability where they’re entitled to call the police, or file a lawsuit, just because a man they don’t happen to be attracted to approached them politely. After all, do you think a man should have a corresponding right to do the same, if a woman he found unattractive, had the temerity to offer him a compliment or otherwise politely approach him? No? I didn’t think so. I understand the idea that it’s supposedly different, as undesired male attention is more of a “threat”, real or imagined (mostly the latter); but contrary to the views of certain feminist crazies, the vast majority of us are emphatically NOT potential rapists, and a lot of us (myself included) are a bit sick and tired of women thinking it’s perfectly ok and acceptable to treat men as if ALL of us were sex-crazed felons. Did it ever occur to you that we might find THAT insulting and degrading to us? Attitudes like you illustrated here, are why these days, I usually wait for eye contact and a smile before offering unfamiliar women greetings and compliments; it has become a matter of self-defense. I had rather treat a guttersnipe like a lady, than ever treat a lady like a guttersnipe, and I hope you can understand that I think the way we handled this in kinder, less-adversarial, and more genteel times was better that what’s being proposed now.

        So, may I respectfully suggest that those of you ladies who get your knickers in a twist at the mere thought that a man you don’t find attractive should ever dare to politely compliment or speak to you  (I suppose the creature should somehow know that he should hang his “unworthy” head in shame and try to become invisible instead, so as not to offend your majesties!), pull on your big girl panties, and see if maybe you can learn to handle your own social interactions without government assistance. Otherwise, the only winners are going to be the lawyers.

        1. Emily, the original

          Buck,

          No one is required to interact with anyone. There are people I’ve worked with for years who aren’t civil enough to respond to a simple hello. That’s their choice.

          If a woman walks into a convenient store, for example, she can tell what men notice her. She notices who’s smiling at her, who’s attempting to see if she is noticing them. If she chooses to shut that energy down, that’s her prerogative. If she chooses to be businesslike but not encouraging, that’s her option. If she ignores four men but speaks to a fifth, well … that’s life. A man could behave the same way if the situation were reversed.

           

           

        2. Buck25

          “No one is required to interact with anyone”

          Emily,

          That’s quite correct; it’s perfectly ok to ignore/turn away from polite but unwanted contact, as I noted above. However I took your original reply to John as implying that men should be  censured, shamed, and  discouraged from greeting, complimenting, or otherwise politely approaching women whoo might not be interested in them. Apparently I was not alone in that interpretation. That said, a good portion of my last above was not so much directed at you, as at a certain militant faction of feminism which has repeatedly suggested in less subtle terms that they would like to see men punished (by social censure, or even legally) for making any approach, however polite and restrained, if a woman simply did not welcome it. Now, you did not say that, but the flavor of your earlier posts seemed to be headed in a similar direction. In any event my comments above are aimed at that attitude generally, not at your personal views/conduct. BTW, I do understand that a situation at work such as you described earlier is uncomfortable; but then, doesn’t life have its uncomfortable social moments for all of us?

        3. Emily, the original

          Buck 25,

          I took your original reply to John as implying that men should be  censured, shamed, and  discouraged from greeting, complimenting, or otherwise politely approaching women who might not be interested in them.

          Actually, I amended my original comment to John after Henriette’s response to me.  Here’s what I wrote:  A big majority of compliments are probably welcome, but then there’s that one creeper who ruins it for every other man.

          My bad. I’ve had a bit of trouble with my neighbor and my attitude about male attention has been colored by him.  He has been trying to talk to me and waits for me to come home, leering at me, hanging over his balcony and waving at me, for months. I ignore him. I see him on the stairs and I stop on the landing and turn my back to him and wait for him to pass me … and yet, there is here, like some kind of spider, day after day. There’s something about him that makes me deeply uncomfortable. We had a come to Jesus confrontation about a month ago, and he’s left me alone since, but I really resent that I had to do that. I talked to two female friends about it, and each had a similar story of some man at some point in their lives who would not leave them alone.

