6 Things No One Will Ever Say To A Man

1. Men will never be asked the question, “Can you have it all?” because it’s implied that they already do. Their penis entitles them to the life cake and eating it too. They have a monopoly on “All.”  They invented “All.” Meanwhile, women are constantly being led to believe that “all” is an elusive thing. They will never get it but, oh how they will try! “All, is that you, honey? C’mere. I want you.” But as Lindy West from Jezebel so eloquently puts it, “Nobody’s happy. Nobody “has it all” — not women, not men, not presidents, not heiresses, not babies, not kittens (maybe kittens). The idea that there is one homogeneous definition of “it all” that all women are supposed to desire is painfully reductive.” Even so, I would love for The Atlantic to run a story with a man on the cover and the headline, “Having It All: 1. Men: 0.”

2. Men will never be asked to cut their hair a certain way or be given tips on mastering appropriate body language in order to land a woman. Sure, there are playful pieces written about how men could stand to groom themselves every once in awhile but the tone is never, “I WILL NOT SLEEP WITH YOU IF YOU DON’T SHAVE YOUR BEARD BECAUSE YOU ARE DISGUSTING.” It’s more like “OMG, BABE. SHAVE YOUR BEARD, YOU LAZY BUM LOL!” Women, meanwhile, are actually expected to follow these insipid tips and if they don’t, it’s fair to assume that’s the reason why they’re still single.

3. If men had the ability to get pregnant, there would not be intense media coverage about whether or not they’re losing the baby weight. Seriously, no obsession bothers me more than this need to document a woman’s weight loss after she gives birth. And all those celebs who are just like, “Oh, I’ve just lost a lot of weight chasing the baby around and breast feeding!” are lying. They’re in that gym working their ass off like Janet Jackson before she needs to promote a record.

4. If a man is in a band, an interviewer will never ask, “So what’s it like being in a “man band”? Because, you know, you’re a man and you play instruments and stuff.” Similarly, I will never be called a boy blogger or a gentleman blogger, but my colleague, Stephanie Georgopulos, might be called a lady blogger at some point. Because, you know, she has a vagina and writes down words. It doesn’t matter what she writes about. She could be interested in things like guns and taxidermy and people would still be like, “OMG, yup, a lady blogger.” This need to attach someone’s gender to their work only makes sense in certain cases, like with the riot grrrl movement or whatever. But everywhere else, it’s just lazy, reductive and inappropriate.

5. A man will never really be called an asshole in the same way a woman is called a bitch. Tucker Max, Charlie Sheen: These men are assholes but it’s seen more as an “UGH” eye roll. When female public figures are called a bitch, it has a bite, a harder edge. In an interview with MTV Iggy, a female interviewer straight up tells the lead singer of Best Coast, Bethany Cosentino, “So, we hear you’re actually kind of a bitch.” UM, WHAT? In what way is that an okay question to ask? If Bethany were a guy and you switched “bitch” for “asshole,” it would no doubt be more of a “Ha ha, yeah I guess I can be kind of a dick sometimes. HA HA YEAH IT’S FUNNY ‘CAUSE I’M A GUY AND THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES TO MY ASSHOLE BEHAVIOR.” Charlie Sheen had a meltdown that made Lindsay Lohan’s look tame and he’s already starring in his own show again, whereas Lohan is sentenced to doing Lifetime movies indefinitely and ODing in hotel rooms in Marina Del Rey.

6. A screenwriter will never be asked to write a female version of the new Adam Sandler movie, That’s My Boy. I mean, can you even imagine that pitch meeting? “So it’s this funny comedy about a 13-year-old girl who’s seduced by her hot male teacher and gives birth to her child while her man is in prison. And it’s funny because it’s like babies raising babies and, you know, molestation and rape are HILARIOUS.” Okay, but seriously, am I the only one who’s disturbed by the premise of That’s My Boy? A pubescent middle schooler screws his hot teacher and it’s considered funny/cool because he’s a dude and it’s not really possible for men to get take advantage of sexually?  Oh, yes. I get it. Ha ha. You win again, Sandler. Someone get this man his check. TC Mark 

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • http://thefracturedpanorama.wordpress.com thefracturedpanorama

    Reblogged this on thefracturedpanorama.

