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19 October 2021

Men need to do better

by Jason Stone



That Guy: “Don't Be That Guy” - 78s

So much of the messaging which followed the murder of Sarah Everard has concerned itself with the measures that women should take to protect themselves from men. In contrast, dispiritingly little attention has been paid to the behaviour of men themselves. And when male behaviour has come into focus, it has often provoked a vigilante instinct among men unwilling to consider whether they have personally contributed to the discomfort of women.

As has been the case on a number of occasions over the past decade, the male response to righteous female fury has been defensive and dismissive. Instead of introspection, men have consistently sought to downplay the dangers faced by women on a daily basis by denying responsibility and making unhelpful observations about the ratio of male assault victims to female assault victims.

It's true, by the way, that men are more likely to be murdered than women, but let's consider another statistic... 96% of all murders are carried out by men. That number tells us where the behavioural change is required… and it has nothing to do with women trying to attract the attention of passing bus drivers when they suspect that a police officer has murderous intent.

This film is a huge step in the right direction. It asks men to consider own behaviour, and it does so without sparing their feelings or bending to the idea that there is any such thing as harmless misogyny. Men need to get their heads around the idea that until they check their own behaviour, and that of their friends, then the toxic culture which enables men like Sarah Everard's murderer to hide in plain sight will continue unabated.

By asking men to examine their own conduct, we can start to unpick the attitudes which make the streets unsafe for women. It is simply not fair that women feel so often feel threatened in our society and we - as men - must do something about it. And the biggest contribution we can make is to recognise that they need protecting from us. All of us... not just the worst of us.


David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.