In February we wrote a post called “5 Common Bad Habits to Stop Now” that was a gentle reminder to our followers that even the best of us slip up but that we should be careful of the words we say and our behavior towards others. Here are some more common bad habits that I myself find falling into that should probably be stopped:
1. Slut shaming. This kind of misogyny is still unfortunately quite acceptable in our society and wildly common. Even the most sexually liberated people I know have a point at which they consider a woman (it is mostly, but not always, directed toward woman) a “slut”, “whore”, or otherwise too sexual. For some this is after said woman has had sex with 5 partners (or 10, or 20), for others this is when a woman has engaged in something “kinky” like a threesome, when a woman has accidentally gotten pregnant, or when she dresses in a certain way (yup, even if she’s never had sex). Not only is this sex negative, because of the double standard it is often just plain woman negative. I could continue to talk about this, but FinallyFeminism101 already has a really good post about it that I’ll just link to.
2. Belittling, shaming, and criticizing trans* individuals whose identities, expression, or way of life isn’t like yours. Femme ftms, stealth guys, FAAB guys who don’t identify as transgender, and trans* people who have a non-traditional transgender narrative have all caught a lot of flak recently from other transguys on tumblr. Just because you can’t imagine being happily stealth or willingly wearing a dress while identifying as male doesn’t mean it isn’t right or good for other individuals. Stop identity policing!
3. Making assumptions about other people. Assumptions are all too often based on stereotypes and are often wrong and/or insulting. Instead of assuming how someone identifies, what someone means by something, or how someone feels, ask them!
4. Rape jokes and comments that take rape and sexual assault lightly. We’ve mentioned this before, but rape jokes are in incredibly bad taste. Most of the people who make comments like “I just really got raped by that test” or “I raped that paper” probably don’t mean to offend, but saying things like these makes light of rape and can be triggering/upsetting for people who have been sexually assaulted. Try to be sensitive to these issues.
5. Racism. I’m not talking about the explicit racism of our forebears that pretty much everyone recognizes as wrong, but that subtle, insidious racism that still pervades our society. That off-color joke you like to tell? It isn’t okay just because you “dated a black guy”, “like mexican food”, or “went to china and taught english”. Most white people (even the most well-meaning among us!) have some implicit racism to work through, and education is a pretty good start. The Good Men Project ran a good article recently about race that had some suggestions on where to start to educate yourself about race.