Men Are Shitty Friends
Sometimes it’s really fucked up being friends with men.
In some ways, it’s easier. They rarely press you about your feelings. It’s easy to keep things superficial, until they try to fuck you. And for some reason, many of them try to fuck you despite constantly denying their intent, even going so far to accuse you of being over-confident.
It gets hard when they casually and hypocritically dismiss your opinions. When they argue with you on what’s sexist, when they have little to no experience in dealing with sexism. It’s hard when your every response and opinion is deemed as overreacting and being sensitive.
It’s hard to realize they don’t respect you and constantly twist reality to support the illusion that they do.
I’ve called many men my friends, but I’m realizing that I hold male friends to a different standard, a lower one. The same respect they give me, actually. Why would I respect someone who doesn’t respect me? They entertain me. They amuse me. Sometimes they help with shit, but having real conversations about our experiences? Why bother with that when they spend the entire conversation telling me that my thoughts aren’t worth shit and don’t matter. When they “agree to disagree” and refuse to acknowledge their blind spots. When they literally say that I’m creating a problem where there isn’t one, all because they cannot see it. When they essentially call me a liar.
They get angry when I mirror their behavior. I’ve had men try to check me in conversation when all I did was talk to them the way they talk to me. Funny how they don’t like receiving the same respect they give.
Interestingly, I don’t have fights with my S.O. about sexism because when I tell him something is sexist, he doesn’t fucking argue with me about it. He asks me how and we talk about it and then we keep it moving. It’s not an argument; it’s a discussion. It’s not dismissive; it’s dialogue. And it doesn’t make me angry – it makes me happy. Side note - he had to learn to do this when we talk about racism.
Yet, other men? Other men tell me that the issues I have are pathological. They tell me that all I do is point out problems. They conveniently ignore or forget when I agree or like some shit but constantly have an issue when I don’t like things or find them problematic. When I point out the issues with a movie, a book, a television show, a song, an artist, etc., I’m told that I look for problems. I’m told that I’m making problems where there are none. I’m told that I’m being angry, bitter, an judgmental.
I’m told I’m the problem, not what I’m critiquing.
Then they take that and make it into a general characteristic about me – not quite a flaw, but this thing that I do. “She’s just super critical.” And then they use that characteristic to silence me.
“Don’t pay any attention to her, she’s just angry.”
“She thinks there are problems with everything. Don’t worry about it.”
“TaLynn doesn’t like anything.”
This happens so frequently, so casually, that when I point it out, I’m told I’m overreacting and being dramatic. Because I can’t have a legitimate issue. Nope. I’m just a troublemaker.
When I was younger, I’d let this slide. I’d tell myself it wasn’t a big deal and try to maintain a friendship with that person. Now, I say fuck it and cut my losses. I don’t need to fuck with people who don’t respect my experiences and thoughts. I can accept disagreement. I cannot accept dismissal. I won’t. I deserved to be listened to. I deserve to be respected. And I deserve to be believed.
What I don’t deserve is to be told that my thoughts are not worth considering.
I don’t deserve is to be lied to.
I don’t deserve to be bothered by your lust when I’ve made it clear I’m not interested in fucking you.
And I sure as fuck don’t need you telling me what I think or what you believe I “really mean.” Listen to the words I’m actually saying and stop trying to change that shit to fit your reality. I know what the fuck I mean and I know what the fuck I want. I also know how to articulate that shit and if you have questions, ask them.
What you are gonna do is stop trying to override my opinion or manipulate me into being who you think I’m supposed to be and accuse me of being difficult when you can’t shift me.
What you’re gonna do is accept who I am and give me the same respect you want from me.
If you can’t, you don’t have to be in my life. In fact, it’s better if you aren’t.