          And then there was a guy at work whose mother had just passed away. He’s in his 40s and lived with her all his life. He told me he didn’t have anything to do on the weekends, and I invited him to  join the movie group I belong to. I thought it would get him out of the house and interacting with some nice people. He took my invitation to me I wanted to date him. 🙁

        4. Buck25

          Emily,

          Sorry to hear of your recent difficulties. I’m not on here much lately, but had noticed a tone in some of your recent posts that didn’t seem quite your usual, and had wondered if something was wrong. I know it can be unpleasant if someone just can’t take a hint (or repeated hints); most women don’t enjoy having to be confrontational, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. The other one  is most likely just socially clueless, but I know that’s awkward. Hopefully it’s all resolved now, or nearly so. 🙂 Meanwhile, now I understand where your angst is coming from; that’s got to feel exasperating.

        5. Emily, the original

          Buck 25,

          Thanks for listening to me vent. I had another bad interaction with a guy who asked for my contact information. He’d been hinting around about getting it for weeks, and I gave it to him thinking, “This guy’s not going to contact me.” The offer feels flim-flammy. And he hasn’t. It’s been .. idk, 4 or 6 weeks. But every time I run into him, he mentions that he’s going to contact me. I spoke to a male friend about this, and he said, “You’re on the back burner.” I guess in today’s parlance, the term would be “benching.” I knew, or at least suspected, that’s what was happening, but it took someone else articulating it to have it really sink in. I saw this guy about a week ago and was very, very cool. I just wanted to make it very clear that I was taking myself off the stove top. So, anyway, in conclusion, I have tightened the hatches! Secured the borders. Built that Trump wall. Unless the man’s a known entity, and he’s not pressing me for anything.

          How are you? Have you meet any nice ladies?

        6. Kenley

          Buck you were quite angry and annoyed when what you described as old, ugly women contacted you online — an environment where you are supposed to be approached by people interested in you.  Yet you  don’t seem to have much sympathy for women who get approached day after day in settings where they are just  trying to live their lives by men they don’t find attractive.  It feels a little “do as I say not as I do”  to me.

          You are exactly right that the overwhelming majority of men are good, caring men who are not rapists.  However, the problem is we don’t know how to identify which ones are which.  And when we are wrong, we are punished for it — you lured him or you were asking for it.  Even being nice can be  problematic.  Right now, I am dealing with a guy that I went on one date with and I didn’t feel any attraction so I politely and respectively declined his offer for second date.  So, he just emails me every day and keeps reporting my profile as spam.   You might think what’s the big deal — it’s just an email.  The big deal to me is that he is basically trying to prevent me from dating other people by reporting my profile and he is saying, that what I want for my life doesn’t matter.  Things like this happen to me a lot (not to this extreme, but a number of guys not taking no for an answer and badgering me to go out with them again) and I am only moderately attractive.   I can’t even imagine what happens to really attractive women.

          Do I think men should never compliment women?  Of course not. But I do wish men could be a little more sensitive to what woman have to deal with day in and day out.

        7. Buck25

          Emily,

          Sounds like you’ve had one of those negative stretches where it seems every interaction goes badly, or not at all. Hope it gets better for you soon (and it likely will; things tend to even out after a while, so maybe you’re due for a run of better luck.) Speaking of which, not too long after I left here last, rather discouraged, I had a brief string of quality meetings myself; most didn’t pan out, but then I reconnected with a girl I was in high school with. That’s now showing early signs of turning into a relationship; a bit of an unexpected surprise.

        8. Emily, the original

          Buck25,

          I reconnected with a girl I was in high school with. That’s now showing early signs of turning into a relationship; a bit of an unexpected surprise.

          FANTASTIC!

        9. Henriette

          @Buck25: a woman you know from days gone by, who you don’t have to pay for companionship, who might genuinely like and enjoy you for you?  Hooray!  That sounds promising, indeed.  And please remember how hopeless you felt just a month ago.  Even if this doesn’t end up becoming the relationship of your dreams, you can remember that even when discouraged, we can be pleasantly surprised by an unexpected turn of events.

        10. ScottH

          Buck- you left “rather discouraged”?!?!

          Umm, that’s putting it mildly.

