Guest Post — "Not all men are dogs"

Hi Lulu,

I've been fascinated by your blog and the comments that people have made on it. I hope you know that I consider myself a male feminist (I think all men should work harder for equality of all sorts, and join the fight lead by women in general). I just had a few thoughts and ideas I thought I would mention to you.

Some guys really are dogs, and I'm glad that you are exposing some of the things men (or boys?) are doing and saying. Without drawing attention to issues as you are doing, things will never change. I am not trying to change anything you are doing, in fact I strongly encourage you to keep on stirring things up, and if there is any way I can help please let me know. However, although I know you in person and don’t think you personally believe that all guys are dogs, as a writer you can have a powerful influence over other people, and I would not want anyone to misinterpret what you are doing and end up believing all men are dogs. Not all of them are. Sometimes, good people will say stupid things (although many of the pick up lines and statements sent by people on your blog are still definitely inexcusable). Sometimes boys, and I say boys because a lot of the time people make these mistake are demonstrating immaturity, can be good people, but just stupid or ignorant and therefore say bad things. I am not making excuses for people, I do believe that a person's character is made from the summation of their actions, but a lot of guys at their hearts are "good" and have simply learned to act a certain way.

Back at home, I had a girl once tell me to my face while I was talking to her at a bar that "Nice guys finish last". This was said as a form of advice before she started talking to another guy. I considered this person a girl, rather than a woman, but it definitely helped me see why some guys learn to act a certain way. Many girls pay much more attention to the primal aspects of men, and will take the boy who, by being a dick, is somehow demonstrating their dominance or alpha male-ness. Many times when a girl describes a boy as “nice”, this is a statement which declares that the guy is “friendzoned”. From an early age, this almost teaches men to act in ways such are witnessed on your blog. Guys that are asses are often rewarded, especially during interactions with girls who are simply looking for hookups, rather than relationships. In a split second they have to somehow set themselves apart from tons of other men, and the way to do that is often with the “shock and awe” approach. It is unfortunate that many guys lack creativity and perspective, and therefore resort to “shocking and awing” people with such rude and inconsiderate statements as you and many other women experience. In this type phone-app dating world, as well as oftentimes in real life, boys don’t know a better way to set themselves apart.

I reiterate that I am not making excuses, but merely providing an alternative perspective. I believe hate is bred from misunderstanding, and in order for progress to be made both men and women must understand where each other are coming from and work together. Again, I would like to emphasize that I don't think you should change what you are doing in any way, I am glad you are passionate about something as important as what you are doing, but I also just wanted to give you a gentle reminder, with the hope that the message is passed on to other women, that not all men (and I hope not even most men) are dogs.

Keep on doing awesome stuff, I look forward to see where you go, but please don't become one of those people who says that all men hate women (I don’t think this has ever been your point). I have great respect for you, but I know from a guys perspective that there are certain ways that will be more effective at introducing change. This was especially apparent to me and after a girl in one of my classes last term stated that “all men are misogynistic”. This statement caused a reverberation around the room, and greatly weakened her argument and lost her respect from every guy in the room. How can a girl suggest that ALL men hate women? I don’t think I do, and I know that this is not the way to get men and women to work together. For now, stirring things up the way you are is wonderful, but in the long run, to get men and women on the same side, which I think is necessary to make the world better in this regards, men can't be made to feel alienated. I hope everything is great with you and you do not take this message the wrong way, I just wanted to offer some perspective, even though you're brilliant and probably didn't need me to say any of this (all said very haphazardly since I'm doing this quickly).

Also, if you think that any of my views are wrong or you have anything to say to me about the way I think, please tell me, I'd like to think I have an open mind and value your opinion, views, and work!

Erin Frey