Are We Too Quick To Make Men The Villain?

There was a point raised in last night’s post that I felt was going to get buried, so I decided to isolate it and make it its own post.

Am I wrong to feel violated by the aggressive kissing since I sort of gave him permission?

Ok. Let’s back up here for a moment. I’m not sure when this little trend started wherein women like to paint men as predatory creeps simply because they guy expresses some physical interest, but it’s absolute bullshit. It’s also quite offensive to anybody who has been truly violated. Some dude who doesn’t know how to kiss is not “violating” you. The man in the story is guilty of being a bad kisser. Not forcing himself upon a woman . Those are two very different things. Some guys are tools and deserve the ire they get. But some women need to see the difference between a man who is intentionally ignoring her signals and a man who is just socially clueless and inexperienced. They also need to learn how to recognize when they are projecting their issues on to the guy and trying to make him out to be the bad guy just to reconcile with their own regret or insecurity. Take these examples:

1. Women meets man. Man sends her a text asking her to meet for a drink. Woman tells man she has a busy week ahead of her but doesn’t specify how or why. Guy sends a text the next day asking if she’s free for a drink. Woman says no and complains to friends about how pushy the guy is. She agrees to meet him later in the week at a loud bar with a DJ, with friends in tow. (Hi. Rude.) The guy ends up standing close to her to talk to her. Woman accuses him of “violating her personal space.” Or,gee, maybe IT WAS LOUD IN THAT BAR YOU CHOSE and he wanted to be sure you heard him. At one point they attempt to move through the crowd to a quieter spot. Man puts hand on the small of the woman’s back as they walk. Women tells friends he once again was invading her personal space. (Actually, I think that’s somewhat chivalrous, as their trying to guide you through a crowd safely.)  She then allows this man, the one she said kept invading her space, to escort her through a dark parking lot and offers him a ride to his car. Upon arriving at his car, guy leans in for a kiss. Omigod!!! Predator! Predator!!!! Woman declines his invite for  a second date because she felt the guy didn’t pay attention to her signals and violated her personal space.

2. Woman dates a guy with a female roommate. One morning she wakes up to find him lying on his roommates bed, with his female roommate who is clad only in a “nightgown”, watching television. Man is accused of not being a gentleman. It couldn’t be that he was trying to be courteous and not wake her and chose to go to his roommates room to watch TV so as not to disturb her. He MUST be trying to seduce his roommate while she’s asleep in the other room.

3. Woman gets fixed up with a guy through friends. Woman decides the guy is a jerk and turns down his invitation for another date. Woman reads the newspaper some time later (it’s not clear when) and reads about the man, and learns the man is now engaged. Women does some Googling and learns he’s been with the woman for some time. (Good thing she was so disinterested in him.) Therefore, it MUST be that the man was a cheating asshole. Which makes no sense because she was introduced to him via a friend. So now the friend and the guy are complicit in his act of douchebaggery. Couldn’t be that he and this woman took a break. It HAS to be that he’s an unfaithful louse and his friend was a pimp.

Now, maybe these guys were all shady. Or maybe these women are just really, really insecure or trying to justify why they discarded yet another perfectly decent guy. I don’t know. What I know is that it seems to have become commonplace to immediately label a guy The Villain. I think what disturbs me more than these the stories themselves is the fact that nobody ever seems to question the person telling the story. (Or maybe they do and those comments get deleted.) It just makes me fear that many women want to believe that if he has a penis, he’s probably done something wrong.  They don’t want nor do they need any kind of explanation or further info.

If the antagonist is a man, then he’s wrong.

If he shows any kind of interest in sex, he’s wrong.

If he displays anything other than 100% transparency from the moment he meets the woman, he’s wrong.

If he doesn’t read the woman’s signals, he’s wrong.

Nobody ever suggests to these women that maybe, just maybe, they’re looking for a scapegoat. Someone to blame for their own bad decisions.

Listen, I know that there are plenty of men out there with bad intentions. I also know that it only take s one bad experience to color your perspective going forward. But how long is too long to hold these grudges? And why can’t we just discard the bad apples instead of chucking out the whole barrel? What ever happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt?