        11. Caroline

          Buck-I appreciate your input on this. I wish society was more polite, kind and mannerly. Where I live in the deep south, that’s pretty much the norm. Although I’ve personally had some unsettling brush ups with men through the years, they are not the norm. Remember the video of the woman walking through the city streets being approached? Although she was signaling through her straight ahead gaze, head held high, walking with an attitude of getting there, men consistently just couldn’t help themselves from remarking. It was the consistent, overall effect. It was an accumulated effect. Yes, all men are being judged by few. If a woman rents an apartment in a good area she can afford but has to walk to her job/commute on public transit everyday to work where she is consistently badgered by men- she is going to start seeing normal interactions as threatening. She may even curb her fun activities outside of work because she doesn’t need to spend that extra money on a cab this month or fears a public transit commute especially at night. It’s like once you’ve been robbed at gun point (which I have) you are hyper aware of anything seeming t o be a threat. Hence, a percentage of mens poor behavior significantly affects a woman’s freedom. Yes, men shouldn’t be chastised for their complimentary and kind behavior. But men should stand up and declare the threatening behavior of others as in just instead of picking apart what is acceptable and unacceptable and declaring women are overly sensitive to the matter. Quite frankly, it’s kinda like one veteran saying another veteran with PTSD is being overly sensitive when they aren’t the same person who has gone through the same effects of a horrific war. I’m certainly not comparing the horrific situation of combat to walking down the street. I’m saying the outcome is similar. It curbs the person’s sense of well being and security no matter the reality of the peaceful place he/she is now living in. That’s pretty sad and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

    2. 9.2
      AAORK

      John, another way of saying is this -> Regardless of when/where/how an approach is made, a women’s initial impression of a man’s “harassment” or “creepiness” is inversely related to how she perceives his level of attractiveness (along with the money/power/social influence dynamic). The rest is fluff.

  10. 10
    FG

    It can noly be harassment if it is a VERY strong (or tasteless, or vulgar)  “proposition” OR if it is repetitive after the woman has clearly indicated her wish to be left alone.

  11. 11
    Adrian

    Hi Emily,

    You said, “I tell my best friend… <about partners size and how he was in bed>…. I do give details about the encounter.”

    Do you mind explaining why you do this?

    Unlike the writer Evan quoted neither I, my father, nor any of my male friends have, ever talked about what we did with a woman in bed sexually. We don’t discuss her naked body or if she was good in bed or not.

    I of course know people do it and according to this book I read on relationships, women do it more than men but it did not go into much detail as to why women do it. 

    So I would be very interested in hearing why do you and your girlfriends do it?

    …   …   …

    Also in my opinion there is a difference between just crass braggartly talk about sex with a woman like Trump did on the bus verse actually discussing a partner’s genitalia or sexual performance rating in detail.

    I know of many teens and childish early 20’s men who do the former, but I don’t “personally” know any adult men who do the former or the latter.

    I only bring this up because I am sure many will say that they always hear about men bragging about all the women they have had and what they have done in bed, but “I” have never personally heard an adult man over 25 talk like that about a woman.

    …   …   …

    Also Emily since talking to friends about a partner sexually is something that I don’t do, the thought that the woman I’m dating could be doing it never occurred to me. Therefore I never had a reason to feel self-conscious about having sex with a new girlfriend.

    So how does it not bother you? That is not a rhetorical question, I am genuinely curious as to your method for not worrying about that, because if I did something like talking about my girlfriends sexual skills level and the quality of her naked body I would always think that she was doing the same thing about mine as well.

    I don’t know if I would feel comfortable knowing that my girlfriend’s friends know my penis size, if I cum too fast, if I don’t give her orgasims, if I don’t last long enough, if I suck at giving oral, if I’m not as good as her ex in bed, etc…

    So how do you not let it bother you? Or is it that women can hear that a girlfriend’s boyfriend has a small penis or is bad at oral, etc and not care? I know if one of my friends told me that his girlfriend is really good or bad at giving him oral, or her vigina is really loose or shaped funny I would not be able to look at him or her the same way.

    Is this something than women can talk about better than men and it not affect how they view the guy spoken of?

    1. 11.1
      Emily, the original

      Hi Adrian,

      Actually, I wrote I don’t go into detail about a man’s body. I’m not particularly obsessed with bodies, but some women are. Some gay men, too. I had a close gay male friend when I was in my 20s, and if I hooked up with someone new, he always asked about a man’s size. One of the guys I work with is gay and he tells me about his boyfriends and what they do. We talk about my past boyfriends and his. I recently had a straight male friend (in his 60s) who would occasionally discuss his sex life with his girlfriend. Another guy I work with (in his 50s) talks about his past experiences. He’s very funny, so I enjoy hearing his stories.

      I don’t discuss sexual stuff with everyone and it doesn’t dominate the conversation with the people I do talk about it with. Some of my female friends don’t discuss it much at all, only to say something was “great” or “not great” or “awkward,” etc.