  • Sarah

    i love this and your use of feminist lens!

  • http://twitter.com/jadika Jade Thompson (@jadika)

    I agree. A lot of good points here. However, this must be noted…you wrote the following: “Similarly, I will never be called a boy blogger or a gentleman blogger, but my colleague, Stephanie Georgopulos, might be called a lady blogger at some point. Because, you know, she has a vagina and writes down words.” One doesn’t need a vagina to identify as a woman. A little bit of education on transgender issues would be great.

    • interneter

      *eye roll* Stephanie Georgopulos does (presumably) have a vagina and identify as a woman, and he was writing about Stephanie Georgopulos. What he said was completely appropriate. Would you relax? Not everyone is out to marginalize you.

    • Nymphadora Tonks


      I feel like people literally sit at their computer reading these kinds of articles SEARCHING for something to argue about. He was talking about Stephanie Georgopulos, his colleague, whom I assume has a vagina. I could be very wrong, but I feel as though that was not a general statement about those who identify as a woman…

    • Lady

      Nope, you don’t need a vagina to identify as a woman. But let’s be honest here: A blogger who is transgender will not be referred to as a lady blogger either. They’ll be referred to as a transgender blogger.

    • J

      ^Just shut up please.

      • J

        I meant “shut up please” to Jade Thompson

    • Margaret Thatcher

      No, someone who blogs as a female without a vagina would be a transgendered blogger. But how is that not six of one and half-dozen of the other? If you write a blog about the Miami Heat and you’re a transgendered person, wouldn’t you be equally annoyed at being known as a “transgendered blogger”, as the person writing the rat-rod blog who happens to have a vagina and identify as a woman would be at being called a “lady blogger”? It’s equally completely beside the point.

  • http://twitter.com/keishahalili Keisha Halili (@keishahalili)

    I was looking for something to disagree with, but damn. Nothing. Not even here in Asia.

  • http://shewastheyoungamerican.wordpress.com shewastheyoungamerican

    And if this post was written by a woman, it’d be just another feminist rant.

    • rika

      so fucking true

  • Ruthied

    Well done, Ryan, well done. The best part of your article is correctly pointing out how gratingly common and unquestioned these assumptions are. ESPECIALLY that acting like an uncivilized human turdnugget is forgivable, “quirky” behavior in some men. Both men and women act KRAZY, mean or generally unbecoming, but for women there seems to have a dark underpinning of “you should know better.”

  • Pamela

    I disagree only with #2. Men have much more bias on how they cut their hair than women do.

    • http://twitter.com/alisonwisneski alisonwisneski (@alisonwisneski)

      Yeah…on their head…

      • H


    • http://twitter.com/tr_sk_ys tres keys (@tr_sk_ys)

      Seriously? The only hair commercials you see for men are shaving and hair loss….

    • Chrios

      I definitely agree. If we’re talking about body hair, then sure men can do just about whatever they want, but on the head (including face) men don’t have many options (if you want to have a job outside of a music store or Lowes) and generally catch shit if they don’t choose those options.

      If I had a dollar for every time I heard something along the lines of “If you cut your hair you could…” or “If you shaved your beard you could….”

  • LE

    that first paragraph was really confusing, at least to a simple mind like mine.

  • Jeanne

    Double standard, they say. Great writing!

  • Guest

    What you write is not untrue, but it’s written in such an obnoxiously irritating way that it’s hard to see the truth underneath. Stop writing like you’re an angsty 14 year old.

    • Danielle

      shut up, you’re angsty

      • Nymphadora Tonks


    • http://www.facebook.com/rubytuesday1989 Ilyssa Silfen

      Oh tone arguments. Like we’ve never seen those before. “I’d agree with you only if you’d stop being so angry/angsty/annoyed.” Gee, maybe the author has every reason to be angry? How about you just admit that you would never agree with the author in the first place and you’re using his tone as an excuse.

