Rachael likes to share what she has learned through her blogging experience with new bloggers.
If you're dating a man, a question you might wonder in the initial stages is, how well can I trust him? Do I know he's not secretly a sexist creep? Don't worry. There are signs.
Not that the presence of any sign by itself confirms that a guy IS in fact a misogynist. Some people have "signs of misogyny" and turn out to actually respect women.
Some simply disagree on what actions constitute treating women fairly, but they do want to treat women like people. For example, a guy might believe in "old fashioned chivalry" not out of malice or belief in sexist stereotypes, but just because he was raised to believe in those kind gestures. Even if some modern-thinking women now consider these gestures to be treating women and girls like they're helpless and unable to do things for themselves.
But it's important, if you're a woman seeking a long term male partner for a serious relationship, to know if the guy you're seeing will treat you fairly and decently or not. And this isn't one of those "just communicate you chickens" things where you can just ask him, "Hey are you a misogynist?", because of course no guy is going to say "Yes." Or most won't, we hope!
Listen to How He Talks About His Mom
Okay so this one isn't entirely fair because some guys have very bad moms.
But the ones who don't really have bad moms, yet are always talking crap about them behind their backs? It's a sign.
If he tends to blame his mom for every bad thing he does, that can be bad too. It means he doesn't tend to take personal responsibility for his emotions, and tends to blame others, especially women in his life, for his emotional outbursts. Find a guy who was taught to respect women by a strong mama, and you've struck gold.
How Does He Talk About His Exes?
If he has one ex-wife who's a bit of a nightmare, that's believable. If he has five ex-wives who were all stuck-up bitches, who were all the ones responsible for the dissolution of the marriage, well what are the odds of that being true? Without him having had any part in the breakups?
Again, pay attention to how he talks about other women. Especially girlfriends and wives, once they've stopped giving him what he wants. Entitled, bratty men will be uncivil and harsh following a breakup. Good men know it's not classy to hold a grudge or remain bitter. Especially if a lot of time has passed! Like move on, dude. And own up to your own mistakes that contributed to the fallout.
Does He Ever Go on Judge-y, Harsh Rants About Women?
I shouldn't have to say this, but if he goes on misogynistic rants, he's probably a misogynist. This might include apologizing half-heartedly and telling you you're special and a "cool girl" who "gets it". This really just means they want you, sexually, but not even enough to suspend their hatred for your entire gender around you. Yikes!
Usually these rants are sparked by current events and the actions of female celebrities. He could have good reason to hate the rich or celebrities, or to think press coverage of celebrity bullshit can be a barrier to discussion of more important issues. But, if he's always ranting about and expressing moral outrage about what a female celebrity is doing, but never about any male celebrities, red flag.
His General Attitudes and Beliefs
- Is he stingy or miserly? Not that guys have to spend a lot to be validated, but a guy who seems overly preoccupied that women are after his Lucky Charms. . . often has the least to actually worry about.
- How does he treat women he doesn't think of as pretty? How does he talk about fat women? If a guy accepts only women who meet a particular beauty standard, he's no ally to women. Does he have to be physically attracted to all women's bodies? Of course not. But he has to treat all women with equal respect, regardless of whether or not their bodies happen to turn him on.
- Does he tend to victim-blame? If he thinks poor people deserve poverty, or that black people do, for example, he'll probably also be the kind of guy who thinks women deserve acts of violence against them for dressing or acting a certain way. Ugh. . .Not worth the time and effort it will take to explain human rights to!
- Does he seem to shut down your ideas or not listen to you when you talk? You either feel heard or you don't around him, when you're talking to him. Not feeling heard? Walk away.
- Is he appreciative when people do nice things for him? Not that every gift, gesture, or kind thought will be reacted to the way you might have hoped for, but gratitude is very sexy! And misogynistic guys often do not notice or appreciate things women do for them, because they expect women to work for them all the time and do things for their comfort. That's messed up, but that's how they think!
Conservative Guys: The Gentleman vs. the Troll
Is a guy being a conservative, or having some conservative-leaning opinions by itself misogyny? Well, yes and no. It kind of depends because there's many kinds of conservatives and people also have many different reasons for choosing their political convictions. I dated a guy once who was conservative because he was a committed Catholic. And I respected that, even though I didn't agree with his stances on everything. He was still very respective of women, just a great guy in terms of values.
This leads me to think it's useful to think of boys on the conservative side as coming in two flavors: the gentleman and the troll. (Do note though that almost nobody fits that neatly into just one of two categories.) The gentleman is the cowboy (or Amish) romance novel hero; rugged, old-fashioned, humble, and generally embodying the best of Western and Christian values.
The troll is a monster created by the alt-right internet meme machine. He's often described as an "incel" but I think there's problems with that label:
- It's misogynistic as crap to equate having sex with women as a victory trophy or a way to become a good person morally.
- Not everyone who has sex becomes enlightened. Whether someone has had sex or not doesn't change their ability to be a pest online.
The troll is an alt-right neo-nazi dirtbag, but he'll probably be in denial about his involvement with them, and he may hide his more fanatical right-wing opinions. Sometimes they will use coded language to see if you're "down to hang" with their ideology before "revealing their power level" meaning let you know how much of a bigot they really are. These online neo-nazi perverts also tend to fetishize lolis or underage anime girls.
A sign that he's this type of a misogynist is also if he brings up marriage, having babies, or your "biological clock" and your age WAY too early in a dating relationship. Guys like this seriously believe that women "hit peak fertility" in their high school years or even as early as thirteen! If that sounds like some BS somebody just made up to justify their erotic interest in little girls, well, it is. It totally is. Don't let them talk around it. Now, a guy might want to be up-front about his desire for children on a first date. But if he starts spewing fake-sounding, unsourced "facts" about "reproductive biology" and your "fertile years", just walk away now and save yourself the pain.
Important: Is He Even One Kind of Bigot?
People who are bigoted about one thing often don't limit themselves to being wrong, hateful, and bullying in their takes on just one topic. So if he hates fat people, he probably hates women. There might be a unique and rare soul out there who happens to, say, hate black people, yet believe women are super awesome. They would not be a misogynist. But even if they were genuinely not a misogynist, would you still feel comfortable dating that kind of person?
Also note that misogynistic men tend to fetishize women by their race a lot more. Some race of women will be considered to be "docile" and "traditional". Meaning, he's only interested in a woman who does what she's told and never expresses any opinions. And fuck that! Guys with that expectation deserve to stay single.
The initial stages of dating are a kind of mine field, where you don't know if you can trust the other person or if they'll hurt you. Or just disappoint you and waste your time. And it can be genuinely sad to find out that someone you like and want to be with is a misogynist or other kind of bigot. Then you become conflicted and confused about your own feelings. But genuinely, if someone shows many signs of bigotry and assholeness, they're not worth it. Everyone deserves a partner who will make them happy. You can handle the search for someone better, I believe in you!
Til next time!
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Naomi Starlight