When it comes to someone else’s body? NOTHING!
So what is entitlement all about? It is the belief that a person is deserving of certain privileges. In this context, we can simply say: entitlement is the feeling that you have the right to do or have whatever you want, without deserving it or having to work for it, just because of who you are.
Male entitlement can be seen in every part of our society. Take a good look around. You may be able to spot traces of this in relationships, offices, families, social media and even in our education system.
As a man, there are so many things that you may not realise women have to deal with.
You don’t have to worry about being judged for not seeing marriage as life’s ultimate goal, or be called vile names because of what you wear and how you look. You don’t have to look over your shoulder at night to avoid being raped or assaulted and you hardly have to worry about someone spiking your drink in a club. There’s a host of ‘male privileges’ but somehow, some men still want to choke us and leave us with very little breathing space. Why?
Let’s take it back a few months, when #KeepTheChangeBae was trending. A male twitter user was upset because he took a lady to the movies, bought her food and she refused to start a relationship with him when he asked. What manner of entitlement would make a grown man insult a lady because he did not have his way? It’s disgusting to know that people believe they can do whatever they please to you because they made a nice gesture. This case is one of the smaller ones I’ve come across…
There have been incidents where women were badly beaten up because they refused to give their phone numbers to complete strangers. There are also cases of sexual assault because some men think they are entitled to a woman’s body whether she consents to it or not. A certain wise woman, Jess Hill, once said, “domestic violence is not driven by anger, first and foremost. It’s driven by a need for – and a sense of entitlement to – power and control.”
I recently stumbled on another tweet. This particular man stated that if he ever brings his hungry friends to his home, his girlfriend “has to” cook for them.
A woman should only cook for your friends if she wants to; she really doesn’t have to. She’s under no obligation to feed a bunch of hungry grown men that should know how to fix a proper meal for themselves. You should not force us to do what we don’t want to. And no, refusing to please you all the time doesn’t make her any less of a woman.
Society’s expectations of women are overwhelming. We hear things like, “you have to stay in that marriage no matter how difficult it gets”, “you’re a single mother, nobody wants second hand baggage”, “if your husband hits you, you probably provoked him”, “you were raped because you dressed indecently”, “he cheated on you and that’s normal. Men are polygamous in nature.” We are tired of always being told that everything is our fault.
Thankfully, we no longer live in the 19th century. We are in the process of moving on from those dark days when male entitlement was normalized. We are unlearning so many things. Whilst things are changing, there’s still so much work to be done.
The sad reality is that entitlement is not something that will change overnight.
It is twisted thinking to believe that men are entitled to our bodies or affection for any reason whatsoever. No one is born with the right to someone else. Consider yourself blessed if someone is willing to share their love and affection with you. If women are treated the way that all people deserve to be treated: with respect, then things can begin to change.
During the 16 Days of Activism, we want you to share YOUR story, by reaching out to us on social media and using the hashtag #ThisIsMyStory. Follow our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages to be part of the conversations we are having during this important time