Every so often, a unicorn of a man steps up to stop misogyny in action when it's happening to a woman he's not related to.
Every time women speak out about the sexism, misogyny and sexual harassment they've faced—and in most cases, continually encounter in their daily lives—countless male voices immediately rush to push them back into silence. "Not all men," they adamantly shout, convinced that it's all just a smear campaign against their entire gender and that the women are out to get them. However, it's not like they don't see it happening right before their eyes. Even the most self-proclaimed "progressive" and "feminists," who endlessly rage against sexism online, seem to miraculously find some justification for their fellow man's problematic behavior when it happens in their vicinity.
Management Tip: How Men Can Call Out Sexist Behavior https://t.co/dh4lPAUFb6— Michael Zimmel (@MichaelZimmel) November 16, 2020
Fortunately, there is a minuscule of truth in the age-old #notallmen warcry and every so often, a unicorn of a man steps up to stop misogyny in action when it's happening to a woman he's not related to. Several members of the r/AskWomen community came together to celebrate such men a few months ago when u/alwaysamensch prompted them to share the times they've seen such men in real life.
Here are 25 of their responses:
"One of my male physics professors reported a male student in my class for taking lab materials out of my hands and saying 'relax honey and let us men do it' and told me to do the write-up. I just brushed it off even though it was immature because you know. I’ve always been shocked by his dedication to make his classroom a welcoming space. I was the only one who passed that lab assignment because it was only my handwriting on the written portion.
He also backed me up when a department head was treating me badly and helped connect me with tutoring and psych resources for issues I was having. He was never inappropriate; he honestly never really spoke directly to me aside from class. Never met another man like him, now that I think about it, especially not in STEM." — hensbanex
"A male senior lawyer was introducing the female junior I worked for to his client. His client made a comment that she's easier on the eyes than he was and the senior lawyer stopped the meeting and said "you don't make those comments, not here, not out there, not anywhere. If you continue to do so we will terminate our engagement. I will not put this woman in a situation where she will be made to feel uncomfortable. If you disagree with me you can find alternate counsel" and that has always stuck out to me. Not many senior lawyers I know would make a statement like that to long-standing clients but he drew a hard line in the sand and held the client to it. Granted this wasn't an extreme situation and everyone was sure the client was just trying to make small talk but that lawyer didn't care how innocent the comment was, it wasn't professional and he knew that he had to step in and set some clear boundaries" — tabsmags
"I had quite bad cramps one night at work(I work as a night filler for a supermarket) and was taking a moment to breathe through them so I was standing still with my eyes closed. I had one of my co-workers who isn't good at his job come up to me and say 'you know everyone around you is doing their jobs and you are just standing there doing nothing, you should get back to your fu**ing job' and before I could say or do anything, another of my male co-workers comes up stands in-between me and him and goes 'mate, she fills three times the speed you do, how about you f**k off and learn some common decency, you prick.' It actually made my night.
The guy who defended me has 3 sisters and explained that he has seen the face I was making on his sisters when they have cramps. This guy just turned 18 and is better with the menstrual cycle than a good portion of the men I have met. I am the only female on the team for reference." — Prettypoppies244
"I don't know if it falls under correcting misogyny, but the whole interaction felt misogynistic (gatekeeping). Early on in the MCU days, I had bought a Captain America shirt with just the shield logo on the front. I wore it to work on a Friday. A guy at work asked me if I like Marvel and I was like 'yeah! I really like the new movies coming out!.' In response, he started quizzing me on the comics. Before I could even get a word out, two other guys heard and shut him down immediately. Telling him gatekeeping was lame and to just let women enjoy comics/superhero movies.
