Women expect far, far too little of men 3 years ago

Women expect far, far too little of men

A lot of men seem to receive praise for the most inconsequential of things.

Replying to a text.

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Showing up to a pre-arranged date.

Not blowing us off in favour of their mates.

How many times have we gushed to our friends over some lad who's just the nicest guy ever purely because he walked us to the bus stop at 10.30pm?

Or put his phone away when we got back to the table on our first date.

Or didn't kick up a fuss when we arrived back to his place and decided that we didn't actually want to sleep with him.

That was so lovely of him to just take no for an answer.

He must have a lot of respect for women.

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The bar has been set so low for so many men that much of the time it almost seems like doing the bare minimum is worthy of a pat on the back or a gold star.

And sure, these days receiving a response to a message or getting walked home or not being expected to 'put out' once you go home with someone may seem like rare occurrences.

In a lot of cases they are, but what's even rarer is our understanding that this kind of behaviour should be expected, across the board, from people of all genders.

It's common decency not to want to make a woman feel harassed or uncomfortable, but it's also, dare I say, normal.

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Since Weinstein, Spacey, Hoffman and others, so many women have bravely come forward with their experiences of sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood and beyond.

The allegations have proven that this isn't just a problem restricted to the behaviour of one man - nor is it something that is being treated lightly.

TV shows have been cancelled. Awards have been revoked. Jobs have been lost.

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This kind of behaviour is being denounced across the board.

We've come to expect everyone (men included) to speak out, but do we expect everyone (men included) to do anything about it?

How many times have we been in clubs and found ourselves confronting the lad who groped our friend's ass for the laugh?

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How many times have we heard the excuse "I was drunk" or "I wasn't thinking" after a particularly uncomfortable sexual experience?

How many men would feel comfortable calling out another man's behaviour if it was objectively inappropriate, creepy, or just downright nasty?

Hashtags and retweets are all well and good but at the end of the day (or night), they don't stop women from being assaulted.

Stepping up does. And doing something about it does.

The stories may only be breaking now, but for years, women have been groped, touched, assaulted, attacked, harassed, and raped.

Whether in a club, on the set of a movie, in our homes, or in the street, it's been happening and we've been talking about it to each other in hushed tones over brunch, in rage-filled Whatsapp group messages, and in locked bathroom stalls.

We've been calling out the sleazy men who touch us inappropriately on nights out.

We've been drying each other's tears, telling lads to back off, and warning other women about their behaviour.

We've been sticking up for each other for years - it's time that guys started doing the same.

Questioning questionable behaviour is not going to lose anyone any mates that are worth having.

If we don't, we'll be left in a place where bad men get away with doing awful things and good men stand by and do nothing.