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Feeling sorry for men

(267 Posts)
vampirequeen Sat 08-May-21 08:21:32

There I've said it. I feel sorry for men these days. Not about work, education etc but about perceived behaviour. It seems that today a man has to carefully consider everything he says or does. This struck me the other day when DH asked me to come outside. Our neighbours washing had dropped off the line and he was about to pick up some of her knickers and peg them back on. He felt he needed me to witness him doing so in case anyone saw him and, not realising that he was just pegging them back on the line, thought he was being pervy.

Then, yesterday, my mam told me about something that had happened to her personal trainer...a chap in his 30s. He has been training a woman for a couple of months and simply said that her muscles were developing nicely . Oh dear. If he'd said anything but 'nicely' maybe he wouldn't have been in trouble but she took it as a personal comment about her body. All he meant to do was say that her hard work was paying off. A well done. But no. Nicely is apparently now a word with sexual connotations

DH says he tries to second guess everything he says and does when interacting with women. So much of what was seen as innocent and normal when we were younger seems to now be offensive or sexually explicit. He says he's not even sure if he should hold doors open these days. If I do it no one ever complains. In fact they usually say 'Thank you'. When DH does it he knows that most people will be OK but worries about the odd woman who will (and has) taken offence that a man thinks she can't open a door for herself.

I'm not saying it's OK for men to harass women or make obvious sexual comments etc. but most men are just trying to be polite (as they were taught to be when growing up). The majority of men are not sexual predators or women beaters but it seems that today all get tarred with the same brush.

Lucca Sat 08-May-21 08:28:14

It’s a tricky one. My bloke still walks on the outside when we’re on a pavement because that’s how his mother taught him he should., personally I sneakily don’t mind those sort of old fashioned courtesies but I don’t like anything which implies I can’t, say, think for myself. I would never object to a compliment either from a woman or a man, but sadly some men ..even old ones... can get it wrong and make smutty comments.

Galaxy Sat 08-May-21 08:29:54

How will women know which ones are predators and which ones arent. There are currently reports of a well known TV show where its was commonplace for a man to lay his penis on the shoulder of his female cast. The issue is not people holding open doors.

Alegrias1 Sat 08-May-21 08:32:28

Aye, my heart bleeds for them. Or maybe not. 🙄

Don't have much sympathy afraid. If anyone doesn't know what is acceptable behaviour these days, there's no excuse.

Interested to see other people's views though, thanks for starting the thread VQ

FannyCornforth Sat 08-May-21 08:39:14

Galaxy - so that's what he does. Good heavens above.

Aveline Sat 08-May-21 08:40:01

I agree with the OP. It is hard for decent ordinary men to get it right these days. Word meanings change to imply things that they never did before.
DH was saying just yesterday when I was telling him about a conversation I fell into with a woman about her dog, how he couldn't just fall into conversation with a passing stranger in the way I can. (I do play the nice old dear when I meet nice dogs when out for a walk).
Similarly, he felt he had to look away when a little girl in the queue on front of him wanted to show him her new shoes.
It's not easy for anyone these days in a world full of people looking to take offence.

Aveline Sat 08-May-21 08:41:52

Galaxy- blimey. Not exactly subtle! DH would definitely know not to do that!

vampirequeen Sat 08-May-21 08:43:02

Galaxy

How will women know which ones are predators and which ones arent. There are currently reports of a well known TV show where its was commonplace for a man to lay his penis on the shoulder of his female cast. The issue is not people holding open doors.

I'm not talking about men who get their bits out. That's a bit of an obvious sign that they're predators. I'm taking about the everyday man who feels like he's constantly walking on eggshells.

Lucca Sat 08-May-21 08:44:08

I’m struggling here to decide where I stand. I hate any kind of predatory or abusive or even inappropriate behaviour from men but equally I have to say sometimes things go too far as in the personal trainer example quoted, ridiculous in my view. And if they do it is counter productive to trying to get rid of sexist behaviour.
Oh dear I can’t organise my thoughts this morning.

