Read This? Pretty Please? Thank You

By: Dina Eid

I notice it. I notice it when my female friends thank me profusely all throughout the ride when I drop them off while my male friends expect me to go out of my way to give them a ride and a thank you, if I ever do get one, is only an afterthought. Do you?

I notice it when my female friends apologize on behalf of the universe when I’m down on my luck but I have to demand an apology when my male friends personally wrong me. Do you?

I notice it when I have to say “please” when asking a male subordinate to do his work so he doesn’t think I’m bossy but that reflex never comes to his mind as he orders his subordinates. Do you?

I notice it when, in class, the girl to my right whispers her questions to me before asking our professor in fear that she’s wasting everyone’s time, while the guy to my left blurts out the first question that pops into his mind. Do you?

I notice it when my class discussions are dominated by the males in the class even though only three of the 15 students enrolled are men. Do you?

I notice it when my friends shame me for my loud laugh as the table of men next to us laugh boisterously. Do you?

I notice it when I pinch my legs together on the subway as my bench mate spreads his. Do you?

I notice it when it when I walk between the crowds trying to take as little space as physically possible as men shove me with their broad shoulders and widespread arms. Do you?

I notice it when I try to explain to my male friends how unapologetic men can be, but their first, and sometimes only, impulse is to yell at me for daring to make such unapologetic observation. Do you notice it?

Notice it.

Girls are raised differently than boys, particularly in our culture. Our society places much more emphasis on teaching its girls manners than it does with boys.

People are always impressed with a polite boy. “His wife would be so lucky!” they say.

If a girl forgets one of her magic words, society shrieks, “Who would even think to marry such an ill-mannered woman?”

From the minute they are born, women learn to be apologetic for subsisting in a man’s world. We are not only expected to apologize and beg to live but also be grateful when we are allowed to.

Women feel the need to excessively thank people, be it for a favor or for someone actually doing their job.

How many thank you texts have you ever received from women? Have you ever even gotten one from a male friend?

Most men grow up with an unapologetic, blinding sense of entitlement that you should feel grateful if they ever remember to thank you. In any discussion, men will dominate the conversation.

They not only speak for a significant majority of the time but also usually mansplain. When women are given the chance to speak, they feel the need to preface their opinions with apologetic phrases.

It’s not just about manners; it’s about how the lack of those manners fosters this unapologetic attitude that allows them to justify taking a bigger share of the world than they deserve without even being aware of, let alone grateful, for it.

It is bad enough that we live in a man’s world, but it is infinitely worse when men are not only oblivious to the male privilege they were crowned with upon birth but also refuse to acknowledge it when someone dares shatter their ignorance.

Start noticing it. When you interact with both friends and strangers. When you engage in your next group discussion. When you walk into a public space. Start noticing it.

Start noticing it. Start noticing it because women cannot and should not live in the shadows of ignorant, unapologetic men.

Start noticing it because men cannot and should not take a bigger share in this world because they won the genetic lottery. Start noticing it because only then would you be able to be a part of this change.

Notice it.

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