Dear Mens: Your Greasy Demon Hands Are In Time Out

HELLO, FELLOW CISGENDERED MENS,

It is I, your male-identifying cohort, Chnurk Mandog, and it’s time we had a little talk.

Before we begin this talk, though, I’m gonna tell a story.

Recently, I was in Florida, aka, America’s Moist Dangly Bits, and while there, I was on Sanibel Island, which is known in part as possessing the best shelling beaches in the world, and also offering up tiny invisible bugs called no-see-ums that appear in a shimmering cloud and buzzsaw you down to your bones. While on a shelling beach, I witnessed many things, including pretty shells, a dead rat, several dead stingrays, and a vicious red tide. I also witnessed this:

A family was walking up along the top margins of the beach. Meaning, away from the water, up by the trees. It was a father and a mother, both I’d guess in their late-30s early 40s, and a pack of four boys. Presumably, their children, or maybe clones, I dunno. The boys were chasing lizards, and one of the boys came up to his father and said, “DAD CAN I GRAB A LIZARD’S TAIL?”

And the father said, “Yeah, just don’t let him bite you.”

The boy ran off to join his lizard-hunting brothers.

Thankfully, the lizards were faster than these shitty kids, and the boys became so irritated and bored with not-catching lizards that they fucked off down to the water’s edge, instead.

My own son was with me, and I asked him, “Do you think you should grab lizards by the tail?” And he asked me, “Won’t that hurt the lizard?” And I said, “I dunno, probably.”

“Will they bite you?” he asked.

“Does that matter?” I asked. And when he looked up at me confused, I explained:

“The effect of the action on you is not as an important as the effect of the action on the lizard. Doesn’t matter if the lizard bites, because it’s not okay to go grabbing living things, because they’re not yours, and because you might hurt them.”

Our son, a little burgeoning rules lawyer, seemed pleased with this answer, and I felt, yay, a teachable moment. Huzzah and hooray.

The day went on, as days tend to.

But I was bugged by the event because I felt like I should’ve said something. Not to my own son, but to that dickhead dad and his dickhead boys — normally, I have a very strong DON’T PARENT OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN creed in place, because you can do what you want with your kids and I will handle my own, thank you. I’m not the Worldfather, I’m not your Parent Cop, and we all make mistakes. Just the same, I felt like those little fuckers are probably out ripping tails off lizards because their father couldn’t be bothered to tell them that wasn’t nice to do.

Later that afternoon, we were at a grocery store in the island called Jerry’s — and outside of Jerry’s is an array of other shops, a little courtyard, and maybe six cages that play host to various parrots or parrot-like entities. My son and I were toodling around outside while my wife was in one of the stores, and together we walked up to one of the cages, which contained, if I recall, a squawking blue-and-yellow macaw.

An older dude, maybe early 60s, was standing there next to us.

On the cage hung a sign, clearly written, in big, bold letters:

WE ARE ON A SPECIAL DIET.

PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS.

The older dude was noshing a pastry of some kind. A danish, I think.

And as we’re standing there, he took a piece of the danish, and thrust it through the cage bars to the parrot. Literally moving his hand three inches above the sign that clearly tells him DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS YOU FUCKING DING-DONG in an act of willful ignorance.

As the bird moved to the food, I snapped at him:

“You’re not supposed to feed the birds.”

He shot me a look, confused. Maybe angry. Said nothing.

I continue:

“It says right there on that sign you’re ignoring. They’re on a special diet. Don’t feed the goddamn birds.” He stared at me, mute, and I said, “Are you listening?” Slowly, his hand retracted before the bird was able to claim its inappropriate pastry snack. The man continued to look at me, not saying anything, and he then hurried away toward his wife. As he scurried off, I explained to my son loudly, because I’m a jerk, “YOU CAN’T FEED BREAD TO BIRDS BECAUSE BIRDS DON’T EAT BREAD. YOU DON’T SEE BIRDS BAKING BREAD, DO YOU? NO, YOU DON’T. BREAD CAUSES MALNUTRITION IN BIRDS.” My voice got louder and louder as I said this, to ensure that the old man heard me. My son, who is now reading actual words, said, “It says right there on the sign, don’t feed the birds.”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Yeah,” my son said.

