It’s easy to say ‘Not all men’: not all men have directly committed acts of sexual violence. But one of the problems with patriarchy and sexism is that men don’t call other men out on their trashy behaviour. Patriarchy is fed behind closed doors, in conversations that take place in bars, over the hum of sports matches and bouts of PlayStation – when men say misogynistic things and behave in ways that go unaccounted for. Here’s how men can start calling each other out and aid in fighting the patriarchy.
Use respectful language
Speak respectfully about women and when you refer to women. We’re not broads, bints, bitches, chicks, or hoes. We’re people. And while you’re at it, quit using derogatory language to speak about queer people. If one of your mates uses disgusting language, call them out.
Don’t brag about your sexual conquests
Your sex life is not impressive. It’s in these conversations, where men feel they have to prove their masculinity by speaking of their multiple conquests, that problems begin. And don’t shame the guys in a relationship either.
On that note, don’t slut shame women
Men can spend hours speaking about their own sexual (mis)adventures, but then find it easy to turn around and call women derogatory names for having multiple sexual partners. Double standards are not cute. Everybody – no, not only men – owns their bodies and can decide to do with those bodies as they see fit. And abstinence is not something to make fun of either.
Stop objectifying women
Guess what? A woman is not the sum total of all her body parts. Women are actual people with personalities and aspirations. Maybe you’re not the one scrolling down your Instagram and rating women according to their bodies, but if you’re being passive when your friend is doing that, then you’re just as guilty.
Consent is ALWAYS key
There is no sexual activity without consent. That’s called sexual violence or rape. Conversations about “sweet talking” – read: coercing – women into giving you what you want are not only trashy, they’re criminal. And those conversations directly perpetuate rape culture. You might want to discuss consent instead.
Call your friends out on trash behaviour
This is perhaps one of the most important things. If you ignore your friends or worse, laugh at and support their trashy behaviour, then you might as well do as they do. Whenever someone’s behaviour strikes you as remotely sexist or derogatory, speak it out loud. If we can change the behaviours in our circles, we can change the behaviours in the greater scheme of things too.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons