October 12, 2018

We need to stop praising men for not sexually harassing women

In a time where men like Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Brett Kavanaugh are being accused of sexual assault and harassment, many people are now praising those who haven’t done these things. But the question in my head is why?

You may think that it’s commendable for someone to resist the urge to harass someone even if they wanted to or had the power to. However, this isn’t something we should praise someone, especially men, for. Because, believe it or not, not doing any sexual misconduct is what a rational human being should be doing by default. No one needs a compliment nor a prize for something that we should be doing as decent individuals.

This is like the discussion of “doing the bare minimum” all over again. Men are praised when they are seen, let’s say, changing a baby’s diaper like a father should or just overall being nice to their significant others. Meanwhile, women are criticized for “not doing their jobs as mothers.”

When men are seen as other than creepy, people treat them as this rare Pokémon that should be held at a higher pedestal. I mean, sure, men can be trash and sometimes they do misogynistic things that make me question why they’re seen as the superior gender. But is being nice and normal so rare these days that it needs to be praised? Do you want a cookie for not being a sh*thead?

What many people seem to forget is that consent should be taught in childhood, and that the “boys will be boys” mindset should be abolished. The latter quote is so overused that it’s everyone’s excuse for bad behavior. Now that we live in the #MeToo era, a nice guy is suddenly “a breath of fresh air,” when in reality, they should be raised to be well-mannered and not-creepy from the start.

So if you’re someone who hasn’t put a hand on a woman without consent, and also backed away when a woman said no, don’t expect a congratulations or a pat on the back. You’re just doing your job as a good citizen of this world. But, we do hope you’re out there making sure that other people don’t harass and/or assault others, and not letting them get away with it.

 

Art by Marian Hukom

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Related stories:
Men shouldn’t be praised for doing the bare minimum
Brett Kavanaugh hiring all-female legal clerks doesn’t make him an ally of women
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culture, feminism, sexual assault, sexual harassment, women



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