Yeah,” I said again, righteous.

I’m sure as soon as we walked away, Ol’ Danish McGee probably wandered back up and shoved a gobbet of cheese danish into the macaw’s beak. But at least I said something and I felt a little better about that, even if it didn’t answer for the jerkwad boys who were ripping tails off lizards.

You might say, Chnurk, what is the point of this story?

To which, I point to this as a partial answer:

IN WAKE OF WEINSTEIN, MEN WONDER IF HUGGING WOMEN STILL OK

Now, of course, obviously what I’m doing here is I’m leading up to something, and that something is not that women are lizards or birds, nor do they have tails or special diets, but rather, hey men?

You need to keep your damn hands to yourself.

Your touch is not a gift.

Your gropey, searching hands are not charity, they’re not a favor, they’re not God’s Benevolence, they’re just your dumb hands, and you need to keep them — and all your other parts, especially your stupid probably very ugly dick — to yourself. This shouldn’t be difficult. It’s literally a lesson we taught to our own son at a very early age: “Don’t touch people who don’t want to be touched.” And that want to be touched part is not only essential, but rather, it’s essential to realize that only vigorous consent can alert you to the desire to be touched. It’s not implicit. It’s not in her eyes, it’s not whispered on the wind, as if by magic. It’s spoken by the mouth, or written on a piece of paper — if someone asks for a hug or some other kind of physical contact? They want the hug. If they don’t, you can ask them proactively: “HI, MAY I HUG YOU?” and if they say yes? Hug them appropriately, in the Normal Hugging Way. If they say no? Then do not touch them. No-handsy, no-touchy. This shouldn’t be difficult. These are preschool rules, man.

It’s not even an insult if she says no. It’s just a choice. A choice born maybe of trauma you can’t see. Or a choice based on preference or predilection. Or maybe it is an insult, maybe she doesn’t like you, maybe you’re an asshole, maybe this, maybe that. It doesn’t matter. A no is a no. You are owed nothing. She is not yours. The world is not yours. More to the point:

Life is not your buffet line of sexual opportunity, jerks. Women are not in a stable for your mate or mistress selection. I once watched a dude at a grocery store hit on a blind woman (I am ashamed I didn’t say anything to him, honestly), and what I said then remains true now: women are not just sockets for your plugs. This is true everywhere. It’s true at the grocery store. It’s true in your own home. It’s true at work! I know! At work. But isn’t the workplace just a meat market where you, the Hunter-Gatherer, will select your Ladymeat from the Ladymeat on Display?

No! No you fucking ape, it’s not. The women there in the workplace are there to work. That’s literally it. They are autonomous, independent individuals, just as you yourself are an autonomous, independent individual, dude. That’s true no matter their gender, their color, their able-bodiedness — they are not yours to touch or ogle. Your own autonomy extends to the margins of your own body and no further. And, by the way, since I have a number of writer and other creative folk following along, please note too that our workplaces are a little more fluid and flexible — conventions and conferences, for instance, are our workplaces. They, too, are not your sexual buffet line. The women there, be they fans, volunteers, readers, writers, artists, whoever, are still not a box of lusty chocolates from which to choose.

Keep your shitty demon hands to yourself. They are in time-out. Stick them in your pockets if you must. Duct-tape them together. Burn them with cigarettes if they seem motivated to stray. Keep them hidden or someone is going to rightfully chop them off.

