So…Men Never Need Help?

Just a quick post about something that happened today.
I was at the grocery store in the self-checkout line. There was a mid-20’s guy in the one before mine who seemed to be limping a bit…turns out he had a post-surgery “boot” on his right foot. He asks the female helper/checker if she can help him carry his bags out to his car since his foot is really bothering him.

What does she do?
Laughs.
Laughs, and says he should be able to as he’s a man. Then says it’s rude for a guy to ask a “lady” to carry things.

My jaw hit the floor. What the hell?
I spoke up. “Sometimes guys need help too, you know.”

He looks at me gratefully, while she just reiterates her moronic words from before. I finish paying for my items, bagged them, and grab 3 of the man’s 4 bags as the cashier sputtered about how she “was sure he could manage”.

“And maybe you can manage to find some compassion for others”, I replied before turning to leave. So I helped the man out, and he couldn’t stop thanking me. I just wished him a happy holiday and speedy recovery.

But seriously, what the hell? Since when is it rude for someone to ask for assistance with anything? This entire experience just left me fuming with anger and frustration at the inherent misandry of our culture…Where is the decency we’re supposed to show to one another, whether male or female? Not where I live apparently. I’ve seen a fair amount of sexism against boys and men, but this was the most blatant episode in a while.

Anyone else ever seen or gone through something like this? How did you handle it?

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85 thoughts on “So…Men Never Need Help?

  1. Thus are double standards related to men being expected to be the “physically stronger” gender and therefore are “expected” to always be physically stronger than a woman and help her, rather than the other way around, where a man is physically weaker and a ask a woman for help, only for her to laugh in his face… Good riddance. Society really disgusts me these days. I hate the entitlement attitude some women demand, rather than ask about helping them just because they are a woman, then openly mock men who humbly ask for help. Yes, there are good women who humbly ask for help too and and lack an entitlement attitude and are of equal importance to be helped as men who humbly ask for help. People do not always help men. They expect them to “suck it up”, “roll with the punches”, and fight their own battles with fantasized ideals of male stoicism that society feeds people in the media. Men need help just as much as women do. It is human needs.

  2. I might have gone through something like it as a boy. When I was 10, I needed to get blood drawn for a blood test. The nurse couldn’t find my vein or artery, so she jabbed the needle in and moved it around inside my arm. It hurt a lot, and I cried out in pain. My mom told me to take it like a man.

    Sadly, my story isn’t typical of a boy growing up where I live, in the Deep South in the U.S.

    Still, you ask where the decency to show one another is. It was found in you today. I’m sure more than just you and the man might have noticed. And that gives other people the chance to learn from the cashier’s breach of public decency.

  3. @eoylus
    Which is complete BS, because I know guys that I’m stronger than or just as strong as. It’s good to have a strong, healthy body…but it *doesn’t make you a better person*. Nobody should be mocked for being less strong, or fast, or agile. There’s so much variety in our species…everyone has different abilities, and it’s idiotic to single someone out for one they may not have.

    It is human needs = quote of the day!

  4. @siriusbizinus
    Interesting. I went through the same thing, but my mom told me to stop whining and take it like a grown up. Isn’t it strange how she didn’t say “take it like a woman”? I’d say it’s more inherent misandry…being an adult is akin to being a man, but being a woman would mean I could still get away with complaining. What do you think?

    I really do hope others noticed, and maybe gave them something to consider. Perhaps next time they see someone in need, they’ll help instead of walk by.

  5. @KG
    I was so pissed at that woman. She says it’s rude to ask a “lady” for help? I still don’t see any problem with what he did…there certainly weren’t any ladies in her immediate vicinity.

  6. @Spawny
    I don’t think I’m that much of a unicorn though. Or, at least I hope I’m not. There’s a sizable population of men and women who help others…but we are not the majority. If we were, then yes. Things would be a lot better!

