36 Questions for which I, as a man, am uniquely qualified to answer

Equality is one of the most important issues facing people. The expectation that women should have most of the family responsibilities cuts men off from their family and women off from their career progressions, and that has repercussions in lifestyle, pensions and then, ultimately, the amount the young have to pay to support the retired. Seeing a woman’s opinion as somehow not valuable cuts off a population from the discussions that need to happen about politics and ethics. Gender inequality hurts both genders and society.

But, pretending the problem is worse than it is, pandering to stereotypes, and misrepresenting issues isn’t going to help us identify the real problems so they can be addressed. I’m beginning to think that, just as we have become good as establishing a language to distinguish Islamists from Muslims, we should start looking at language that separates regressive, dishonest, and superficial arguments about feminism from real feminism.

Social tolerance to the point that it allows regressive views and sexism have grown and not even be challenged is a problem. You do not have to tolerate cultural sexism to be politically correct; we started cutting it from our culture, so we can expect it from others, too. We have literally progressed away from abject sexism, and it’s both racist and sexist to allow it in other cultures; to assume other cultures can’t overturn their sexism (like we did) and that those cultures supersede women’s rights, somehow.

I am a feminist, but I care that the problems I consider are real problems. To show what this problem looks like, here’s a 31 questions (that claim to be 36 questions) women apparently want to ask men, with my “answers”. But, you know me by now, I don’t care about the answer half as much as I care about the question.

The questions are filled with stereotypes and characterisations of men so asinine they would incur the whining and belligerent wrath of feminists if men did it. The questions are just stupid.

 

  1. Why do you hate romcoms, or do you feel like you need to hate them? Everybody like the notebook, everybody likes Beyonce.

How many men have to like how many romcoms? There are men who like romcoms, despite the fact that romcoms are designed for and then marketed to women. I like Four Weddings and a Funeral and the first Bridget Jones’ Diary. Is that not enough? Do I have to like seeing Gerard Butler get sentimental at Jennifer Aniston? Because that was an awful film. Films with unrealistically forgiving, handsome men with limitless free time and flexible careers in big houses who pursue the “realistic” neurotic and slightly insane protagonist, simply doesn’t make compelling watching. If I pursued a woman in the way a man does in romcoms, I’d have a restraining order strapped on me.

Romcoms are almost invariably films about rich and handsome men pursuing deeply flawed women who are playing hard to get. It is female fantasy. Just like pretending one could be a quick-witted, muscled, stoic action hero is male fantasy. And I’d wager as many women like actions films as men like romcoms. (And it’s not a zero on either side.)

I find this question stereotypes.

 

  1. Why do you make women just sit around and talk about men and movies, when y’all easily just sit around and talk about boobs for hours?

Never have I ever spent more than 30 seconds talking about boobs. Don’t get me wrong, you can say a lot in 30 seconds. What I’m saying is that I have spent more time talking to boobs than about them.

I find this question sexist.

 

  1. Why do you automatically assume you won’t like TV or movies that star a female lead?

The Good Wife may be my favourite drama at the moment (it’s competing with Netflix’s Daredevil and the BBC’s Luther). Also in the top 5 is Jessica Jones. And didn’t I already admit to liking Bridget Jones’ Diary?

I find this question assumes more about me than it can possibly know.

 

  1. Why are you surprised when women are funny? I’m probably funnier than you.

I’m not. And no, you’re not.

I find this question assumes more about me than it can possibly know.

 

  1. Why do you think that we’re obsessed with you when we hook up?

I think you might be hooking up with men who don’t like you, therefore everything you do that isn’t sex annoys them. Try hooking up with people who like you.

I find this question needs to make better life choices.

 

  1. Why can’t I sleep with as many people as I want to without being judged? When men do it, they’re congratulated.

Congratulated by who? Judged by who? Are you judging everything by the insane and sociopathic frat-culture and lad-culture? Are you judging women who sleep with a lot of men?

I can assure you, in the real world, men and women pay the same nominal social costs for sleeping around. Men are judged just as much as women, and by women. And women are pretty quickly forgiven; I’ve never known a woman be mocked for sleeping with a lot of people for more than the hilarious day after. Both men and women pay a social cost for sleeping around.