Listen, I get it. You’ve been told, or at least shown, that the WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER. All you gotta do is grab it, pop open its shell, and suck down the meat that you have claimed for yourself. Grab all the lizards you want, dominionist man! Personal liberty says you can feed that parrot whatever the fuck you want, mighty parrot-conquerer! You can feed that parrot danish, or dishsoap, or your own dick, why not? Why can’t you fuck the parrot? You are God-chosen caveman! Club what you choose and take what is yours! Women are there for your pleasure and your breeding, ha ha ha right? Christ, my own father would drive his big-ass pickup truck close to other cars so he could stare down women’s shirts. We’d go to a couple local bars, and — in full view of my mother! — would flirt with waitresses, slap their asses, that kind of thing. He never said to me, “Son, women are yours to do with as you please,” but he certainly demonstrated that. And that kind of demonstration continues today, all around us. “Rape culture doesn’t exist,” someone surely believes even as we elected an admitted sexual predator to the highest office in the land, a guy whose only spoken moral is, “You can do anything,” and that includes grabbing women in whatever way he chooses. That sexual predator is now endorsing a secondary monster, Roy Moore, who is credibly-accused of child molestation in a way where he was banned from the local mall. (But not banned from the Senate, I guess!)

And here you might be saying, whoa whoa whoa, how’d we get here? Clearly that is different. Clearly there are stratum at play here — nuance is essential, right? A guy who forces a hug is nowhere near the same as a guy who picks up 14-year-old girls and tries to force sexual acts upon them? And you’re right. Points for you. They’re not the same. The matter of degree in difference is considerable, in much the same way that slapping someone in the face is way different from blasting out their middle with a shotgun blast of buckshot.

And yet, slapping people is still wrong.

And it’s still an act of violence.

The difference between what our president has admitted doing — or what Weinstein did — and inappropriate sexual misconduct in the workplace is obvious, but both actions come from the same place: the belief that you can do what you want, that you can touch who you want, that you do not require consent to do so.

That is incorrect.

JFC, men. Stow it. Stick your hands in the nearest glove compartment, then have someone — preferably a woman — slam the compartment shut in a way so violent that it dismembers your monster hands and contains them in the prison of that glove compartment.

I have no greater point than that. The world is not your plaything. That extends to women, to each other, to all humans, to the creatures of this world, to objects you do not own, to really every damn thing under the sun that is not a part of your body or purchased by you with cash-slash-credit. Yes, you can hug women, if they consent to being hugged. With vigorous consent, you and all other consenting parties can slap all your parts together in whatever configuration you find most delightful. Affection is not dead. It’s just meant for people who actually want it. Why the fuck would you want to give affection to someone who doesn’t want it? What the fuck is wrong with you? Put your hands away. PUT YOUR STUPID HANDS AWAY. AND YOUR MOUTH AND YOUR TONGUE AND ALL YOUR BITS.

And seriously, also, your dick.

Seriously.

Seriously.

Put your dick away.

Nobody wants to see that thing.

Even people who want to see that thing really don’t want to see that thing.

No, no, I’m not saying to be ashamed of your dick, I’m just saying, unless you get an email where the font is in 144-point size Comic Sans and it says PLEASE SHOW ME YOUR DICK AT THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY, I WILL GAZE UPON THIS DICK DIGITALLY OR IN FULL 4K REALITY, and it has a signature of authenticity underneath that is notarized by three licensed sources, stop showing people your stupid dingle.

Teach this to your children.

Tell this to the men in your life.

If you see something, say something.

The end.

94 comments

  • December 6, 2017 at 10:13 AM // Reply

    This is one of the absolute best rants I’ve heard on the subject.
    I love your rants, Chuck; as a fellow writer, I think you’re terrific!
    Wowsa!

  • Thanks, Chuck W. Thanks for speaking out on behalf of women, lizards, and macaws alike. Thanks for teaching your son kindness, empathy, and passive-aggressive scolding of strangers (I kid).

    The bird will thank you later for depriving him of that danish, although maybe not in the moment.

