Not all Guys are like that

At 15 a boy told me that if I really liked him, I’d fool around with him. Afterwards, he said he only saw me as a friend, but we should still have sex sometime. But not all guys are like that.

My first time going to a nightclub, I was pushed into dancing with a guy I didn’t know. After he tried to stick his hand in my pants under my dress, I pushed him away and he followed me til I found my friends, who said ‘that’s normal, it’s just what happens’. But not all guys are like that.

My boyfriend of 2 and a half years called me a liar and untrustworthy because I decided I wasn’t actually in the mood to have sex. It was easier to lie there and fake orgasms than have the fight that would ensue if I said ‘no’. He was a ‘nice guy’, and probably has no idea that what he did was rape. But not all guys are like that.

Walking through town one evening, some dude tried to strike up a conversation. I clearly wasn’t interested, but he followed me for 5 minutes trying to talk to me and touch me. I lied and got on a random bus saying it was mine to get away from him. But not all guys are like that.

Walking home at night was apparently an invitation for some guy to try and rape me. I have no idea how I managed to escape unharmed – my brain blanked after he punched me in the face to stop me screaming for him to get off me. But not all guys are like that.

I’ve had so many guys get so offended when I say that I’m wary of men I don’t know, even men I do know but not very well. Not all guys are like that, they’ll say. Some, most, are nice and respectful, some are even feminists.

Not all guys are like that, I’m sure. But experience has shown that enough of them are, and that it’s simply not worth the risk. So I’m wary of men when I first meet them. Maybe for months after. It’s not intended to be an insult, but it is easier and safer for me to assume that the men I meet are sketchy and potential abusers/rapists and then be pleasantly proved wrong, than the other way around. Self preservation comes before making (or keeping) friends.

Not all guys are like that. But society doesn’t teach not to rape, not to grope, not to follow women, to understand ‘no’ as a complete sentence even if you’re in a relationship. So even the ‘nice’ guys, the guys who ‘aren’t like that’, are often exactly like that. They just don’t necessarily realise it. Many self-professed ‘not like that’ guys are utterly unaware how they make some women uncomfortable. Others are unaware that they’re rapists. Others still don’t call out their friends’ behaviour when their friends are ‘like that’.

My experiences are not unique, nor are the examples above the full extent of my experiences. They’re not even the worst that I’ve heard. I have yet to meet a woman who hasn’t experienced some sort of sexual harassment or assault, who have never felt intimidated by men they don’t know, or men they get a ‘vibe’ off. So the supposed fact that ‘not all guys are like that’ is totally irrelevant. Enough are like that, to the extent that I feel, and am, unsafe when I’m around men, even around men I know and trust.That isn’t something I or other women should apologise to men for. It’s something that men should apologise to us for.

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24 thoughts on “Not all Guys are like that

  1. 1.”At 15 a boy told me that if I really liked him, I’d fool around with him. Afterwards, he said he only saw me as a friend, but we should still have sex sometime. But not all guys are like that.”

    Ok, he was a manipulative dick and you were a naive 15 year old. Women are every bit as manipulative as men though. Also, what’s wrong with seeing someone primarily as a friend but still wanting to have sex with them? Do you believe in sexual liberation or not?

    2. “My first time going to a nightclub, I was pushed into dancing with a guy I didn’t know. After he tried to stick his hand in my pants under my dress, I pushed him away and he followed me til I found my friends, who said ‘that’s normal, it’s just what happens’. But not all guys are like that.”

    Clearly terrible behaviour that is sadly all too prevalent in nightclubs. However, if you were to ask the general populace, male and female, whether they thought that was acceptable, would many answer yes? No. You present these problems as if most people think they’re grand, when in reality it’s only a tiny minority (still too high though, I accept).

    3.”My boyfriend of 2 and a half years called me a liar and untrustworthy because I decided I wasn’t actually in the mood to have sex. It was easier to lie there and fake orgasms than have the fight that would ensue if I said ‘no’. He was a ‘nice guy’, and probably has no idea that what he did was rape. But not all guys are like that.”

