When you compliment a random woman who doesn’t know you, no matter how nice you are about it, there’s a good chance she’s going to freak out internally because for all she knows, you could be that latter type. And I get that it’s really unfair that women would just assume that about you. I get that it sucks that sometimes, expressing totally reasonable opinions like “hey you’re hot” will make women terrified of you or furious at you. That’s not fair.
But if you’re going to lay the blame for that somewhere, for fuck’s sake, don’t blame the woman. Blame all the guys who have called her a bitch and a cunt for ignoring their advances. Blame all the guys who may have harassed, abused, or assaulted her in the past. Blame all the people who may never do such a thing themselves, but who were quick to blame her and tell her to just get over it. Blame the fact that if she stops and talks to you and then something bad happens, people will blame her for stopping and talking to you.
I posted this as an example of how to frame these issues in a way that doesn’t automatically force men into defensive postures and actually might help some people understand more fully why things are the way they are. The phrasing of “blame all the men WHO” is so much more effective than “Blame men.”
I am a man. I get defensive when you blame a group I am part of. But “blame the men WHO harass?” Oh, sure! I’ll blame them! I have no need to defend that! I’m not one of them! You’re right! I’m with you against those guys!”
Of course, we should only communicate like this if we want to, you know, improve our society.
Or we could keep making combative statements filled with sweeping offensive generalities and mocking individuals solely because they are men, or women, or feminist, or conservative…because it makes us feel superior.
Because that seems to be changing a whole lot of hearts and minds, right?
Seriously. I’m about to unfollow some people who I agree with on almost every conceivable issue solely because I can’t take their dismissiveness towards anyone not like them.