  • I can’t express enough how grateful I am that someone out there can express better than me the ideals that I want to teach my kids. I don’t think I’m doing the best job, but I’m trying. I am still feeling incredibly guilty about a kids party we were at this past weekend. My son is 3 1/2. I am always trying to teach him that his body is his and no one can touch him without his permission. It’s teaching the logical opposite of that, that he should ask permission to touch someone else, that seems to give me trouble. And I know it’s because of my own internalized social “knowledge”. We were at this little girl’s 3 year birthday party. We were leaving and out of my mouth comes “Go wish her a Happy Birthday AND GIVE HER A HUG.” Why did I say that? I wanted him to be polite and thank her and I just told him to go over and touch her without asking first. And then….he also leaned in and kissed her cheek. It was the most adorable thing, and bad. Bad, bad, bad. The atmosphere was so chaotic and loud, I couldn’t stop him, and I couldn’t talk to him because of the loudness. I ended up letting it slide, because first it was my fault for telling him, and second, by the time I got him bundled up and out the door where he could hear me, he would have forgotten all about doing it.

    So. I’m glad there are men like you helping to teach their kids about consent. But if someone like me, who is bound and determined to do the same, has trouble, I’m not surprised others who aren’t as “woke” don’t get it. It’s so automatic to tell these toddlers to hug people to show their affection, because it’s just so darn cute.

    So, that was a teachable moment for me. I have to monitor my own behavior and responses so I don’t give him mixed signals and teach the wrong thing. Anyhow, rambling.

    Thank you for this post. It was great.

    • Oh man, I wanted to add something very similar to this!
      I want to teach my son all about bodily autonomy but I make those same mistakes. Hell, I’m the perpetrator at times! My son isn’t a very handsy kid. Doesn’t love to be hugged and cuddled and kissed. And, not all the time but sometimes, I do it anyway! I hug him or give him a peck on the head, even though he didn’t want me to. At least, being 3, he’s old enough that he’ll scold me for doing it, and I recognize that it’s a shitty thing. I’m actively getting better about respecting his boundaries, and could not be more appreciative of this post.
      Thank you Chuck, and everyone else on here.

  • Take a bow, Churk Mandog. Thou hast spoken wisely. I believe that I will show this to my Teenager, who has been taught the same thing but a reminder never hurts.

  • I like to fantasize about a world where people teach their children to respect animals as equals. To be gentle, to only pet if it wants to be petted, to observe nature instead of using and abusing. It’s so, so easy to do this. “Do you think that bug wants to be squashed? Would you, if you were a bug? Do you think that lightning bug wants to keep its light? That earthworm deserves to live, too.”

    Respect for other people follows so naturally you won’t have to teach them a thing.

    Can you imagine a world like this? I can, because I see it in my boys’ eyes, and I know it’s possible.

  • Thank you for not making your rants sound like self-righteous controlling bullshit. Those of us trying to “change the world” so often doom our message with how we present it. You have managed the perfect tone here. You’ve made it simple, you’ve made it about being a decent human being. Thank you.

  • Seriously… printing this sucker and handing it out to so many friends, coworkers, family and all the crappy men I meet on internet dating sites.

  • Thank you so much for saying this. It’s been said so many times before, but not with your signature style. So thank you. Maybe this time people will actually listen.

  • I ❤️ this, Chuck. Thank you for writing it up.

    Also, if you gave me that Salt Lake Tribune article and told me it was published in The Onion I’d believe it, no question. Good grief.

  • I love this on a number of levels, but for the moment I love it most for its humor, for the way it “makes the medicine go down.” Losing our sense of humor is deadly to keeping the conversation alive, and to keeping all those who even tentatively want to be at the table, at the table.

  • Great article, as always, Chuck!

    I agree, maybe you should’ve said something about the lizard-grabbing hooligans, but not directly to them or to the parents in front of them. Rather, take the father and/or mother to the side and suggest ever-so-lovingly that it’s probably not best to encourage his hellions touch the wild things, not only for the critters’ health, but for their own safety. This way, the parent isn’t embarrassed and you made your point. Put the responsibility on them.

    With that said, your article should be printed in large letter across the sky. Okay, it would be a big patch of sky, but still, you get my point.

    “THIS IS IMPORTANT. READ THIS ARTICLE” with the link would be shorter (and cheaper).

