They are stylish. They tell great jokes. They try to look really smart by quoting Marx, Foucault, and Simone de Beauvoir. They rave about unpopular music, cinema, and books. They flaunt their ability to cook and gloat over how they do the dishes and laundry. But behind this smokescreen is often a guy who lies, deceives, and practices manterrupting and mansplaining, among other forms of silencing.
Every woman has likely faced the so-called “brocialist” in her life, especially at the UW –– departments like political science and law, societies, and justice (LSJ) are full of them. They’re “progressive-thinking” men who seemingly fight for women’s rights, sexual freedom, and the economic and social equality of genders. But in the end, they turn out to be a male chauvinists who only use their speech to gain attention and make out.
As a response to seeing the growing process of a changing society, these men tend to reconstruct and create new types of masculinity, which utilize the old stereotypes with minor upgrades –– this includes incorporating a fake “wokeness” into their speech.
Tagged with a “revolutionary” stamp on their forehead, they feel the need to express their progressive beliefs and to highlight their alliance and sympathy with the fight for women’s rights. While flirting, they use their memorized philosophical quotes to impress, while oppressing and objectifying women in their private life.
“I guess as a woman I noticed that things that women have been oppressed through most of history are the same things that men are trying to use on their terms to get ahead, because it is getting harder and harder to ignore the fact that certain values and practices held in most areas of society are not OK,” Kindal Dolph, a fourth-year studying journalism and public interest communication, said.
Brocialists act like they are the greatest feminists in the world and always feel like they are the most qualified to educate and speak on feminist issues. They are also super engaged in social justice debates — that is, as long as they are not “harassed” by actual women when they’re critiqued for being counterproductive “allies” in any situation. They love to talk to women, as long as they can monologue about all their knowledge and wisdom. They “defend” women and “fight” on their side, but of course, it always must come at the cost of women needing to praise them for being “exemplary men.”
Whether consciously or subconsciously, many of these men use progressive ideals to get into your pants –– to win over women, they strategically show how “different” they are from misogynistic men, and use progressive speech to take advantage of the progressive people they’re trying to pursue.
This may seem like an overgeneralization, but these men are everywhere. From our own university to our own former U.S. president who openly wrote about using different tactics to attract different sets of progressive women.
It’s not surprising that this is prevalent in the university environment, because as men learn the most basic progressive vocabulary, they then suddenly feel equipped to tokenize these lessons as progressive bait. This in turn creates a sense of uncertainty with men in these spaces, because you never know who truly has done the work and informs themselves on these issues and who simply is just trying to get in your pants.
From reading Barack Obama’s book to interacting with men on campus, it’s clear to me that the latter is more common.
“It makes it hard to trust [men],” Dolph said. “But … how do you even see that in the first place? Unless you know what’s happening, first appearance or representation might suggest that they [actually] value those progressive ideals, but is it just a strategy or tool to continue to hold their position of power?”
These men see women as disposable objects. While they gain attention for their ideals of aiding the oppressed, they rest comfortably in the privileges acquired by the patriarchy. This “show-off” attitude, where they are trying to show how valuable and worthy of women’s attention they are, is actually just a desire to have their egos stroked.
“[Men] using wokeness is anti-women, and it robs people of opportunities,” Dolph said. “It’s really damaging for men too, because they are also being misrepresented for what they can contribute. It’s just not sustainable for literally anyone or anything, no matter what ‘side’ you’re on. A vicious perpetuating cycle.”
Reach writer Victor Simoes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ViC_t_O_r05
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