  7. Sophia, I can’t remember ever seeing anything like that in my life. There’s a remedy, though. Write a note to her employer and explain the extent of her unbelievable rudeness to a paying customer. It’s unlikely she’ll ever do it again.

  8. I’ve found that a lot of girls will do whatever they can to repel you or shoot you down if they think there’s even a remote chance that you’re hitting on them. I feel like that was also at play here. I can just imagine rolling her eyes thinking, “Oh sure, you need my help… I’m sure you need my phone number, too…”

  9. “Interesting. I went through the same thing, but my mom told me to stop whining and take it like a grown up. Isn’t it strange how she didn’t say “take it like a woman”? I’d say it’s more inherent misandry…being an adult is akin to being a man, but being a woman would mean I could still get away with complaining. What do you think?”

    I don’t know, Sophia. My parents only told me to stop complaining. After about age five, if I cried or complained they basically laughed in my face. I stopped complaining. Maybe it’s actually a good way to raise a child because I ended up tough. I told my oldest son to toughen up by about age ten (maybe earlier). He cried every time he got hurt, and I explained to him that if he cried every time he hurt himself people would start to laugh at him when he got older. He was a very tough kid after I explained that to him, and i didn’t have to explain it again…only to the first, one time. Little brothers emulate the older brother.

  10. @UV
    Hi! I read your last post, btw, but my phone was being a stupidhead so I couldn’t comment. You know, if I was a feminist I’d rebuke you for thinking your poor, oppressed female hairdresser’s body was an object for you to gaze lustfully at…even though she had no clue you were checking her ass out, and thus couldn’t feel offended unless her name was Jean Grey.

    But I’m not, so I’m glad you had a cute hairdresser. Should’ve tried asking her out… 😉

    Re: my post
    It’s a possibility, but if she thinks that every man on the planet is trying to ask her out when he speaks to her…well, actually that would explain a lot about her and other chicks I know. Hmmm. You’ve given me something to ponder!

  11. Just thinking further…I’m not so sure that “man up” instead of “woman up” is inherent misandry. It’s implied in the statement that a man is something to emulate and aspire to be.

  12. @Liz
    Mine did that after about age 7 or 8. Said it was high time I began acting mature. Oddly, they gave the same advice to my little brother when he reached the same age…but not to my little sisters.

    As I think about it, my brother (7 years younger than me) and I had to do a lot of things my sisters (8 and 10 years younger than me) never had to do. Brother and I were the ones to wash the cars, chop the wood, clean the gutters, prune the brushes, clear rocks, shovel the snow along with his father.

    Huh.

  13. Liz,
    You have a point. But then it would also stand to reason that if he didn’t comply, he wouldn’t be a “man”. He would either still be “just” a boy, or possibly not masculine at all.

    And I thought it was odd that I wasn’t told to “woman up”…not him. Wouldn’t make a lot of sense for him to woman up. 🙂

  14. “You have a point. But then it would also stand to reason that if he didn’t comply, he wouldn’t be a “man”. He would either still be “just” a boy, or possibly not masculine at all.

    And I thought it was odd that I wasn’t told to “woman up”…not him. Wouldn’t make a lot of sense for him to woman up.”

    But women aren’t considered tough…that would be almost like telling you to be a pussy, wouldn’t it?

    Interesting about your brother and sisters, Sophia.
    I’m curious….Did your sisters turn out differently from you? I mean, are they ‘tough’ or are they kind of pussified? I only ask because my oldest sister (half sister…she was 16 when I was born) is incredibly “tough” (emotionally, physically, everything…but she’s also a very devout Catholic so I’m not sure what part is religious influence and what is just ‘tough’ upbringing).

  15. @ tarn, liz

    Clarifying.

    Saying “Man up” is shaming. Implicit is the message that a man ought to act like a man. The appropriateness depends on context. For example, if saying “Man up” is used to shame men into marrying someone they ought not, then it is inappropriate.

