Liberal Men Will Let You Down Too. I’m Looking At You, Joe Biden

I was scrolling through my Goodreads “read” list the other day and as I went back the past two years, I realized that every man I have read a book by recently has been accused of sexual misconduct. Aziz Ansari. Willie Parker. Admittedly my list of books written by men that I have put myself through is short, but we are talking two for two. 100% of the men on my “read” list over the past two years have been accused of inappropriate behavior towards women; Ansari for pressuring a woman who clearly was not interested into sex and Parker for sexual assault.

What strikes me most about these two instances is that these are were both outstanding, liberal, feminist men that we as a society held out as doing the right thing. Ansari worked on one of the most feminist shows ever made (also my favorite of all time), Parks and Recreation, and was known for calling out gross male behavior on his own show Master of None. Parker is a leading abortion provider in states where providers are few and far between such as Mississippi and Alabama and has served on the board of organizations such as Physicians for Reproductive Health.

With these new allegations toward former Vice President Joe Biden, I cannot say that I am surprised. I am disappointed. In myself. For thinking that just because a man says he fights for women, that he cares about our bodily autonomy and respects us as equal human beings, that he would actually practice what he preaches. We’ve seen it so many times. Here’s a hint: if you wouldn’t act that way toward a man, don’t do it around a woman. Would Biden kiss a man’s forehead? I doubt it.

A New York Times article from April 3rd quotes Biden as saying, “Social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted, and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset and I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying.”

If that paragraph doesn’t make you want to punch a wall, we cannot be friends.

No, Joe, our boundaries have not changed. How would that make sense that social norms have changed our desire for personal space? We have always wanted you to step back; now we are just more empowered to tell you. This is his way of pushing responsibility of his creepy behavior off of his plate. Own up to your mistakes – I mean, if we can call hugging and kissing and rubbing women’s backs mistakes instead of utter stupidity and complete disregard for personal space – or in other words, woman up.

Giving up on men entirely is not the answer, tempting as it is. Standing up and not accepting their behavior, calling out men who do not call out other men (it’s your job, dudes), and making sure other women are supported, accepted, and are ok, that’s what we can do. Oh that and help elect more women into office.

As for me? Well, until there is a fundamental change in human male behavior (will this be in my lifetime, I do not know) all books written by men are officially banned from my Goodreads list.

Honesty Scone: Being a Woman is Exhausting

Taking up space in a world that men think they own is exhausting. It’s necessary, but it can be draining.

In the grocery store where men think they can push past you to get to the lettuce. In a meeting where a man tries to talk over you. And sometimes, as was the case a few weeks ago, men literally try to take up all of the space around them.

For an entire 3 and a half hour plane ride, the guy to the right of me decided that not only was the armrest between us his, but also that he could take up some of the space on my seat with his elbow or knee or whatever body part he wanted.

Boys who are never told no turn into men who pour over into women’s spaces, put their hands where they are not welcome, believe that women’s lives are less valuable. There are countless examples of this in screenshots of dating site conversations, like on the Instagram account #byefelipe. 

Keep fighting, fellow women. Keep walking into men, staring them down, and keep pushing them back into their seats. I know it’s exhausting, but nothing will change unless we fight. Yes, men need to be raised better. They need to be taught as boys – from birth – to respect women, and not in the sense of holding open doors and pulling out chairs.

We already have hands.

What we need, men, is for you to keep your goddamn mouths shut when we walk past you on the street. To make sure that you don’t take women’s ideas and claim them as your own. To take the fucking space that you already have in the world and make it feminist; without demanding space in feminism.

Have pictures or stories of men that need to be called out? Share em and shame em below!