      So how does it not bother you?

      I just assumed everyone did it. I guess I was wrong.

      Is this something than women can talk about better than men and it not affect how they view the guy spoken of?

      My best friend talks about her sex life with her husband, but it doesn’t affect my view of him. Why would it?

    2. 11.2
      Buck25

      Adrian,

      I’ve never known many guys over 25 to do too much (if any) bragging about their sexual conquests either. That sort of in-detail description(sometimes with considerable, ah, “embellishment”) seems to be mostly the province of adolescent males. I always figured that whether I went to bed with a particular woman, and what we did there, was a matter between me and her that did not need to be shared with others.

      That said, while not all women talk about their male partners, many do, and from what I’ve personally been told by women who have been party to such discussions, they can get quite detailed and graphic. I suppose, for us men, that our best defense against being referred to negatively in such conversations, is to make sure we’re educated and competent in the sack, and attentive to our partner’s needs/desires (I doubt the woman we gave one or more really great orgasms to, is going to be the one commenting on anything possibly inadequate about us.)

      1. 11.2.1
        Emily, the original

        Buck25,

        I suppose, for us men, that our best defense against being referred to negatively in such conversations, is to make sure we’re educated and competent in the sack, and attentive to our partner’s needs/desires.

        What difference does it make if a woman you go to bed with tells a friend of hers you may never meet about what you two did together? Also, a big component of good sex is a high level of attraction. If either partner is only marginally attracted, the other partner is already at a disadvantage. I don’t know that being well-versed in The Joy of Sex can make up for that. You may do something that 9 out of 10 women would love, but you are with the one who doesn’t. There’s no way to know that, of course, particularly if the partner is new.

         

        1. Buck25

          Emily, I was bring a little light-hearted with some of this. more often than not it really doesn’t matter. However, your other comments bring up some valuable considerations. First-time sex with a new partner is always a challenge under the best of circumstances, which is why I’m not a big fan of one night stands and first-date sex. This is also a good argument for letting the path to sex evolve naturally in a budding relationship, rather than pushing for it so fast. There are several advantages; I have a better sense of how attracted she is, a better feel for her emotional make-up and reactions, and I can get some valuable cues as to what she responds to physically (and how quickly) from making out and fooling around (light foreplay).  Also, a lot of women tend to being tense/anxious the first time; the better she knows me, the more comfortable she’s going to be, the more likely she is to be more relaxed, and thus more responsive. That at least gives me a starting point before things move to the bedroom. It’s not perfect, of course; every woman’s responses are unique, and getting it all exactly right on the first try is more likely a happy accident than superb skill, but that way gives me the best chance to make her first experience with me at least reasonably good for her, and thus higher quality for both of us.

        2. Emily, the original

          Hi Buck 25,

          I can get some valuable cues as to what she responds to physically (and how quickly) from making out and fooling around (light foreplay). 

          So you tailor your approach based on the woman? Kind of sounds like you’re applying for a job.  🙂

          getting it all exactly right on the first try is more likely a happy accident than superb skill,

          It’s always a bit awkward the first time, but I can usually get a pretty good idea if it has the potential for being great in that first encounter. I don’t believe there is bad sex, just individual taste. The best sex I’ve had is with men I was sexually compatible with. I liked their style and (I think) they liked mine. And that was a happy accident.

  12. 12
    FG

    Does “sexist” mean “focusing on gender differences”?

    In that vein, apparently, a lot of women (not all) really don’t want to have a career or worklife. (I can hear the shotguns getting oump-actioned as I type) lol).

    Don’t take MY word for it! Read these, all written by women…
    Why Women Don’t Want Careers

    Three cheers for women who say they don’t want to work. At least they’re honest.


    http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/job-career/kristin-van-ogtrop-why-ambition-isnt-working-for-women

    For that last one, apparently, we need to reshape the world to accomodate. A tad unreasonable.

    Evan might wince at this (and I’ll be the first to admit that I did not review all of the writer’s sources or references)
    About – Don’t Marry Career Women
    And I found this (which seems to be legitimate)
    http://judgybitch.com/2016/08/16/reblog-research-find-that-as-a-group-only-men-pay-tax/

    Interesting reading. Certainly pointed and pertinent, whether we agree or not. Here’s the thing: when the numbers are solid, and the facts documented (as opposed to “how we feel about it”), we need to take heed.

