Dear Christian Men

800px-Smokeybear

There are times when you worry me. No, not all of you – I know lots of good, wonderful Christian men. But the men you choose to let speak for you? They have me worried.

You understand: I see these kindly Christian men with good intentions attempting to give advice about relationships. They take the form, frequently, of “Dear Ladies,” or “Ladies of the World,” or some other form of advice answering the question – yes, it gets asked and I’ve asked it myself – of “why do I [a woman] attract douchebags?”

But you see, Christian men, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. When that question gets asked, the answer takes one of two approaches: 1. It’s not your fault, you did nothing wrong, they were just douches. Or 2. Maybe you need to reconsider the “vibe” that you’re giving off so as not to attract douches in the future.

But neither of those gets to the root of the issue, and that is this: men can choose not to be douches.

It amazes me that it’s taken me 26 and a half years to realize it, but when we allow and even embrace a woman asking “what’s wrong with me?” – affirming that question with numerous advice columns and instructions of how women can stop giving off the wrong impression (often by changing their clothing or personality) – we fail to answer the root of the problem: why are some men douches?

That’s not really a question I can answer in the space provided me (though it is my own blog, so if I want to go on a 10,000 word rant, by god I will!), but it does raise an important point. Why do we consider douchebaggery to be an inevitable trait in some men?

In looking at the impressions that women are giving off that attract the “wrong sort of men,” we lower our standards for the human race incredibly. We (ie, you, in allowing and encouraging this advice-giving) create a world in which douchebaggery is accepted as the norm, and it is a woman’s responsibility to change herself so she no longer attracts said douchebags.

We live in, if I may steal and adapt a phrase, a douche culture.

But you know what, male Christian advice givers of the world, I’m putting my foot down. I refuse to change myself so those douches can remain douches. I refuse to reexamine what “vibes I’m giving off” in order that the douche may skate off, having avoided my “don’t come near me douchebags” vibe.

No! Instead, I implore that we suffer douches no longer.

If douches are able to identify from our “vibes” what sort of women we are (a specious claim, to be honest), then we should be able to hone our douche radar, and work on changing this culture of douchebaggery. And you know what, Christian men? This could start with you! Instead of telling women what to do, let’s challenge and implore your fellow man to, oh I don’t know, not be a douche?

And let’s empower women, not to wonder “what the hell is wrong with me?” but instead to recognize douchiness and stop it in its tracks! It’s astounding that when we quit enabling douchebags how quickly they change from being douchebags!

I know this because I’ve seen it work on several of my male friends. Let’s be honest: every guy has a douche stage. Some get stuck there for longer than they should. But if no one tells them that they’re a douche, do they know they’re a douche?

A question for the ages, my dears.

But if you’re unwilling to stand up and say, “Hey, the way you used that girl in the one night stand and then refused to call her? That was kind of douchey,” then we will never be able to change douche culture.

Like Smokey the Bear, changing douche culture starts with you! We don’t have to accept that “some men are just douches.” After all, isn’t the Christian thing a belief that everyone, no matter how bad, has the ability to change?

Sincerely,

A woman who is tired of being told that putting up with douches is “just a part of life.”