Respect for gender goes both ways. A rant from a modern male.

I'll probably upset a lot of people because this is something that people just don't talk about, and would be seen as weak if said out loud.  But here it is: I'm sick of the male stereotype.

You know how "woman, get in the kitchen!" is a totally not ok thing to say?  For so many reasons, not just because it's demeaning, and it attempts to put someone in their place, but also as a person... maybe they don't like making sandwiches.  Just because they were born a female has nothing to do with their ability, interest, or responsibility to make you a sandwich.  So why is it completely ok to expect males to be the stereotype of "masculinity", and see something wrong with them if they're not?

This post was shared around the internet a lot today.  A terrifying story of a young woman verbally assaulted on a train.  But in her sad story of how she's repeatedly disrespected due to her gender she unapologetically stereotypes a "real man" simply as someone willing to get violent on her behalf.

Encouraging violence is not ok.  It continues the eternal stereotype of "real men" as those who are inherently violent at their core.

If it were me, violence would be the last thing on my mind.  If I saw a woman being harassed I'd ask the person to stop.  I'd call the police.  I'd do any number of things.  The first thought in my mind would not be to tell the woman "if they come back I'll beat them up for you."  What kind of reaction is that?  Why do women find that comforting and not terrifying?

This is just one example.  It's commonly accepted that I should know how to fix cars.  I should enjoy going to and participating in sporting events.  "What are you, gay or something?" I get asked if I turn down a girl's advances.  A girl who sleeps with every guy is seen as a slut, but a guy who does it is expected.  If he doesn't, there's something wrong with him.

"Man, get in the garage!" is an attempt to put a male in his place just like the sandwich making.  Both use gender stereotypes to determine their role in the eyes of another person.

Girls, welcome to 2012.  Where guys like me enjoy going to see musical theatre, sing along to Ace of Base, don't know anything about cars, and would much rather hit up a museum than a sporting event.  You don't have to like it, but know there are a lot of us.  And if your idea of a "real man" is someone who will simply kick someone else's ass, then you're not the type of girl we want around us anyway.

Guys, welcome to 2012.  Where guys no longer harass women on trains and you treat them as you'd want to be treated.  With respect.