Thursday, June 19, 2014

21 Signs That Reverse Sexism is Still Alive and Well

While we live in an age of so called gender equality, there are some things that no one wants to see a man do. Is this reverse sexism? Is this a double standard? It depends on how you define it. At any rate, some of the examples I have chosen might be regarded as unacceptable whichever way you look at it, but in this instance I would argue that they are particularly egregious when they come from a man. Some women do not like the idea of chivalry because they feel that it is patronizing to them. I, as a man, do not like chivalry because I feel that it discriminates against men, and puts an undue burden on them. Sure, women have encountered their fair share of hardships in history on account of certain prejudices, but what about all of the stereotypes and unfair expectations that have been placed on men? Here are just as few of them.

1. If a man encounters a spider, and happens to scream like a little girl, he will be roundly mocked.     

Add to that his possible inclination to do some sort of hysterical spider dance, with hands flapping and legs hurdling around the room, and he will never live it down. Frankly, I do not know who should be more offended by this mockery, the man who is being ridiculed for sounding like a woman, or the woman whose scream is being mocked for being exactly what it should be… a woman's scream. What's wrong with a little girl's scream, huh? It's beautiful, that what's wrong. Personally, I think that everyone should be offended on this one. No winners here. Perhaps as a means of protest we should all agree to let out a high pitched ear bleeding scream in solidarity with all women, and in solidarity with every man who feels the need to express himself in this fashion.

2. You hide under the bed while your wife checks for intruders… and you are called a coward for it.

Full disclosure: the thought of intruders in my house in the middle of the night (or whenever) does not thrill me very much, nor does the prospect of confronting them really bring me a sense of exhilaration. However, the idea of using my wife as a human shield (while I hide under the bed), does give me some pause. What should you do in this case in order to promote equity among the sexes? Set booby traps? Take turns checking for intruders? Draw Straws? Rock, Paper, Scissors? What? It really doesn't matter as long as men and women take care not to shame one another, whatever their preference may be. We must also stop this ridiculous stereotype about men protecting women, as if he had some God given mandate to do so. As it stands, a woman is not frowned upon for using men as a human shield, but if a man should dare return the favor, he is called a coward. We need to teach our young men that it's OK to be afraid, and more importantly, that it's OK to send a woman out to confront an intruder and not feel guilty about it, so long as the parties alternate.  

3. If you tell somebody that you think it's a woman's job to propose, you will be looked at as if you have two heads.      

Honestly, I don't think it matters who proposes to who, but let's be honest here, men have been bearing the brunt of the responsibility for romance for some time now; from chocolate, to poetry, to serenading, to single engine planes proposing marriage with giant banners. Would it kill a woman to reciprocate a little on this front? I want to be romanced as well. I want to have high expectations about what my wife or my girlfriend will do on our anniversary. I want rose petals placed on a heart shaped bed in our honeymoon sweet, without having to be the one who plans it. I want to be proposed to on a giant neon screen at a Chicago Cubs game with my girlfriend on one knee. Is that so unreasonable to ask? It would be nice- for a change- to see a woman experience that feeling of powerlessness and vulnerability that every man must inevitably endure when he submits himself to her whims as he waits in agony, like some Roman gladiator, for the empress to give him a "thumbs up or a thumbs down."

4. You expect your date to open the door for you… and apparently she thinks that you have it backwards.

Some women today are uncomfortable with a man opening the door for them because they believe it highlights a certain inequality among the sexes. Some may even call it a form of paternalism, and suggest that it implies that a lady is too weak to turn the door handle. I say- if they have a problem with it, they should repudiate it immediately and make it very clear to every man how much they detest such deferential treatment. As for me, I have no problem with it whatsoever. To me, refusing to have the door opened for you is a little like refusing to be treated like royalty. Why would I not want to be treated like a king? Consequently, if a woman refuses to be treated like a queen, then why should I subsequently be stripped of my crown? Chivalry is alive, baby, and since you are not capitalizing on it, I will! Have you ever received something free because the rightful heir failed to show up to get it? Well, the car door thing feels a little like that for me. You find it insulting? Good for you! I don't, so open the car door for me, and stop treating me like I am unworthy of the luxury you decided to forego.