I guess my real concern about all this is how it’s building up a resentment amongst men, making them less intolerant or understanding or even willing to get to know a woman beyond a casual engagement. I’ve mentioned this “male movement” before, and I wish I knew how to convey to women how very, very real it is.

Of course, this compulsion to villainize men is a result of certain men behaving badly. But we’re never going to get men to recognize and take responsibility for their douchey brethren if we continue to hold all of them accountable for the actions of a few. Which can also be said to the men who make similar and broad  assumptions about women.

It just feels like everybody – men and women – has these huge chips on their shoulders and refuse to consider the possibility that there are some great men and women out there.

 

 

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42 Responses to “Are We Too Quick To Make Men The Villain?”

  1. dimplz Says:

    Well, yesterday’s example is probably not the best one, because the OP wound up acting a little wackadoo, so now the credibility of her story comes into question. I usually do question the validity of a story, but for some reason, when people write in, I tend to take most of it at face value.

    I think if people start to watch enough television and movies, it will definitely taint the way in which we view men and women and their roles. That said, I don’t think I personally demonize men, because I actually know many good ones. I’m not so guarded once I feel *safe,* but I haven’t had an abusive relationship or bad marriage in my past. Maybe women who have had either can talk about how it’s tainted their view. That said, I don’t think women who demonize men always realize that they are doing that. If they knew, I don’t think they would bother with trying to go out on dates.

  2. Saj Says:

    sigh, why is it ok for men to break up with women for whatever reason (she was too picky at dinner, took too long getting ready, only talked about herself) but a woman is now “insecure and overly picky” if a man moves too fast or makes her feel uncomfortable on a date? (this isn’t about making the guy the villain it’s about enjoying his company and well if your uncomfortable your not enjoying it the most).

    I’ve dated guys who pushed too fast too far or used guilt to do it. I felt like shit afterwords and it helped cement in my head what I do and I don’t find attractive. Some girls probably like a guy who goes for the kill sooner then later because it makes them feel attractive or sexy but that isn’t me as there is any context then I don’t like it. Enter the desire for the gentlemen.

    It was awesome that my first BJ experience was being pressured and guilted into it (is this guy the bad guy? No but probably socially clueless and a bit of a meat head). It was also awesome that one of my first dates ever ended up going to third base (I sure skipped a lot of steps and was too inexperienced to know how to properly put on the brakes) Did it endear me to them more? Was I insecure because I wasn’t enjoying myself? No.

    Now because of those early experiences I’ve taken a hell of a lot more control over intimacy and how it happens. Now I find a guy who asks for a kiss (and gives that nice kiss like the OP was hoping for) to be ideal. I like a guy who goes slow and pays attention to my signals. All the rough and tumble and super passion can come later and it has but everything has it’s time and place. Now my sex life is extremely enjoyable because I never felt “uncomfortable” like the OP mentions in her date. I have no sexual hangups because I have the self esteem to make sure I’m enjoying everything I’m doing.

    Octopuses aren’t ok. A guy not reading your signals well enough and goes for it anyway is going to risk a woman being turned off. Girls are allowed to be turned off and not pursue a guy further just like guys do. This sort of thinking invites a lot of douche bags into your life when you are turned off or not comfortable or something isn’t clicking but you proceed anyway because you don’t think you can do any better.

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      sigh, why is it ok for men to break up with women for whatever reason (she was too picky at dinner, took too long getting ready, only talked about herself) but a woman is now “insecure and overly picky” if a man moves too fast or makes her feel uncomfortable on a date?

      Do you not realize that all of those things are self-indulgent/self-absorbed qualities and are justifiable reason to dump someone? Honestly, who the hell wants to date someone who prattles on and on about themselves? That’s indicative of a serious lack in self-awareness, and people like that are always going to look for others to blame when – more often than not – they are to blame.

      I don’t think ti has to do with making the woman feel uncomfortable. I think it has to do with the woman projecting all of her issues on to the men instead of taking ownership of her issues. I also think ti has to do with women thriving off of feeling wounded.

      • loveliee Says:

        I don’t think ti has to do with making the woman feel uncomfortable. I think it has to do with the woman projecting all of her issues on to the men instead of taking ownership of her issues. I also think ti has to do with women thriving off of feeling wounded.

