There’s a lot of predatory behavior in dating because men have been socialized to believe that’s who they should be by patriarchal norms. It’s one of the ways they prove their masculinity — by being in control, dominant, assertive, etc. My point is, that doesn’t serve men and it sure doesn’t serve women!

If men would de-program from what they’ve been taught by a patriarchal society, and interact more with women as people rather than prey, it would be better for everyone. I never said that men do that because they are evil or have bad intentions. This bad behavior is mostly subconscious because it’s what they’ve always been surreptitiously told by society is how they should act in order to perform masculinity.

And yes, women do have some power of their own, and they don’t always use it benevolently, but for the most part, men are not being groped by women in public, are not being raped by women, or being murdered by their domestic partners. Patriarchy teaches men that they own women (monogamous marriage, but also in dating) but also that every women they see is there for their pleasure and enjoyment (catcalling, street harassment). Again, that doesn’t mean men are inherently brutes and monsters, but it does mean that this society that is based in constant jousting for power and position at the expense of whomever is weaker (whether female or male) is destructive and anti-social.

When men are in groups, levels of street harassment go up, because all the males in the group are trying to prove who is the most masculine — the hierarchy is performative. You have to demonstrate through your actions your maleness. All I’m trying to do is to shed a light on these things because we can’t improve what we won’t even acknowledge is an issue.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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