5. If you take a lady out on a date, God forbid she should actually offer to pay for it. 

The way it should go down

Imagine you are out on a date, and at the end of the meal the waiter presumptuously places the check in front of you- basically assuming that you intend to pay for everyone. What should you do? Well, what you could do (especially if you are sick of this type of sexism) is to calmly, yet confidently, slide the bill in her general direction, with a slight nod of the head as if to communicate; "We all know that this has been a looooong time coming." That said, most people are OK with the idea of going Dutch under certain circumstances, and that would seem to be a reasonable enough solution to the dilemma. But what about the idea of a woman actually volunteering to pay the check for once? I think this could go a long way to righting some of the  wrongs of the past, a kind of reparation (if you will) for all the decades in which men had no choice in the matter. Some women complain that when a man pays the check he expects something in return. I'll tell you what I expect. I expect a woman not to presume that I, a man, should have to pay the check every time- as if I have to pay admission simply to be in her presence.

6. If you happen to request to borrow your girlfriends fuzzy cardigan on a chilly night, she will probably lose all respect for you.

Look, I know there are ways to get warm without borrowing your date's fuzzy cardigan. But what if you're genuinely cold, and she seems to be faring all right? What about all this talk about a wife/mother/women being nurturing? How nurturing is it to let a man sit there all miserable, while you are all warm and toasty? So because he didn't bring enough clothing, you look at him with indifference? You're saying he's out of luck because he's a guy, and guys are supposed to be miserable while their girlfriends are allowed to be perfectly content? Is this the kind of crap what we teach our children. Either they both have a fuzzy cardigan, they share it, or no one has one. Tell me, what sort of compassionate person could endure being happy while their beloved is sad? A masochist, that's who. Remember in first grade when you had a couple of cupcakes and the teacher wouldn't let you enjoy it because she said that in order for it to be fair everyone in the class had to have one? Well, I think it's pretty clear how that principle applies here.

7. You are not allowed to even mention how difficult your wife's pregnancy has been on you.

I observed the other day where the lovely actress Mila Kunis informed all men (rather paternalistically I thought) that they must never declare that "they" are pregnant, when in truth it is the mother of their child who is carrying the baby, and thus only she who is permitted to express her frustration. And of course when she says this everyone out there applauds and celebrates her bravery. In fact, there is almost the implication here that while she is obviously the hero in all this, he is essentially the villain- the one who caused her all of this unpleasantness. Look, no one doubts that the women bares the brunt of the responsibility in giving birth, but what about how difficult it is for a man, especially considering all of her hormonal mood swings? Does anyone care about the kind of pain that we must endure in dealing with all of this "get out jail free" nonsense? Listen, St. Mila of Kunis, I am not interested in hearing what a martyr you are for bringing a baby into this world. Rather, take a cue from the saintly Ashton Kutcher and endure this difficulty in quiet humility.

8. As a young boy you were never allowed to dream of the type of woman who was big and strong, and who would sweep you off your feet and carry you away into the night.

Right from the beginning of our lives we are taught to repress dreams like the one that I have suggested above. Men have to be the ones with a strong back. Men are expected to deliver those impossible dreams, those kind with giant lassos, wild horses, and tumbleweeds. What about our fantasy of being swept off our feet by some buxom and bold lady? What about our dream of a woman with fortress-like arms who makes us feel safe, and takes us far away from this God forsaken place? Granted, this does sound a little bit like kidnapping, but I too need a little danger in my life, and I don't think that it's fair that women in their 40's and 50's, the ones who dream of Fabio, and 50 Shades of S&M, should be the only ones who have that opportunity.      

9. You take naked "selfies" with your newborn child, and people think you're creepy.

Here we have a clear example of a double standard. If you are a woman and like taking pictures of yourself holding your newborn baby in your arms, naked, you receive praise. Do this as a male, and you may get arrested for it. Nakedness is natural, and what could be more natural and beautiful than a picture where everyone (perhaps even the cameraman) is naked? Nevertheless, if a man tries to duplicate this delightfully primitive idea, he is dismissed as some kind of wannabe women, or at worst, a creeper. No, we cannot breast feed our babies in front of the roving eyes of thousands, but we can present ourselves to the world "naked" in all of our weakness and milk-less vulnerability. Hence, no matter what accusations are hurled at us, no matter what derogatory comments are made, my body is beautiful in every single way, and I will not be deterred from witnessing to fatherhood in all its glory.

10. If you push women and children out of your way in order to flee a burning building... people will call you all sorts of names.