    I’m a guy roughly the same age as you who went out with a girl for three and a half years. She had a significantly higher libido than I did, and used various means to convince me into having sex when I didn’t want to. Generally this involved bullying or emotional manipulation of some sort, i.e “You’re obviously not attracted to me (crying)”, “How dare you not want to have sex with me after such a nice day which I paid for”, “You’re so selfish, why won’t you put out?”, “You’re a freak and not a real man if you can’t please your girlfriend” etc. etc. Usually, these manipulative responses successfully coerced me into having sex. I accept that this problem (and all sexual violence) disproportionately affects women, but this particular thing which we both experienced wasn’t rape at all. Now, by your definition of the word ‘rape’ you have to conclude that I and many other men have also been raped in this way, or try to make some bizarre extrapolation that because in your scenario you were the penetrated rather than the penetrator, only you were raped (and I wasn’t) . That is an insult to people, male and female, who have gone through the awful ordeal of actually being raped.

    4. “Walking through town one evening, some dude tried to strike up a conversation. I clearly wasn’t interested, but he followed me for 5 minutes trying to talk to me and touch me. I lied and got on a random bus saying it was mine to get away from him. But not all guys are like that.”

    This guy was creepily persistent. Our biology dictates that men are the ‘chasers’ who generally have to initiate contact with women with a view to romance. That’s all he was doing. He was obviously terrible at picking up signals and was needlessly intimidating – clearly that’s bad. You could have told him, in plain terms, that you had no interest (rather than assuming he knew because it was ‘obvious’).

    Men generally want more sex than women, and society/biology dictates that women are more passive, ergo men usually have to make the initial contact with women in romantic pursuits. I’m sure there’s been times when you’ve been “in the mood”, and a man you found attractive/pleasant has started chatting/flirting with you, and you may have had some intimacy with him. Did he/they do something wrong too? Or is it only sexual harassment when the girl has no interest? This creep/hot guy dichotomy is unfair and self-victimising.

    5. “Walking home at night was apparently an invitation for some guy to try and rape me. I have no idea how I managed to escape unharmed – my brain blanked after he punched me in the face to stop me screaming for him to get off me. But not all guys are like that.”

    Ok, this is obviously disgusting, thankfully you were ok in the end. Your point in your first sentence is a little off though – you seem to be getting at the common feminist fallacy that because a tiny percentage of men behave like this, there is reason to believe that society doesn’t teach men not to rape. That is false. The people who rape and think it is acceptable are a tiny minority – the vast, vast majority of people abhor rape perpetrators above pretty much all other criminals. He didn’t see it as an invitation to rape you – he was an evil, amoral scumbag who was possibly psychologically disturbed. People like this will always exist, just as murderers and paedophiles will (the latter of whom also target a vulnerable group, i.e children).

    Fundamentally, you’re right in saying that women experience the vast majority of sexual violence. That comes down to three things:

    1) Men have a higher sex drive/willingness to have sex, on average (sociological/biological causes overlap). Thus ‘demand’ for sex exceeds ‘supply’, to put it in crude terms.

    2) Women are generally physically weaker/smaller than men

    3) Some men (a tiny minority) are abhorrently evil and/or psychologically disturbed, and do disgusting things.

    The above is why rape happens. It is horrible. Perpetrators are rightly vilified – they are in no way societally encouraged, much the opposite in fact.

    The above three reasons are also why sexual harassment happens – men can’t get enough sex (or any at all) to satisfy them, and because they’re usually physically stronger than women and a tiny minority are evil, they harass women. Again, these men are viewed as creeps by society and if it happens in a place of work lose their jobs.

