There have been several articles out recently about topics like men complaining about women’s expectations, how to speak to a woman wearing headphones and so on. They all have one thing in common however: they deal with the entitlement many men feel they have a right to. Let’s put it down using three examples: men complaining they don’t find an attractive girlfriend, men telling women to smile, and men speaking to women who don’t want to be spoken to.
Let’s start with the headphone example, which I already covered in this blog post. How to speak to a woman wearing headphones in public? Not at all. Certainly not the way the guy who posted that advice tells you to. Honestly, what he suggests is extremely close to harassment and might get you a kick in the nuts, if you try it with the wrong woman. Wearing headphones is the universal code for ‘I have no interest in communication with anyone.’
And let’s take a look at men telling women to smile in public. There is no reason why you should do that, unless you’re a) a photographer and the woman is modelling for you or paying you for taking her pictures or you’re b) her boss and she’s working in a service job where you should always smile at the customers. A woman has as much of a right to glower, frown, or just not show any emotions in public as a man does. Even if she has down this ‘completely free of feelings’ face my chancellor Angela Merkel has perfected, she has the right to show it in public.
And now about the complaint that you can’t find an attractive girlfriend. What makes you think you, the average or below average man, has a right to an attractive girlfriend and every woman should want to go out with you? Hollywood, that’s what. In Hollywood movies, the average-guy hero gets the good-looking female lead in the end (at least horribly often).
All of these examples have one thing in common: they speak of entitlement. Men feel entitled to demand a woman’s attention when they want it, hence they’d harass a woman wearing headphones until she takes them off and enters the conversation. Men feel entitled to see a woman smile (because she looks better or because it signifies everything is well), so they tell her to smile and expect her to do so. Men feel entitled to the attractive girlfriend the movies promise them and get very nasty when they realize it’s not going to happen.
It’s not the women who don’t give you what you’re owed - it’s you thinking you are owed something which you are not.
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