How to not be that guy (or, Brodie helps you figure out how to not be a raging misogynist).
You know what’s exhausting? Having to constantly negotiate a world where you’re hyper aware of how oppressive systems work against you, and whether or not you have the energy to battle with every iffy thing that grates against your being. Being a woman can be tiring as heck. Trying to call dudes out on their behaviour can be tiring as heck, especially when you have to pick and choose your battles. So in the interest of my own sanity, and possibly yours too, I thought I’d talk about ways people can make sure they’re not that guy: the guy who is “just playing devil’s advocate,” the guy who is just joking when he tells you to get back in the kitchen, the guy who mansplains everything to you.
The patriarchy embeds misogyny into all of us and challenging that is a constant negotiation and renegotiation. No-one is perfect. I think the place to start is to be aware of how your actions might be further pushing women and gender minorities down. Are you dominating conversations and speaking over women? Are you making jokes about sexual assault? Do you find yourself explaining very simple concepts to women? If so, please stop. It’s exhausting and serves literally no purpose.
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Another really important thing we can all do to address this is to look at the emotional labour we, and those we interact with, engage in. Dude, do you reciprocate emotional labour? Do you initiate it? It’s such an important part of relationships, but shouldn’t have to solely be the duty of women. We don’t owe you anything. And to all the badass women out there doing far too much emotional labour: you have every right to not undertake emotional labour. I’ve recently realised I can stop doing it with people who don’t reciprocate and it is extremely freeing.
There is obviously so, so much more we can do to address patriarchal systems. I could talk for days and never cover everything. But these are, at least, a small attempt to bridge the issue.