The enlightened sexist

The ‘conscious modern male’ façade thinly veils patriarchal behaviour

You like to think you’re a conscientious dude.

You compost, bike everywhere, read and talk about spiritual books, stand in solidarity with movements and perhaps have even had a few magical adventures in Guatemala or Thailand.

You’re an ally of oppressed minorities and actively read articles online; you’ve done enough yoga to talk loudly with people about their bodies and how they breathe.

But you are a hypocrite because you still piss women off.

Who I am speaking of here is the Enlightened Sexist.

He beguiles his ostentatious nature with his Conscious Modern Male mask, with his knowledge of Tantra, willingness to massage and acceptance of all body hair. He insists that he only wishes to worship the Goddess in you and is especially privy to creative healing that involves the recipient of his adoration.

The most glaring oxymoron I’ve come to observe in these individuals is their inability, or downright refusal, to read and heed body language.

If you are so perceptive and sensitive, Mister Aware, why are you still staring at me in such an invasive manner when it’s very clear that I am not interested?

If it’s because you perceive my rejection as a challenge, then you are placing yourself on par with the patriarchal tendencies that you yourself scorn when you so knowledgeably complain about capitalism.

Mutual attraction is pretty obvious. Persisting after rejection, with a high-horse air of knowing better than the woman about her feelings, is disrespectful, rude and oozing with an ungrateful sense of entitlement that is not attractive to any self-respecting woman.

Get it through your “ego-less” head: if you are pushy, you are creepy.

If you are someone who is convinced you should get what you want (the woman) despite her wishes (the rejection), then you are a sexist.

If you believe you can convince her otherwise with persistence, then not only are you a sexist, you’re an asshole.

And beware: despite my descriptive passages, the Enlightened Sexist comes in many forms and associations, from the savvy young adult with income who has all the sage advice for confused women and believes modern feminists are out of line, to the musician singing freedom songs while utilizing female sexuality to garner attention, or the environmental studies student who makes inappropriate comments to his friends after a few beers, and every single male specimen out there who doesn’t prioritize a woman’s orgasm over his own.

They all have one thing in common: they are deeply insecure, and they have surrounded themselves with complex and self-righteous validation. And by ignoring or standing by their behaviour, we are only enabling it further.

If you are so perceptive and sensitive, Mister Aware, why are you still staring at me in such an invasive manner when it’s very clear that I am not interested?

Let me elaborate here on a few other avenues this guise may take.

If you use the word “bitch” regularly when describing groups of women, or any other offensive language and pass it off as facetious because we are so post-feminism, you are ignorant.

If you hear friends use sexist language and don’t say anything about it, you are laying a red carpet for a society of superimposed superiority.

If you see someone bothering your female friends at a bar and don’t tell them to fuck off, because you’re not in the boyfriend role or you’re uncomfortable with confrontation, you are contributing to the prevailing attitude of women being meat in a meat shop when socializing. And you’re being a sub-par friend.

If a woman has been direct with you about how she felt you have been inappropriate, and you tell her with conviction that it was not inappropriate, you are insolent and directly insulting the woman’s free will.

It is patronizing of you to be defensive as opposed to taking a look at your words and actions and why they may be perceived as intrusive.

Don’t justify on behalf of disrespectful dudes - call them out. It doesn’t have to be aggressive or violent. It just has to be firm and forthright. Keep in mind that many of them are not even aware of their predicament - compassion and integrity is the key.

Carlen Jupiter is a musician and artist. She strives for authenticity, integrity and celebration of life in her many facets of expression.

Published in Volume 67, Number 8 of The Uniter (October 24, 2012)

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