For Men Who Don’t Know The Difference Between Hello And Harassment

Ten truths you should learn.

1. Civility is a choice.

Maybe you’re charming, enthusiastically charming. Sometimes, your effusive charm will not be met with a commensurate response. You may not even receive any response to a greeting. It sucks, granted, but a bruised ego is no excuse to hurl insults. You cannot decide how a woman should respond to you. It’s not your place. So don’t press for a more desirable reply and don’t get visibly upset. Brush it off and move on, charmingly.

2. Don’t go around expecting submission.

Every woman is not your wife. Every woman is not at your beck and call. Submission should be earned and demanding it just makes you a bully. Male entitlement will tell you otherwise but you should not listen to that devil.

3. Persistence is sometimes how you become a creep.

Optimism is a good thing, just not when it’s misguided. If a woman turns you down firmly, her ‘no’ is most likely not a prelude to a ‘yes’. Lingering, pestering and guilt-tripping are not welcome. Start walking.

4. Rape begins with the disregard for a woman’s right over her body.

You could easily become a rapist if you have no respect for a woman’s fundamental right over her body. No, you do not have a say in what she decides to not do with you. And yes, trying to coerce her into changing her mind is a form of rape.

5. Chivalry is not a ticket to anything.

Opening doors may never open doors for you. And if you’re demanding sexual favours in return for being a ‘good guy’, you’re a piece of shit cloaked in air freshener.

6. If you don’t know what it’s like to be sexually abused, you don’t know.

So shaming the victim of abuse is blatant stupidity. Equally stupid is the unfounded claim that there are more wrongful accusations of rape than actual rapes and the notion that some women “ask to be raped” by the way they dress or by their friendliness. Don’t be stupid.

7. Your wife has the right to refuse you sex.

If you think marriage invalidates the right of a woman to refuse sex, you’re wrong. That right is irrevocable, like the right to life. So let’s stop pretending that it’s okay for a man to press for sex when his wife declines. It does not even have to be violent for it to be rape; if she’s not interested and he pushes for it till she gives in, that’s sex abuse right there.

8. Commercial sex workers are people.

They deserve as much respect as you do. They are trying to make a living, not asking to be harassed or abused. You may not like what they do, but treating them poorly makes you more sub-human than you can ever think them to be. And if you’re the kind to pay for sex, know that your money does not earn you the right to be a savage. A ‘no’ is still a ‘no’ and all you can do is ask for a refund.

9. Chivalry is dead, long live chivalry.

Be polite, open doors, give up your seat. Do these things only because you’re a decent human being, knowing full well that there are no awards for decency and no medals for kindness. It’s a shame that society has rotted so much that people expect to be commended for basic humaneness. If you so desperately need to be applauded, clap for yourself.

10. Respect a woman because she’s a human being.

Not because she “could be your mother, your sister or your daughter.” And definitely not because she could be someone’s wife. Cut the crap, we don’t need conditions for gender equality. We should just be fair.