        Can you explain this? I don’t really get it. Are you saying that because someone makes me feel uncomfortable with the touching/kissing, I’m insecure? Or are you saying something else? Im not trying to be combative at all.. I just really want to understand because it sounds really awful to say that a guy can break up with me because I talk to damn much, but if I don’t want to see him because he moved too fast for me, I’m just insecure.

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          but if I don’t want to see him because he moved too fast for me, I’m just insecure.

          The issue is with this whole “he moved too fast for me.” There’s a difference between a guy trying to hold a woman’s hand or trying to kiss her and a man groping a woman. If a woman is attracted to a man, she’s not going to mind that he goes in for a kiss or tries to hold her hand or touch her in some way. If she does get freaked out at things like this – slight gestures, not overt or untoward advances – then, yes, there are bigger issues going on with her that have nothing to do with the guy. And let’s keep in mind that I say all of this as someone who has been sexually abused. I had to learn how to differentiate between someone trying to violate my personal space and someone just showing affection.

          I’ll give a better example. When I would go out with guys and they would bring up the blow job classes or take things to a sexual place when I didn’t think I gave no green lights, I immediately would make negative assumptions about them. In some cases, the guys were just crude assholes. But in others, they were simply putting on the table stuff I put out there. Sometimes their comments were made innocently because they assumed, since I put the stuff out there, I was open and fairly liberal. But because I was so paranoid and burnt by the crude guys, and because I didn’t do what i could to control the message, I took all that stuff I was feeling inside – namely the discomfort with being so closely identified with such things – and I projected it on to the guy.

          So, while there were some guys who were just socially clueless and crude, there were others who were genuinely intrigued or interested. But at that point I couldn’t tell the difference because I was so in my head about it.

          I don’t think it’s fair to say that a man who stood closely to talk to you while the two of you are in a loud bar is being disrespectful.

          Nor do I think it’s fair to tell a story about a guy and include only the details that will lead a specifically designated conclusion. The story about the guy with the fiancee? Maybe he and his GF had broken up at the point when he went out with the other woman.Of course there’s a good chance he didn’t. But it’s totally possible he did. But nobody even suggested that as an option. They just bashed him.

          Read any dating blog and the stories are always the same. It’s always the guy’s fault, the guy is always doing something shady, the woman is always the victim somehow. Meanwhile nobody ever says, “Well, wait. This girl seems to continuously find herself in these sort of situations. Why is that?” At the very least, consider all sides before leaping to conclusions.

          I know that if I don’t want to kiss a guy, I don’t just sit there. If he leans in, I say no. But I also try not to put myself in a situations where being in close proximity to a man to whom I am not attracted or with whom I am not comfortable.

          Being on the receiving end of a sloppy kiss or a guy who stands too close in a crowded room or lightly touches the small of your back is not the same as being in a situation where there is a real threat of violence or violation of personal space. To lump all these men together is just reckless.

          • Saj Says:

            - slight gestures, not overt or untoward advances – then, yes, there are bigger issues going on with her that have nothing to do with the guy. –

            As someone who wasn’t sexually abused as a child I have to disagree. My family just isn’t huggy and touchy and so I’m not too into it with strangers no matter how attractive he is. My husband put his hand on my lower back as we were walking through a store and I didn’t say it but it made me uncomfortable. Not because I have bigger issues it’s just that I don’t like being touched that early on.

            Sure there are some drama queens that get off on being victims or some compulsion gets them to create situations where they get to reinact some trauma but that isn’t the majority of women and I don’t think that was the case in the OP’s letter.

            • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

              Not because I have bigger issues it’s just that I don’t like being touched that early on.

              But that’s my point. Your dislike of the physical gesture was about your personal preference and your concerns surrounding physicality. And, I’m sorry, but I think your dislike of physical touching sounds like it stems from both your family environment where lack of physicality was the norm as well as other experiences you’ve mentioned here. I don’t see how those experiences couldn’t affect how you feel about being touched by your husband. In my opinion, those gestures are totally related.

              Sure there are some drama queens that get off on being victims or some compulsion gets them to create situations where they get to reinact some trauma but that isn’t the majority of women and I don’t think that was the case in the OP’s letter.