There are echo-chambers, in both male and female groups, where such social costs do not exist. But, in general, everyone pays the equal but minimal cost.

I find this question needs more life experience.

 

  1. Why do you consider a woman a tease if she doesn’t sleep without after 3 dates, but a slut if she sleeps with you on the first date?

Mathematically, one can deduce that the second date is the ideal time to sleep with someone, with some lenience into the third date… it’s the only logical conclusion.

Again, I think you might be dating people who don’t like you and are only there for the sex. I’ve slept with people (sober) that I never dated and neither of us were judged, and I’ve dated a girl for 7 months before anything happened. Both of these worked because I got on with the people.

I find this question needs to make better life choices.

 

  1. In what world does “no” mean “yes”? No means no.

None. In precisely no world. That’s true about sex, cups of tea, footwear in sports.

I’m not going to plug the gap and pretend to understand that you’re talking about rape. You need to make your point explicit. Because, by letting me make the assumptions in between, we skip the bit where you are accusing men of being rapists.

I find this question doesn’t get to the point.

 

  1. Why do you say women are too emotional to be leaders, then justify cat calling by saying that men just can’t control themselves?

I’ve Googled this, and I found a handful of arguments debunking the myth and lots of articles attacking one person (just one) who actually said it, someone called T.I. Does anyone take that person, with that name, seriously?

Just, also, Obama was only chastised by the far right for crying. And, on Fox “News”, that was predominantly by women.

And Hillary Clinton is about to be president.

And the UK has had a female Prime Minister. So has Australia.

And, other than cat-callers, who defends cat-callers?

I find this question doesn’t have a point.

 

  1. Why do you think that just because you’re nice to me, that I owe you my body?

I don’t. Just like being nice to me in no way entitles you to dinners out on me, me being nice to you in no way entitles me to your body. If you’re dating people who make it clear they’re being nice to you for sex, you’re not dating people who like you.

If people are saying to you that you owe them your body for holding the door open, you may not work at the asylum; you may not be allowed to leave the asylum.

Either way, I find this question needs to make better life choices.

 

  1. Why would you ever send an unsolicited dick pic?

I never have. But, I am going to assume the answer is ‘because at some point it has worked’. It’s like cat calling. It’s awful, but I’d wager that a woman has positively reinforced this behaviour for people who still do it. But, also, it’s a dick. It’s really not that offensive.

I find this question lacks a sense of humour.

 

  1. Why do you feel like it’s okay to harass women or make offensive comments about women, but when someone does it to your sister, it’s not okay?

I don’t do that. But also, generic ‘women’ jokes are very different from personal jokes. Generic ‘man’ jokes also exist, and I would get equally irate and defensive at jokes made at the expense of my younger brothers. As for my 18 year old sister and 23 year old brother, I’d assume they can defend themselves or are mature enough to ignore it.

This question has a few weird sexist assumptions. First, it either assumes no jokes offensive to men exist or that men don’t get offended, second, it assumes I can rightly be defensive of my sister(s) but should not necessarily jump to my brother’s defence as quickly. Why not? Probably some sexist assumption about the heightened sensitivity of women? And why should I care about that? If women want to be treated the same as men, they better have thicker skin than that, because men treat each other awfully.

I find this question sexist.

 

  1. How does it feel to interrupt me when I’m in the middle of making a point, during a meeting?

I don’t do that because you’re a woman. I do that because your point is rubbish. Seriously, nonsense ideas get nipped in the bud. I do that with friends, friends do it to me, I’ve received that in meetings (although I’ve never done it in a meeting). If you feel strongly enough and actually have a point, speak up. That’s how it works.

I’ve spent most of my social life around women, and I can assure you that my opinion is valued (or listened to, at least) a lot less in social circles than the opinions of everyone else. This isn’t a gendered issue, this is the issue of ideas fitting in with goals. In a business meeting, pragmatic ideas are needed. Apparently, in my social groups, no ideas are needed and everything should just be an opportunity to complain about problems no one intends to fix. You cannot bring ideas from one of these marketplaces to the other.