      • jallands


    • Margaret Thatcher

      Without specific criticism, I’m going to have to assume you’re either a troll, or someone whose white male privilege feels threatened.

  • http://twitter.com/tr_sk_ys tres keys (@tr_sk_ys)

    What kind of magazine lets their interviewer call Bethany a bitch? They should have just left!

  • Amelia

    I love this ! So refreshing. I am so sick te implication that I should be chasing “it all”.

  • Ana

    I love you Ryan!

  • BC

    When women stop caring about the ‘standards’ and move past them, everyone will move past them. Men who are assholes and get away with it don’t care what you think. Men with beards and long hair don’t care what you think. Women find fit men just as attractive as a men find fit women, but also really fit women will go for old men just for money. So you can’t really say it’s just men taking advantage of women. And pitching a movie about a girl seducing her male teacher would be considered rape on the male teacher’s end. Where men find it attractive to seduce the hott teacher, women generally don’t find getting hit on by their male teacher quite as exciting.

    Double standards of the double standards of gender roles

    • Kate

      The part of your comment about seducing a teacher just re-words Ryan’s point.

    • Lady

      1. “Men who are assholes and get away with it don’t care what you think.” True. And they don’t care what you (women) think because they have all of the power. Your boss doesn’t care what you think either. Not caring isn’t what makes them the boss. Being the boss makes them not care.

      2. “really fit women will go for old men just for money.” I suppose some have (and those men are, of course, with those women for their brains, right? Because they feel a real bond? The poor, taken advantage, of wealthy babies…). But certainly that is not even close to always the case. It is at best sometimes the case. And it also has nothing to do with anything in this article.

      3. It’s rape on a female teacher’s end, too, because CHILDREN cannot consent to sex. And the idea that a 13 year old girl wouldn’t find it titillating if their hot teacher hit on them is just not true. Some of them DO think it’s exciting. I had crushes on male teachers as a kid. AND IT’S STILL MOTHERFUCKING RAPE BECAUSE THEY’RE CHILDREN.

  • V

    You are the unsung hero of Thought Catalog. But you’re actually sung. Just kind of want to grab your hand and frolic through a meadow, very Sound of Music. You get the point, you’re great.

  • Joe

    Men & women are different? Stop the presses!!!

    • Tarin

      You’re an asshole. Not that it means much.

  • guest

    I despise the “Can Women Have it All?” conversations because they tend to imply that all women want children. Like, nah, I’m good. I have all that I want, thanks for telling me what I should want and can’t have, though.

  • JP

    This reads like it was written by the only male in a Women’s Studies 101 course.

    • Erik

      Agreed! lol

  • http://thisisawoman.com/blog/weekly-awesome-6-27/ Weekly Awesome 6.27 | This Is A Woman

    […] I pinned on my TIAW & Wisdom boards. ~Six things no one will ever say to a man. ~Girls Who Code – a program designed to get more women into […]

  • Erik

    I think the tone of this article is a little. . . queer. . .

    First off, men actually do have it all, because we’ve created it all. The sad fact is equal rights among the sexes in America has only been a ‘thing’ up until recently. The answer to the question of “which sex is mostly responsible for western civilization?” is men. Its unavoidable. So yes, men have it all and women are still play catch-up. That is the actuality right now.

    I understand Ryan is gay, and I’m not making fun of him for that. Hell, the Spartans beat Persian ass all throughout history! And then killed them (hah)! And that’s OK because they were men. Men rape and pillage (even other men); its called winning brought on by competition.

    I’m making fun of Ryan because he sounds like a whiny chick but is actually still male. But that seems to be the theme of his articles. I guess the point I’m trying to get to is: even if you’re gay you don’t have to be a fag.

    • Kate

      you are unpleasant.

      • Erik

        I’m sure you’re ugly.

    • Gustav

      So you mean that raping and advancing society is not anti-thetical concepts? Really? REALLY?

      I also recent your implication that it is up to you to decide what is a proper homo should be or act like. You heterosexist fuck.