  16. Liz,
    Oh Gods…no. My sisters are Barbies.

    My family is strange. Grandmother and great-grandmother instilled in me the idea that females could be strong and capable in their own right, but my mother always taught us that you should find a man to “take care of you”. So if someone told me to “woman up”, I *personally* would not think of it as a pussification. It’d be shaming language, just not one you hear often.

  17. @UV
    I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you want to be seen as a “misogynistic pig”. My brother did that when he was back from his latest tour in Afghanistan, and the chick went from being cold as ice to “well why the hell *aren’t* you interested?!”

    He told me later it was like flipping a switch…

  18. @ Virgin

    Funny, women often assume that a man is interested in them sexually when he hasn’t indicated any sexual interest.

    Last Sat. night, I approached maybe twelve women in a row, asking them to dance. Shot down every time. (Could be because they assumed that I was hitting on them and weren’t interested or they didn’t want to dance or maybe they disqualified themselves as not up to my level.) Then I asked another and she agreed. We started dancing. She was all smiles. Immediately she hit me with two 5h1t-tests.

    She: “Are you single?”

    Me: “No, married.”

    She: “I don’t dance with married men.” [as she continued to dance with me, heh]

    She: “Why don’t you wear your ring?” [as she took my left hand and pointed at the ring finger]

    Me: [smile of amused mastery and shrug]

    (A wedding ring is a lure for the more aggressive sort of woman who will sleep with a married man and possibly break up marriages in order to gain validation.)

    Of course, I passed the tests and we chatted as we danced. The 5h1t-tests show that she was wanting action, but I moved on and danced with other women. I wasn’t even aware of the tests at the time since I was only focusing on dancing with her and keeping a convo going. Beginning dancers need attention just like experienced dancers, though of a different sort–the lead has to instruct. I was out to dance and get material for my book, not hook up. However, she assumed otherwise, likely because she was pretty.

  19. @ tarn

    the chick went from being cold as ice to “well why the hell *aren’t* you interested?!”

    He told me later it was like flipping a switch…

    Heh, validation.

  20. @ tarn

    She became insecure because he indicated a lack of interest. She wondered about her sexual attractiveness and wanted validation that she was sexually attractive.

  21. Yes, quite juvenile. What was really juvenile was that a woman in college who I was interested in at the time was apparently interested in me, but “her heart wasn’t in it” when I wasn’t stereotypically masculine, and she proceeded to shame my body type and contrast it to her boyfriend’s and basically use me as just a handkerchief to cry on when her boyfriend mistreated me. She once asked me out to lunch quite a bit until she said she had “girl issues” and then started talking to a female friend and shot me down rudely if I tried saying hi to her. She also asked a lot about me when she first asked me out, then i later learned she had a boyfriend and things got awkward. She would praise my emotional sensitivity when I listened and was sensitive to her issues, yet when I tried to open up about my issues, she would say that I was “overly sensitive” and proceed to shame me. Thankfully I haven’t contacted her in over 3 years and don’t plan too.

  22. That, dear sir, is what we call the friendzone…with a side of shaming and bitchiness. Sorry you were put through that. I would’ve dropped her like a sack of fish heads.

    Also: Girl issues? Wtf?

  23. We only know a fraction about Tarnished that she could tell us. I’d love to hear
    her opinion on MANY topics. It’s just a matter of time before someone discovers
    her writings and offers her a larger platform to be heard.
    Tarnished is a victim of many kinds of abuse that made her strong and sympathetic
    to others. Think of the song: “A Boy Named Sue,” by Johnny Cash. The abuse made
    her STRONGER. This is a sign of GREATNESS. I, for one, will note it and extoll it,
    even if other’s won’t.
    About the cashier: She might have been afraid to leave her post. Most grocery stores
    make provisions for the handicapped. I guess it was a “smallish” store. Also, most
    people take these menial jobs because they don’t want to be bothered. They feel safer
    with predictible routine.
    It pays to be wary. The “Won’t-you-help-me-ruse,” is a very effective ploy by serial
    killers. It was before your time, but there was a man named Ted Bundy, handsome
    man, who wore a fake cast on his arm. He’d approach women and asked for help
    carrying books and various items. That’s how he got them into his car.
    He actually kidnapped two women in one day from a crowded lakeside. He tied up
    one and returned for a second. He then crushed one girl’s head with a heavy cinder
    block, and…. Well you can read about it.