Also, interrupting is a natural part of conversation. Seriously, observe anyone talking and they will interrupt each other.

I find this question to be a victim narrative.

 

  1. Why do you have to sit with your legs so wide open? I get that you have balls, but I don’t stand around with my arms wide open to make room for my boobs.

Yes, but breasts are out front-and-centre, and shoulders are wider than the distance between inside-legs. Do the geometry yourself.

I find this question ignorant of geometry.

 

  1. Why are women perceived as the “weaker sex”, even though we literally birth you?

Is giving birth the definition of strength? Because I’ve consulted a dictionary and Google, and I don’t think it is.

There is not a single woman at my gym who can bench, squat or deadlift the same weight I can, and I am a very long way from being the strongest man in my gym. There is one woman, and only one, whose shoulder press is comparable to mine. That’s an anecdote that reflects a broader biological truth: men are stronger than women. 

I find this question ignorant.

 

  1. Why is it so bad to show your emotions? It means you’re human.

I’m sorry, who are the sexists in this? If you honestly believe showing emotion defines humanity, and that men don’t do it, you just excluded half the population from your definition of humanity.

And that’s assuming men don’t show emotion. We do.

I find this question sexist.

 

  1. Why are you always trying to prove your masculinity to me?

I’m not. Very few people are. Do you believe that men consciously identify a number of options, identify the “masculine” one and then do it even if it goes against their wishes or natural inclination? And that they do that for you? You need to get over yourself. Men are no more ‘proving’ their masculinity in what they do, than you are ‘proving’ your femininity in what you do. I’m pretty sure you don’t go to the bathroom in group and shop recreationally to prove your femininity to me.

I find this question ignorant.

 

  1. Why the fuck isn’t it ladylike to cuss? When did words get genders?

Ask the Italians, French and Spanish, where words really do have genders. And, also, it’s not gentlemanly to cuss either. “Lady” is a status and gendered word. You can swear as much as you like, but we all pay a social price for swearing ‘too much’ in given contexts. The connotation isn’t one of lacking feminity, but lacking politeness. Men are as vulnerable to such social judgements as women.

I find this question ignorant.

 

  1. Why is it your first instinct to doubt women who have been sexually violated, or raped?

5 points to anyone who can tell me what word is missing from the question.

The missing word is “claimed”. Even if you ignore all the evidence that genuine sexual assaults go unreported and a lot of reported sexual assaults are unfounded, our justice system always works this way around: the accused is innocent until proven guilty. You can make sure you don’t do anything wrong, but you can’t make sure you’ll never be accused. And that’s the point.

Look at the number of false accusations that have ruined people’s lives. We should demand evidence before we go on a witch hunt.

I find this question needs to research the justice system.

 

  1. Why do you assumed a woman is angry because she’s on her period?

I don’t. I might make the joke, just to point out she’s being unreasonable. But I ask men if they’re on steroids or on their period, too.

Grab a sense of humour, because I’ve never had a man complain I suggested he was on his period.

I find this question lacking a sense of humour.

 

  1. Why do you think women who wear makeup are false-advertising? We could say the same thing about your dick size.

Make up is interesting. People only feel they need to wear it because everyone wears it. If all girls agreed to stop wearing make up today, there wouldn’t be a problem about it by the end of the week. Girls aren’t ugly, the cultural expectation is becoming that of what a made-up face looks like.

And for penis size, I don’t cover my penis in plasticine and whop it out in public. I don’t advertise it and when you see it, what you see is what you get.

I find this question has had a disappointing sexual experience.

 

  1. Isn’t it weird there’s a bunch of old white men sitting in a room making legislation about what I can and can’t do with my body? Do you have a cootchie?

It’s not that weird. They make decisions about drug use and violence, there’s legislation about who can have sex and who can get tattoos and piercings. It is in no way weird that people who have extraordinarily little in common with me make legislation that affects me and my rights to my own body.

What is weird is when these white, elected, men make decisions that do not reflect the decisions of their constituents. That’s weird.