              It wasn’t until the OP came in and started stalking the comments and sought out responses and attention did I sense something was off. This didn’t seem like a case where a woman didn’t realize a man was being controlling. She seemed very aware of it, but then continued to contradict herself in her comments. Correct me if I’m wrong, but she said that if the kiss had been better she wouldn’t have minded that the guy didn’t pay. WTF?

              In my original response, I think i was pretty evenly balanced. It was her behavior in the comments that made me lose patience. Her decision had been made. She just wanted to use this blog to bash some guy and have everybody agree with her.

          • Howard Says:

            The person finds herself in that situation again and again because she is making the same mistake. Most of the times we ignore the obvious. We all have a list of things we would like to have and a list of non-negotiables. The problem is that we somehow go to a mode where we think an overabundance of something we really like can make up for a serious deficiency in another department. That is the worst type of thinking.

            If someone is very dificient in an area that is important us, nothing is ever going to be so amazing in another area to make up for it!

            Keeping what in said in mind above, we also all need to look in mirror and see what we are doing wrong that makes people run from us after they get to know us. And this is hard because we condition ourselves to believe we are right and everyone else is wrong. And the crazy thing is that it may be just one thing that we imagine to be little but it’s a big deal to everyone else. Here’s a list that is by no means complete:
            1. Whining
            2. Mindless talking
            3. Talking too much about one self
            4. Gossip
            5. Lateness
            6. Untidyness, bad hygene and poor appearance
            7. Disorganized behavior
            8. Slouching
            9. Cheapness
            10. Demanding behavior
            11. Lack of compassion
            12. Thoughtlessness
            13, Arrogance
            14. Inadequacy
            15. Bad temper
            16. Resentment
            17. Unforgiving nature
            18. Overly cautious behavior
            19. Overly risky behavior
            20. Overly Agressive attitude
            21. Too timid behavior
            22. Pessimism
            23. False illusions
            24. Poor social skills
            25. Poor listening skills and inattentive behavior
            26. Overcrowding a person
            27. Doormat behavior
            28. Too serious, seeming incapable of laughing and having fun
            29. Too frivilous and too much clowning.
            30. Too extravagant
            31. Too materialistic
            32. Too laid back

      • Cricri Says:

        Moxie that’s a very dismissive answer. Not all people go on dates with such an attitude. I went on a date with a guy who made quite the amount of disparaging comments to the point where I thought maybe he was trying to send me a message. For example, he made a comment about an overweight black woman dancing next to us, and I thought “who says that kind of stuff to another woman while on a date?”. Then walking to the metro he tried to force a kiss and basically locked his arms around me until I complied which took a good 10mn of arguing my way out of it. It scared me, yet I wouldn’t make a scandal. It was very uncomfortable because I’m not into PDAs, especially forced ones. That guy surely thought I was playing hard to get, but really I couldn’t run any faster from him after.

        This is not the type of thrill women are usually looking for. I can play weak so that a guy moves my furniture, not to be sexually molested. It doesn’t make sense and it is quite insulting actually to just say people are projecting their issues onto others.

    • D Says:

      Guys break up with women because they don’t like them, not because they’re villains. It’s perfectly fine for you to be turned off, but that’s an issue of compatibility. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy.

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        “Guys break up with women because they don’t like them, not because they’re villains.” I think it’s more that guys distinguish between simple incompatibility and a woman being a crazy bitch. I’ve been on lots of bad dates, but only a handful were in the latter category–and I don’t like talking about them because it reflects poorly on me for having gone out with them in the first place.

        “It doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy.” Exactly. However, many women have a certain idea of what a “real man” is supposed to be and how he is supposed to act, and any guy who deviates, no matter how slightly, from that ideal is [insert petty insult here].

    • jojo Says:

      Saj, the colorful painting ts the problem. Men really don’t do the colroful painting. They typically move on without the attendant zeal to demonize the woman. Of course some petty assinine men do the same.

      If someone does not work for you, it’s no big deal really, he may be ok for someone else. There is no need to malign or villianize him. Some women like going dutch. If it’s not your thing, move on. If a guy kisses poorly to you, move on, the real problem is that you had insufficient attraction in the first place.

      In the post yesterday, the OP failed to own her part in the fiasco. Firstly she obviously did not like dutch, but continued down that road. She felt insufficient attraction for him but assented to him kissing her. It really takes two to tango.

