Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Congregation of Canoes

As the New Year rang in I was reminded why going to bars sucks sometimes.... because sometimes, douche canoes congregate in them. Why is it that certain types of men think they can come up on women in bars and become belligerent and rude when a woman does not want to talk to them? Do they think that they can just intimidate them into a conversation? I suppose it does work every now and then because there are a lot of women out there who really like assholes or are too passive to deal with the situation, but when a woman tells you to go away, why would you not just listen? Save your ego and go find someone who actually wants to talk to you.

Being the person that I am, with the experiences that I have had, these men do not sit well with me and their arrogance infuriates me. Their belligerence and intimidation tactics just make me want to punch them in the face, to be perfectly honest. I suppose a lot of women will just brush it off and let it go; unfortunately (or fortunately), I am not that relaxed when it comes to these situations and I don't brush off their acrimony. As I found myself yelling at two complete strangers for thinking they could force my friend to talk to them, and that they could insult me when I told them to leave, all I could think about was why they would willingly put themselves in this situation when they could have so easily walked away and found a woman who actually wanted to talk to them? Did my friend and I have a look about us that told them it was ok to disrespect us?

I chalk this type of behavior up to a chauvinistic/sadistic character flaw in these men that make them think they can act like this toward women. This isn't the first time this has happened, I have found myself in this situation before and I have watched it happen to plenty of women over the years in bars... some are actually flattered by it. I was in a bar on St. Patty's day quite a few years ago and I watched about 10 men get into this one girl's face because she slept with one of the guys and his girlfriend found out. People stood around and did nothing as a couple of those guys punched her in the face and kicked her. I got my ass kicked by a group of guys that night because I'd rather get beat up than to be the person who stood around and did nothing. My face was nicely wrecked that night thanks to those guys. The night ended with a huge bar fight, one girl getting her front tooth knocked out, and tons of cops showing up, but I have zero regrets when it comes to deflecting some of the punches for her.

I grew up watching my mother get beat up by men, so maybe I am overly sensitive when it comes to men being hostile toward women, but that junk does not fly with me. I would rather get my butt kicked a thousand times than to let men like that think that women are objects for their entertainment rather than individuals with their own morals and standards. I was overly polite when I first told them to leave because my friend was not interested, yet their open disdain for women had to complicate the situation. Lucky for me, there were three men with us who had my back, but they shouldn't have had to step in because it should have never escalated the way it did.

Gender roles still exist in Western culture and gender inequality is still prevalent in the United States, these are just the facts of life, folks. Men are seen as more assertive and absolute; whereas women are seen as more yielding and sensitive. I am even guilty of enjoying my gender role sometimes, as I quite enjoy having a big-strong-boyfriend that makes me feel safe and protected; however, these  generalized stereotypes have made some men think that they can treat women like they are less than equal. It makes them think they can put their paws all over a woman and that it is perfectly acceptable to berate her when she objects to it. No society treats its women as well as its men, but do not be offended when a woman stands up for herself. Do not look at her like she is any less of a human being or like she should not have handled the situation in the exact same way that a man would have.

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