For some men it's hard work treating women with respect.
For some men it's hard work treating women with respect. CSA-Archive

Macho ado about nothing

POOR men. You're sooooo confused now. Can you hug a woman? Can you tell her she looks nice? Can you squeeze an avocado in public any more?

Like dazed wildlife, you wander around aimlessly, second guessing your every move, everything you say, everything you don't.

But you've only got yourselves to blame.

Sure I know you're no Harvey Weinstein or Don Burke but your mate there might be on the spectrum and how many times have you pulled him up on his behaviour (insert crickets chirping here).

All of a sudden, victim-blaming has been turned on its head and men have declared themselves the new casualties. Those innocents who have never acted or spoken in any sordid fashion towards women their entire lives nor ever stood silently by while other men have.

Good on you. You certainly are a unique individual but you don't deserve a medal.

Anyway you've only got yourself to blame.

I know you probably thought you would never see the day the bum-groping, penis-exposing brigade would be crucified on such a large-scale, publicly humiliating level.

That the protective veneer of patriarchy established since man immortal was going to let you off the hook again. That the socially entrenched, unsavoury practices were still not your problem.

But they always were. It's just now you've been caught off-guard, forced to deal with it, and mightily quickly.

This is because you never expected women would eventually be listened to and believed. You had no idea that their complaints and issues were going to become the news of the world.

So now you find yourself with a predicament? A quandary, a minefield to navigate? And it's hard work, right? Having to think before you speak or touch?

But you've only got yourself to blame.

So rather than going down that ol' 'see what women have done now' victim-blaming route, how about just taking it solidly on the chin.

God knows women have had to deal with unwanted examples of that with just about every part of their anatomy in the lead-up to this momentous occasion, so with a little practice you should be fully functioning respectful 21st century post-Weinstein men in no time at all.

And being the thoughtful person I am, rather than just cut you loose and leave you hanging, here's an idiot's guide to not making women feel creeped out.

1. Women weren't invented for your personal gratification so apply this rule every time you meet one.

2. Play it safe and wait until there's mutual attraction established before you go diving in.

2. Women need hugs occasionally so don't be an arse and say 'well I'm not allowed to touch you any more'. Work out whether you are hugging them for them or for you. If it's the latter, don't; otherwise ask if it's okay.

3. Pay them a compliment because you genuinely believe that colour suits them, not because you want to get into their pants. You can clarify this by adding up the number of times you have said to an older women how great her jacket is.

4. Try to see women you meet beyond their physical appearance, a hard one but you might be pleasantly surprised by their brains and personality.

5. Don't get stalky when you talk to them. Half an arm's length unless otherwise invited.

6. Don't howl or whistle at them like they are dogs on heat.

7. Don't tell jokes that denigrate or belittle their presence in society.

8. If you have a girlfriend, wife or daughter, ask them how they feel about the #metoo campaign. If you don't know what the #metoo campaign is, google it and go back to No. 1.

9. Understand that women have had to deal with this sh*t their whole existence so try to be empathetic about that rather than the default angry and entitled.

10. Stop blaming women for your bad behaviour.

I could go on but this is a great starting point. See you on the other side.

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