      The thousand pound elephant in dating woes is people deliberately ignoring big warning signs from their filters. I am not talking about a guy being maybe two inches shorter than you would like, or a woman being slightly heavier than you would like. I am talking serious divergence in tastes, values, principles and expectations. And if you don’t have at least some attraction, that’s it, don’t try to force it.

      For guys, it’s typically the easy lay thing or the trophy girl thing. If it looks like an easy lay, they somehow skip around the stuff they don’t like. if she is a trophy woman, guys ignore the the stuff they don’t like too.

      For women, it’s the trophy guy thing or the components that make up the trophy guy. The trophy guy is pretty hard to find for women, because women wait for guys to approach. And unfortunately social mores at this current time do not look as favorably on women approaching. Guys unfortunately go into the easy lay mode. Never said life was going to be fair, I really hope we can get past this nonsense soon. The components that make up the trophy guy, being in great abundance, is thus often the reason to ignore filters. And we know the list, wealth, fame, height, good looks, prestige(sports star, DJ, good family, uniformed men etc), education, prestigious career, and even looking like some idol(movie, rock singer etc).

    • Kurt Says:

      You may be the exception to the rule, because I believe that most women would think that a man who asks a woman if he can kiss her is weak and lack confidence.

  3. Sarah Says:

    I’m not sure there’s an objective difference between a guy misreading signals vs. just taking what he wants. I tend to err on the side of believing women and taking it at face value when they say a man made them uncomfortable, just because so many women (1 in 6, I think) are victimized by men. I don’t think that means 1 in 6 men is a villain, but all men have moments of villainy, presupposing that pressuring women — into anything — is wrong.

    • Chester Says:

      It is interesting that it is the guy misreading signals and not the woman mis-signaling. Again putting the blame on the guy as villian when the women is not communicating properly.

      Most of women’s signaling are so subtle, the signaling is in her mind. They did a study where the guy was is supposed to read the body signaling of the women and most of the time he could not figure it out. But then the women were asked to read the same signals and they couldn’t figure out the women either. The conclusion is that it is not the men misreading, it is the women not signaling properly.

      I have a theory that even when women say the guy picked up her signals, the guys didn’t. He was just blindly progressing at the same speed that the woman wanted so she just thinks he read her subtle signals.

      The woman is uncomfortable but she is not signaling properly. The pressure she feels is because it was probably impossible for the guy to read her signal.

    • Angeline Says:

      “all men have moments of villainy”
      Bullshit. This is tantamount to saying that all men are potential rapists. Objectively, there IS a vast difference in misreading signals and ‘taking what they want’, the main one being, if you simply put your hand on his chest and say, “this is too fast for me,” the man who isn’t just taking what he wants will be brought up short, and probably feel badly about it. *Subjectively*, there’s a difference, because it’s all about feelings and opinions and biases, not fact. That doesn’t mean it is correct to act n this, or paint the guy who can’t read inscrutable, invisible, and *conflicting* signals, verbiage, and body language as to how a new date feels about progression of the physical.

      Saj’s *personal* preference for not liking a lot of touching anytime, Cricri conflating an example of actual aggression with PDA, are *not* any kind of measurable guide for men or women. As someone who *has* been assaulted, this kind of blanket vilification is not only offensive, is also makes us all less safe. Because our best protection from dangerous men, in addition to plain old common sense, is the vast majority of good men.

      One of the main problems in these scenarios is that, for various reasons, women do not give accurate indications. They don’t know what they want. They want the guy to “court” them, they want the guy to take charge, right up to the point he does so in a way they find inconvenient. You can’t indulge in a medieval system of courting when the medieval protections and community scrutiny that went with it are absent. To say that you are a feminist, modern woman and then play the coy maiden is a ridiculous conceit.

      The fear and insecurity that leads to trying to make every person you date into “The One” is another driver of miscues like this.

      Women are so afraid there won’t be another guy after this one. This one has 6 out of 10 things on my list, so I have to make this work. T

      They take scripts from movies and fairy tales instead of being themselves and getting to know someone. They are afraid to appear prudish, they don’t want to appear slutty, they follow rules set out by friends and sisters that are based on myths and contradictory. When this inevitably doesn’t work, they get frustrated and angry. So they *also* are carrying around a load of hostility. There’s no way she can navigate a sane path through all that, so how could someone who has just met her expect to?