      • Erik

        I’m not sure I grasp your message. It might be due to your poor use of grammar. But if I had to guess, you’re saying that the act of raping and advancing society ‘are’ contradicting. Yes, they now ‘are.’ But you’ve missed my point in that sentence. The point being that they were masculine because they were dominant.

      • Jack

        “They were being masculine because they were dominant”???

        Are you my 88 year old grandfather?

    • Alex


      • Erik

        @ Jack Is that short for Jaquelin? You don’t have to feel left out. You can be a female and have masculine traits too.

    • H

      Erik, you are about as interesting and knowledgeable as a sweaty ballsack.

      • Erik

        I’ll bet you opinion will change when you find out that said ballsack has been on your mothers forehead. Well. . . except for the knowledgeable part. But they’re damn smart anyway!

      • H

        Nope, still think you’re an uneducated, boring bastard.

    • Guest-ish


      Whadthafuck are you talking about, BRO.

      Which sex was responsible for Western civilization? You mean which sex, race, class, and religion?

      But you really must know all that, considering you’re such a history buff. LOL–the Spartans and the Persians. How relevant! How enlightening! And you really brought it home with your point–oh, wait??

      I guess if you were a girl we could call you a bitch and it might sting. But you’re a guy, you “have it all”, and can shrug off being called an asshole. Therefore I’ll call you ignorant, conventional, insecure, and deluded. I can’t imagine what could be worse, no matter what gender you are.

      • GUEST


      • Erik

        I’ve drive the point home for you since it’s obvious you can’t make the connections or points I’m trying to make. I’ll go by paragraph.

        1) It’s fair to argue that men actually have it all because men have been the dominant sex through out human history.

        2) I don’t dislike gays.

        3) I dislike people who make exaggerated arguments and use petty, faulty, biased or completely inaccurate evidence to back up a claim.

    • GUEST

      Wow, you are just ignorant.

    • Nymphadora Tonks

      So how’s that Western Civilization coming along?

      • Erik

        We’ll see after the presidential election. How’s Hogwarts?

    • L

      Please crawl back into the cave in which you came from.

    • HC

      there’s always one fuck like you to stir the pot. please, go ahead and die now. kthxbai!

    • Dottedlinedolores

      If you ever feel the need to use phrases such as “I don’t dislike gays” or “I’m not making fun of him for being gay” as qualifiers in your argument (which is irrelevant at best and patently hateful at worst) then just stop fucking talking forever.

      Also, you know what else is a “thing”? Proofreading.

    • Fat White Bald Man

      I find it hilarious that you criticize others’ grammar, yet you use the word “contradicting.” I think you meant “contradictory.”

      But I guess I can’t expect too much from a boy whose mother wasn’t even intelligent enough to spell his name right. And it sounds like the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree … did it, wee sir?

      • http://twitter.com/SymonePHarris Doctora West (@SymonePHarris)

        Uh, contradicting is a word. Hate to burst your bubble. But since you disagree with Erik, I’ll let it slide.

      • Kate

        It is a word but silly ol’ Erik used it in the wrong context. Definitely should’ve been ‘contradictory’ not ‘contradicting’.

    • Rehclif

      Oh my goodness, you need to take a history course. And maybe a gender studies course. You’re a little too stuck on Western binary gender constructs.

  • Wesley

    I love this article, it’s material is nothing new( I’ve seen the same Basic ideas in lots of Jezebel articles) but it is refreshing to see that I’m not the only guy willing to bring attention to this double standard.

  • Jules

    “Even so, I would love for The Atlantic to run a story with a man on the cover and the headline, “Having It All: 1. Men: 0.”

    Slightly different headline and placement, but it seems that The Atlantic granted your wish: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/having-it-all-how-about-doing-the-best-i-can/258898/

  • xraelexxra

    body language is incredibly important for men’s attractiveness, more so than women’s, and there’s a whole industry dedicated to telling them how to carry themselves to attract women. so #2 is a no

  • bee

    thank you for this. i sincerely appreciate it

  • Katie

    I really wish you weren’t right about everything in this post….but sadly, you are.

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