Dear Nice Guys, Stop Congratulating Yourself for Not Being Harassers

Gender

Dear Nice Guys, Stop Congratulating Yourself for Not Being Harassers

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

I

f you’re a man who has never pawed, groped, or assaulted a woman, you are normal. Not good, not great. This is how normal people behave. Stop congratulating yourself.

Are you feeling distressed that I took away your badge of honour? Don’t start fretting yet. I do get it, these days it’s easier to harass a woman than getting your Aadhaar card updated. All you need is a phone with a camera, a dick waiting to spring out of captivity, and heavy breathing. In this age of more than 13 ways to send an instant message and social networks teeming with hot girls talking openly about periods and their sexuality, finding an “object” of your affection is a cakewalk. You don’t even need to be in love with the girl. It doesn’t matter that you are not even friends with her. You only live once, so why waste time in getting to know her and then find out she is just not into you. Just say, hi hottie, I wanna see your tits. If she responds with an ugh, send her a close-up shot of your little boy waiting for action since Big Bang.   

It wasn’t always like this. Before the age of mobile phones, men eager for friendship had to whistle, catcall, board buses to rub themselves against women foolish enough to step out of their houses – only to get jabbed by safety pins. Some poor souls eager to take harassment to the next level had to look for empty stretches and then wait behind a dilapidated wall for hours for any goddamn woman to show up. The timing was of the essence. Just as she was about to cross the wall, they had to jump at her, flash their ugly penis, say something nasty, try to grab her, and voila, they had managed to traumatise yet another girl for life.

But how tough is it not be an asshole? All you have to do is keep your hands to yourself.

For too long we have set the bar too low for your behaviour. You of course had the support of our society that wasted no time in pinning the blame on us women for your disgusting perversions. Often excuses were made for your innate talent for reducing us to a pair of boobs and ass.

Begin by committing to memory, the following commandments: Thou shalt listen to a woman when she tells you she has been harassed, abused, objectified, made to feel uncomfortable.

No wonder the “normal types” who still treat women with respect and are receptive to her emotional needs, had started walking like they have a halo around their head, and expected to be rewarded for what should be the norm.

Not anymore. Especially when we women are setting the bar for human behaviour at its rightful place.

Let’s make this very clear. You are not doing any woman a favour by being the nice guy. And if you are you using niceness as a front to get into her pants, you are not just despicable but a hypocrite as well.

If you are eager for the great guy tag, you will have to do much more than look the other way when you see any woman getting molested and humiliated by a man eager to show her the rightful place. It can be your workplace, the mall, a packed concert hall.

Begin by committing to memory, the following commandments: Thou shalt listen to a woman when she tells you she has been harassed, abused, objectified, made to feel uncomfortable. Thou shalt act if you see a man touch a woman inappropriately. Thou shalt keep a safe distance from whataboutery when she’s sharing instances of how unsafe our cities and towns are for women. Thou shalt ask your WhatsApp dudebros to shut the fuck up when they compare a woman’s breasts to boondi ke laddoo. Thou shalt vomit on the colleague fixating on a junior’s tight ass and what she will be like under the sheets. When you do all of this, the halo of greatness will reignite on its own.   

The alpha male doesn’t take the refuge of misogyny to validate his masculinity. Rather he gives it a firm kick in the butt.

The fight for equity, against harassment in public spaces and private ones, and justice for women who bring toxic men to task is as much yours as it is hers. Feminism is gender neutral. It belongs to both men and women.

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