I don’t need a parade for being a male feminist. In fact, I wasn’t even thinking about it until a girlfriend from a few girlfriends ago told me, “You don’t act like a lot of men.”
Well, that may be true and here’s how my thoughts on feminism changed.
Around 2004, I started working as a bouncer at one of Boulder’s bars with really attractive waitresses. Besides picking up empty glasses, mopping up barf and taking out trash, my other job was to beat the shit out of creepy guys that grabbed our waitresses’ asses — or any of our female customers’ asses.
To be honest, half the time I didn’t even crack the perverts’ skulls because I was so busy and had more glasses to mop, puke the take out and trash to mop. Or something like that.
My job made me feel like Superman, Captain America and Wolverine — taking down the bad guys and standing up for little guys, but mostly the ladies. Because I was good at all the side jobs and could fight relatively well, the waitresses liked me.
Then, I started dating one of those waitresses. Yeah, she made 10 times more money than me, but she felt terrible every night. After a shift we’d go home together, she’d cry and say, “This guy touched my boob and then another freak rubbed my thigh — I won’t even tell you what these jerks actually said to me.”
Maybe I was drunk or hopped up on energy drinks or pumped-up testosterone, but I told her the next time some asshole did that I’d send him to the hospital.
“No, you don’t understand. It’s every single day. When I go to campus. When I jog. If I go to the bookstore. Each day I order a coffee or walk past a certain muffler shop. Guys are just like that! Constantly yelling and hitting on you or coming up to cop a feel. It’s exhausting.”
“Well, Hon, why don’t you quit the bar and work at a café?”
“Do you know what men say to women to baristas?”
My girlfriend (at the time) jumped in my face, “Exactly the same thing guys say to waitresses, grocery store clerks, secretaries and way-too-young high school students!”
You know how you just said the dumbest thing you’ve ever said, even though you know it’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever said — but you didn’t even think about not saying it before saying it?
“What about changing the way you dress?” I winced, already knowing that was the most stupid thing I’ve ever said. Earlier that week I fought two bros at once, but my ex’s face looked 10 times scarier.
“It doesn’t matter how I dress! My makeup or clothes or anything! I could gain 100 pounds or have my tits removed! Men are assholes! And don’t you be one either!”
Yeah, we broke up. Not because I was an asshole, but because I was just a stupid boyfriend.