    How many times have you been sexually harassed? (Groped, leered at etc).. Ten, twenty, more? Whatever the number, it is obviously a problem in society. But, just because it exists does not mean that society ‘encourages’ it. Rather, the three factors listed above (strength differences, imbalance in libido and the existence of evil as inherent in the make-up of human beings regardless of any efforts to stop it) mean that this will always be a problem, sadly. Also, if the number of times you’ve been sexually harassed is 10, what percentage are those ten guys of the total numbers of men you’ve known in school, university, place of work, or passed on the street, walked past in bars/nightclubs etc? A tiny, tiny percentage. That being said, I get why 10 (just picked an arbitrary number for illustration purposes) bad experiences is enough to make you very cautious, and even view men as a gender as bad. But if men were to say similar things about women based on bad experience revolving around, say, bitchiness, using a guy for his money, etc etc, that would not be acceptable. I realise that sexual harassment is a much more serious issue than these ones, but I’m trying to highlight how sweeping statements about a gender, regardless of the seriousness of the issue upon which those statements are based, isn’t fair and isn’t right.

    • I want you to be aware of something.
      You made a new wordpress (which I’m assuming seeing as you have no posts and the generic tag line) in order to tell a young woman who was brave enough to publicly share her experiences of sexual harassment and assault that actually no, you know more about what I’m talking about than I do. You wrote a bullshit long comment to negate and dismiss my experiences and to mansplain what rape is.

      You are part of the problem I’m talking about in the post – guys who think they’re ‘not like that’ but actually are. You took time, at least a few minutes, to write a big long reply to my blog, a reply which you know full well dismisses my experiences as wrong or overreacting, which you must have known would make me feel a bit shit and uncomfortable. You went out of your way to tell me that.

      So kindly go fuck yourself.

    • Dude, are you serious right now? Let me explain something to you.

      Rape exists in society because boys are taught from an extremely early age that women are lesser than they are. Boys are taught that being “girly” is bad. If they do or enjoy girly things, then they are less than other boys. This establishes the idea that women are not equal to them at a very young age. Society then perpetuates this idea by depicting women as objects through all media platforms.

      I guarantee you every single woman you have ever met has at least three stories that they can whip out off the top of their head from when they’ve received unwanted sexual attention. I was at a fraternity party once and a boy stuck his hand down the front of my jeans and I ended up having to push him off me. Another time I told a boy I was hooking up with that I didn’t want to have sex (because I was a virgin) and he still tried, very forcefully, until I started crying. Another time a man forced me to perform oral sex on him when I clearly said no and I obviously did not want to do it. He sat on my chest and forced himself into me while I cried. I didn’t even realize what happened until weeks later. And that’s just three of my experiences.

      The author of this blog post did not overreact to a single thing. Women are taught not to be alone with men, not to wear certain clothing, to carry our keys as weapons, to travel in packs, to be wary at all times. And then we have men, like you, who come in and belittle our fear that both society and experience has instilled in us. Men, like you, make fun of us for going to the bathroom in pairs, for guarding each other’s drinks, for “cockblocking.” In my eyes, all men are abusers until they prove they’re not. We don’t need men like you coming in to our spaces and telling us what is and isn’t sexual harassment or dictating to us how we’re allowed to react when you belittle, disregard, attack, or abuse us.

      The fact that you’re more angry that women have to think like this than you are at the fact that men act like this is unbelievably disturbing.

      • Dana, I don’t know if you came from my tumblr post about this dudebro or you saw his comment organically, but thank you :)
        And I’m so, so sorry you’ve experienced this kinda shit too. You are amazing and strong <3

    • i find it cringe-worthy and supremely gross that you mention (more than once!) men’s supposed higher sex drive as a defense…….POST the you-blatantly-calling-your-ex-a-rapist-paragraph.

      remove your blog and your fucking fedora, douche.

  2. Remember when Panti came out as a homophobe?
    It wasn’t something she wanted to be, but something she had been socially conditioned to become.

    Becca’s point is not that “all men are awful” – her point is that the reality in which she has been forced to exist makes her feel vulnerable to all those who pose a physical or gender advatage, and that we need to be aware of that. That we need to be aware that those conditions which we feel necessary to fufill our own socially constructed ideas of manliness (the reason that young adult males are the most prone to suicide fyi) can equally make a woman feel vulnerable and unable to resist (and harm men too – see suicide point)

    Becca was very brave to say what whe did and noone should detract from the core message of what she has shared

    if she FEELS VIOLATED, she is VIOLATED and that is WRONG. PERIOD. NO DISCUSSION. Maybe that was not his intention, but then we should concentrate on how we teach our kids to value their partners and value consent, and not put someone down who is brave enough to say that pressured tacit consent is not truly consent.

