Men have an unfortunate tendency to back each other up, just because they are also men. Most of us say “Oh, I would never say that to a woman, or treat anybody that way, or tell a really offensive joke like that.” And we probably wouldn’t. But almost as bad as doing stuff like this is our inability to tell other men to shut the hell up.
Like in my job, about a year ago, when a dumb git who worked there sent out this “joke” that was supposed to amuse me. I don’t remember the point, but it was sexist, and-here’s the dead giveaway part-he only mailed it to the men in the office.
Now, this chap is a “regular guy”, meaning a boring, middle-class, middle-aged git with a Volvo, 2.75 kids and a mortgage towering over him like the gates of Mordor. And yet he pretends to be a “nice guy” to his wife and kids and sad little friends while getting away with sending out sexist jokes in the office because none of us other men had the nerve to say anything about it. Me included, I am sorry to say.
We will not stop men treating women-and other people-like shit by just ignoring them. Idiots don’t understand ignoring. We have to get off our bums, bite the bullet and say “I’m terribly sorry old chap, but your arse seems to have changed place with your head. Allow me to stick a cork in it for you.”
And while picking our teeth out of the gutter, we can feel pretty damned pleased with ourselves.