We live in a society with deeply engrained, systematic issues around the treatment of women and femininity. As an extension of this culture of patriarchy, masculinity is also rigidly defined, and we tend to forget that our society also restricts the way men are seen, and how they see themselves.
This piece is based on an AskReddit thread. Link on the last page.
1/18. Sexual assault on males is not taken seriously at all. A few nights ago, I was at a work party and one of my female work colleagues kept joking about how she wanted to "rape me."
No one batted an eyelid - even I kind of took it in stride. But when I think about it, it’s so surreal. If that exchange was reversed, I would have lost my job on the spot.
2/18. I was flying by myself and as I walked toward my seat (I'm a woman) the air hostess loudly asked if I would swap seats with a guy around the same age as me, early 20s, because "we can't have single men sit next to unaccompanied minors.”
Guy looked super nice but I will always remember how embarrassed he looked as we shuffled passed each other to swap seats with everyone staring. I wish I had more confidence at the time to say something to the airline.
3/18. If a guy forces himself on a girl who doesn't want to make out with him, it's assault. If a girl forces herself on a guy and he doesn't want to make out with her, he's mocked.
4/18. I saw a young girl who was clearly lost in a grocery store. She was backed up against a shelf crying and had been there for a few minutes - no sign of her parents.
I went over to her to see if she was OK and to try and help her. I've got kids, and it was pretty sad to see her so scared and standing off to one side ignored. So I knelt down to calm her down. She put out her hand. I took it, and tried to tell her it would be okay. Big mistake. (continued...)