Yesterday I read through this thread on Reddit about some of the worst “nice guy” experiences women had had. Amongst the less disturbing but still cringe-worthy examples, I found descriptions of behaviours that I had been guilty of in my younger days! My mistakes came from inexperience, poor advice and general ignorance. I want to live in a world where everyone can feel safe and comfortable, regardless of age, gender identity, sexual orientation or beliefs. It is the duty of all men to ensure that we don’t overlook or pull that crap ourselves, however it comes to pass.
It’s time for men to accept that there are things we say and do that are intimidating, no matter if we mean them to be or not.
And part of the problem is the difficulty we have empathising with people whose experiences we have not had ourselves. Some people think that comprehending an explanation of why something is wrong or creepy is enough, it isn’t. I can comprehend an explanation why somoene might be afraid of clowns for example, but it’d be hard to empathise with that myself as I have no similar fears to compare it to.
The #MeToo movement has done a lot to bring attention to how prevalent the problem really is and continues to be a great thing for men and women both.
The more you look into it, the more work you see there still is to be done, but that doesn’t excuse not getting started or delaying it to find the best thing to do first. There is no perfect time and no perfect thing to do first, just get started with what you know, check in every now and then to ensure you’re going the right way, and keep on going until you find something better or what you’re doing stops working.
A final note; not all men are under attack here, but it is up to us all to make things better.