We had to share this powerful piece by Hannah Cairns….It has taken me a while to write this blog, for a multitude of reasons. I feel I have too much to say, that I need to be very careful with what I say and how I say it to avoid being called a misandrist. However, even having this response of pillowing the conversation for men’s feelings on autopilot is a perfect example of how women have been raised to protect the male ego, so here I go.

I never really noticed everyday misogyny before I started reading feminist literature, but once I started it grew like a rash in my world. Florence Given, the author of ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’, even warns us in the opening page that this book will change your perspective and may be of detriment to your life. In the midst of reading this life changing book, one morning at work I was locked out of the office in the cold for around 20 minutes. It was just a male colleague and I that were in the office that day, and when I finally got let into the building, before I even reached my desk, he said to me “you might want to go into the town to get milk before you sit down”. Taking off my coat I responded “that’s not my job”. For the remainder of the day I kept my eye out for this colleague to go into the town himself to get milk as he has on average three cups of coffee with milk a day. Instead of doing this, he had no coffees that day. This is a situation I never would’ve picked up on before, I would’ve put it down to laziness, or maybe he was busy that day. However, Florence in my head said “absolutely not darling, you are also busy and your time is just as valuable. You do not want the milk.” This situation got me onto thinking about traditional ‘marital’ roles of the male and female. How many times have you heard a woman say “he doesn’t do it as good as I can so I just do it” when it comes to cleaning, cooking etc? And why do we excuse this half assed behaviour? If I can clean the dishes correctly, surely it is within the realms of possibility for you also to be able to clean the dishes correctly? This is called weaponised incompetence and it is extremely misogynistic. It is passive aggressive behaviour where the person does a task so terribly so that the other person will perform the task instead because “you’re just better at it”. I urge you to not only start looking out for this behaviour, but to start calling out this behaviour. Women were not born with the inherent knowledge of knowing how to wash dishes, putting washings on, raising children, buying all the Christmas presents for every member of hers and his family members, cooking etc. We teach ourselves.

We all know the name Andrew Tate and I hate that I even have to mention him in this blog as I believe the best way to phase him out is to stop talking about him, however, for the sake of this blog I have to. Everyone knows his name, which is the biggest part of the problem. Andrew Tate has managed to infect our young boys minds with the promise of 1000 virgins if they follow in his footsteps in becoming a human trafficker. None of his ideas make sense to me frankly. He devalues women on a daily basis however, women are how he makes money. He started off as an online pimp being the media manager behind multiple women’s OnlyFans accounts and reaping an insane percentage for doing so, even though he added zero value and really contributed nothing. I recently spoke to a family member who is a secondary school teacher to ask from a male perspective, how damaging Andrew Tate is to teenage boys. His response was that thankfully, most of the boys don’t voice that they idolise this man however, they do mock him and joke about him. I think even joking about being misogynistic is dangerous as women are still at the butt of the joke and it gives his ideas a platform to grow.

I got to see first hand on a train journey to London from Glasgow (so you can imagine how long this went on) how Andrew Tate is influencing our young men. A young girl and her boyfriend got on the train, she’s wearing an 18th birthday badge. They are quietly chatting to begin with, then all of a sudden I can’t help but over hear his insanely misogynistic views. “The more women men sleep with, the more they are respected but the more men women sleep with, the less they are respected.” I am all ears by this point and am paying close attention. Through listening to their conversation, I learned that the young woman is studying law, so she’s a bright girl. When trying to express her opinion after having to endure his drab, non-factual, statistic spouting, he told her to “shut up, shut your mouth”. I was horrified. I held back waiting to see if someone else on this train would speak up for her and no one did. When she asked “where are these statistics?” He conveniently didn’t have signal to show her. I would like to add this isn’t even half of the conversation however I would be here all day if I went on. When he went to the toilet I got up and sat next to the girl to ask if she was okay. I did want to stand up and put him in his place however it was her birthday, I didn’t want to ruin her weekend or cause any animosity between them on her birthday. I felt so bad that this intelligent, beautiful, young woman had to spend her 18th birthday with this little misogynistic, uneducated boy (who had Spider-Man earphones yet thinks his views on gender is worthy enough for a whole train to hear). She said she was okay, and surprise surprise, apologised on his behalf. I asked her not to apologise, but that she should dump him as she is far too beautiful and intelligent to be with someone like him and that I was sorry he spoke to her in that way. I still think about that train journey and I hope to god he was a rare young man. I have a theory only incels like Andrew Tate anyway and they don’t know what to do with the hate the have for themselves so they project it onto women instead. I mean hey, society does it so why can’t they?

If you are a man reading this wondering “what can I do?” My advice is, just do better. Look after your own things, clean up after yourself, take equal responsibility for things in a partnership, don’t wait to be asked to do something you can clearly see needs done, speak up when your friends say a sexist joke (yes even if it was just a joke), don’t expect the women in the workplace to get the bloody milk, give young women a platform when you can, don’t speak over women or interrupt them, think like a woman “what would a woman do?”. It’s not my job to tell you how to be less misogynistic. It is your job as the oppressor to educate yourself into how you can make a difference. “Not all men” but a whole lot of men.

Hannah Cairns