    50% of MDs intermarry.
    Many women MDs will leave work to take care of their kids (they can afford it, and/or their significant other provides enough income to enable this).
    Female MDs work 20% less than men (according to the last time I checked AMA, American Medical Association, stats, which I don’t reread on a year to year basis).
    Are these facts sexist? No! Do they alter my life? Not really. Are they to be cosntrued as negative assertions? I don’t think so! Arre they relevant to our understanding of our society and/or of female versus male priorities? surely at least to some limited degree.
    That’s all folks!

    1. 12.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Facts aren’t sexist. Sexist is catcalling. Sexist is treating women as objects or lesser beings. Sexist is assuming you can grab a woman by the pussy. So I’m not assuming you’re sexist. However, in all my years of doing this, I’ve seen a clear correlation between the men who are trying to prove women (via “facts”) are golddiggers who don’t want to work and sexists.

  13. 13
    FG

    I really don’t think that all women are golddiggers, and it would fly in the face of incontrovertible evidence to say that none of the women are golddiggers. There’s a % of them out there.

    I remember a lifetime receptionist of a large law firm, reaching her 50s and saying she wanted to quit, maybe collect welfare after unemployment ran out, saying she was tired of working. Such cases do exist. But this case is anecdotal.

    Sexism is discrimination. Specifically against women, though we can make a case that in the past decade or two, there has been mounting sexism against men. Which for some odd reason reminds me of the (allegedly, but apocryphal) Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times!”

    Evan, your correlation may or may not be true. Like some of my observations, it relies on anecdotal evidence. As I said, the linked articles were written by women.
    Is part of sexism sometimes reactionary? Relevant question.
    There is a realm I prefer to call disrespectful, to the point of being crude. It seems to me as though there may be strong ties to imbecility and stupidity, but that is a judgment call and personal (thus subjective) assessment. Having said that, it is a far cry from a little banter.
    Some women criticize the existence of strip clubs. Some women obviously frequent male stripper clubs or those would go out of business. The behavior of women at those venues is considerably more perturbing than that of men in traditional strip clubs. Rule of conduct are laxer, and a wider tolerance is on hand for cattier behavior. If men behaved as the women do, very large gentlemen would throw them into the parking lot after a little errrrr fistful of social readjustment.
    Another arena may belong to sexism, but such calls for a position of power. Discrimination has little or no effect unless it is manifest in some way.

    As to gender differentiation,  when we say women and men are equal, fine.  If we start trying to make them identical, there is a problem. They are not and never will be. I heard a geneticist’s conference (think it was on TED talks) where, taking it to the limit, he claimed (again, as an extreme) that we may share more with chimps than the human genders do! As he put it, we are 50% different between XX and XY. Not to mention social programming kicking in later in life (my addition). But he was making a valid point in terms of scientific research that we must take heed to identify and know when we are using female cells, as opposed to male cells, when making lab tests. Especially where and when we are aware of the existence of discrepancies between genders’ resistances or susceptibilities to certain illnesses.

    If trying to maintain an objective stance (with likely an occasional reactive saturation relative to a pervasive narrative) makes me sexist, because I choose not to buy wholesale the narrative and seek to find solid research where and when I can, then and only then, by that definition, I am sexist or chauvinistic. But I rationally recognize that women are different. Does that mean “lesser”? No. In fact, to bring it all back to the dating scene, treat a woman like a “regular dude” on approach or on a date, and see how well that works out! So the difference in treatment AND its expectation ARE inherent.  Fascinating quandary, no? lol

  14. 14
    Marie

    Evan, thank you for your thoughtful blog addressing this important topic.  Many women have felt very let down by their male friends, colleagues, and family in this election and I am glad to see you are still the person we thought you were. I continue to feel blessed to have my husband. Thankfully, I found one of the good ones!

  15. 15
    Jenny

    So, late to the party, but two points. I’m surprised at this particular article, because striking a victim pose in dating is unproductive, and your counsel tends to carry that theme in your dating advice.

    1) The hedge find glass ceiling isn’t exactly on par with female genital mutilation. “Victims?” – Let’s have a bit of perspective.

    2) You can’t just dismiss female self-selection, or lag effects from hedge fund managers all being from two generations ago. The quantity matters, just as it does in the pay gap debate (30% vs 10% are a big difference).