    I’d like to think that the Golden Rule should be applied here, but though usually perfect for most occasions, shouldn’t be preached as a literal doctrine in this case, as I’ve seen in the public domain. Men of low morals would gladly volunteer to be groped without their permission and demand to know why anyone would be offended by that (at least they would say that out loud … I would hope there’s that niggling voice in the back of their heads telling them they’re idiots).

    Rather, the rule should be “respect others as you wish to be respected should be repeated over and over again. After all, except for true masochists, does anyone like being disrespected? And what’s more disrespectful than insisting you have dominion on another person’s being — their body, heart, soul, and/or mind.

    RESPECT, DAMNIT, RESPECT. It’s not a difficult concept.

    • December 7, 2017 at 2:26 AM // Reply

      Just one thing: men who say they would “love to be sexually harassed or assaulted” always envision the harassing or assaulting being done by a Victoria’s Secret model, or at the very least, the cute manic-pixie barista they’ve been ogling at Starbucks. They need to think of it differently – like, the woman saying naughty things and grabbing your junk is someone you find physically repulsive. Like not even beer-goggles cute. Would they still “gladly volunteer to be groped without permission”? I really doubt it. It just seems that guys who do this either can’t imagine that any woman would feel about them the way the feel about the physically repulsive woman, or they just don’t care.

      • Speaking as someone who would “gladly volunteer to be groped”, and has given strong consideration to wearing a PLEASE GROPE ME shirt, I actually *have* given that some serious thought after I saw the same point brought up elsewhere. Would I still enjoy it if it was being done by someone I considered repulsive, both physically and personality-wise?

        And I decided, “yes, I would.” I believe my enjoyment would still outweigh the disgust I felt. Of course, this is a mental exercise only. If it actually happened to me in real life, I might feel differently.

        And of course, just because I want it done to me, doesn’t mean that I would ever do it to someone else. I would never grope–or indeed, touch–someone without them openly, unambiguously asking me to.

        (The same holds true of sending dick pics; I love getting random dick or boob pics from strangers, I honestly do! But I would never send one without EXPLICITLY GIVEN PERMISSION because I know most people don’t feel the same.)

        I know that just because I have a preference for something, doesn’t mean other people do, or that I have the right to force my preference on them.

      • I agree! We’re not talking the most evolved human beings, even if they are able to dress themselves and form monosyllabic sentences. They are emotionally stunted souls who can only view women (and likely everything else) in terms of what can / should they do for me. It’s the presumption of privilege — that life owes them everything just by virtue of the fact they exist — that is one of the root causes of this bad behavior.

  • I must admit to a certain curiosity regarding how many dipshits spewing phrases like “virtue signalling” and “beta cuck” have already been shown the way to the oubliette for commenting on this post…

  • Somebody laminate this please! We hear so often how hard it is to raise girls in this world, thank you for touching on the challenges of raising boys in such a male dominated society. Teaching my sons to respect all humans and just the world in general is a daily struggle when everywhere they look members of their own party are constantly misbehaving. It’s time to put the penises away and just be good humans.

  • Everything about this! We just had an issue where our SEVEN YEAR OLD DAUGHTER was assaulted by other first graders at school. Pulled her shirt up, pants down, on the playground. Then tried to prevent her from getting away. The school initially did NOT handle this great. We went down there and forced the issue. Made sure those boys were reported, and checked into. When they’re older, this will be on their record to refer to if something like it ever happens again.

    When I spoke to local law enforcement for advice on how to handle the school, the deputy told me, “Boys will be boys, and tell your daughter maybe not to play with those boys again.”

    Like this is her fault, and she should live her life avoiding the male species because it’s a given that they’re all idiots and entitled to act this way.

    Honestly, this post should be curriculum for the male species. All of them.

    • Hi Jessa. A little heads-up for you: in regard to those boys having it “on their record to refer to if anything like this ever happens again” I know a long-time school teacher who’s warned me before that there’s really no such thing as your “permanent record” at least not that’s part of your official school records. That’s just something they say to scare kids (and their parents). Suprise! There is no “permanent record”.

