I feel like almost all of the guys who’ve had an unreciprocated thing for me developed it because I listened to them and was emotionally supportive, etc., but they themselves never thought to do the same for me. Which ended up with this weird situation where I knew them super well but they literally had zero idea about who I was as a person other than “listens really well and is emotionally supportive.”

Like, they didn’t know the first thing about what was important to me, my beliefs, my family, my work, how I spent my time when I wasn’t with them. Because not a single one of them wanted  to know. They would just… never ask, or they’d ask politely and when I started to answer they’d show extreme disinterest and change the subject back to themselves.

But they still thought they loved me, because to them that’s all love is - being emotionally supported by someone. It did not even occur to them that the support could ever go both ways, and they were always bewildered about why I never loved them “back” - even though all they gave me to love was a person so self-obsessed that he couldn’t see me at all.

Emotional labour is so, so important to be aware of in relationships. It has to have some kind of balance, or the person performing it will just burn out. And a relationship consisting only of one person demanding and demanding and never giving back is not love. Love is not a demand. It can accept, and it can ask, but love listens, love cares about how its requests affect the beloved. Love wants to give back.

you know whats weird?? guys are constantly being teased for being whipped by their gf’s for doing basic things like spending time w her and respecting her, but women who literally cook and clean up after their bfs and do everything for them to an unhealthy extent are just being ‘good girlfriends’ like isn’t there something wrong w that

Honestly shoutout to The Social Network for giving us the line “you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole” because if that doesn’t epitomize women’s feelings for entitled male nerds I don’t know what does

male entitlement in academic spaces is so boring. can’t tell you how many times i’ve been in a class and a girl gives a short, insightful analysis, and then a dude raises his hand and says “jumping off of that…” then says literally the same thing she said but longer and worse.

Does anyone else fill up with dread when you realise your guy friend has a crush on you, because you’re now going to be socially obligated to provide him with lots of time and emotional work if you don’t want to suffer social sanctions for not fulfilling your gender’s role of managing men’s feelings?

Men who are attracted to women routinely make their crushes a problem for the women they’re aimed at. Many men see a woman’s interest as a given and are offended when they don’t automatically get it.  If they possess the basic understanding that they’re not entitled to her interest - which is honestly pretty rare - they still generally feel entitled to her time and emotional work.

They expect explanations, a chance to ask often-invasive questions about her lack of interest, and perhaps even a chance to convince her to “give him a chance”. They expect to be let down in the gentlest, most complimentary way possible, to have their feelings managed every step of the way by a woman who did not ask for this interest or the job of guiding him through his feelings about it.

This is one form of male entitlement, a near-ubiquitous form of misogyny that’s so embedded it often goes unnoticed. Men, think critically about the expectations you have of a woman you’re interested in. Are you trying to make processing your feelings her responsibility, or are you managing them on your own like a respectful adult?

No one likes to be rejected. But your interest in someone doesn’t obligate them to comfort you, provide you with therapy, or listen to heartfelt confessions they don’t consent to listen to. Your interest doesn’t mean they owe you.

Find someone who consents to giving you that emotional work; don’t demand it from someone you’ve trapped in an awkward situation. Let “no” be enough.

4

Tweet by TheDevil’s Sidechick (@FeministaJones):

Piss a man off today: Tell him you agree with his compliment of you.

