Being a 'good guy' should not have to be praised in 2019

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By Luke Unger, Deputy Wellbeing Editor

Inter:Mission's recent article about the struggle of being a good guy in 2019 is an absolute joke, representative of the writer's privilege.

Even before reading the body of this piece, published in Inter:Mission and written by Dylan Joseph, I cringed.

In the back of my mind I really hoped this was going to be a joke. The words ‘Good Guy’ seemed almost too cliché to be genuine, reminding me of the ‘Nice Guy’ section on reddit.

Unfortunately, scouring through the perplexing grammar that constitutes this article, I depressingly realised it was not.

In his article Joseph argues that being a ‘good guy’ in 2019 is incredibly difficult due to the social pressure men face when approaching girls due to the #MeToo movement and other advertisements that raise awareness of toxic masculinity. Overall the piece seems inarticulately entitled, as the author laments the fact nice guys like himself now have the possibility of being labelled a ‘creep’ at the drop of a hat anytime they talk to women. How unfair!

Joseph notes the advice that men apparently are given to deal with this supposed ‘anxiety’: 'simply be yourself and show you have a genuine interest in the other person'. This advice should simply be, ‘be a nice person who doesn’t harass/sexually assault/rape women’. With this advice you should have no problems.

He provides little to no evidence that things like the recent Gillette advert or the #MeToo movement have hindered men’s chances of meeting women.

We are, however, elegantly provided statistics collected ‘from the words of men around the residential area’, describing the supposed ‘anxiety’ that leaves men powerlessly unable to interact with women.

his advice should simply be, ‘Be a nice person who doesn’t harass/sexually assault/rape women’. With this advice you should have no problems.

Problematically, Joseph even seems to place blame on the ‘MeToo’ movement, trivialising the horrifically intrinsic problem of sexual assault in the work place and consequently at universities.

Even if he did provide evidence that this anxiety was grounded in any truth, with 1 in 3 women having experienced some form of sexual assault at university, women have every right to have their guard up when men approach them.

Saying this, absolutely nothing to my knowledge is stopping men from going up to a woman, whether their intention is romantic or not, and politely interacting with them. The idea of this faux pressure is absolutely absurd and dangerously shifts focus from actual issues that plague women within university culture.

with 1 in 3 women having experienced some form of sexual assault at university, women have every right to have their guard up when men approach them.

I feel like it goes without saying but, understanding the difference between genuinely expressing feelings for someone and making them feel uncomfortable because of one’s ‘creepiness’ is a crucial difference to comprehend in order to navigate life, let alone university.

As he ends his article, he states that ‘guys need to be further encouraged to express their positive emotions’ without the fear of that being branded as harassment.'

Men need as much encouragement as they have ever had. The pressure that Joseph scapegoats is false.

Men do not need to have their hand held in traversing what behaviour is acceptable with women. They should not have to be praised for doing the bare minimum.

Instead, I would recommend diverting these energies to helping organisations that seek to prevent sexual assault at universities, or educating your peers in how they should behave around women.

Featured image: Unsplash/Volcan Olmez

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