      • Sarah Says:

        I call bullshit on your bullshit. There’s not a man or woman alive who hasnt used manipulation, guilt or deceit to get what they want from the opposite sex.

        All men ARE potential rapists. So are all women. Everyone has the potential for evil, or “evil.”

        You have to keep in mind that not all women will step up and say, ‘This is too fast for me,’ but acquiescence is not the same as consent. Moxie’s examples clearly illustrate her point that not all men are villains, but I’m still going to take a woman’s word at face value unless there’s a good reason to do otherwise.

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          but I’m still going to take a woman’s word at face value unless there’s a good reason to do otherwise.

          Okay. Let’s take the examples I gave above. Let’s say you have the man and the woman right in front of you. Each one tells you their side of the story. You have no knowledge of their history or background. You’re saying that you’ll believe the woman simply because she’s a woman?

          I agree with you that we all have the capability to be evil or behave badly. I also understand that women are far more likely to be victimized, and therefore the situation requires that people not dismiss any claims she might make.

          But I want to point out how I gave three examples that didn’t depict the woman as being in any sort of physical danger. Yet that’s exactly where many of the women commenting took the conversation. The main concern for me here is the way women are conflating two very different situations. It’s as though they can’t differentiate between the two. They’re equating a guy who is alleged to have lied with men in their past who have been physically forceful. That’s really my point: the ease in which some women accuse men of being “evil.”

          I’m not talking about situations where a woman says she was assaulted or felt physically threatened. In those cases, I agree with you. I’m going to take the woman’s word for it until proven otherwise. But if there is a hint of inconsistency, I’m taking a step back and examining the whole situation.

          For me, with the examples I gave, these three women consistently find themselves involved or out with men who they say are “bad.” There’s only a certain amount of instances where that can occur before you have to step back and at least wonder if the woman’s POV is accurate or if it’s distorted. What concerned me was the way all of the women responding to these stories immediately agreed with whatever the woman said and never questioned it, despite the fact that each of these women have regularly had issues with men in the past. To me, that’s a sign of very dangerous group think mentality.

          • Sarah Says:

            In the three examples you gave, I agree with you; those are clear examples of overreactions and/ or miscommunication. I was thinking of the bigger picture, and I’m not sure if you wanted it to go there, but usually when it’s a he-said-she-said situation, there’s a lot of grey area.

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          “acquiescence is not the same as consent” Actually, legally it is. A person who is capable of resisting but chooses not to is deemed to have consented.

          • Sarah Says:

            But ‘capable’ is the slippery part.

            • Crotch Rocket Says:

              The capacity to resist is assumed unless the person is unconscious, intoxicated, below a certain age or potentially coerced by person in authority such as a police officer, doctor, priest, teacher or parent. Note that resistance does not have to be successful for it to have effect legally: simply saying “no” or “stop” turns a kiss into assault (or battery, in states that make a distinction).

          • Saj Says:

            I’m sure if the person felt adequetely threatened which would keep them from physically resisting then the consent part goes out the window. Legally speaking of course.

            • Crotch Rocket Says:

              The details vary by state, but in general if a person is actually compelled via force or the threat of force, that nullifies the assumption of consent because they’re not reasonably capable of resisting. However, a mere feeling of being compelled only qualifies if the other person is in a position of authority.

  4. nathan Says:

    “If someone does not work for you, it’s no big deal really, he may be ok for someone else. There is no need to malign or villianize him. Some women like going dutch. If it’s not your thing, move on. If a guy kisses poorly to you, move on, the real problem is that you had insufficient attraction in the first place.”

    This, to me, is the main issue here. Taking things that are either miscommunications, or signs of poor compatibility and turning them into character assessments. Both women and men do it on here, and elsewhere.

    With this whole physical boundaries and touching kissing thing, it’s really easy to make mistakes because everyone has a different level of comfort. You can do you best to watch for all the signs, but the reality is still – if you’re on a first or second date – you don’t know the person. You’re reading of your date isn’t based on knowing them, it’s based on a composite of past experiences. In other words, it’s basically an educated guess, which is a lot better than nothing, but still leaves plenty of room for error.

