We live in a time where society is seemingly becoming more progressive. We are becoming more open to diversity, more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, and more vocal about inequality and injustice. However, cisgender men still enjoy some pretty messed up freedoms.
Note: I realize the language of this article is heteronormative and cisnormative, and this list does not apply to people of all identities.
Tell women how to do their makeup.
As someone who has been enjoying wearing makeup since I was 13, I’ve received my fair share of suggestions from guys about how I should be applying it. Now, I would appreciate this advice from a man working at the MAC counter. However, most guys who give me advice are not makeup professionals, but entitled misogynists who believe that women wear makeup for the sole purpose of being seen as attractive by men. Most women don’t wear makeup to attract men, but because it makes us feel good about ourselves and boosts our confidence. I couldn’t care less about what you think – I know I look great.
Tell women what to do with their body hair.
I was recently asked by a male friend if I’d ever had a Brazilian wax and told that I should because “it’d be cool”. After recovering from the shock of his statement, I told him, as any sane woman would, that I would never pay someone to rip all the hair off of the most sensitive part of my body. Men, unless you are telling a white girl not to get locks/braids/dreads, please do not tell us what to do with our hair.
Tell women what to wear/what not to wear.
Recently, I read an article on a college site entitled “Why Girls Should Stop Wearing High-Waisted Shorts” The core argument of the article was based on the idea that they way women dress is entirely based around male opinion. I’m so sorry to have to be the one to break it to you guys, but we don’t care what you think of our clothes. We’ll continue to wear whatever we like to wear. I know countless girls that pull off the most male-hated trends: mom jeans, clogs, high-waisted shorts, harem pants—and none of them are concerned about your opinion.
Express opinions about abortion.
It’s going to get real for a second; this one goes beyond being slightly annoying. The belief that men get a say in female reproductive rights is dangerous to gender equality, women’s sexual freedom, and even their lives. Men hold a disproportionate amount of power in our government and society. This power should be used to bring forward female voices and to fight for female reproductive rights, not to preach about the evils of abortion. Nasim Pedrad expressed my frustration perfectly: “If men could get pregnant, abortion clinics would be like Starbucks. There would be two on every block and four in every airport—and the morning after pill would come in different flavors like sea salt and cool ranch.”
Send uninvited penis pics.
I’ve been fortunate enough to never experience this personally, but I’m young, so there’s still plenty of time. I scoured the internet to find penis pic statistics, and all I could find out is that according to the Huffington Post, 83 percent of gay men have sent penis pics. I would estimate that the stats for straight men are around the same. I want to believe that deep down inside, men already know, but let me just say: penises are not attractive. No one wants to be minding their own business, check their phone, and be virtually molested by the image of some guy’s junk. What if they were in class, at work, or at a family dinner, and now they have to cope with the trauma of a phallic cyber-attack? Be considerate. Unless we explicitly ask you (and most of us won’t), please do not send penis pics.
Use the words bitch, cunt, easy, etc. towards women & to describe women.
Just don’t do it. It’s extremely disrespectful and damaging to gender equality. Women who command power and respect are often subjected to these derogatory terms at a much higher rate than men with similar aspirations. As Nicki Minaj stated: “When I am assertive, I’m a bitch. When a man is assertive, he’s a boss. He [is] bossed up. No negative connotation behind ‘bossed up.’ But lots of negative connotation behind being a bitch.” The use of misogynist language like bitch and cunt reinforces the idea that men should rightly hold more power than women.
Hold the majority of leadership positions in government, companies, etc.
Men make up roughly half the population in the US, but as of 2015 hold 80.7 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives, 80.6 percent of Congress, and 75.2 percent of statewide elective executive positions. Additionally, men hold 85.4 percent of executive positions in the workplace, and make up a whopping 95.4 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. This means that decisions affecting the lives of women are made mostly or entirely by men. Nevermind that a white woman holding these positions would still make 78 cents to the male dollar, while a woman of color would make only 64 cents.
Okay, before you attack me in the comments, let me explain what I mean. The problem isn’t that it is socially acceptable for men to masturbate, but that it isn’t for women. In recent years, female masturbation has been slightly more accepted by the media and general public, but it’s not nearly as accepted as it should be. It’s considered a given that a guy would touch himself, while a woman doing so is an anomaly. However, in 2008, The Gossard Big M survey was published, reporting that 92% of women pleasure themselves regularly. Masturbation is a healthy and normal part of life for men and women. It’s about time we started acting like it.
Not accepting “no” as a complete sentence.
Women everywhere can relate to this uncomfortable situation: A man asks you on a date. You politely say, “No thanks,” but he keeps looking at you, waiting for more. “I have a boyfriend,” you say halfheartedly, whether or not it’s true. “Okay, no worries!” he responds. No woman should have to justify the word no. The fact that claiming to have a boyfriend is the most effective way to deter male attention is sickening, and shows that men only respect your answer because of the introduction of another man into the situation. Men, it’s time to learn that “No” is a complete sentence, not requiring any justification.
Use the phrase “real women”.
Sorry, I don’t understand?? Are some women not real?? Where are these “fake women”?
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