Lin52 Sat 08-May-21 08:44:34

Galaxy

How will women know which ones are predators and which ones arent. There are currently reports of a well known TV show where its was commonplace for a man to lay his penis on the shoulder of his female cast. The issue is not people holding open doors.

He put a microphone on her shoulder, and suggested it was something else, still appalling, but not the same as the actual thing. This is why social media can be so dangerous.

Gingster Sat 08-May-21 08:45:47

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vampirequeen Sat 08-May-21 08:47:31

All predatory and abusive behaviour is wrong regardless of the gender of the abuser. But most men are not abusers.

Galaxy Sat 08-May-21 08:47:45

No he is getting his penis out at regular intervals all his cast members confirm this. He has been reprimanded by the producers of one show for his behaviour.

Lucca Sat 08-May-21 08:48:28

Question, if a male acquaintance says “your hair suits you like that “. Is that ok ?if he says “you’ve lost weight !” Is that ok ?

vampirequeen Sat 08-May-21 08:48:53

Well he is obviously a dick but most men aren't but they risk being labelled.

Galaxy Sat 08-May-21 08:49:19

My point was your DH is worrying about being polite those women are worrying about how to deal with exposure in a workplace.

vampirequeen Sat 08-May-21 08:50:01

Lucca

Question, if a male acquaintance says “your hair suits you like that “. Is that ok ?if he says “you’ve lost weight !” Is that ok ?

That's my point exactly. Innocent compliments can now be construed as harassment or abuse.

Lucca Sat 08-May-21 08:50:05

“ I also feel sorry for young men who are led on by girls who are dressed in skimpy, tight outfits and who act provocatively. What do these girls expect when things go too far, and get out of hand.”

Ouch. No!

sodapop Sat 08-May-21 08:50:41

I agree Lucca of course there are men who behave or speak inappropriately but most do not. Offence is taken often where none was intended and as you say its counter productive.

Galaxy Sat 08-May-21 08:51:21

Women cant know who is predatory, these men dont wear signs.

vampirequeen Sat 08-May-21 08:51:43

Galaxy

My point was your DH is worrying about being polite those women are worrying about how to deal with exposure in a workplace.

But that's another topic. My OP is that I feel sorry for normal none abusive men who have to watch everything they say and do for fear of causing offence or being labelled as pervs.

Lucca Sat 08-May-21 08:52:15

vampirequeen

Lucca

Question, if a male acquaintance says “your hair suits you like that “. Is that ok ?if he says “you’ve lost weight !” Is that ok ?

That's my point exactly. Innocent compliments can now be construed as harassment or abuse.

To me the hair one is ok but the weight one is iffy implying he is looking at your body ? Unless he’s a very good friend

M0nica Sat 08-May-21 08:54:16

When I used to visit an elderly uncle in care we would quite often go for a walk. He loved the company of small children, and adored mine when they were small, taking them for walks sitting talking to them but he and his wife had been childless.

He was a very unworldly man and all the concerns about child abuse etc had gone past him without calling in and whenever we met a small child when out, he would immediately start talking to them and asking their name and other essentially innocent things. He really could not understand why I would urge him to move on.

I relied on the fact that as I was with him and his age and frailty were obvious no parent with the child would be worried by his interest in talking to their child.

But I find it very sad that that perfectly innocent interchanges between adult men and children or women has been so unnecessarily made sexually threatening.

I am not in denial, I am in proprortion.

vampirequeen Sat 08-May-21 08:54:42

But surely it's a compliment. If someone looses weight it's obvious they've been working at it and to comment on it simply suggests that you've noticed and are acknowledging their hard work. It's very hard not to see someone without seeing that they have a body

vampirequeen Sat 08-May-21 08:55:03

If I said that to a man no one would think anything about it.