Tuesday, 18 October 2016

A Guy on Male Entitlement

There have been screenshots of texts that have been going about around on Twitter between a guy and a girl, where the guy is shocked to find that a girl doesn't want to have sex with him despite the fact she laughed at his jokes. I was talking about these texts with my best mate, Adam Page, yesterday, and he was so angry and had so many opinions, he asked if he could write soemthing for Jo's Scribbles on the subject. Of course, I said yes. Here's his incredible post.

A guy on male entitlement

It must have been about four years ago now. I was on a break from work. I had stopped in a little coffee shop I go to regularly. Their gimmick was they had no separate tables, just long benches they everyone shared. The idea was to get people talking to one another. Now that really isn’t my idea of a good time, especially when just on a break, but their coffee was, and still is, perfect.

So I had sat down, sipping my coffee and pondering the deep questions of life. Opposite me was a girl around my age, whom I ignored. I’m sociable like that. But after a minute or so, she asked me if I was alright. I said I was, and how come? She replied that I looked like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. In actuality, I was trying to remember if I had to go to a certain client that day or not. Apparently my normal resting face sends out a signal of "Woe is me."

Anyway, we had our coffee, chatting away for half an hour or so. I was being witty, urbane and oh, so sophisticated. We were getting on well. I had to leave soon, and asked her if she would like to meet up for another coffee sometime. She told me she was seeing someone. I said, ah, fair enough. We talked for another ten minutes or so then I said, "Goodbye, I’m heading back to work." And that was it.

A nothing story, right? One day a few years ago I talked to a girl for half an hour and went back to work. A dull and boring story. Except for this; at no point in that conversation did the thought go through my mind, "She’s laughing at my stories. She obviously wants to fuck me. And if she doesn’t, then she’s a fucking bitch."

I am going to assume that if you’re reading this, then you will have seen the screenshots on twitter between a girl and a guy called Brad. Or, Entitled Fuckwad, if you’re feeling generous. I saw it and thought it was a spoof. And part of me still really hopes it is. But I know better. Even if it had been set up as an example, it is absolutely indicative of what girls, women, females go through every day. I won’t go into the sexism that you experience, too many people, far better than me, have done so. And everyone is aware of this bullshit ‘rape culture’ these days. I know it’s there, you know it’s there and I am certain that all of you have experienced it in one way or another. But something I, and quite a lot of my friends, male and female, are wondering is "Where the hell did this come from?"

And I know, some of you are rolling your eyes and pitying me, saying that it had always been there, and I agree 100%. However, it has never been this bad. Okay, I am speaking of my own personal experience, but I stand by that. It has never been this bad, this virulent, this hateful before.

Universities are offering classes in sexual consent. What the hell? I never went to Uni, but a lot of my friends did, and I hung around them a lot. Especially in the student union. Good music and cheap drink. It was brilliant. But there were no posters on the wall saying, "If you do not get consent, that is rape." I went there for years and never saw a guy try and shove his hands down a girls pants, claiming it was just ‘banter’. If someone had seen that, he would have been slapped hard and kicked down the stairs.

I always assumed that someone would have to have even slightly above average intelligence to go to university. However if, at 20 or 21, you have to be told that rape is a bad thing, something has gone very badly wrong along the line. If you see a girl passed out drunk and think that is an invitation to stick your dick, or anything else, into her, then your parents have failed. And you have failed as a human.

Is it a mental thing, I wonder? Is there something missing in those people’s minds? Where is this misogyny coming from? People have blamed it on music, films, games, easy access to porn. But this cannot be right. I am 31, the first film I ever saw was The Terminator. (Thanks to my big sis on babysitting duties) I bought Grand Theft Auto when it first came out. I love horror and I have bought porn mags, back when that was a thing. At no point did I ever think I was entitled to sex just because a girl smiled at me. I grew up in Belfast, out and about in the many bars and clubs it offers. I have seen drunk arseholes try and slip their hands up girls skirts. "Grab ‘em by the pussy," as The Donald preaches. It lasted a few seconds as the bouncers trailed them out. And in a heavy metal club I went to for very many years, I saw it exactly three times. Once to my own girlfriend. Believe me, there is nothing scarier than an angry goth girl, covered in spikes. Bouncers were not needed. Going out, it was a rare occurance that you saw anything like that. Even chucking out times, people stumbling over drunk, I never saw anyone try and take advantage.

I am rambling, I know. But again, I go back to the point that it was never this bad. And I seriously wonder where this hatred, and lets not mince words, it is hatred, came from. Now, I am not trying to look at the past through rose tinted goggles, or present myself as some beatific paragon of goodliness. And I am certainly not na├»ve. I’m actually deeply cynical. I have a two year old daughter now, and already I am thinking about teaching her the best way to headbutt someone forcing themselves on her, or bite their damn nose off, or how to carry her keys in between her knuckles. How did we get to this state? Every girl I know, every single one, has been touched, groped, assaulted at some point in their life.

"Have sex with me." "Okay, I’d like that." "Fucking slut."

"Have sex with me." "No, I’d rather not." "Fucking frigid."

This has to be mental. There simply has to be something missing in the brain for someone to think like that. I have been lying in bed, naked with a girlfriend, feeling a tad frisky. And I’ve shuffled over, planning my best moves and hoping to last more than 30 seconds, and she has said, "No, I’m tired/ill/time of the month." Whatever it was. And that was fine. I cuddled up to her and we went to sleep. Where is this entitlement coming from? That a girl is just supposed to put out. To lie there and take it. Even if she doesn’t want to?

I don’t know. I have no answers. I’m sitting here staring at a blinking cursor trying to think of something, anything that could even come close to an answer, I have no idea. I know even writing this has been pointless. But every day I see on the news, on social media, even out in the streets more male bullshit entitlement. I can’t see it changing anytime soon, although I very much hope I’m wrong.

I think a friend of mine said it best.

"If a guy says no to a girl, he’s a stud, can have whoever he wants. A girl says no to a guy? We wonder if he will try and kill us."

This cannot go on.

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2 comments:

  1. I think this type of behaviour has always been there but, as you mentioned, in the form of groping in clubs and whatnot. And, although this still very much happens now, there is a more obvious form of entitlement now due to social media and dating apps. You know, if you're not the kind of guy who is brave enough to grope a girl, maybe you'll be brave enough to sit behind a computer screen and say some vitriolic things (because it's a damn sight easier that way!) The issue of entitlement and the slut-frigid dichotomy that you mentioned are as prevalent now as they ever have been, I think it's just more visible now than it was before perhaps?

    Anyway, it's really refreshing to hear a guy's take on this! :)

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  2. I agree totally with what you said. And that post was basically me screaming into the dark. But I am glad you liked it. Thank you :)

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