January 21, 2013
I often make the error of insisting on being with a man who:
1. “Is kind to me”
2. “Treats me right”
3. “Cares for me”
There’s a fundamental glitch in this logic. I mistakenly seek partners who will treat me like I am glorious and angelic and special, and yet I completely disregard how this man treats other women. Let’s revise the rule.
Instead, I should insist on being with a man who:
1. Is kind to women
2. Treats women with respect
3. Cares about the interests and concerns of women
Within that rule a dimension of respect, concern, and good treatment towards all people is morally relevant, but in the context of healthy romantic relationships, it’s important that your potential partner is fair to every type of lady he encounters. The vast network of individuals we interact with has an important impact on how we will treat our future partners. A no-good-for-nuffin misogynist who slut-shames and humiliates most women except his scary mom is unlikely to treat me with the full respect I deserve. A man who is respectful and thoughtful towards all women will probably demonstrate a greater propensity to respect me too.
Instead of choosing men who we want to ‘fix’ or ‘conquer’, perhaps it is more important to be with a person who has already developed an understanding of how to treat other people. Sure, okay, people can change, and men can change, but it’s a long, dreary, and often difficult process that usually isn't worth hanging about for (even if he makes great waffles for brunch). Sometimes Jerry Springer is involved, sometimes he isn't.
Aristotle wisely said:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”
The same goes for not being a meanie:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Respecting women, then, is not an act, but a habit”.
I say ‘we’ for a reason. This isn't just about men respecting women, this is about everyone respecting women. All this discourse is aimless, abstract bullshit unless women respect women too. Remember that.