Also, I’m pro-choice. Why are all men getting lumped in with the decisions of the elected representatives you disagree with? That’s just ignorant. Also, why is abortion a woman’s rights issue? If one can defend the idea that it is murder of a human life, then it’s not your body you’re making decisions over. The ‘it’s my body’ argument for pro-choice is a nonsense because it fails to rebut a thing about the opposition’s views.

Also, if it’s my child in your uterus, it’s not only you who gets a say (or, it shouldn’t be). This is not a woman’s rights issue.

I find this question sexist.

 

  1. Why are straight guys so obsessed with lesbians?

I don’t know. But I am. And I don’t judge you for your kinks.

But, also, according to Pornhub’s stats, “Lesbian” is the number 1 searched term for female viewers. Female viewers of Pornhub were 4 times more likely to search for “Lesbian” than men. So, judge less and learn more.

I find this question needs more tolerance.

 

  1. How does it feel to get kicked in the balls?

Uncomfortable.

Fair question, though.

 

  1. Do you get tired of trying to be manly all the time?

I’m not trying. I don’t know what is being considered “manly” here, but I don’t invest effort in changing the status quo. If the status quo comes across as ‘manly’ to you, that’s on you.

I find this question ignorant.

 

  1. Why are you so afraid of gender equality?

I’m not.

I find this question sexist.

 

  1. Why do I deserve to be paid less than you? In what world does 0.77 = 1? In what world does 0.68 = 1? How is that fair?

I’ve removed units to make it international. 77c or pence to the $1 or £1. Or 68c/p. Which is it? There are certain things that mean women will be paid less for the same job, like risk of maternity leave. I think that is something that needs to change, but women also need to be a part of that change; it’s no good continuing to assume that women should be the primary caregivers and family carers, thus taking afternoons off to take kids to the dentist, and expecting the same salary. We need a social change about what is expected at home. Women are a big part of that expectation. After the change, hopefully salaries will fall in line.

But, also, women tend to choose different career trajectories. In general, they don’t do the same job. Women do not tend to get paid 30% less for the same job.

Lastly, men are more likely to ask for a raise. If you’re good at your job, your boss will consider that request.

I find this question needs to look at the social issues more deeply before they blame men of sexism.

 

  1. Why are you intimidated by a woman that makes more money than you? That’s awesome. More money!

All my life, my partner(s) have earned the same or more than me. It’s only really frustrating when I’m not earning at all.

But, why is it awesome when the woman earns more, but a problem when the man earns more?

I find this question sexist.

 

  1. Why are opinionated women seen as bitches, when opinionated man are seen as bosses?

They’re not. Simon Cowell is seen as being many derogatory things. So is Donald Trump. So is Duncan Bannatyne. So is my uncle. Remember Mattsplaining? That was derived from Mansplaining, which is what people really think of opinionated men.

This is a ridiculous victim narrative where one assumes that having an opinion plays out differently across the genders. I’ve never seen that happen. Having an opinion plays out differently depending on the utility of that opinion. That’s why Trump’s harsh-line no-negotiation opinions have been very successful in business. If your opinion is that everyone should live in some utopia where they turn up to work if and when they want, and not necessarily do as they’re told, but instead do what they like, those opinions have no utility. The holder of that latter opinion is an idiot, regardless of whether they are my brother or a woman.

I find this question ignorant.

 

  1. Why aren’t you speaking up when you hear your male friends behind closed door that make jokes that are offensive to women?

It doesn’t happen. If it does, then I do. But it really doesn’t. Don’t tell me it does, because of the two of us accused of being on the other side of the closed door, it’s me, not you.

I find this question presumptuous.

 

  1. Why are you so afraid of recognising your own privilege? It doesn’t make you a bad person, just recognise it and do something about it.

What if I recognise my privilege, but, in fact, my life of doing a master’s degree and being a part of legal battle regarding inheritance is actually too busy to also go about social change.

Or, what if females have outnumbered males in management positions in every company I have worked in, and in student numbers in every educational facility I have studied in, and excelling students I have taught have been female far more often than they have been male; what if I don’t recognise my privilege over women, because I don’t have one.

