'REAL Men Don't Cry.' Guys Share The Most Common Forms Of Sexism They Encounter.


We live in a society with deeply engrained, systematic issues around the treatment of women and femininity. As an extension of this culture of patriarchy, masculinity is also rigidly defined, and we tend to forget that our society also restricts the way men are seen, and how they see themselves.

This piece is based on an AskReddit thread. Link on the last page.

1/18. Sexual assault on males is not taken seriously at all. A few nights ago, I was at a work party and one of my female work colleagues kept joking about how she wanted to "rape me."

No one batted an eyelid - even I kind of took it in stride. But when I think about it, its so surreal. If that exchange was reversed, I would have lost my job on the spot.


2/18. I was flying by myself and as I walked toward my seat (I'm a woman) the air hostess loudly asked if I would swap seats with a guy around the same age as me, early 20s, because "we can't have single men sit next to unaccompanied minors.

Guy looked super nice but I will always remember how embarrassed he looked as we shuffled passed each other to swap seats with everyone staring. I wish I had more confidence at the time to say something to the airline.


3/18. If a guy forces himself on a girl who doesn't want to make out with him, it's assault. If a girl forces herself on a guy and he doesn't want to make out with her, he's mocked.


4/18. I saw a young girl who was clearly lost in a grocery store. She was backed up against a shelf crying and had been there for a few minutes - no sign of her parents.

I went over to her to see if she was OK and to try and help her. I've got kids, and it was pretty sad to see her so scared and standing off to one side ignored. So I knelt down to calm her down. She put out her hand. I took it, and tried to tell her it would be okay. Big mistake. (continued...)

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Down the aisle stormed loser mom and store security shouting at me, asking what I was doing and telling me to get my hands off the girl.

I was so mad. I've never seen a woman be treated that way for trying to help a lost child. They made me feel like a criminal for trying to do the right thing.

If that's not sexist treatment I don't know what is.


5/18. I'm a female but I know men are expected to be the ones to hit on the girl and make all the moves. It's stupid. That's why I make all the first moves.


6/18. Growing up I really wanted to paint my nails and wear a dress. My twin sister got to do it, and they were so sparkly and fun! My parents thought I wasn't "man enough" and signed me up for all the sports they could imagine. Like, c'mon. Men can still be men with nail polish on. Though, that isn't exactly sexism against men. It's the engrained feeling that men expressing traditionally "female" things is stooping to a lower level. Eff that patriarchy, y'all.


7/18. I was pretty much raised by my mother and older sister. It was very common for them to use sentences that started with "Real men..."

I figured out that it was a means of bullying and manipulation because of how they directed it at me. When I'd get bullied to tears, I'd be told "Real men don't cry!" When they wanted to take something from me, they'd say "A real man gives anything to a woman." When I was asked to do something that required a lot of strength and I struggled, I was told "A real man could do it."

My mother has a lot more respect for me now. I still get the "real men" spiel from my sister when she wants something and doesn't want to ask respectfully. I'm normally very calm and pacifistic by nature, but those two words directed at me negatively makes me irrationally angry.


8/18. My wife and I decided to hire a male nanny. This decision causes me, my wife and the male nanny to experience a whole range of uncomfortable situations. (continued...)

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Because we live the Pacific Northwest a lot of people assume we're a polyamorous couple. We're not.

Some people assume that me and the male nanny are a gay couple and my wife is simply our surrogate. On the first day of school for example, my daughter's teacher introduced us as her "daddies," even though she had met with my wife on multiple occasions beforehand.

Others just can't wrap their head around the fact that a man might want to work in child care. I can't tell you how many warnings we've received, even from within our own families, that we have to watch him closely because it's not natural for a man to want to work in child care. He must be a pedofile.

When it comes to raising children men still face an enormous amount of sexism from all sides.


9/18. This is one my mother does to my brother and I. She says we have to keep our doors open at all times, unlike our sister who doesn't have to. When we ask why she says this: "Your sister is a girl and girls need privacy. Guys dont."


10/18. My husband, a father of four girls, regularly gets security called on him if he is seen taking his daughters to the bathroom alone. It has gotten to the point where he won't go out with the little ones without me present.

What does that say about our society, that a man accompanying a small child is seen as a pedophile, rather than a father?


11/18. The whole "Dad is the irresponsible, clueless parent" thing we see in advertisements and such. The fact is, the majority of fathers are just as good as the majority of mothers.