  24. I am pretty much antifeminist. I think the first few waves were genuinely about equity and women’s rights, but now it seems to be about the demonetization of men and misandry.

  25. I know, what the blue fuck are girl issues? I should have been smarter back then and dropped her when she first shown the signs of being a bitch.

  26. …I don’t really know what that is. I’ve yet to find any topic of conversation that I would prefer to talk to women about over men. But that’s just me.

  27. “Laughs, and says he should be able to as he’s a man. Then says it’s rude for a guy to ask a “lady” to carry things.”

    Worse than being a tradcon knuckle dragger, she’s an inconsistent tradcon knuckle dragger. If she wants to be all traditional, she needs to remember she’s not a “lady”, she’s a shop girl.

  28. Ginkgo,
    I get the feeling she is one of those special cupcakes who believes one simply needs a vagina to be considered a lady. I don’t think I’d call her a girl though…she was either in her mid-late 40’s, or ridden hard and put away wet.

    And for any lurkers, no I’m not coming down on older people. I’m coming down on those who believe they are hot sh*t, when neither their personality nor looks warrants such behavior.

  29. Have I ever experienced this!

    Back before I decided that much of what was said about seeking help was total bullshit, I was an emotional mess. I won’t go into a lot of specifics, but a major female figure in my life almost got me killed in an insurance scam, and I ended up being neglected by two more. I went through a lot of hell before I got all of that worked out!

    But until I did, I sought help from the only sources I could find, which were intended for women. Sure, they let me attend, but my questions didn’t get the same florid prose a female questioner would receive. My responses were essentially, “Man up!”

    While things have improved for men somewhat, there is still a prevalent attitude among both genders expecting men to clam up and carry on. This was clearly expressed by the checker’s attitude of “You’ll manage somehow!” But even men in certain situations will share this attitude, and unless you know your cohort well, you aren’t about to expose yourself to their abuses by appearing weak.

    I have found that when one needs assistance, the Internet is the only place to go, for only your words are exposed. Those who abuse can be deleted and blocked from further outrages (so VERY satisfying!), and one’s ego isn’t hammered in the process.

  30. @Blurkel
    Wow…how old were you by the time you got help from support groups? I once went to a support group for women who had been sexually abused, but they were all incredibly angry at men. It was really uncomfortable being there, and the instructor/leader said I should be more upset and angry than I showed…she also insinuated that I shouldn’t enjoy sex or the male body, and that because I did I’d “internalized my abuse”. So I never went back.

    Even though they weren’t as supportive towards you, I hope your group helped more than mine did?

  31. “…how old were you by the time you got help from support groups”

    34, and I wouldn’t characterize it as support necessarily. Ever hear of Sociogram? Your group gets to shred your defenses to tatters as their contribution to your recovery. The only response allowed is for the target -I mean, person in heed of brutal honesty to aid their recovery- is a polite “Thank you”.

    To be fair, it did lead to my understanding the causes of my emotional distress, and I can’t convey how much that experience still hurts. But I got to the point where I was making progress in dealing with it. I just don’t EVER want to go through that again!!!

  32. “Ever hear of Sociogram? Your group gets to shred your defenses to tatters as their contribution to your recovery. The only response allowed is for the target -I mean, person in heed of brutal honesty to aid their recovery- is a polite “Thank you”. ”

    Ummm…dafaq?

