Reply to /u/transamination/ about what men don’t understand about women

In response to the AskReddit question “What aspects of a woman’s life are most men unaware of?” /u/transamination/ writes the following:

You know that Louis CK bit about sexual perversion? Women get to be perverted, but men have to be?
Women get the flip side of that. Men might want to be appreciated more for their appearance: I don’t get a choice in the matter. You’re a tourist in objectification while I fucking live there. You think a catcall sounds like a compliment while to me it’s the sound of incoming artillery.
Also, you hate having to initiate with women: I hate that I have to emotionally manage all of my relationships with men. If you fall for me, I’m a bitch for rejecting you or a tease for leading you on. If you’re my friend, I’m supposed to know that you’re only my friend because you want to fuck me, or that you’re secretly in love with me, and I’m supposed to tell you to move on but also not just assume you’re into me because that would make me a conceited bitch. Everything I do near a dude, I’m accountable for, and if someone gets the wrong idea they get to call me a name and blame me for it.
ETA: Thank you for the name-calling and the death threats. You’re truly doing God’s work.

This comment caught my attention, and I wanted to share my response:


If the comment went unrewarded, I’d ignore it. But since it’s the top comment I’d like all of you to hear an alternative view.

Men might want to be appreciated more for their appearance: I don’t get a choice in the matter. You’re a tourist in objectification while I fucking live there. You think a catcall sounds like a compliment while to me it’s the sound of incoming artillery.

Would you say this to a veteran who lost a limb to artillery? If I were you, I’d be worried about sounding like a tourist, or an ass that doesn’t care about anyone but herself. I can’t think of anyone who would feel more disposable than someone getting shot at, so I’m a little pissed you’d compare yourself to one in the first place. But let’s move on for the sake of brevity, even though trudging through all of your loaded language makes brevity impossible.

Objectification? I call bullshit. I’m so sick of that word because it’s a lie. If men were so simple that sexually gratifying objects and images were enough for them, they’d bang microwaved cantaloupes and never bother doing the work of reducing human beings—who can fight and talk back—to fuck toys in the first place. Even if objectification was this horrid, livable experience, don’t you dare suggest men are excluded when dildos exist.  If a man’s genitals can be replicated in plastic and sold as a disembodied substitute for an entire man in bed, then you don’t get to pretend that men’s sex appeal is any less personal (or impersonal, depending on who you ask).

There are much easier ways to get off, and in extreme cases where a man has both the cash and the good sense to travel where they are legal, there’s always brothels. But most men go through more trouble to bend you over a desk. Why? Why would someone risk a negative response from you in hopes of forming any connection, whether you consider it intrusive, gross, or even sweet?

I think it’s because you are not being objectified, you are being subjectified. If you get cat-called, it’s because how you look makes you special in addition to what men know about you at the time, even if they know nothing at the start.

You have a first world problem of unwanted attention that you could block, ignore or leverage. Instead, you choose to take men’s reaction to your appearance so seriously that you equate sexually-charged attention to being shot at.

Also, you hate having to initiate with women: I hate that I have to emotionally manage all of my relationships with men.

Show me one relationship with a modicum of sexual tension that requires zero emotional maintenance. I’d bring up brothels again, but we’re talking about relationships. Are you really so disconnected from reality that you think relationships are supposed to be magically at their most convenient for you?

If you fall for me, I’m a bitch for rejecting you or a tease for leading you on.

If you saw a man tell a woman that he loved her, but he didn’t mean it, you would be crawling up his ass and tearing him apart for lying to her and causing her future distress. Don’t pretend that you wouldn’t.

If a guy is calling you names because you are not falling all over him for no reason, then you’d be right to say that not only you bear no responsibility for his feelings, you feel uncomfortable being subjected to them in the first place. But even then, you can’t sit there and act like you are dealing with some completely insensitive horn dog. You are dealing with a human being who is inexperienced, vulnerable, or maybe is under pressure to experience sex because he’s scared of feeling unattractive or undesirable. Yes, we do feel these things.

If you actually lead a man on, then I would only feel a need to express some level of contempt for you if you paint yourself as the one and only damaged party in a mutually challenging interaction. Which you did, so I’m not a fan of you right now.

When a guy first starts noticing women, he starts experiencing feelings he initially does not understand. Those feelings don’t come with a manual, and many men don’t even come up with a vocabulary to describe the visceral reaction they get when seeing an attractive woman. Engaging women suddenly becomes like learning to sing: You engage different parts of your brain, and hitting the wrong note can ruin the experience for everyone. All of this, compounded with learning who you are, and trying to beat the dreaded feeling of loneliness that comes with being a guy pressured to perform? No wonder guys end up stuttering, lashing out, calling names, beating around the bush or going for a vulgar request for a hookup! When you reject a guy trying to figure himself out, he hits an instant existential crisis, and he sees you as the reason he had it. That doesn’t excuse him lashing out at you, but neither does any man lashing out excuse you from making, at least, a little effort to acknowledge and consider his vulnerability should you decide to reject him.

So yeah, pardon me for suggesting that you take some responsibility by showing the sensitivity you want from others. If you don’t consider other people’s feelings then don’t act like you are entitled to civility. From what I’m seeing, you aren’t even half of what you are asking for!

Everything I do near a dude, I’m accountable for, and if someone gets the wrong idea they get to call me a name and blame me for it.

Welcome to having a social life. Watch how people respond to my post. If it gets downvoted to hell, then you can’t pretend that men are somehow exempt from accountability because people are trying to punish me for how I spoke to a woman. If it gets upvoted to paradise or even ignored, that won’t change the fact that my actions and words towards you had consequences.

Of course you are accountable for what you do! The alternative is that you are NOT responsible for what you do, and I think you wouldn’t want people calling you irresponsible, would you? Because that’s what it means.

You are, presumably, grown. In case you haven’t already figured it out, part of being a grown-up is understanding that your words and actions reflect who you are.

What I see is a reflection of an entitled, self-absorbed woman who won’t have the courage to admit that she is as flawed and scared of being truly connected as the individual men she resents. I also suspect this post was a waste of time because you have the support of people who won’t objectively evaluate this conversation because you are a woman, and I am a man. Therefore, you must surely be the only credible source.

I’m extremely disappointed that people decided actually to reward you with attention and praise for such an insensitive, sexist and ignorant post. I just needed to get this off my chest, even if it accomplished nothing.

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