    Given that men still often make the first move, they need to remember how common sexual assault, rape, and other violations are, and do their best to pay attention to whatever cues are being given. But seriously, I agree with Moxie that some women seem to play the victim too often, and make any moves by a man they aren’t interested in, or are conflicted about, into acts of violation.

    Everyone has the right to reject a date, and/or to say that something a date did doesn’t sit right with them. But it’s really unnecessary to go around assassinating the character of someone you just weren’t attracted to, or whose actions were in some manner unappealing to you, or even made you feel a bit uncomfortable.

    I see Cricri’s example as more towards an extreme. The guy kept forcing the issue, and was ignoring how you were responding. I don’t think Moxie was trying to argue in favor of a guy in that situation, and I’m certainly not doing so.

  5. M Says:

    I agree with what Nathan says above about the miscommunications. So many of the things that cause people to reject one another is stupid, irrelevant stuff that can easily be worked out. In the first few dates, people need to understand that they dont really know the person they are with and that that person may have a different way of doing things. It happens, and it doesnt mean the other person is a bad person. Believe me, I’d rather have a 30 second conversation about splitting the check vs taking turns paying than pick the wrong thing and never see the girl again.

    Also, Moxie is right about , really, the whole post. But I especially want to agree with her on the whole villainizing men thing. I have been seeing this on TV for a few years now, and Im tired of it. Watch some commercials or some sitcoms and notice the interaction between men and women. Men are always made to look like the unenlightened, stumbling buffoons who are always wrong. Then women come in and school the guy and offer some sage advice that eventually causes the guy to come around and see the light. I really get sick of this, not just because its offensive, but because no matter what you show on TV, it will eventually bleed over into society. How long before society starts to believe that men are all idiots? I think in some circles this has already happened.

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      On the topic of media and television:

      I was listening to a morning radio show and the two hosts were discussing a McDonalds commercial. The young couple has just gotten married and they are preparing to board a flight for their honeymoon. The guy gets a text from friends telling him the McRib is back and he wants to go get one. The wife says, “I married a 14 year old!” It there were a commercial where a man was making some snarky comment about how women were nothing but melodramatic wackos who had no control of their emotions, you can be sure various women’s groups would be all over that sponsor.

      Equally offensive, btw, are those ridiculous personal cleansing commercials that depict two knights battling in a duel in order to see who wins the princesses hand. The voice over talks about a woman’s power and what it compels men to do. The tag line? “Hail to the V.” Get it? Hail to her vagina, because that’s the most powerful part of her. That ad is offensive to both men and women. Both ads are ridiculously sexist.

      These are the messages were being inundated with. For some reason, these ads stereotyping and putting down men are getting a free pass. All that will lead to is a slew of ads depicting women in the same stereotypical light. Consistency, please, before we’re back to the days of “bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan” or something else condescending and belittling.

      • dimplz Says:

        All of those ads are stupid, and I do believe they are a response to how women have been portrayed in many commercials over the years. Why are all the cleaning commercials with a woman cleaning? Do men not clean? The best thing to do, other than kill your tv, is recognize the sexism in many ads and television shows, and if one has children, to point it out to them.

        • Selena Says:

          Ah yes, the cleaning ads. I remember one from years back where one woman asks another: “Jane, with your new job, how are you going to keep your toliet clean?” Insert ad for automatic toliet bowl cleaner. Utterly inane.

          • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

            I wasn’t referring to a cleaning ad. I made an example of personal cleansing ads, like douches and vaginal washes.

            • Selena Says:

              I know that. I was commenting on Dimplz post – sexism regarding cleaning – a “woman’s job” perpetuated decade after decade. Sexism of all kinds is rampant in advertising of all kinds: busty blondes in beer commercials, women in evening gowns draped across cars – on and on. I agree men are being “dumbed down” in television and that bores me to the point I don’t watch much. Anyone bothered by the sexism in advertising, and/or programming is free to either turn off the box, or make their displeasure known to the companies paying for it stating refusal to buy their products. Since most of us are too lazy to do that, the sexism continues.

