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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student


How should men approach women?

I came across this article by Mel Robbins that speaks to a popular video showing a woman receiving numerous catcalls walking down a street.

The point was, although she did not particularly mind the catcalls herself, as she saw how men looked at her 15-year-old daughter and how uncomfortable that made her daughter, she developed a more serious opinion on the issue.

She concludes her article by giving advice to men about how they should, and should not, approach ?women.

And here I was, staring at the reoccurring question on the CNN webpage: “How should men approach ?women?”

This may seem like such a helpful question to ask in light of the recent attention of the viral video, but it is also a horrible question.

And by that, I mean that beyond being a question offensive to both men and women, i.e. humans in general, it is further a question which is destructive to the kind of gender equality modern societies should aim at.

The mere question of how men should approach women is offensive because it presumes that this is something people have difficulty with.

It feeds the assumption that men are sex-crazed animals always on the lookout for some “bait” and that women require special treatment. The fact that such a question should be asked is also degrading to our intelligence.

We learn common mannerisms, kinds of appropriate or inappropriate behavior and basic human ?decency from infancy.

Most people learn this from their families. The less privileged have school. And even those with worse fortunes will learn through ?experience and exposure to the outside world.

The treatment of women is no different. It should not deviate from these common practices.

There shouldn’t be a situation where a widely accepted social behaviour or mannerism that is appropriate to a non-woman is inappropriate to a woman or vice versa.

This makes it pointless and idiotic to ask specifically how men should treat women. The answer contains nothing people don’t already know.

By the time individuals are classified as “men” or “women,” they will be old enough to have acquired these basic mannerisms.

Moreover, asking, and advising, how men should treat women is damaging to the efforts of gender equality.

The unnecessary distinction between men and women here creates a disparity between the two ?genders.

It appropriates a kind of “otherness” and hostility between the two genders. This is destructive to our efforts of creating a platform for mutual communication between different people, which is not exclusive to ?different genders.

Indeed, sometimes gender distinctions are necessary given the context. Thus, the two genders can never be perfectly equal.

But in the case of how the women should be treated, it is pointless to distinguish between the two genders.

Women are people. Treat women as you would treat any person.

And please, don’t ask stupid questions like “How should men approach ?women?”

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