Several things have happened at work in the past week. The first thing was when my male colleagues were discussing the WWE and wrestling. I joined in and proceeded to demonstrate that my knowledge of the topic was greater than any of theirs. One of them asked me if I was a man or a woman, as he couldn’t tell anymore after that. These are the same people who laugh in my face when I insist I am capable of lifting things at work.
The second thing that happened is a male colleague openly objectifying women passing on the street. He blatantly gawks at them as they walk by, very conspicuously craning his neck to do so, after which he says “Niiiiice!” loudly and unashamedly. It’s so demeaning. Another male colleague suggested that this behaviour might get him beaten by a man accompanying one of these women, for looking at “their women”.
Thirdly, the worst thing to happen was yet another male colleague discussing his 20 month old son. His son has become very aggressive lately and kicks violently when being changed and frequently lashes out at strangers for no reason. I understand this; children need to behave like this from time to time to test their boundaries and so that parents can show them right from wrong and establish these boundaries when they lash out. My colleague doesn’t establish boundaries or reprimand his son. He has told us all that he encourages his son’s aggressive behaviour and is delighted by it, as he thinks it means his son will be dominant when he’s older. Toxic masculinity is instilled at a frighteningly young age.
This same colleague mimed head butting me and told me to “watch what [I] say” when I made a half hearted joke that his son would ride a pink bicycle when he’s old enough to have a bike.