Save the males! Look, my life is just as precious to me as yours is to you. I take great offense at the notion that I'm supposed to have a high regard for the life of every single woman and child (some of whom I may not have even met), but apparently it's OK if I'm burnt to a crisp? I mean, why aren't the women and children fighting to save my life? If they were at all concerned about me, then maybe, just maybe, we could talk about what is expected of me. In some ways this is just a perpetuation of one of the oldest sexual stereotypes in the world: "ladies first". Why is it perfectly acceptable for a woman and child to glide happily down that giant inflatable slide, while I languish inside the building? Every once in a while I hear people say that if men were the ones to get breast cancer, there would already be a cure. I do not know if that is true. But if you look at it, that accusation seems pretty rich in light of the above example, for it seems in our day that men are truly damned either way. When it comes to putting women first, we are either scolded for it, or told that this is what we should have done in any case. Hence, we must either remain invisible and do as we are told (be seen and not heard), or like George Costanza, be mocked and ridiculed for failing to do what we should have done in the first place.

11. You are a pacifist (and bruise easily) which is why you never intervene when a woman is being assaulted… but apparently that explanation isn't good enough for some people.

Behold, the slavish and subservient manner of this chivalric knight!

A woman (of course) is not expected to intervene in a fight between two men... even if one of them is being pummeled. But can you imagine what people would say if that same woman were being pummeled by a man, and no man intervened? People would raise hell. In fact, any man who failed to protect her would be considered to be as vile as the man who was doing the violence. If this is not a double standard of the worst kind, then I don't know what is. OK, the example I used above is a bit ridiculous, but what difference does it make what the reason is? If a woman is not obliged to fight for me, then why should I fight for her? In the meantime, look at that poor sap kneeling at the feet of that lovely maiden, who even if he survives this treacherous battle, will probably be rejected by her anyway. But hey, what does it matter? She's a girl, go die for her and give every last drop of your blood on the battle field, while she prances around barefoot in the king's palace, dressing up in fine linens, and reclining on divans of gold!

12. Every time you go to the bathroom you say that you have to "powder your nose"... and people laugh at you like it's some kind of joke. 

Euphemisms are an important part of everyday life, especially for things that we really don't need to hear too much about. I suppose there are some women out there that are just about as vulgar as men when it comes to discussing their bodily duties, but I think most of us are happy that the majority of them keep that to a minimum. When I'm out to dinner and I mention "powdering my nose," I'm just trying to use the same gentle euphemistic language that women do. And so I do it and I get laughed at. Growing up, I remember hearing people say that girls were made of "sugar and spice and everything nice", while boys were made of "snakes and snails and puppy dog tails". I am willing to accept this offensive anti-male slur, if only it means that at least half of the human race speaks with civility. But the problem is even while I concede that women have it right on this account, many are abandoning these sweet references, in favor of things that should be regarded as "unmentionables." If this is the case, then maybe I, as well as those like myself (regardless of gender), should be the ones to receive a flowery title, while the Sarah Silverman's of the world, who feel the need to go into great detail about every bodily function, both seen and unseen, should be given a less glowing description (viz. puppy dog tails).

13. You weep every time you see a puppy… and people call you a coward for it. 

A man shouldn't be afraid to show his sensitive side, nor should he be called a baby even if he feels the need to curl up in the fetal position and cry his little eyes out. Is this not what getting in touch with your inner child is all about? How insulting to babies everywhere that someone should associate "crying like a baby" with something negative the adult men do? I think people should be able to cry at every moment of the day, if they feel like it. But what are boys taught as children? "Big boys don't cry!" This is flat out wrong. Crying is the most natural thing in the world, and no one should be discouraged from doing it for whatever reason. But here's the thing- if you're a man this kind of emotional vulnerability is generally discouraged. You might get away with it at the funeral of your best friend, but start tearing up at a song like Wind Beneath My Wings, and you'll immediately get a disapproving look. My wife even called me a "Weepy William" once because she said I cried too much around her and everyone else. I told her that the day women are also ridiculed for being emotional is the day that I will listen to her concern. However, until that day, I stand in solidarity, weeping with every women who herself feels the need to cry at anything and everything that might cause a rush of emotions. For those who do not allow themselves this freedom, such behavior is believed to be troubling and disproportionate, but for those who honor a natural surge of emotion, the behavior is simply referred to as "the gift of tears."

14. If you spend all day long at the spa getting a facial, a mani-pedi, and musing (with your boyfriends) about how much you deserve to be pampered, you WILL be called a narcissist.