    It is a small-ish percentage of men that commit these act, I agree with you- but can you honestly look me in the eye and tell me that it is a tiny percentage of women that are affected?
    Or can you look at me and acknowledge that sexual harrassment (AT THE VERY LEAST) is something that I as a 21 year old have experience numerous times A MONTH since I was 14?
    Can you tell me that being told I was “too pretty” to particpate in an academic club” would have been said to a man? Can you tell me that having a hand shoved down the front of a mans pants would be as common as having a guy try to slip his hand up my dress before he had even finished offering to buy me a drink I had no intention of accepting? Have you ever been followed home? Have you ever screamed so loud to catch someones attention because you thought he was going to hit you? I am an average university student. I have been in a happy realtionship for the past 6 years – and I have experienced all this over and over and over agaib – have you?

    I don’t hate all men. I don’t blame all men. I don’t define by gender. But when I see a woman stand in court against a rapist (which in my opinion makes him not a man) and the defence is ‘he’s a nice guy’ – I think we need to begin to address the way we construct gender within society and the way we allow it to manifest itself

    and to finsih this point:
    everytime I am screamed at out a car window by a group of guys as I try to get home after work : “what’s your favourite positin sexy!?”
    I yell back three words:
    “C.E.O”

  3. oh look, rape culture apologist dudebro has deleted the wordpress he made specifically to make me feel uncomfortable and dismiss my experiences.
    Thanks so so much Ciara and Dana, you are both wonderful people <3

  4. I worry about what my young teen daughter will encounter out there.
    She does speak her mind, I hope she wll be able to stand up for herself if someone crosses a line.
    Not all guys are like that but those who keep on doing the same thing to enough of us that it makes us wary.

  5. Beccaryan, may I read this in a training to a bunch of guys who all need to have this attached to their brains with a nailgun? And if I may, what sort of attribution would you want? If not, I would understand.

    • Of course you can – really appreciate you thinking it would be good for that kind of thing! ‘Your anger is misdirected’ (on phone so I can link, but it’s the now recent post I’ve written) might be good too.
      I don’t really mind about attribution too much – if you want to point them this way for further reading or something though that would be fine :)

      • Thank you! I work for a trades union office. We’re thinking of holding a class for contractors who want to hire more women. The contractors want more women so they can get State job contracts; we would hold the class as a requirement in order to get a slightly higher preference for assignment of women out to that contractor. I would rather use the nail-gun to apply the information, but unfortunately, the next generation of employers would then be disinclined to take my class. In fact, I am probably not the right person to be teaching the class–I know too much, become too indignant at sexism and racism, and my capacity for self-delusion is too low. However, assembling useful information and teaching tools for a class? This I can do.

  6. Just making a quick post for all the people who tried to leave comments on this in the last few hours
    I’m not approving them, stop harassing women you don’t know over the internet, and try reading some literature on rape culture.
    I literally could not give a shit about what you think about me or my story. I’m going to continue having a voice on this, but I refuse to give you lot a platform to spew your hate and bile.
    Also, well done the dozen or so of ye who all managed to *completely* miss the point of this post. I’d say I’m surprised, but I never have high hopes for rape apologist misogynist trolls. Kindly get the fuck off my blog.

    • also, lads, where are you all coming from? because according to my stats, at 3am (GMT) I had 3 visitors, but by 4am onwards I was having over 100 every hour – so I’m guessing it’s not just a coincidence that I got a sudden burst of views and misogynist comments.
      Have to say, a little bit proud that my blog has been deemed worthy of mass-harassment by little boys with nothing better to do

      [EDIT] ah, I see you’re from the MRA section of reddit. Explains a lot really.