It was minor, but this was like 8 years ago and the interaction still sticks with me. Also, the two other guys weren't really my friends or people I had a relationship with. They just heard him being rude to me and jumped in." — kobeng13
"Yes! I was at a Starbucks and there were three men at a table near me. They were East African Muslims. Apparently, on his way to Starbucks, Man 1 saw a young woman from their mosque, but she wasn’t wearing hijab or modest clothing- she was wearing shorts and her hair was uncovered. Man 1 said something dumb about 'men are going to treat her poorly if she dresses like that, she's asking to be attacked, etc.' Man 3 then said, 'I feel so sorry for you! You've been in the US for 20 years and you still think that way. Women can dress however they want, man. She can have faith or not have faith and dress how she wants.'
It was nice to hear. No women around except me and some baristas, and these guys were still defending the women in their faith and community who didn't look 'typical.'" — TheCloudsLookLikeYou
"I saw it once. It had a huge impact on me. I was on a public transportation bus, and a woman was sitting near the window, staring very pointedly out of it. A guy had come and sat next to her in the aisle seat and he was just... taunting her. Saying things like 'Heeyyyyy... Hiiiiiiii... are you deaf? You think you're better than me? Don't act all stuck up, I just wanna be your friend....' etc. Eventually he escalated to throwing stuff at her and laughing in a really cruel way.
This man who was standing in the aisle of the bus next to them looked down at that guy and just went 'Hey,' and when the guy looked up at him, he just shook his head. It was so quiet and so subtle, like a parent correcting a child quietly at a fancy dinner party or something." — throwawayskeez
"A random dude saw me in a booth with my date who kept trying to feel me up even though I was saying no. The guy came right over and said to my date 'she said no, get out of the fucking booth.' My date started saying how it was a joke and we were just playing around, but the guy could tell I wanted out, so he just hauled my date out of the booth and I got out and went to the bar to tell the bartender what was going on. My date was banned from the bar and the guy got free drinks for the night." — justasianenough
"This random creepy guy at night called my legs sexy when I wear wearing heels a and dress that went down to my mid-thigh. I called him out for being weird/creepy and he said it was a compliment and I was asking for it by wearing that. Two young men were there and one yelled at him saying I could wear whatever I wanted... I felt so thankful for that, wish I could have thanked him after but we all scattered from the creep." — andiaaa
"My fiancé is a (senior) software engineer and on at least 3 different occasions I have overheard him stop a man who has cut off or started talking over a woman, and say something like, 'Can you please stop talking, I was trying to listen to what x was saying. X, could you continue or 'ummmmm x was talking…….. x, would you mind repeating yourself.' And each time it makes me simultaneously tear up a little with happiness and also get super turned on! I haven’t told him yet that I’ve overheard him." — thatwillchange
"One of my first bosses was ridiculously supportive of women. A lot of us got hired out of high school, so he got to watch us grow up. I can't count the number of times he would step in and stop comments from either customers or other male workers. He supported any interest you had, made sure you got the experience to know if you liked it or not. He was known for expecting strict professionalism, anything off-color was dealt with right then. I am still ridiculously fond of him." — iamthefoolofatook
"A few times. Three guys from my local rugby club were drinking in the bar I was working in. I was there, but not on shift, I was waiting for my friend to finish her shift. One of the blokes knew me vaguely via my brother but the other two didn't. A customer kept spouting misogynist stuff to my friend, getting gradually louder, until one of the blokes heard, and shouted 'Oi, muppet, keep your village idiot ideas to yourself!' Another one chimed in 'That's my sister you knobhead.' All three of them stood up and turned to face this customer, and he slunk out. Was lovely to see." — BeerElf
"I had a friend who I wasn't super close with in high school stand up for me when I was being bullied by quite a few other guys who had spread a rumor about me that involved a sexual incident that never happened. One of them started saying shit to me and calling me slurs (slut, etc.), and my friend who was also his good friend told him to shut the f**k up, get his facts straight (he knew the rumor was false), and never talk to women like that again whether or not anything sexual had happened. We're not in contact anymore but I remember that day so vividly and I remember hugging him so tightly and thanking him for being a good person." —lostgirl19