Neither of those guys approached you with an inappropriate salacious come on. One guy was maybe a little forward and the other was clearly making a joke – ie flirting. So, if those men are the options cited for supposedly “looking for sex” on your other site, I think you may have more options than you think.-DMN
Personally, I don’t think those comments were particularly rude. But, it’s really a separate issue. The issue as originally framed here is that these comments are rude yes but also that they make us feel bad because they reflect a focus on our bodies and not our minds or characters. I just don’t see a distinction between that and lusting publicly after a guy at the gym because you like his ass. I just can’t imagine the critique of a male blogger who publicly wrote this stuff about his gym crush. Lacks principle. That’s all. Carry on.- DMN
Okay. Let’s unpack these two comments. Starting with:
Neither of those guys approached you with an inappropriate salacious come on. (For context see the texts below.)
I have a simple questions for you, DMN. Would you make comments like this to a woman you met online? If not, why?
You don’t see these comments as inappropriate because as a white male you re afforded a level of regard that women (and men of color) are not. Just by being a white man a higher societal value is bestowed upon you. This article about white privilege can explain the this phenomenon far better than I can.
Privilege simply is. You are privileged whether you believe it or not. The way the world sees you has made a difference since the day you showed up on the planet.
The heart of privilege is that it is a systemic reality; you are part of a larger truth that is far greater than your individual experience or personal actions—as important as those things are. Recognizing privilege isn’t just about policing your behavior or monitoring your thoughts, it’s about purposefully pushing back against systems that nurture injustice and inequality in our culture, in the workforce, in our government.
To put it simply, white men – simply b y existing – are treated differently (read: better). I’m not surprised to hear that DMN – a white man – doesn’t consider these comments salacious. White men are groomed to see themselves as more than a sum of their parts. Women are not. We are raised to believe that we have only certain functions in society: we either are to be beautiful and desired, nurturing and supportive, or promiscuous and easy. Men can be all those things and more. They get to check off more than one box. We’re pigeon-holed.
The issue as originally framed here is that these comments are rude yes but also that they make us feel bad because they reflect a focus on our bodies and not our minds or characters. I just don’t see a distinction between that and lusting publicly after a guy at the gym because you like his ass.
I stand with you that when I lust over Gym Guy’s ass, I’m being crude and inconsistent in my message. I would never dream of leering at him in person or tell him to his face all the filthy things I’d like to do to him. Just like I’m near positive that you wouldn’t ever message a woman on Bumble and tell her how sexy her mouth was. It’s a matter of decency and situational awareness. However, men are encouraged to objectify women, often to the point of dehumanizing them completely. It’s considered acceptable. I assure you that when we (women) salivate over the image of a man and make lewd comments, we do it because we see men get slapped on the back for it. It’s similar to the idea of having sex “like a man.” (Indiscriminate and unfeeling.) This is not a thing among men with honor, a segment I happen to think outnumber the men without. Women emulate the worst of male behavior because men are assigned cool points for it and still considered desirable. Women who are gruff and aggressive and indiscriminate with their sexual partners are labeled promiscuous and bitter and angry.
But here’s the real difference between objectifying a man and objectifying a woman. If a man walked down the street and a woman shouted at him, “Hey baby, unzip that fly. Let me see what you’re working with!” he would not feel threatened, nor would he feel pressured to offer a coy if phony smile in order to avoid the rage of their cat caller. Men are not conditioned from birth to believe that any inappropriate sexual attention they receive is their fault.They don’t feel guilt when on the receiving end of that sort of attention. Men don’t care if women just want to fuck them because they can be used for sex and still maintain their credibility and character. A woman can not. A woman who allows herself to be used as a receptacle has low self-esteem. She’s a whore, a slut. Men are allowed to take pride in women wanting to bed them. Women are not. If she does, she’s insecure and needs male approval and validation. (Side note: I am 100% guilty of accusing women who bray about their sexual conquests of being pathetic, but I criticize men for doing the same thing. Men don’t get a pass anymore than women do in my eyes.)
In my dating profiles and various bios I mention the fact that I walk rescue dogs, support the ASPCA, run a small business that allows me to be self-sufficient, work out, and that I’m writing a novel. If – after reading all those things – all you can compliment are my lips, you’re tipping your hand as to how you view and treat women. A man like that doesn’t care that I run a six-figure revenue generating business or that I have a soft spot for abused animals. No. All he can think about is how good it would feel to have his dick in my mouth.
Guys will counter with being used for their wallets. To that I’ll say that society praises men for being the financial provider. These men are considered chivalrous.So, while I agree that using a man for a free meal or for attention is wrong, I will highlight the fact that – even when acting as dupes – men are praised. We’re considered gold-digging whores. Guys who use women for sex are just “players” when, really, they’re predators. They exploit the weaknesses of their prey to their benefit to get what they want. Women are vilified for this kind of behavior. Gold. Digger. Dinner. Whore. Guys just get a slap on the wrist. Player. Even the language used to describe these kinds of people demonize the women more than the men. We’re whores. Men are just cads, a term that in literature is often used as a back-handed compliment.
For all the gushing I do about the guy at the gym, I’ve been overlooking one very important thing. When he approached me a few weeks ago to talk about the stabilizer ball and yoga classes, he wasn’t flirting with me. He wasn’t asking me if I needed help lifting a bar or kettle bell – something the other older men at the gym have asked me. He – this Cross-Fitter type who clearly takes fitness very seriously – was speaking to me as a peer, as an equal. That’s a compliment. For all the lambasting I do of entitled men, I feel it’s important to point out when guys do something right, and he did something right. It’s disappointing to consider that he does not return my interest, but big picture-wise, it’s a win.
It’s incredibly frustrating to me to have to explain in great detail why the comments made by the men on Tinder are inappropriate or why women should not be forced to endure such boorish behavior just to get a date. DMN, you don’t find those comments rude because you are not on the receiving end of them. They are the norm because we’ve allowed them to be. Women are not over-reacting by expressing their discomfort or distaste for them. We’re tired of this kind of treatment. That is a lived experience you can never understand. You’ve mentioned before that you’re a lawyer, so I’m sure you have an inkling as to what it’s like to have your value determined by your bank statement. I bet 90% of the messages you get online involve the woman asking you what you do for a living right off the bat. Don’t tell me that doesn’t annoy you. Don’t tell me you don’t get offended when women sit there on those dates and make not one gesture that implies they wish to contribute to the bill. You may accept that as your reality but that doesn’t make it okay. It’s an easier pill for you to swallow because – just by being white and male – you are considered superior. A woman might devalue you by making it obvious that she cares how much money you make, but that’s only because you’ve achieved a level of status to which many aspire. When a man dates an objectively good-looking woman and trots her out on Facebook, do you think anybody looks beyond the exterior the way they do for men? A rich/successful man is usually also considered educated, connected, powerful and ambitious. A beautiful woman? Well, she’s just a recipient of good genes, a winner of the genetic lottery. Never mind that she probably works very hard to keep that body. (She must have had plastic surgery/Whatever. She’s never had kids) To stay beautiful and fit we must have failed in some other area, like not reproducing. Oh, and we’re probably dumb as a post, too.
What I’m trying to say is that it’s not as black and white as “If a guy did this…” On the surface – yes – there is an inconsistency. Dig deeper and you’ll see there’s more to it.