Such behavior is perfectly acceptable for women, but if a man needs a little pampering, he is told to "be a man", or that he is already pampered enough by his woman and/or mothers. Well, what if I want to be the type of guy that goes to a spa, complains about the people in my life, and puts cucumbers on my eyes? Should I be judged for that? I am not asking anything that a woman wouldn't ask/demand for herself.

15.  You wear a speedo and a bikini top to the beach, and people look askance at you.

As you can see in the above photo, there is no substantial difference between a man and a women's natural physique. Therefore, why go on with this ridiculous charade that woman should wear one type of clothing (or bathing suit), and men should wear another. Indeed, if we really want to emphasize the fact that there is no significant physiological difference between men and women (other than a few vestigial abnormalities), then why not have men walk in the same shoes as women quite literally? Would this not send a far more powerful message, rather than having everyone go the same predictable route of either covering themselves up completely (burqa style), or deciding to bare it all? This way the message is sent loud and clear just how stupid and arbitrary these binary categories are.

16. It is verboten to ask a woman her age, but for some reason it is perfectly acceptable to ask a man his.

As a general rule in our culture you do not ask a woman about her age after a certain point. This (I guess) explains the existence of all those "hilarious" birthday cards about a woman being perpetually twenty-nine. As a man, I too do not like to think about mortality, and I too would greatly appreciate it if someone would consider my feelings when it comes to asking me my age. I just turned forty recently, and I can tell you, not only is ageism rampant in our society, but so is the presumption that "men of a certain age" don't mind being told that (ha ha) they are going to be wearing diapers soon. I don't mind respecting a woman's desire to be "29 forever", but is it unreasonable that I too might want to share in that state of perpetual youth?

17. You are strictly prohibited from participating in women's athletics… unless you are a transsexual.

I mean no offense against the transsexual community, but I genuinely believe that they are party to a double (maybe even triple) standard here. Women are constantly telling men that they are sexist, especially if they attempt to prevent a woman from being a part of their club or sports team. I suppose this would be fine if the pendulum swung both ways. You want to play on my team? Fine. Well, I want to play on yours! Sadly, this hasn't really happened. And so men continue to be denied the opportunity to participate on teams which are "exclusively" female. However, some men have found a third way to create equal footing. And while I think the methodology is dishonest, I will say this: if that's what it takes to end the scourge of reverse sexism, I will join the fight myself. I will declare- in front of everyone- that I myself am a transsexual woman.

18. You wear a low cut shirt to a party and people don't seem to take you seriously.

It has become popular lately for women to declare that it shouldn't matter how they dress, and that in any case men should treat them with respect. The slogan goes something like this; "Don't tell me how to dress. Tell them not to rape." Don't get me wrong- I agree that if anything bad happens between a man and a women, it is definitely the man's fault. But here's my question: if what a woman wears has no power to effect men at all, what is the purpose of fashion today, and why do women go out of their way (often making themselves noticeably uncomfortable) in order to dress "provocatively" if it serves no purpose? And furthermore, why does a woman get ogled when she dresses in a revealing way, but if a man dresses like Fabio, or a pirate, he gets laughed at? Yet whatever someone wears, no matter how little or how much, this should never be an occasion to treat them any differently. It's all the same. More skin, less skin, irrelevant. Attraction is purely an intellectual affair, it has nothing to do with physicality. What is relevant is the fact that I should be able to do what I want to, and dress how I feel, and the outside world should simply respond to me in a way that corresponds to my wishes. Isn't that what life is really all about?

19. People think you are weird because you will not go to the bathroom unless accompanied by at least one other male companion.                    

Talk about a double standard! I can hardly imagine traveling to the restroom, and not using it as an opportunity to invite some friends along to chat. We won't even get into the question of the evils of bathroom segregation here (which I would consider a pressing civil rights issue). Let's just talk about how men are discouraged from communal bathroom visits because apparently only women need bathroom camaraderie. Nope, sorry men, you are destined to be isolated and alone, and if you don't go to the bathroom solo, then there's something wrong with you. Consider how men look around in the bathroom, not really comfortable looking into each others eye, but standing around awkwardly, waiting for the whole ordeal to end. Friends, this behavior is not inborn, but rather it is taught. For women, a visit to the bathroom is practically a cause for celebration. If reverse sexism is to end, and gender equality is to be achieved, this would be a good place to start. It is like a little pilgrimage, a meeting place for the human race. Yes, there is a wall there, a partition, but one day we shall all say, as Ronald Reagan once did; "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" let men as well as women share those intimate  moments with one another that are too special to share at the table.

