“Fuck you bitch!” The next thing I felt was a hot sting on my shoulder where a full water bottle had hit me. One, a man in a white car hurled at me after I rebuffed his advances. I was walking home from the train station minutes away from my house.
He liked what he saw and believed he was entitled to my time and body. I disagreed and let him know that under no uncertain terms was I going to entertain him. Maybe the bass in my voice or the confidence in my response pissed him off more than me actually turning him down.
Insecure men who feel rejected can be some of the most dangerous people on Earth. True masculinity is protective, strong, guiding, but never abusive or corrosive. A real man recognizes that every woman isn’t going to be checking for him, nor does he feel the need to beat his chest to prove he’s the best and baddest.
A U.K. man kicked his Thai wife to death for refusing sex. In New York, a 23-year-old man hurled a canned good at a 14-year-old girl’s head for turning him down.
So I’m clear: Masculinity is not the problem, but not honoring the balance between the feminine and masculine energy is damaging for everyone.
We tell little boys that they’re all knowing, strong, and entitled to whatever they want – be it the career path, body, or woman of their dreams. It seems that, for boys, using emotional intelligence is shunned upon and aggression is supported, even encouraged. Boys who are introspective and sensitive tend to get shut down.
We tell women to be “nice” and open to social interaction, even when said interactions make them feel uncomfortable. Any movement towards a woman asserting herself, people sometimes meet with skepticism.
When we tell one group to not be yielding toward another group who is overly yielding, there can be no room for understanding.
Little boys then grow up to become men who think that they are entitled to whatever they want – despite their actual condition in life.
Little girls grow up to become women who think they are required to give pieces of themselves away to anyone who asks – despite the actual condition of that situation.
This unbalanced approach to how we raise our male and female children leaves little question as to why the relationship dynamics between the sexes are so erratic.
If men were socialized to understand that even despite their best efforts, not every woman will respond to their overtures, then there would be less instances of violence, verbal or otherwise.
Women deserve to live in a world where they can speak their mind without malice or fear of their safety in doing so.
Open communication between both genders is the only way we can fix this.