Many women in Eric’s co-op complained that one male member of the co-op board was aggressive, verbally abusive, and physically intimidating when they disagreed with him about matters pertaining to building maintenance. When that member landed in prison on charges of misdemeanor assault, Eric stepped up to the plate and announced, “I always knew there was something off about that guy.”
When Ted’s friend Laurel confided in him that Andrew (their mutual acquaintance from college) was acting creepy, Ted had trouble believing her. Ted knew that Andrew was awkward, but Laurel’s request that Ted stop inviting both of them to the same events just seemed like a crazy overreaction to Andrew’s total lack of game. Instead, Ted decided he just wouldn’t tell Laurel that Andrew was coming to next week’s Beer Garden hang.
That night, though, Ted’s whole perspective changed: he noticed that Andrew really was invading Laurel’s space, and when she and her friend Steph tried to leave, Andrew followed them and tried to block the door. It was ugly, threatening behavior—Andrew had definitely crossed a line. For seven heroic minutes, Ted felt just a little bit bad about that.
Three months ago, Louis found himself in a position he could never have anticipated: he witnessed his superintendent exposing himself to Louis’ female roommate. Louis was shocked and appalled. When his roommate told their super that she was uncomfortable and would call the police if he didn’t leave, their super became belligerent and threatened to shut off their heat. Eventually, he left.
Once he was gone, Louis went into his roommate’s room and boldly declared, “Wow. That was fucked up.”
Danny, an outspoken feminist, has spent years of his life-fighting misogyny and helping the women around him to fight misogyny by telling them exactly how they should do so. When a female friend suggested that perhaps Danny’s habit of speaking over women was counter to his feminist goals, Danny fearlessly explained that her willingness to alienate male allies meant that her actions were detrimental to the cause of feminism, and her behavior was harmful to women everywhere. Danny expounded upon his point by reminding her that feminists have a bad enough rep without her living up to all the negative stereotypes about them. Danny even generously lent his time and energy to educating her about how true feminists behave, and how she might be a better asset to the feminist cause in the future.
When Micah’s coworker told him that their boss had repeatedly asked her to come to his hotel room during a business trip, and implied that she’d be passed over for a promotion if she didn’t comply, Micah bravely replied, “Oh, shit. That sucks.”
When Jason’s female friend told him that his killer joke about lonely overweight women was actually pretty sexist, Jason really wanted to tell her that feminists ruin everything and that she wasn’t fun to have at parties. But, given all the media noise about sexual assault lately, he thought it might look bad if he did. In an admirable act of restraint and self-determination, Jason just rolled his eyes instead.