Just because you’re a man does not mean you need to be a douche

Something I’ve been noticing as I make friends with younger guys: there’s a horrible trend of coming out, passing, and suddenly becoming the world’s biggest pain in the ass.

I’ve seen some sweet, polite, well mannered, privilege checking guys turn into people I never want to see, let alone be associated with. It’s more than a bit sickening. Particularly since I know you’re all capable of more.

This is everyone’s reality check. I know that passing means suddenly you’re allowed — and even expected — to buy into a ton of negative behaviours. I know that it can sometimes be tricky navigating what is and isn’t considered ‘normal’ for a guy. That doesn’t mean you should accept all of it.

Stop taking up two seats on the bus just because you can. If you can fit in one seat you should sit in one seat. It’s only polite. Stop reacting to everything with physical violence. Not only does it show a complete lack of brain power, it’s going to get you in some serious trouble if you mess with the wrong guy. Stop forgetting the table manners I know your parents taught you. No one wants to see your half-masticated food. It’s gross. Stop laughing when the guys around you tell a sexist/homophobic joke. I don’t care if it means you don’t fit in, you don’t need to be playing into oppression. You’re better than that. And for god’s sake, just because you can scratch yourself in public doesn’t mean you should. If your hand is down your pants I’m going to assume you’re playing with yourself and in most places that’s a crime.

I know, it’s awesome that you now have license to be a disgusting slob of a caveman. That doesn’t mean you should. For one thing, most people — man, woman, or otherwise — don’t want to date a caveman. For another, it’s going to create bad habits that are difficult to break when you need to act like a gentleman for something like a job interview. Think about it for a second. Do you want to be the tool on ‘Tool Academy’? I know I don’t. I laugh at those guys. I don’t know how the hell they’re still getting laid. So cut the crap and grow up.

4 Replies to “Just because you’re a man does not mean you need to be a douche”

  1. Interesting post! I’ve definitely seen that going on, even fallen into the same snare a few times.

    The troublesome thing about this all is, well, I acted like that before I even figured out I was a transguy. Hogged entire couches for lounging or used a second seat for luggage/backpack, ate really fast with elbows completely on the table and tried to avoid forks and knives, had a short temper and low tolerance for obedience, thought gross-out and shock humor was comedy gold, picked my nose in public…never scratched the nether regions in broad view, true, because nothing screams “sex offender” quite like dubious pants-reachings…but these things do happen to be stuff I’m inclined to regardless.

    But none of these things are somehow crucial to a male identity. That part baffles me when I think about it–why are men supposed to have the monopoly on troglodyte “unsocialized” manners? Unless you were raised by a pack of rabid bearwolfcats, you shouldn’t be required to act like it. Just because some people do doesn’t mean everyone has to or should–it’s not going to go over well with a good portion of the world, and it fuels a lot of assumptions which may or may not be true. I.e, “stupid,” “immature,” “mentally unbalanced,” “disgusting sleazeball,” “freak” (especially that one if not wearing the requisite douche-uniform,) and “potential axe-murderer-rapist-thing.” Mix and match.

    The one thing I’ll quibble with is: There’s rudeness and then there’s Rudeness, as in douche behavior. I tend to draw the line at being actively insulting, actively encroaching on another’s space in an offensive manner, and passively doing either with a sense of entitlement that would negate any reasonable request to stop.

    So say someone is with a few friends in a casual public place and tells a lewd joke involving ostomy bags. I don’t consider that inherently unforgivable. Now if the same person told the joke in the presence of someone who they knew had an ostomy and could hear it, that would be dickish. If they told the joke despite their friends making clear they did not wish for the joke to continue, that would also be dickish. If they told the joke and someone nearby or one of their friends said, “I don’t find that funny, I know someone with an ostomy,” and the joke-teller got all huffy about it (instead of apologizing like a decent human being and not telling any more of those jokes,) that would be too dickish for words.

    (Context: This has been a wierd issue lately, wondering how much of the social nastiness aimed my way was deserved or not, and I’ve never exactly been Mister Congeniality. I might not know what I’m talking about.)

  2. Oh come on. I don’t get a year or two of being a teenage boy? I look 15, why can’t I act 15?

    (rolls eyes and sprawls across bus seats)

    (not that I’d ever refuse to move if there were someone actually needing to sit.)

  3. Lol
    <- this

    I used to be like that before transitioning too. It was my way of blending in with the boys. And spitting and swearing *was* a way to pass. Luckily, I met some nice gay guys who taught me some manners.

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