I find it extremely interesting that I saw this advertisement today. Why? Because in the last few days I have been advising a young friend of mine on how to deal with a male friend of hers. While that male has not taken it as far as the California shooter who killed 6 people, and himself out of sheer entitlement to be able to have lots of sex with “beautiful women” simply because he was male and alive, it’s the EXACT same kind of thinking.
As you can see in the aside to the right, I have quoted both this supposedly “friend-zoned boy,” and most of the text in the 15 second advertisement. And yes, I am extremely offended and frankly scared for women in this country.
When most advertisements, schools, attitudes and choices of older and supposedly “wiser” men and how women are treated in every form of entertainment we have, is it any wonder that some adolescent has this attitude? That somehow being her friend entitles him to be her romantic choice? And, accusing her of manipulating and using him because she is dating someone else is just as bad.
Every day, women are attacked for the simple fact that they say “NO” to some entitled piece of shit. We’ve got the Pennsylvania mother who was murdered for saying “NO” to some stranger in a bar. We’ve got Asian women attacked in New York City for rejecting some strange man. We’ve got some idiot in Missouri who killed his ex-girlfriend’s dog because she rejected him. You can read so many more stories like this all over the internet.
But, when teenage boys say and do these things, when people complain (not just the girls to whom it is happening, but their parents and their communities) they are told “well, you understand. Boys will be boys.” or “just look at the girl. She deserved it!” we are reinforcing the idea that women are disposable, like diapers.
Worse is when parents, teachers, principals, coaches and any other form of authority over teens respond to aggressive and sexualized behavior on the part of the males in the school, the girls are told “well, if he’s picking on you, he must like you.” Does anyone ever really LOOK at that attitude??
We’re telling our girls to go for the “bad boy” or the abuser, because somehow abuse equals love.
I went in for this kind of thinking, and sadly stayed there for a very long time. In fact, I technically only had the strength to turn my back on him by falling in love with another “bad boy.” But, my current boyfriend only looks like a “bad boy” on the outside, and he has quite a few reasons for looking like that. In our society, the white knight isn’t always the good guy. In fact, in many of our assorted forms of entertainment, we’re shown that the white knight is often “rotten to his core.” But, if that “knight in shining armor” has rust all over his armor, no matter how mean or assholish he may be, he’s the hero in the end. It’s why a lot of women tend to “like a man in uniform.”
Under the skin of some of those “bad boys” you will find a paladin. But, you have to be patient, because that part doesn’t always get revealed right away in a relationship. It’s very easy to emotionally manipulate a paladin, because if someone needs his protection (however he defines it) he will give it. But, he often falls into the clutches of a manipulative, coercive woman. So, yeah, lots of those paladins hide who they are.
When you date a “bad boy” you never know what lies beneath his skin, not until you have had a chance to see below his surface, which sadly can sometimes take years. Because the armor looks the same on the outside, you have to be able to see the inside to evaluate whether the person is a villain or a paladin. And most villains are very good at charming you, at making you THINK they are paladins. They like wrapping you around their fingers, and feel proud that they can manipulate you.
That was the last straw for me, personally. My ex, when I first asked for the divorce, said: “Cat, we both know I could manipulate you enough to get you back.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was the death knell for our relationship. The sheer gall of those words ate at me like acid. The sheer arrogance that all he would have to do is wiggle his little finger at me and I would come running back. Sadly, however, it was probably true. Even my current boyfriend was convinced that somehow, some way I would forgive all of the shit my ex did and go running back to him. The boyfriend was not confident that I wouldn’t go running back until after I filed the divorce papers.
It’s part of the reason the last two years have been a blur. Like Sleeping Beauty, I have been under a charming psychopath’s spell. Unfortunately, my story was more like the older, unsanitized version where she wakes up giving birth to twins, rather than the sanitized version where her prince gives her only a chaste kiss.
And THAT, my dears, is the problem with falling in love with the “bad boy.”
So, now, we also have to watch out for the “good guys” because if we reject them, it must be OUR fault somehow? It’s not enough that we have to be able to spot an abuser and the hell away from him, but the guys we have as friends we now have to worry about being in danger if they want us, but we don’t want them?
I have a number of different friends who are male. Thank all the Gods that they are decent human beings who just happen to have a Y chromosome. And a few of them are “white knights.” And, even a few of them are what are called “friends with benefits.”
But not a SINGLE one of them would EVER consider that ANY woman owes them sex.
Hell, there are even a couple of them that I haven’t had sex with in a long time, but just because I’ve had sex with them before doesn’t me they assume that any time I’m with them I want to have sex with them.
Guys like this teenage idiot aren’t really looking for a girlfriend. They want a living, breathing masturbatory toy. And, like the toddler who screams when someone else is playing with something they want, guys like this will do anything they can to play with that toy – including destroying the toy.
Look, it’s fucking simple. And if you are one of those people who won’t read long posts, let me give you a TL:DR version:
If you want to be treated like a human being, then you MUST treat others like a human being – regardless of what gender they may be.
Our society seems to think men must be monsters of lust, and babies who have temper tantrums when they don’t get what they want. If you are a man, you SHOULD be offended to be expected to be one of those norms. But the ONLY thing we can do is change our OWN behaviors – and that goes for MEN too!