Sure, things look pretty bleak in the dating scene right now, but believe it or not, there ARE some guys out there who aren’t complete creeps and who will treat you with the respect, dignity, and love you deserve. Here are some things to remember when you feel yourself going down a resentment spiral with every new sexual assault allegation that pops up on your Twitter feed.
Not all guys are guilty of sexual harassment. So much attention has been placed on the terrible men who’ve sexually assaulted women, but what about all the guys who never have and never will? There are good guys out there, and you probably know a few already. I want you to actively think back to all the times a guy DIDN’T overstep your boundaries and was actually very respectful of you, especially in sexual scenarios. It’ll be a nice stroll down memory lane, you’ll see.
You can’t really hate over half the population. You’d drive yourself crazy and miss out on a lot of great guys if you assumed all of them were insensitive jerks. Out of all the guys I’ve dated (and I live in a big city, so I’ve dated a ton), only one veered into borderline sexual assault. It could be that I just know where to find all the good guys or that most guys truly do mean well. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. If you think about it, you’re probably in a similar boat.
Not every guy that does something nice for you is expecting something in return. There have probably been times where a guy who doesn’t even know you did something nice not because they wanted to get with you but just because they feel like being gentlemen. Some guys will open doors or pull out a chair just because they simply want to do a good deed and are choosing to be kind. Most of these guys just walk away expecting nothing, not even a smile. Sure, there some entitled a-holes out there, but this doesn’t apply across the board.
Guys have insecurities too, they just hide them in messed up ways. I know it’s super hard to have any kind of empathy towards men who treat women badly. What might make you a little less angry about the manipulative, insensitive nature of all the crappy men out there is to remember that the reason many of them doing these awful things in the first place is that they’re insecure about who they are when they’re not being terrible to women. I know it’s hard to feel sorry for them when their insecurity and fear translates to possibly hurting others, but in the end, people hurt others because they’re hurt themselves.
Most guys just want to protect the women of the world. Most men have an instinct to protect and be the hero everyone is looking for. Yes, they can sometimes take their masculinity too far, but when you meet a guy who’s balanced in both his feminine and masculine aspects, he just wants to keep you safe. You can take care of yourself and he should understand and respect that, but it’s still nice that he wants to look after you.
Plenty of men who actively support feminism right now. The few guys who consider themselves anti-feminists or “meninists” are in the minority. If you find yourself hating on men, put down your iPhone and start looking at all the guys around you who are pro-women and feel just as disappointed in the crappier members of their gender as you do. Of course you’ll think that every guy is against you if you’re reading case after case of men assaulting women. Just as not all women are the same, neither are all men.
A lot of guys have been conditioned into toxic masculinity the same way we’ve been brainwashed to be meek and unassuming. It’s amazing how easily influenced we are by both the media and society as a whole. There are certain expectations that are thrust upon us from an early age in terms of how we should act and what we should and shouldn’t do. Some guys who don’t have the natural inclination towards masculinity will become insecure and try to prove just what big hard men they are. In many ways, it’s not their fault because of the pressure placed on them by society. It’s still their responsibility to be better, but maybe if you look at the core reason they’re acting so insane, it’ll make a little more sense.
The good guys are willing to prove themselves through their actions. It’s hard to believe a guy when he says that he respects women, but when he goes the extra mile to prove it by actually treating you with respect and integrity, you know you can put him firmly in the good guy camp. After all, talk is cheap—they should be willing to put their money where their mouths are.
It’s encouraging that many guys have owned up to their bad behavior and truly want to change. If a guy is willing to put his #IDidIt confession out there for his friends, family, and potential future girlfriends to see, he cares more about equality and social change than he’ll ever care about his own comfort and ego-protection. That is the DEFINITION of a good man. There’s no way you can hate a guy like that. He may not be perfect yet but he wants to learn, and that means a lot.
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