  33. Sociogram is intended to give a person the kind of feedback which might be necessary to inspire one to extract one’s cranium from one’s dorsal port and get real. I can’t say that it worked as intended. I just know I don’t ever want to get into that situation ever again. That alone is a powerful motivator to get and remain honest with one’s self.

  34. The “build you back up” is left to the individual, and one has the rest of one’s life to do that. It’s a very rough way to do it, but we humans tend to bury the stuff that needs exposure to the light. I somehow managed, but I feel traumatized. It’s not pleasant to see one’s deepest hurts from a new perspective even though the emotions remain raw, and to know who helped, and who could care less, and who tried to manipulate things against you to absolve themselves from their responsibilities to you.

    I’ve had to be very careful not to take out my pain on those who inflicted it, for there is nothing to be gained in doing so. I got past those times, and don’t want to relive them. Better to just move on with my life and limit exposure to toxic relatives.

  35. Yes, I do this as well. Glad to hear you have found good coping mechanisms, and no longer deal with poisonous personalities in your life. As much as possible, anyway.

  36. Everything comes down to attitude and state of mind. People can be INCLINED
    to be optamistic or pessimistic, introverted or extraverted, but they’re view point.
    “colors” their entire world. There is a mystical saying: “There is NO DIFFERENCE
    between the seer and the seen.”
    If I look at a pretty picture with an ugly mind, that picture will look ugly to me.
    I’ll give the cashier the benefit of the doubt. She works at a menial job,for little
    money and probably knows she’ll never be more then she is. A petty person working
    a dead end job. She probably hopes that “Mr. Right” will come along and save her
    from her dreary existence. He won’t. So she leads a life of quiet desperation, as most
    people do. Tarnished is opposite of that. Be greatfull for that.

  37. Dude in your mid 20s if you break a bone you rarely need a cast, your osteoblasts are at their peak of efficiency. So i call shenanigans.

  38. It wasn’t a full on plaster cast. As I described in the beginning, it was a “boot”. I don’t know if there’s an actual name for it…maybe Liz can tell us, as she’s a nurse.

  39. Okay…?
    It’s no skin off my nose if you don’t believe me, Wilson. *shrug*
    I know it happened, and more importantly so does the guy I helped. That’s all that really matters.

  40. Sophia“It wasn’t a full on plaster cast. As I described in the beginning, it was a “boot”. I don’t know if there’s an actual name for it…maybe Liz can tell us, as she’s a nurse.”

    I think it’s just called an orthopedic boot (unless it was a post-op orthopedic shoe, or something…they use those for bunionectomies)

    Wilson: “Dude in your mid 20s if you break a bone you rarely need a cast, your osteoblasts are at their peak of efficiency. So i call shenanigans.”

    What the fuck are you talking about? Even children wear casts, quite frequently. Depends on the extent of the break. I was in a cast up to my hip when I was eleven years old.

  41. Thanks Sophia…it’s fine. One of my legs was shorter than the other after that and I had a leg lengthening procedure too. It’s okay though, I never would have met my husband otherwise (he had a fetish for medical devices and the medieval contraption appealed to him).
    Just kidding about the last. 😛
    But, yeah, there’s a reason for everything. All turned out well. 🙂

  42. I’m not allowed on any other blogs that touch on this subject, so I have no choice
    but to post my question here. No one is obligated to answer of course, and I’m
    greatful that Tarnished allows me to post on her blog at all.
    Here’s my question: “Why would a women want to engage in a conversation with a
    man that won’t acknowledge that she is at least his equal?
    If a man believes that women are especially evil JUST BECAUSE of their biology
    and they MUST be kept surpressed i.e They shouldn’t be allowed to vote, or they
    shouldn’t have the general freedoms a man should have, should a woman waste her
    time trying to reason with such a man?
    If a man believes that ALL women are evil s–t just because of their “plumbing,”
    should she waste her time trying to convince him otherwise?
    Why is there a rift between men and women? It’s due to failure to communicate.
    There are 16 different personality types on the MBTI. People are naturally compatible
    or incompatible. Doesn’t that make more sense then saying women are wicked and
    need to be subjagated?

