I recently went to a BBQ, and while talking with one of my friends’ boyfriend, he asked me the one question every single person just rolls their eyes at: “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”
I gave the general automated response of, “Well I just haven’t met anyone yet,” which was responded with this lovely anecdote: There are two types of guys, assholes and dumbasses, and you should find someone right in the middle.
I literally couldn’t think of anything to say back except that I certainly hope there are more than those two types of guys.
What does that statement say to women if guys are only defining themselves as either assholes or dumbasses? What does that kind of statement say about men themselves?
Are men really accepting that they are either a dumbass or an asshole?
I would like to believe men expect more of themselves. Men, by calling yourselves those names, you are allowing yourselves to behave in a certain way and deeming that behavior acceptable, reverting to the old adage boys will be boys.
I’m sorry to tell you, but men aren’t assholes by nature.
It’s like the classic Mean Girls line, “You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.”
Women calling each other bitches makes it okay for men to degrade women and men calling each other/themselves assholes is making it okay for women to degrade men. When you insult someone your goal is to hurt, shame, undermine, or humiliate. Your goal is destruction, in some small form, of self-esteem or ego. The same goes for when you say these things to yourself.
With the insurgence of a new feminist movement happening, there seems to be a media war perpetuating the word feminist as man-hating/man-shaming instead of equality of the sexes. Just as strong, independent women are being called too aggressive and getting labeled as a bitch, I get the feeling we are forgetting that men can be strong and independent too, without being labeled assholes.
Being kind, gentle, and having the ability to care for others is not a “feminine” quality, it is a human quality.
In the now famous Emma Watson ‘He for She’ speech at the UN in 2014, she stated:
If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.
Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.
So to men out there, please stop calling yourselves assholes and dumbasses. You are so much more! Please stop thinking that by calling yourselves that, that you are excusing aggressive or bad behavior by attributing it to a “natural” impulse. The only message you send to yourself is that you can’t do any better than that, and it’s just the way you are.
Strive to be better, to be honest, faithful, funny, respectful, driven. Strive to act better and not just to those around you but also to yourselves.