Over the course of my five years here at BYU (pursuing first a bachelor’s and then master’s degree), I have become concerned about an increasingly high prevalence of sexism amongst the student body. It starts off simple: a few underhanded jokes, a few teasing jabs, but eventually it all adds up to an overall culture that allows and even encourages such sexist behavior. Now ladies, lest you stand up and cheer at this moment, let me note first, I am talking about sexism targeted at men.
The recent forum letter “Men shouldn’t own smart phones” (June 24) is an excellent example of this attitude that is becoming increasingly popular. In the author’s words, “all guys tend to care about is (sic) sports, cars, food, video games, and did I mention sports?” The author then bemoans the fact that these guys aren’t out dating. I wonder if the author and many others who have expressed similar sentiments realize the irony of shaming guys into trying to get them to improve. What such patronizing and condescending attitudes actually convey to guys is that they seemingly can’t get anything right. Now answer me this, ladies, if a girl expresses to me that I am deficient, slovenly and only concerned with sports (thus minimizing all of my other qualities), why in the world would I want to date her?
Believe me, I get it, sometimes guys can do really boneheaded things and can drive you crazy, but so can girls. Ladies, please look inside yourselves and answer this question: “Have I ever done something I regretted too, something I knew was beneath me?” Would you like for men to walk around all day talking about all your flaws and deficiencies or would you rather they focus on your good qualities, leaving it in your hands to do your own repenting? Please do not worry about your felt need to correct all our deficiencies. That is why we have priesthood leaders, the Spirit, caring friends and the Atonement. We do not need your correction as well; we need your support.
I doubt if any of you girls out there would jump into the arms of a guy who says patronizing, sexist and condescending things to you. Why should it be any different for the men? Please remember, ladies, that these men are not your adversaries, they are not your children to be lectured, nor your punching bags to take all your frustrations out on; they are sons of God, and they have the same infinite worth and value as you. Heavenly Father would never condone one of his sons treating a daughter unkindly; please remember that he loves his sons too and would also never condone the unkind treatment of his sons. The more you treat guys like mindless animals, the more they will act that way. The more you treat them with respect, the more they will strive to live up to their potential.