Think It’s “Hard To Be A Man” Right Now? Maybe You Should Try Smiling More!

Men, you're not "under attack" because you now have to monitor your behavior — you're just feeling what it's like to be a woman.

In response to the ongoing #MeToo movement, I've seen far too many men on social media complaining that men are "under attack" by feminists and their "man-hating propaganda."

Misguided men seem to think that their gender and masculinity are being attacked in some sort of feminist-led "witch hunt" because women are pointing out how even well-intentioned men contribute to rape culture.

They complain that it's a really hard time to be a man right now simply because men are being implored to be more aware of how they speak and act with the opposite sex in the workplace, on the street, and in public.

In reality, these men are finally getting a small insight into what women feel like. All the time. Every day.

As worried as these men might be about being labeled a predator or a sexist, their worries pale in comparison to the threat of sexual assault women face on a daily basis.

Women feel the unfair need to monitor their behavior, clothes, words, body language, and even smiles around men every day of their lives. Women are constantly on guard even around men they know and trust, because it turns out plenty of predators are "good guys" in disguise (Matt Lauer, Louis C.K., and Charlie Rose come to mind).

These men who claim they are under attack may think it's unfair that they are being pressured to monitor their behavior and speech because #notallmen are predators. And they're right. It is unfair. But is that the fault of women and feminists? Or is it the fault of the men who disrespect women and make it harder for the rest of the male population to earn women's trust?

Maybe these men should be directing their anger and frustration at the men who give them a bad reputation, rather than gaslighting the women who are (understandably) wary of them by default because they are men.

The feminist and #MeToo movements are calling out the systematic ways in which sexual misconduct against women thrives. This does not equate to feminists declaring war on people with penises. We are simply asking men to keep their inappropriate thoughts and bodies to themselves, especially when they are in positions of power.

While predators who have harassed, abused, or assaulted women — and the complicit rape culture that has allowed them to get away with it for centuries — are under attack, men and masculinity themselves are not.

If you're a man who still feels attacked after reading this, maybe you should just try smiling more!