  • December 6, 2017 at 2:08 PM // Reply

    I have been hugged by women spontaneously perhaps a few hundred times in my long life. Without my permission. Some were friends, some acquaintances, a few strangers. Were they assaulting me, abusing me, treating me as an object?

  • Chuck, excellent post. Many of us fellow men need to read this.

    I have to ask about this: “It is I, your male-identifying cohort,” – What is that all about? Unless you have a sex change, you’re a dude.

    PS Read Damn Fine Story – great book

    • If he identified as she, then he couldn’t speak to this particular audience, regardless of the genital bits he currently does or does not have. Gender is in the brain, the science is in. Also, in an effort not to allow this to become a derailing point, I won’t be commenting any further. But I hope this helps, and I’d encourage you to search further into gender!

    • No, I’m a dude because I say I’m a dude. If I decide that I’m not a dude, I can do that, too, regardless of what hangs or does not hang betwixt my legs. Gender is a social construct and exists on a spectrum, and is entirely separate from sex.

      • Betwixt – I dig that word! You sir, are a great writer, as you help expand vocabularies. I’m going to use that word in the future.

  • *Wiping away a single tear*
    That was…a blessing. Thank you for bestowing this wisdom among the swine of the world.
    Seriously though, I started looking at this blog a couple of weeks ago after finding your post to help write horror. (I’m an 17 year old aspiring author/baker; I was challenging myself to try something new) Ever since I found this happy little hovel, I can’t help but check everyday for a new article. This, thus far, is probably my favorite. I may take my college fund and use it to put this on a billboard.
    Thanks for defending the females who don’t dare to open their mouths. Now, I’m going to go experience decapitating a lamb. Have a nice night!

  • Don’t forget. This applies to all humans, not just men. I don’t want to take away from or diminish the importance of the women now standing up against this sort of behavior from men, but as a man I must admit to being in them same position as these women — suffering a constant barrage of uninvited physical contact.

    • Acculturation is the culprit, I think; what society and family teach us are “acceptable” behaviors may not fit our personal needs/preferences. IMHO, others can only learn what one will and won’t accept from them if they’re specifically told, via word or action. Taking a literal step back from contact one doesn’t want can go a long way toward teaching others about one’s personal boundaries. At the very least, it can initiate a conversation that can inform as well as maintain wanted relationships. Of course, some people won’t understand and may be miffed, but that’s on them.

  • As an investigator of criminal sexual acts, I wish I could shove this down the throat of the vast majority of suspects I deal with. The whole enthusiastic consent thing is a hard one for people to grasp, though. I think that’s got a long ways to go before it becomes a “thing” that’s culturally recognized. Lots of people will say, “I would stop if they said stop. They never said stop.” There’s a big difference between not saying no, and actively saying yes. Anyway, thanks Chuck!

  • “if someone asks for a hug or some other kind of physical contact? They want the hug. If they don’t, you can ask them proactively: “HI, MAY I HUG YOU?” and if they say yes? Hug them appropriately, in the Normal Hugging Way.”

    Yes to part A, but a caution on part B. Depending on a number of circumstances, someone might not feel empowered to say no when asked “May I hug you?”

  • Thank you, Mr. Danzig. You have written a proclamation worthy of printing out on the Nice Paper and tacking to the foreheads of many.

  • I see you being the Person Of The Year Time Magazine Cover for 2018.
    Thank you for all those Chuckwords about R.E.S.P.E.C.T. and finding out what it means to you. (P.S. That song was written by Otis Redding (hear him sing it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo3aeXZFZkg) but when sung by Aretha Franklin…well…now…www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L4Bonnw484).

  • “Affection is not dead. It’s just meant for people who actually want it.”
    Says it all.
    (And maybe while we’re here we could consider that affection doesn’t have to be physical, and that there are myriads of ways for humans to interact that don’t orbit round their gender and/or sexuality. And if that’s the only setting some people have, then they’re stunted as humans and missing out on a lot.)

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