20. Women in a married relationship are referred to as the "better half"…  often at the expense of the "male half." 

And last but not least, this one. I mean if sexism is about being offended all the time, then phrases like the one above assures everyone they will remain so. "Better half"? What the hell is that supposed to mean? "You really married above yourself!" Is that so? Why thank you for pointing that out because I am a man, or rather a piece of crap, I am at a deficit by nature. Imagine if I said that about my wife. "I don't know where my useless half is? Let me take a look around." Oh well, I guess it's better that that worthless woman isn't here after all! Ha Ha Ha! I suppose my "worser half" would simply be dragging us all down anyway! Guess what, I know it's shocking, but I too bring something to this relationship. She married me because she wanted to, and I her. But guess what, there are times when I more than compensate for her mistakes. She may appear to be superior in every way because she is a woman. Let me tell you something, my "better half" is able to give you her better side, only because I'm here to love her when she's at her worst.    

21. You express your reservations about your daughter dating at age fifteen, and everyone thinks you're opinion is invalid simply because you happened to be her father    

As much as I am a huge fan of magazines like Seventeen and Cosmo (especially as it relates to the excellent advice they give young girls), if you press me I would have to say that I wish (at times) that they didn't give so much information about birth control, and how to become more experienced in bed. I think that such advice can certainly be helpful up to a point, but I do wonder if our children are being sexualized at too young of an age. Does this sound familiar? Does this weak mealy-mouthed creature remind you of anyone. "Uh, I wonder if my daughter, uh, should go out with that guy. I mean he is twenty-five and all, and she's only fifteen, but uh, I better not do anything to make she or her mother angry at me (I don't want to put Baby in a corner, you know). They might send me to bed early without supper for that. In spite of all this bullying, something deep inside of me is screaming at me, telling me that I am supposed to be a father or something, and actually give my daughter a curfew, and perhaps even some guidance. However, I'm afraid of being called stupid and old fashioned. So what can I possibly do? And why does it seem that every time I express my thoughts on raising my daughter (unless I simply echo my wife's opinion) people either ignore me altogether and pat me on my head, or become hostile to me." Hello, nice to meet you, can you guess my name? I am what reverse sexism has done to men? I am the spineless mindless byproduct of an age wherein my entire identity has been stripped from me. Free the males!


  1. Honestly, I read most of this article just to see how stupid it was. There were a few points that actually had some validity to them, but the rest was laughable. Okay, let's go ahead and audaciously make a comparison. Women get raped at college campuses everyday and are BLAMED for it because of what they are wearing. That is sexism at its finest. But you want to make the point that women should propose to men. Yeah, I definitely see how equal everyone's problems are here. It was definitely an 'eye opening' article.

    All Feminists Everywhere

    1. Men get raped by women as well, and if he speaks up, his victimization is laughed at and he's rediculed, that's reverse sexism,

  2. In interesting thing about this article is that most of these examples, although they affect men, actually reinforce the point that our society doesn't value women (and is ultimately sexist). For example, women can wear men's clothing such as a suit, but if men wore a dress they would be ridiculed. Why is this? Because society views women as the lesser sex, and it is unacceptable for men to lower themselves to conform to female norms. If society changed so that women were empowered and respected, then maybe it wouldn't be unacceptable for men to exhibit female characteristics.

  3. Hey dude,

    You correctly identify a number of issues that currently face men, I'll give you that. But you know where I've heard the most in depth analysis of these views, and the most realistic discussion of how to change them?


    Many modern feminists are working to overturn toxic gender norms. Yes, most female feminists are doing it from the perspective of helping women - because let's face the truth, whatever might be going wrong for men, women still have it worse. But overturning gender norms helps everyone including men. Further, many feminists are directly tackling what is often referred to as 'toxic masculinity'.

    It's not an either/or. It's not feminism VS MRAs. It's not 'men' vs 'women'. Hell, the very idea of such a binary is counterproductive. Anyone interested in gender issues needs to get on board with feminism.

    Case in point - the kind of toxic masculinity which sees men who are afraid of spiders as 'pussies' is the same kind of toxic masculinity which (amongst other things) drives men's violence against women.

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