  43. ““Why would a women want to engage in a conversation with a
    man that won’t acknowledge that she is at least his equal?”

    I don’t view inequality as a problem so I don’t demand that anyone ipso facto by the sheer fact of my existence view me a certain way. They are free to form their own conclusions based on the way I express myself. People aren’t alike. They look different, act differently. Their abilities aren’t alike. Their capacity for work isn’t alike.

    The only type of inequality that bothers me is the inequality before the law.

  44. Fwiw, I find that “equality” is usually code, not for equality, but for deference toward females. And I find that boring. It’s far more interesting when one’s thinking is challenged.

    But (huge caveat) when I encounter a person who is just trolling for no purpose other than to be insulting and every conversation is not a conversation but an abusive, one-sided polemic, that’s the person I will ignore. I actually encounter that more with women than men, but it happens.

  45. That’s a good question, Missattempts.

    I personally don’t understand the mentality of AWALT from some mras/mgtows, nor do I understand the ideology of AMALT from the radfems. There’s 7 billion people on this planet…it’s literally inconceivable that every man or every woman is “like that”. Our backgrounds, personal experiences, culture, ethnicity, class, educational opportunities, etc. all play a part in making us who we are. Since nobody is exactly the same in those regards, all we have is generalizations. These are very handy for quick compartmentalization of the world around us…not so good for dealing with people on an individual basis.

    That’s why, upon meeting a new person, I automatically have respect for them as a fellow human being. This is different than the respect you have to earn. For example, I can know someone who does a really crappy job of handling their workload and get annoyed at them for constantly asking for a time extension. I will not have any respect for them as a worker, but I will still retain my respect for them as a person. It would take actual words or acts of harm/violence for me to lose respect for someone as a human being. A good example of this is my stepfather…I acknowledge that he is great at his job and considered successful by many as he is on numerous town boards and makes 6 figures a year…but I have absolutely no respect for him as a person. If I had a choice to save a random dog from drowning or him, I’m not ashamed to say I’d rescue the dog.

    To meander back to your original question, I can say that I interact with people who may believe I’m inferior because I still respect them as a person. I don’t give a crap about how old they are, how much money they make, where they live, what they look like…none of that speaks to the core of the person, which is who I have respect for. I’m drawn to people who are hurting, always have been. It’s just that I truly desire to help others and will offer assistance, even if it hurts me (example: offering empathy, support, and condolences to a man who believes I’m his inferior “because vagina”) or hinders my ability to do something else (example: feeding a homeless man every day I’m at Gencon which cuts into my already limited spending money).

    Sometimes you have to make moral choices, and they are not always easy. It may seem better to just keep on the path you’re already walking and screw everyone else…I can’t do that. I want people to be up on a path with me, not trudging in the mud. If sacrifices have to be made on my part to make that happen, so be it. I’ll have helped another human being (or non-human, since I stop to help our animal cousins too) and that’s what really matters. As I recently said on another blog: If we don’t take pains to care for one another…who will?

  46. I agree with Liz about how the term equality is used nowadays. It doesn’t often reference real equality between the sexes…it means “give women X, because we think you already have it”. When it’s pointed out that not everyone of the male persuasion have X, and those that do generally had to work for X rather than have it handed to them, it’s called “oppression”.

    Which is weird, because I call it “get up off your ass and work for what you want in life, woman”.

  47. The problem is that men PMS all the time. You just can’t reason with them. When men PMS, they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. And don’t get me started on men’s driving…they just follow you up your butt expecting you to speed up to their speed or get out of their way.

    Yeah, men should be the same as women–you know, equal–except that men and women aren’t the same. Go figure.

    /sarcasm off

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