4 Upsetting Things I Wish Men Never Did to Women

Denisa Feathers

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When I was 17, I believed I hated men.

I would never marry them, I felt like the chance of meeting a kind man worthy of my love was too slim to even count, and I held onto so many grudges from my past that I could choke on them.

Now, this wasn’t the best way to live, I’ll tell you that. I was constantly consumed by anger, and I only managed to start healing a few years ago.

I don’t hate men anymore. I’ve learned to empathize with them, to try to understand their struggles and to analyze why the men in my past had wronged me — unsurprisingly, almost all of it falls on the shoulders of the patriarchy.

The patriarchy is a wheel of toxicity that keeps on spinning, from father to son, from son to father.

I’ve written many articles on how we need to fight for men’s empowerment and for healthy masculinity because I believe that teaching men kindness and vulnerability is one of the key pillars upon which a gender-equal society can stand one day. 

There are good men in this world, let me emphasise that.

But we need more. Because ninety per cent of the men I’ve met in my life have only added to the hate that consumed me in my teen years. They’ve treated women horribly.

Here are five things that men have done to me and women around me in the past, things that they shouldn’t be doing, things that only fuel the hate and misunderstanding between genders.

If we want a better world, men need to stop doing these.

They feel entitled to a woman’s body

Some men feel like just because a woman exists next to them, they’ve got the right to grope her.

I grew up in an environment where husbands expected regular intimacy from their wives and they didn’t feel bad about pressuring her into it because as a husband, sleeping with your wife is your inherent right, right?

No. Your wife has rights too. No means no. 

The more you force her, the less she’ll ever want to touch you again. This whole you-must-sleep-with-me strategy blows up in your face quite quickly because it’s totally counterproductive. It doesn’t open a door to mutual understanding and enjoyment. It slams it shut. And locks it.

Women aren’t on this planet so they can please men whenever men demand it. We own our bodies. We do whatever we want with them. We aren’t your means to an end — we are our own end.

Women are sick of being objectified all the time. We have a brain too. One of the key things men need to do to have better relationships is to try to understand their partner as an intellectual being and to respect them.

Deep respect is what creates strong relationships. Respect her choices, respect her body.

They get violent easily

As soon as things don’t go their way, they scream about it as if they were five years old again. Some men do be like that, unfortunately.

Many men have anger issues. This is a problem deeply rooted in our society, and it’s often the parents who are to blame — if you tell your boy he can’t cry because it’d make him less of a man, if you don’t let him be vulnerable with you and if the only male figure he sees is a cold and distant father, he’ll learn to bottle his emotions.

He won’t sort through conflict in a productive way because he won’t want to open up in the first place. He won’t confide in people. He’ll have troubles dealing with his feelings.

Anger is an emotion that men can have in our society, though — it’s manly because it’s aggressive, because it’s an attack. That’s what we tell ourselves anyway.

So some men proceed to be violent towards women. It’s the only way they know, it’s what they’ve seen everywhere around them. The lack of control drives them.

I wish men stopped doing this. I wish they stopped shouting, getting aggressive, attacking as soon as they feel the slightest bit offended. Because it will make women scared and hateful — which isn’t exactly what we’re after.

We want mutual compassion and happiness, right? So let’s teach ourselves and all men around us that vulnerability is strength.

There’s also nothing wrong with seeking professional help. Anger issues can be really hard to work through.

They put women down to feel better about themselves

In the town I grew up in, men love to put women down. They say that women can’t drive (they can), women are stupid (they aren’t), women are hysterical (nope), ha-ha, so funny, the list goes on.

Almost as if… admitting that many women are just as smart or even smarter would threaten their egos?

Bingo.

I wish men stopped having such fragile egos. It’s not cool. It’s not hot. It’s just inconvenient because it can make you insecure, which results in a lot of inner and outer unnecessary conflict.

We aren’t in some bizarre competition about who’s a more intelligent human. Everyone’s skills differ. There will always be women who are smarter than you in some areas. Why would that cause an issue?

A reasonable man can admit that a woman is capable of being more intelligent than him — it doesn’t mean she’s worth more. It doesn’t mean she’s a threat. He’s better skilled in other ways.

Men who acknowledge a woman’s capabilities with respect and without the need to put her down are the best kinds of men because they’re secure and confident in their masculinity.

I want more of that.

They cheat and lie while being jealous

This is a vast issue. A huge number of people cheat, and it’s definitely not just men. Women are cheaters just as much.

There’s a common theme I’ve noticed in the men in my hometown, though — they cheat, lie about it, feel minimum remorse, and then get jealous when their partners even just smile at a guy.

The level of possessiveness is actually insane. They don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with their cheating, but if she cheated, that would be a huge betrayal. The hypocrisy of it all is shining through so strongly that it’s blinding.

The problem is that these men think that their partner is their property — she’s always there for them and she belongs to them. For some reason, they fail to grasp the fact that loyalty needs to be mutual for a relationship to thrive.

This one is quite obvious, but still — it was one of the main reasons that made me hate men as a teen. Because very few women I knew cheated. Almost all men I knew did, though.

At least if you’re going to cheat (honestly, it’s better if you don’t), don’t think that she can’t cheat on you back. You don’t get some special token of extended boundaries just because you’re a man. When she cheats, it’s the exact same thing as when you do.

So just avoid it altogether.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, these four things are just the tip of the iceberg. If men truly want to be better partners, this is the beginning.

Start with respect, loyalty, vulnerability, openness and honesty. Start here. Start now.

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I'm a student of Languages & Comparative Literature who writes about relationships, self-improvement, lifestyle, books, and more.

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