Truthfully, I don’t think the men of Bumble or the WidgetCorp Executive Team intend to be sucking up all the available oxygen in the room. I’m willing to accept that they don’t notice it’s happening at all; they’re simply accustomed to having the microphone. It feels natural. And it feels good! After particularly one-sided dates I’ll sometimes get that “I had a great time” text, and as frustrated as I am, I get it. Who doesn’t enjoy talking about themselves? Some people pay by the hour for that privilege, and it costs them far more than a few beers. It’s lovely to be heard. It’s important to feel cared for. We all want that.
If we are serious about tackling the toxic masculinity which persists in our culture, we must look at the images we market to our children. Boys get dinosaurs that are threatening and aggressive. Girls get sparkly dinosaurs who love each other. What kind of messages do these seemingly innocuous shirts convey? Trust me. My child wouldn’t be afraid of wearing something “girly” if he never encountered others who have sneered at his choices. And he is only six years old.