I watched a Youtube video today about a girl who snaps at her boyfriend at a grocery store over whether or not they had cheese. Although they were clearly acting and it was intended to be funny playing on the theme that, “The woman is always right, even when she is not,” it honestly made me realize how normalized mistreating men is in today’s society. As I sit here and think about the video, I realized that women mistreating men is considered perfectly normal, if not humorous, even when it crosses over the border of abuse. If the roles were reversed, the general public would be outraged, not amused. The male is supposed to just “take it” because he is a man and not stand up for himself and say “Don’t treat me like this.” The man is supposed to assume that the treatment is justified because she is either A.) Hormonal, B.) In a bitchy mood, or the best excuse that we give that tops it all, C.) A woman. This doesn’t exactly make men look intelligent or sensitive, and at the same time it belittles women as well.
I remember when I was working at my old job hearing a girl insult her boyfriend over the phone. The girls around her encouraged her as she made demeaning comments about his intellect and size of his genitals. Of course the man on the phone “took it” and just said “Why are you so f***ing mean?” Her response? “Because your dumb ass pisses me off.”
That is one of many examples of “societally justified” mistreatment. The Webster’s Dictionary definition of “verbal abuse” according to Prevention Violence is, “The excessive use of language to undermine someone's dignity and security through insults or humiliation, in a sudden or repeated manner.”
We as women want to be treated equally, so maybe we should start by treating the opposite sex the way that we want to be treated. It is not okay to insult anyone, male or female, angry or not. “PMSing” is not a valid excuse to mistreat anyone. Neither is throwing your gender in someone’s face for justification of any form of abuse. You cannot expect gender equality and then hide behind a gender stereotype when it is convenient to do so.
Just because you are a woman, doesn’t mean that you have any right to control anyone that you are dating or married like a puppet. The same goes right back at men. You should treat the person you are with the way that you would want them to treat you. Do you want a man or a woman that tries to understand you? Then you should show equal effort to try to understand them. This road goes both ways. Be the person that you would want to be with. Ask yourself, if you were a your partner , would you date you?