I didn’t write this but I wish I had:
PSA for men-folk: when a woman tells you that your man-friend is an asshole, she doesn’t mean “he has strong opinions” or “he tells inappropriate jokes” she means “he displays toxic/abusive behaviors and I feel unsafe around him.”
Please come up with a better response than “haha yeah he’s always been like that/that’s just the way he is.”
Now this isn’t specifically a local story. Although, if you live locally and it has happened to you, it feels quite personal. I know it does to me.
I discussed this quote with my older daughter yesterday and her instant recognition of the experience was apparent. She suggested that guys won’t call out other guys for their behavior because it somehow calls their own masculinity into question. I’ve talked about toxic masculinity before. I won’t belabor the point.
If my Facebook “likes” and comments are an accurate representation of my readership, my blog is read almost exclusively by women. I suspect I have more male readers than that. They just don’t show up in the likes or comments. I had many more male commenters when they could still post under false names. Go figure.
While I wonder what the men will be thinking about this quote, and I’d be interested in their input, I’m not getting my hopes up that we’ll be hearing from them. Prove me wrong, guys.
To my women readers: does this ring true for you? How do you deal with this? What kind of response would you like to see instead?