     

     

     

  16. 16
    Deborah

    And your behavior, Evan, of standing up against men for an ideal you believe in, represents a true act of masculinity. Even if, ironically, that ideal defends women against those same men.

    In my not-so-humble opinion, we live in a culture that is in dire need of men redefining masculinity for themselves in way that promotes true internal confidence, respect, and unity for both genders.

    What can be more masculine than be able to stand up against the crowd as a man, especially among those whose approval you most seek to validate your masculinity (that of other men), and say, “I disagree with your behavior.”

    It takes some serious guts to stand up and say, “I disagree with your objectification of women. As men, we must learn to see women as equal creatures in their own right, worthy of mutual respect, and deserving of our true connection to them on all levels – physically, mentally, emotionally. We must take the hard route and make ourselves vulnerable to them, while acknowledging that, yes, it’s an extremely difficult endeavor to claim our emotional independence of women in all their glory without objectifying them. Objectification is the easy route to enjoy a feminine, sexy, desirable woman without having to deal with any of the potential feelings of hurt, rejection, and inadequacy that comes from humanizing her and relating to her as an living, breathing, feeling, dynamic person. But objectification ends up robbing us all. Because there is no more wonderful experience than when you find that sexy creature, and step up to the plate to create a true, genuine, vulnerable connection with her.”

    I must admit, you struck a chord that played a fine tune of a wealth of underlying emotions.

    Thank you, as always, for playing on both sides for us, Evan. I’ve learned so much from your writing.

     

  17. 17
    Wyatt Dick

    “Objectifying” women without being a scumbag is possible. I love to see a beautiful woman. I don’t say sleazy things to them. I just say, “Wow!” I might say, “Looking beautiful today.” When I compliment women in a classy way, they love it. Sometimes they blush and run away.

    I’ve seen this kind of comment a lot, and I think it is wrongheaded. The goal of a compliment should be to make the receiver feel good. To brighten their day. In order to have good odds of having this effect, I think one needs to be very situationally aware.  It doesn’t matter how classy you are, if you use the same basic approach in all situations, you are likely to be coming across as creepy in too many of them.

    And remember, if the goal of a compliment is to make the receiving woman feel good, it doesn’t matter why they weren’t receptive to a given remark. It doesn’t matter if they should have appreciated it. If the comment didn’t brighten their day, you missed the mark.

    The whole meme about “It isn’t creepy if he’s hot” gained traction because it’s basically true. And it doesn’t matter if it’s shallow or not. It just is. This is why it is important to know one’s league–not because you shouldn’t ever aim outside of it, but because when you do, you should adapt your approach appropriately.

    I’m 44 and not especially attractive at the moment. But I’m not Quasimodo, either. If I think a 30-year old “hottie” looks good in a dress, I probably won’t say anything. I probably wouldn’t approach her in a bar by trying to buy her a drink. (If I really wanted to take my shot–such that it was–I could probably find a non0threatening, non-creepy way to do it). On the other hand, 30 pounds and 10 years ago, I probably would have.  But these days, there is really no classy way for me to make a remotely sexualized remark to that woman that wouldn’t creep her out. Context. Were I 54, but George Clooney, I could probably buy her that drink. Or tell her she looked radiant in that new dress.

    For approaches or compliments, it’s always about knowing yourself and the situation. For example, another way one can compliment a woman on her appearance  more ‘safely’ is if you have in some way completely desexualized yourself. You’ve removed the threat. Think the charming 85-year old guy. As long as he doesn’t overdo it, he can pretty safely tell a young woman she looks beautiful. And the woman will likely appreciate it. I teach high school overseas, where there isn’t much of the US worry about teachers and students. If one of my students gets a nice hair cut, I’ll tell it looks pretty. But I’m clearly intending nothing more than that. I’d probably not do that with a 34-year old fellow teacher. I might do it to a 40-year old teacher who was in or below my league.

    But I think just blindly making appearance-based compliments to any woman, no matter how nicely or classily done, is a recipe for being thought of as a creep way more often than one wants.

     

  18. 18
    BTU Queen

    I was fortunate enough to grow up in an extended family and community where men did respect women and didn’t talk trash about them.   Just wanted to give credit where credit is due.

  19. 19
    Sylvana

    It certainly does hurt woman. But I don’t think women are much better in that regard. It might not hurt men as much in the workplace (unless it’s in a women-run company), but women do the same thing with men.

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