1) Stop Shaming Women’s Bodies
Comic by fatgirlyay
I recently came across this gem from AskMen.com: “Top 10: Subtle Ways To Tell Her She’s Getting Fat.” Not only does this article perpetuate the idea that fat bodies—and fat women’s bodies in particular—are unacceptable, but it doesn’t do straight men any favors, either. If it’s not clear enough from the ratings (87% feeling “furious,” and only 2% feeling like “a better man”) then allow me to spell this out for you: these kinds of articles suck. Although the extreme fierceness of disapproval of this specific article convinced AskMen.com to make some important edits that shame both men and women into keeping thin and to replace tip #9 with “Do not: deliberately feed her smaller portions, buy her clothing that won’t fit, or pinch her love handles (as one remarkably dumb writer once suggested in an article that looked a lot like this one)”, there are still tons of articles like this one.
No woman’s body type makes her deserving of emotional abuse. I don’t care if you don’t find a certain body type attractive; you’re allowed to have preferences. However, that does not give you the right to try to make a woman feel bad about her body. People should be allowed to feel confident about themselves at any size. If your girlfriend is happy with her fat self, don’t try to change her.
Think of the girls who read these articles. When you write things like “if you continually rest your hand on her love handles (or even lightly pinch them), she’ll soon realize that you’re becoming increasingly aware of something that never used to be there before,” you are putting the idea into a woman’s head that she doesn’t want her partner to hold her by the hips. (This quote was taken from the AskMen article, pre-edit). She might think that her boyfriend is shaming her body every time he touches her there. The result? Unhappy girlfriends who don’t want to be cuddled anymore because they’re self-conscious about their partners touching them.
2) Stop Trying to “Decode” Women’s Body Language
I have lost track of the number of times I have seen advice columns for men claiming that women who cross their legs and smile a lot totally want your dick, bro!
Did you know that women are expected to smile, all the time, or else face being called a frigid bitch? It’s true.
My first retail job specifically trained the girls who worked there to be upbeat, smiley, and peppy. We had to keep this up during eight-hour shifts or beware of customers who would would complain if we seemed “unpleasant” (i.e., stopped showing our pearly whites for five minutes because our cheeks hurt). My favorite instance of this was when someone mistook me for a manager and complained that my extremely pregnant boss was being cross with her. I’m not sure if this person had never considered the fact that when a fetus is kicking at the lining of a woman’s uterus, it gets old after a while.
Another manager, however, was allowed to break out of the faux-liveliness act and nobody ever said anything. He was a man, of course.
That’s just one example, though. Ask any woman you know if she’s been told by a complete stranger that she needs to smile, or been asked if she was having a bad day because she wanted to relax her face.
Did you also know that women who don’t cross their legs are asking for it? That’s not actually true, but living in a society that promotes rape culture has led most women to cross their legs in public in fear of someone looking up their skirts or telling them to keep their legs shut, sluts!
So, men’s advice blogs, I’d really appreciate it if you stopped taking things that women are coerced to do and using them to justify sexually harassing a girl because you thought she was into you. If she likes you, she’ll let you know.
3) Stop Diagnosing Women With Mental Illnesses (Unless You Are a Doctor)
This one should be common sense but evidently we’re still stuck in the stage of calling women crazy when they do things we don’t like.
Another handy service announcement from AskMen.com has declared that girls who like affection and take too long getting ready are nuts.
Not only is this undermining actual mental illnesses, but it’s attempting to justify men emotionally abusing their girlfriends.
This needs to stop.
Men, you should not enter into a relationship with someone and then get mad when she wants you to be affectionate toward her. You are not allowed to expect your girlfriend to look pretty and then call her “a psycho” when she takes a long time getting ready. You are setting conflicting, unrealistic standards that are unfair to your partner.
This leads me to my next point:
4) Stop Commenting on Women’s Makeup
Aside from it being none of your business what cosmetic choices a woman makes, you are confusing the hell out of us.
Articles like this one from Yahoo are all over the place in two ways: they are on almost every women’s advice blog, magazine, etc.; and they are inconsistent.
Personally, I’m sick of men commenting on women’s makeup. Sure, some of us wear makeup to conform to beauty standards. Some of us wear it to look presentable at work. Some of us use it to express ourselves. Whatever the reason may be, we don’t put it on for you; we put it on for ourselves. Men have no reason to say negative things about a woman’s choice either to wear makeup or not to wear any. I didn’t get ready this morning in hopes that it would make you want me, mister.
Additionally, every man has a different opinion on women’s makeup. “Wear light makeup,” says one guy. “No, no, do that smoky eye thing,” says another. “Leave your lips natural,” says yet another. “But if she wears lipstick it will make for a really hot, messy blowjob!”
Basically what articles like these leave us with is the idea that men have varying tastes in what makeup they like a woman to wear, and honestly?—I could have figured that one out on my own.
5) Stop Strategizing the Dating Scene
Comic by callmekitto
There is no way to guarantee that a woman will have sex with you or want to date you.
Doing unprovoked favors for a girl does not obligate her to you whatsoever. When a girl accepts a drink that you bought for her, she is not signing a contract that she will have sex with you. In fact, you especially should not expect sex from a girl if you buy a drink for her, because having sex with an overly intoxicated person (who is unable to consent) is rape.
Telling men that there are things they can do for women that will instantly make women fall for them perpetuates nice guy syndrome. Self-proclaimed nice guys are guys that are nice to girls until the girls reveal that they’re actually not interested. Then, these “nice” guys turn misogynistic, often calling girls bitches or accusing them of throwing men into the dreaded friend zone.
This should not be happening. Men should not have the idea put into their heads that there are certain strategies they can follow that will get women to go home with them, have sex with them, or date them. Like I said before, if a woman likes you, she will let you know.
Guys, being nice to a woman won’t do you any good if she’s simply not attracted to you. You cannot make a girl like you. Attraction doesn’t work like that—sorry to burst your bubbles.