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12/18. I'm a male nurse in the ER and there are a lot of extra rules I have to follow that the females do not. If I am doing any kind of intimate care (Foley, straight catheters, pelvic, or even rectal temp) on a female patient, I need a female chaperone. However, a female nurse can go do those same procedures on a male without a male chaperone.

The looks I get from many elderly patients when I tell them I'm their nurse are super judgemental. I had a guy straight up laugh in my face and tell me: "you must be an embarrassment to your family." What the hell?!

Mothers freak out when I'm the nurse for their child. I had a lady straight up tell me I couldn't help drain her daughter's armpit abscess because she thought I'd be eyeballing her. Ummmm, no.

Literally none of this happens to the female staff members. And, frankly, I am a much better nurse than quite a few of them.

I don't let it get to me. People are stupid, whatever. As for the males out there considering nursing, don't let this deter you. And there is less and less discrimination all the time. Don't let people stop you from perusing your passion.


13/18. I remember watching a clip from The View. The topic of conversation was a woman who had become fed up with her husband so she cut his penis off.

One of the ladies (might have been Sharon Osborne?) talked about how "hell hath no fury" or "he shouldn't have been messing around" and the crowd went wild. (continued...)

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Most of the people in the audience and on the panel were clapping and whooping it up.

Then, one lone female member of the panel, spoke up and said that them all laughing about this wasn't right. In fact, it was quite wrong. She pointed out how differently the panel and audience would have reacted if the situation had been a man who had cut his wife's breasts off.

From what I remember, some of the other ladies on the panel tried to say, "That's different," and others rolled their eyes or became uncomfortable.

It shouldn't matter what your gender is.


14/18. My dog needed to be put down earlier this year and I'm welling up thinking about him. I cannot talk about him without wanting to cry; literally everything in my apartment reminds me of him.

I cried for about 2 weeks when I was alone, any time I was with my friends/family/ex, I didn't cry. Honestly I just want someone to cry with, to get comfort, but I'm scared of how I'll be viewed.


15/18. I was stalked by an ex. Like she would show up outside my house, unannounced and uninvited. Everyone I told laughed it off, saying things like "you must have given it to her good!

To top it off I was treated like the criminal every time I called the cops. When I went to file for a restraining order I had to ask three times because they kept referring me to a court room assuming I had been served.

The icing on the cake: the judge I finally got treated me like I was I whiney baby and gutted the restraining order. I'm still convinced the only reason I got it at all was because I had my family there to back me up.


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16/18. Young men in every society are historically viewed as infinitely disposable. They are cannon fodder. Everyone cares when female civilians are victims of a battle in war - and rightly so. But no one cares about the young male soldiers, most of whom are either conscripts or forced into the military due to lack of opportunity elsewhere.


17/18. Someone almost called the police on me for going to my little sister's softball game.

I'm a 24 year old male. She's 8. I hugged my sister and said good job. This woman comes up yelling and me and pushing me away. Then she pulls out phone to dial 911.

Luckily my mom was there. After a humiliating screaming match, I got away with the crime of hugging my sister.


18/18. I have two kids, one is a boy and the other is a girl. I let them dress in whatever they want (sometimes my daughter wears camo pants and a dinosaur shirt and sometimes my son wears a skirt. Whatever, they're only like 4 and 5 and they just want to have fun.) They also have unisex names, so there's no telling what gender they are unless you ask. It's been interesting to note how my kids are treated. Here are some things I've observed:

- If people can't pinpoint what the sex / gender of my kids are, they get panicked. They're all like, HOW THE HELL DO I KNOW HOW TO TREAT THEM IF I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S BETWEEN THEIR LEGS?! They'll do little things to try and figure it out, and some people go so far as asking me. It's not a big deal to tell them, but I always wonder, "why do you need to know? Like why is it so important to you to know this information?"

- When they figure out that my son is a boy and my daughter is a girl, there's an immediate shift in how they're treated. Since this is a post about men, I'll focus on how people treat my son when they figure out he's a boy. Generally, my son is treated a bit rougher, told he's "so brave" and "so tough" and asked if he has crushes on girls. If he gets hurt or upset, most people's response is to tell him to 'brush it off' and 'be tough.' People ask me what sports he plays, I've never once been asked if he's interested in dance, art, or any of the other things people ask about my daughter. I often get glared at from other parents if I let him wear his sister's clothing in public and they know he's a boy. I could go on forever. It's pretty interesting, actually, just how narrow an idea people generally have of "what a boy is / can be."


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