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        I agree that commercial advertising in media has a profound effect on our culture. For more on this subject read “Captains of Consciousness” wherein, among other things, you will learn that our modern conception of Santa Claus comes from a Coca Cola advertisement . It’s not a coincidence that he wears a red and white suit with a bushy white beard and red checks (and he drinks Coke, of course). You will also learn that nobody ever thought they stunk abd needed deoderant until Proctor and Gamble told them so. As Moxie said in a prior post, advertising sometimes creates the need for the product.

        But, I digress. While advertising does affect culture, to some extent, you’re confusing cause and effect.

        Advertising that features women as the more intelligent decison-makers, for exmaple, and men as bafoons, are not trying to put men down to make men feel bad (saddy face :(), they are trying to SELL their products to women. Women are the target of those ads, not men. This the by product of a free, capitalist society. The ads work. Even the most offensive ones get your attention and induce you to buy things. There’s no need to take any of it personally or to derive your view of humanity from it. That’s on you.

  6. john Says:

    I came across your article and want to confirm 1 thing. You are absolutely right there are men scared to death of being villain, especially the brainy ones. If I were a player, I wouldn’t worry about how to get women. Instead I try to be me. If you want a good man treat him like you would want to be treated. If you want an honest man, be an honest woman. If you really do have something, like hsv, hpv, etc then be upfront. At the first sign someone is mean, condescending, or lying run like hell, and press charges if you can. I have a hard time not thinking they are all sucubus’ but I know it’s not true. Warren Buffet says the best investment he EVER made was in his relationship with his wife. Beware of any monsters looking for $3.50 though. (South Park Episode – Google it.)

    • M Says:

      Sucubi and $3.50 – has to be one of my favorite Southpark episodes. Too bad more people didnt get the reference

  7. john Says:

    I have started two twitter accounts as well regarding portraying
    men in not so favorable light.

    And one for great creative as well.
    When I see ads I post them

    usernames – @awfulads,@awsomeads

  8. Kurt Says:

    I once dated a woman who would assume the worst about me based on seemingly minor interactions. One time she started an argument out of the blue by telling me that I should wear sandals. When I told her that I preferred to wear gym shoes because they were far more comfortable, she wouldn’t stop arguing with me. She later let it slip that the previous guy she dated was mean to women and also didn’t like to wear sandals. So she apparently reached the absurd conclusion that I must therefore also be mean to women because I didn’t want to wear sandals. Needless to say, I eventually told her I didn’t want to see her anymore and she was actually very shocked that I wouldn’t want to see her. It seemed as though she was overly critical because she thought that she had me and that I totally wanted her and therefore I suppose she felt comfortable enough to be this critical.

    So in my experience woman with huge egos are often the ones who are hyper-critical.

  9. Horace Says:

    I think that the other side of this problem is that a lot of women are too quick to make themselves the victim.

    And in the same vain, a lot of men are too quick to dismiss their villainy.

    We’re all victims and villains at different times to different degrees. Usually, our own emotional incompetence makes us our own worse villain (and best victim).

  10. Mark Says:

    Kudos’ on an insightful post.

    Somehow the old forest and the trees chestnut comes to mind.

    As you mentioned, there is always the person whom we encounter who makes us want to portray the whole opposite gender in an unfavorable light. Everyone has had such experiences, some more than others. That applies equally to both women and men.

    Yet in the end if you do resort to an all too quick pigeon holing of people as unsavory, evil, or some equally distasteful characterization, then all too often that very person becomes unattractive in a very fundamental sort of way. Paradoxically, they have fallen into the all too familiar trap of becoming the very thing that they initially despise as they enter a vicious circle they have difficulty breaking out of. They themselves have in fact become the villain.

    In the end it’s neither attractive nor appealing. At least not to anyone they may be looking to date. Certainly not to anyone of quality.

    Sure, you need to be careful about the whole dating process. Absolutely. After all, a healthy dose of common sense is essential.

    Just try to maintain a good sense of perspective on things.

    Again, great post.

  11. sarcastic girl Says:

    http://sarcasticbloggirl.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/the-substitution-syndrome-powered-by-testosterone-and-the-%e2%80%9call-men-are-evil%e2%80%9d-epidemic/
    It is a problem that all girls are blaming guys, and forget who choose the guy and stayed with him…

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