  7. Yo
    Firstly I would like to acknowledge the strength of character required for Becca to share these personal and inexcusable actions perpetrated against her and and her desire to change the world for the better. Thank you :)

    I suppose I should start off by saying I am a heterosexual male and as such can’t pretend to fully empathise with what Becca has shared. However I am not here to address what Becca has said because she conveyed eloquently enough her experiences and what she reasoned from these experiences and rightfully so. What I am here to address is what is being said by my fellow man.

    A lot of the defenses mentioned are technically true i.e. men tend to have greater sex drives, women tend to be physically weaker than men, the perpetrators are in the minority. The question I pose to them is…so what?

    Greater sex drive? We are not animals. I am no stranger to having a high sex drive and unfortunately not being able to satisfy it. Does that mean I must go forth and force myself upon a woman until my needs are met? No. As a human being with higher cognitive functions than an animal I can control my base urges and don’t feel the need for instant gratification. Also I have the goddamn decency to wait until there is clear consensual consent and more importantly constantly make sure that consent continues (changing your mind halfway through is perfectly reasonable and should be respected.)

    Physically weaker? This makes it easier but when did making something easier to do make that an excuse to do it?

    Minority? Only takes one guy in a club to harass an entire room of women. The cause maybe the minority of men but it affects the vast majority (lets be honest the entirety) of women so that is not a defense.

    Because of this, Becca and every other woman out there has every right to be wary of us. It is a societal problem. It is not enough to be just “not a rapist or an abuser”. Men ultimately are the ones who have to change our behaviour and perceptions. I try to treat women as respectfully as I can and as equals but reality is I am a man who has been produced by this society. As such I am not perfect and while I treat women well I still have a lot of thoughts and perceptions that need to be changed possibly because I am not aware of them. For this reason we need more women like Becca to stand up (metaphorically) and speak their minds so we better understand how women in general feel and think about these issues so we can make the necessary changes so that hopefully one day women won’t feel the need to feel wary of us.

    I would again like to reiterate that I am not trying to comment on or (to quote Becca) mansplain anything she has said as it is her message and her experience (also it was very well written and to be frank I am not on her literary level!!!). This is my first time commenting on anything on the internet but I felt driven to say something because of what my fellow males have said. Also to finish I don’t see how women being wary in the current environment is a problem for “decent guys”. You should be willing and understanding enough to wait until a woman is comfortable with you if you are trying to form a friendship or something more.

    Anyway I would welcome any comments on this especially from women because as I said things are only going to change if men listen to women and address the problems that we, men, have caused.

    • Hey dude, thanks for this comment – had a lot of negative stuff sent my way recently because of this (was v abusive so decided to not publish them), so I really appreciate your contribution :)

      • Ignore them. Reality is you are a good person trying to change something that is wrong in the world and you shouldn’t have to listen to that negativity. Keep doing what you are doing and continue being awesome :) Also I’m new to the blog so any particular suggestions would be welcomed with open arms (I’m a hugger!)

      • Thanks :)
        would recommend you check out feminist ire and consider the tea cosy – haven’t been reading blogs or writing much lately, but these two are fab

  8. Not exactly sure how I found myself on this site but it’s certainly very interesting and illuminating. Something I always thought myself is that the men (or boys) you’ve described don’t just hurt women, they hurt their own gender and all of us. The fact that society seems to kind of give them a pass, certainly in regards to attitude if not so much action, ensures that the problem will continue.

    As for the men posting childish ‘counter arguments’ and imbecilic insults to someone who is expressing an opinion, try arguing amongst yourselves. Unless you have been subjected to the level of mistreatment of Bec or countless other women, you simply don’t have the experience to say anything objective other than “That sounds terrible and I wish that no one ever experiences this.” Don’t waste your breath defending innocent men just be glad you don’t have to go through what so many girls do.

    Btw read some of the first comment trying to compare his tiny younger female companion emotional manipulation to being knocked out in an alley by a far larger and violent person. Dude, really? Come on man you’re making us all look stupid here.

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