  • Men, who don’t (as often) have to deal with Men retracting compliments when they agree with them, are really upset in my mentions 😂😂😂
  • Also an interesting observation is how many assume that a woman wouldn’t say Thank You when agreeing with them. Lol
  • “Just say Thank You” they cry, not knowing what to do after a woman agrees with them.
  • They even complain when you say “Thanks” with a straight face instead of “Thank you” with frilly giggles and fake blushed 😂😂😂😂
  • I’ve had SEVERAL men tell me they found “thanks” an offensive reply to a compliment given to a woman 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
  • I see it every day because that’s my usual response. 
  • “Thanks” and keep walking. I get yelled at. Cursed at. “That’s all you gonna say?”
  • That goes back to what most women were saying abt their experiences w/this. The expectation’s that women should show no self-appreciation
  • And/or should be overjoyed by a someone (a man) saying something positive about them (that they weren’t supposed to know already)
  • Men as teachers. Men as validation. Men as approval. Men as decision-makers of what is “hot”. Men as arbiters of praise. Men in control.
Educating a Friend
  • Me: So, let's say that you're at school and you see a guy you know. I mean, you guys talk every once in a while and he's pretty cool, but you're not like friends or anything. You just talk to him every once in a while.
  • Guy Friend: What's his name?
  • Me: I don't know. Frank?
  • Guy Friend: No.
  • Me: Okay, fine. His name is Will. Okay?
  • Guy Friend: I don't think it really suits him, but okay.
  • Me: ...So anyway, you're at school during lunchtime and you see Will. So, you notice Will's not eating anything. That's when you realize that Will has no lunch, no money for lunch, and no way of getting either. He's just sitting there like he normally would. He's not acting any differently and he's not asking anyone for anything. Not money, not a fry, not even a salt packet, but you know he's gotta be hungry. So, what do you do?
  • Guy Friend: Do I have any money?
  • Me: Yeah. You have enough for you and another meal.
  • Guy Friend: Duh, I buy him lunch.
  • Me: Okay, cool. So, like you said, you buy him lunch. You buy your lunch and you buy his lunch and you go over and hand it to him. And, he says, "Wow. You know, that's really nice of you, but I wasn't gonna ask anyone for lunch. I was probably just gonna wait until I got home to eat." And, then you say--
  • Guy Friend: Nah, it's cool.
  • Me: Exactly. You say, "Nah, it's cool. I'm just being nice. It's a gift." And, Will says, "You know, that's awesome. You're really nice, bro." And, after that, you guys start hanging out. You guys are like really good buds. You are always hanging out and laughing and just having a good time. So, you guys are friends for a few months, and it's tons of fun. Then, one day, you go up to Will and you say, "Hey, Will, you know, I've been thinking, and I kinda want that five bucks."
  • Guy Friend: What five bucks?
  • Me: Hold on. I'm getting there. So, Will says, "What five bucks?" To which, you reply, "Well, we've been hanging out for a long time and it's been really fun, but like, I've done a lot of really nice things for you. Like, I'm always nice to you and I always listen and do things you wanna do, so I was thinking that because I've been so nice, you should pay me back that five bucks I spent to get your lunch right before we started really hanging out."
  • Guy Friend: What? Why would I--
  • Me: I'm not done yet. So, then Will looks kinda hurt and he says, "But I thought you were just being nice. I thought that was just a gift." So, you say, "Whether or not it was a gift, don't you think you kinda owe me that five bucks since I've been so nice to you?" And, Will says, "No. I don't think I owe you that!" And you get mad, so you say, "Well, I think that you do, so I think you're being really shitty and stuck up about this and I feel like I've been completely wronged."
  • Guy Friend: Oh, my God. That's so fucked up of me. I would never do that to Will. Will was nice. We were buds. That's way screwed.
  • Me: I know, right? Hey, just wondering, have you ever heard of this fictional place called "The Friendzone?"
  • Guy Friend: Well, yeah, but...
  • Guy Friend: ...
  • Guy Friend: ...
  • Guy Friend: oh
relationships are not earned

We often think of relationships as things we can - or even have to - earn. 

This causes two major problems:

  1. believing we are entitled to a relationship because we’ve “earned” it
  2. perceiving all rejection as a failure to “earn” someone’s love, attraction, etc.

While healthy relationships do require effort, a relationship is not founded on a list of Good Things You Have Done.

Sure, if you’re a jerk people are less likely to want to be around you, and sure, if you do nice things someone might appreciate them. But it’s not automatic. Do nice things because it’s nice to do nice things. Change hurtful behaviour because it’s good to avoid hurting people. Don’t do that stuff solely because you think it will earn you something.

Relationships are not simple transactions. Even when you are hiring someone, they have the right to decide at any point that the relationship or position you’re offering isn’t right for them - and they might, even if you’ve offered all you can, even if you’ve been nice.

It’s not cut-and dried, it’s not a vending machine. You don’t put good deeds (or money) in and get love (or sex, or friendship) out, and you don’t put bad deeds in and get rejection out. Those are a few ingredients of many; a relationship does not automatically occur or fail in their presence.

People come to relationships with their own sets of needs and desires and abilities; and all those factors interact with the needs, desires, and abilities of the other person or people in the relationship. Sometimes it works out well, sometimes it works out less well. But it’s a lot more complicated than whether or not you “earned” it.

Intelligence is not a redeeming character trait.

I’m really unbelievably tired of (mostly male) characters being “redeemed” from their bad attitudes, bad manners, poor treatment of other characters, etc. by the big reveal of their supposed genius. 

Being intelligent (no matter how intelligent) doesn’t make a person worth more than anyone else. It doesn’t excuse any of those things. It isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card for bad behavior, and having other skills (no matter what they are) doesn’t justify never prioritizing learning how to not hurt the people around them.

It’s not an excuse. 

And I think this is especially important to bring up for (mostly white) male characters, because actual men outside of fiction are excused by society in the same way that narratives excuse them in fiction. As long as they’re perceived by society as being “more important” than other people (which they already are by default if they’re men, and even more so if they’re white, etc.), any inappropriate, harmful, or offensive behavior toward other people is excused. 

The excuses are always that it would be “hard” for someone who is SO INCREDIBLY GIFTED to… be kind? Show compassion? Consider the effects of their actions on others and act accordingly? 

It’s bullshit. 

Fundamentally the trope is ableist (by basing someone’s worth around their mental capacity), with undertones of classism and racism (in the same ways that IQ tests are classist and racist), and it perpetuates a narrative of male privilege and entitlement.

And by the way, if you were reading this post and thinking “Is this about [specific male character who does this]?” then the answer is yes.