Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past several days, you probably know about the leaked 2005 audio and video of presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy.” It’s not news that Trump is a womanizer–there are plenty of accounts of him objectifying women and, generally, treating them like trash. What’s news is that he actually had the gall to brag about nonconsensual sexual contact–basically, sexual assault–and is still considered fit in the eyes of many to be president.
Trump has said plenty of offensive things that, in my opinion, wouldn’t make him fit for any job, let alone the president of the United States. I mean, the dude started his entire campaign by calling undocumented Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. But this “pussygate” seems to really be striking a broader nerve, especially for anyone who has ever been sexually assaulted. As someone who has had my butt grabbed by a stranger in the past, I definitely know what it’s like to be touched without my consent, and I think the outrage is appropriate. The fact that this has all been reduced by Trump and his campaign as “locker room banter” is even more outrage inducing.
Yesterday, Michelle Obama gave a speech that touched on just how dismaying Trump’s comments were:
I think that a key part of her speech was this: “To dismiss this as everyday locker room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere…Strong men, men who are truly role models, don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.”
She’s absolutely right. Yes, we live in a sexist culture where treating women poorly is a behavior that is normalized. Yes, there are plenty of men who say gross things about women. Hell, I’m catcalled a few times a week, I know what’s up. But acting as if it’s normal for men to brag about sexual assault is next level ridiculous. Not only am I skeptical as to how much the average man brags about that kind of behavior, I’m also disturbed by the negative effects that normalizing that kind of behavior can have on our society.
People will excuse so many awful things that men do to degrade women, but I want to remind you that that kind of behavior should never be seen as normal, period. Don’t get it twisted, here are seven things that should never be normal for guys to do. Enough of this “boys will be boys” BS.
Predatory BehaviorAnyone who has been actively followed by a man on the street knows how damn scary it can be. I’m not saying that women never exhibit predatory behavior like this; I’m sure there are some that do. But overall? That’s a field that largely men seem to excel in, unfortunately. It all stems back to this idea that men are entitled to women’s time, attention, and affection. Um, naw. Dazed And Confused
Demanding SextsWe all get thirsty, but the extent to which girls are pressured to send boys nude photos is pretty disturbing, especially considering the fact that it’s a) illegal and b) could be vulnerable to being used in a revenge porn context, an act which is usually done against women by men. Hell, you can even use a dating app without receiving sexually explicit and demanding garbage from strangers. It’s easy enough to make Tumblr accounts making fun of weirdos on Tinder or f**kboys who are really desperate for some tit pics, but the normality of this becomes really disturbing really quickly. Imgur
Sexual AssaultIn no way, shape, or form should bragging about sexual assault—or sexual assault itself, of course—be considered normal dude dude behavior. Normalizing a lack of consent only worsens rape culture, and we need to start demanding higher standards from men out there. Aren’t we all sick of these Brock Turner and Nate Parker narratives that dismiss the evils of sexual assault? Rosea Lake
Slut Shaming/Fat Shaming/General Repulsive Shallownessveryone has the capacity to be shallow, ad this isn’t restricted by gender. But let’s be real, we live in a society where women’s looks receive a lot more scrutiny, and we take it as a given for dudes to rate women, judge them for gaining weight, mock their vaginas for not looking like a porn star’s etc. Girls can't even have sex without receiving scrutiny, while cis-gender straight dudes are practically congratulated for sticking their penis inside of a vagina. Shame culture emphasizes shame on women, and we shouldn't see dudes participating in it as typical "boys will be boys" shenanigans. It's not, it's called being a jerk. That '70s Show
Victim BlamingAnyone has the capacity to victim blame, it’s a behavior that is genderless in a society that still often blames women for their own abuse. But it’s seen as more of a betrayal when women do it than men. In fact, the amount of times I've seen men casually victim blame actually makes my skin crawl. Listen, in no way, shape, or form should we let dudes off the hook for victim blaming, nor should we assume that that’s just a thing that dudes do because they’re less likely to be assaulted. When is it time for us to understand that empathy shouldn’t be a surprise? We should expect it, and if that doesn't work, we should demand it. My Mad Fat Diary
Making Rape JokesI’ve heard both men and women make offhand inappropriate references or jokes about rape, but it’s a field that seems to be dominated by men. Luckily, “call out culture” has made it more normal to call out people who make rape jokes, but it is still seen as a harmless “boys being boys” sense of humor. There’s nothing harmless about joking about this kind of violence, period. Pretty In Pink
Controlling BehaviorControlling behavior from women is seen as intolerable, and men who “accept” it are depicted as “whipped.” Meanwhile, women are often told that controlling behavior from men is just a way for men to show how much they care. Um, controlling behavior isn’t a cute personality trait on anyone, and men are no exception. The number of emails we receive at Gurl from girls and women who have BFs who dictate what they can wear, who they can hang out with, and what they should do in bed is enough to make your stomach churn. Please, let’s not act like this is just men being naturally protective. This isn’t about DNA, this is about destructive learned behavior. Freaks And Geeks
What other “boys will be boys” nonsense do we let dudes get away with way too often? Tell us in the comments!