Looking at my cohort from my undergraduate degree, there is no discernable difference in the success of the men and the women who graduated back in 2010. So, perhaps you need to look at the symptoms you are putting down to privilege and wonder if, perhaps, other people are just working harder than you.

I find this question ignorant.

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13 thoughts on “36 Questions for which I, as a man, am uniquely qualified to answer”

  1. I have to ask how you find such questions worthy of your attention. I found them incredibly tedious. It has taken me many, many years but I have found that life is far, far simpler when you take people as they are individually. I have met as many male as female jerks, as many male as female sentimentalists (I cried frequently while watching Broadchurch for example), etc. We are more alike than different and would be much better off if we know more about one another, but that topic seems to have been left out of our school’s curricula.

    1. Honestly, I don’t find these questions worthy of my attention any more. Although I’m reasonably sure these are sincere questions, the people who ask them (Buzzfeed — not a reliable source but still, increasingly, how people under 30 consume social news) shouldn’t have any place in my thoughts. But a few months ago, when I wrote this (everything’s about 3 months behind, because I decided to start scheduling things after I wrote about 8 posts with a hangover and didn’t want to publish them all at once) the related Buzzfeed video was doing the rounds and it genuinely reflected the kind of questions “third wave” feminists were asking (those being the screeching lunatic department of the broader feminism).

      But yes, proper equality — which veers away from generalisations of a demographic — is largely ignored.

  2. 8) Another response is “In what world does ‘no’ not mean ‘no’?” What’s up with “Want some asparagus? No, thanks. Why not? I don’t like asparagus. Come on, everybody likes asparagus.” Perhaps everybody (not just men, and not just about sex) does not care for an answer which is not he one they want.

    9) What is wrong with cat calling? I call my cats all the time, but of course they ignore me or give me the “Get real; I’m not some silly dog” look.

    13) And why is it ok for you to interrupt me any time, any place, with relevant or even irrelevant comments? Oh, and why do you start talking at one end of a noisy building and expect me at the other end to hear you and understand you, and get peeved when I can’t?

    26) I’m a bit worried about gender “superiority”. With the exception of having or nursing babies, I can’t think of anything which one man can’t do better than many women, or one woman can’t do better than many men. What say we consider each person on the merits of their own capabilities rather than making unreasonable and unsupportable grouping?

    30) If no women are present, what does it matter if something which might be offensive to women is mentioned? Are you going to claim with a straight face that things which might be offensive to men never comes up in a group of women? And if a women is present and offended, why is it not her responsibility to address it?

    Frankly, I do not worry about what might offend you, since I find that many people take offense at things which should not offend any mature, sane person, and if you are neither, then it is not possible avoid offending you, so why bother.

    31) What privilege is that? If the question is from a woman to a man, presumably the “privilege” is “male”. That is the result of birth (or perhaps surgery), so is not a privilege, by definition. There are a few things which are inherent in being male, so again, are not privilege by definition.

  3. Where did these questions come from? Are you sure they aren’t satire? These don’t look like real questions from feminist women. They look more like questions that anti-feminists imagine feminists might ask.

  4. The real question is why any man would ever lower himself to respond to questioning from these latter day, toxic wave feminazis in the first place.

    Don’t get me wrong. I both love and respect women…but these “womyn” need to be put into the trafficking market for a few years to either correct their minds or break them so they no longer can attack society.

    1. Can you make a few more comments, that way you can become the subject of a later post. You might as well have opened that comment with “I’m not sexist, but…”

      1. Oh no! By how they want to define the term in these degenerate times, I’m quite sexist, rabidly so; I am, after all a man and unapologetic for being so.

        I also make no bones about not considering what passes for Feminists these days to be women. In that, they have no reason to complain, though they will and quite stridently, since they dislike the very concept of womanhood almost as much as they loath the concept of manhood.

        1. I guess so, sort of? For me that’s not quite as simple of a question as you would obviously expect. As we don’t test for humanity, instead just granting that status to all who share or are told who share our species, while I can and do give the feminists and most other groups the benefit of the doubt as to their humanity. I can unequivocally say that they are human.

          Then, I’ve lost count of how many times people have told me that I not human…and don’t fake being one very well.

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