This argument is essentially, “Men can’t help themselves,” and it comes up often under the issue of catcalling, but is at odds with most conservative thinking. Liberals may believe people are incapable of controlling themselves, but it is unbecoming of the Right to use this excuse, even on something as miniscule as catcalling. About a year ago, Kathryn Jean Lopez, another NRO colleague, interviewed Charlotte Hays about her book When Did White Trash Become the New Normal? in which she suggests that by our accepting the antics of the Left, we are allowing American society to become, well . . . trashy.
“Whereas we once had chivalry, at least as an ideal, we now have the Violence Against Women Act, which is based on the supposition that men are brutes,” Hays says. “Instead of decency, we are told to rely on restraining orders that don’t work. The act comes from a mindset that says men can’t be tamed.”
Is this not the same reasoning a girl uses when she rolls her eyes and thinks to herself, “Men are animals,” after a man tells her to “shake it” while she walks down the street? The subtext of that eye roll is, “Men can’t help it,” but they can help it, because they are not animals. And this suggestion that men will continue to harass women on the street because their brains tell them to is, frankly, offensive to men. If men want to change their behavior, they will. But they won’t change it unless it is made clear that their current behavior is unacceptable, which brings me to my other point.