I think this is the life philosophy of a guy I went out with who goes by the name of the Crazy Canadian (no, I definitely gave him this name).
He took me to a park on our first date and tried to kiss me. I hesitated and he said, “what if I’m not asking?” as if to say “I’m too cool for consent.” He asked me what I was doing after the date and I told him I was meeting with a friend. “A guy or a girl?” he asked (which is problematic on so many levels).
“A girl,” I said.
“Good,” he said. “It better be.”
Whenever he said things like this (which was a lot), he claimed to be joking. Kind of. Sort of. Mostly.
I called him out for each time, and without fail, he’d say, “I know it’s a double standard. Things really suck for women.”
But admitting that “things” suck for women does nothing to help the cause — especially when you yourself are one of the things that suck for women.
In his mind, knowing that he had these double standards somehow made them OK.
One night, he told me, again, that things suck for women. People don’t take them seriously, he said. Whenever men see a woman, they think about sex, he said. He had a habit of projecting his own views onto all men. I can’t remember if I said this to him or kept it to myself, but I thought, “now I know exactly how you view women.”
He also said women in business are great — they can use their bodies to manipulate men, he said. As if women are only successful because of their bodies. “Why don’t you just use the situation to your advantage?” he asked me. “Women’s rights are a losing battle.”
I had so many feelings in that moment, but was simply exhausted trying to defend women to this guy who just could not wrap his head around the fact that he embodies and reinforces just about everything that sucks for women.
“I disagree,” I told him, “and I think I can persuade you.”
“You probably can,” he told me. “But only because you’re cute — not because you’re smart.”
For this guy, women are something to look at — not to listen to or learn from. Women should hear, not be heard. Women should agree, not challenge people. He insisted that his views are unchangeable; it’s just the way he thinks and he can’t help it. He knows that things suck for women because he knows how he sees women.
It makes sense that our very short “relationship,” a word I use very very loosely here, ended in a bar when I didn’t get him a drink after he insisted. Though he didn’t say it directly, I got “go get me a drink, bitch” vibes from the request.
“The fact that you don’t want to get the drink tells me everything I need to know,” he said. “It shows that you don’t listen.”
But I heard him loud and clear many times — things suck for women. I know it’s a problem, but I can’t change the way I think.
When translated, this sentence means: I am part of this problem but I benefit from it, don’t truly understand it and am unwilling to change myself. I know it sucks, but I can’t see you as anything other than a sexual object. Now do what I say.