Beyond Calling Men Out, Change Comes From Calling Men In

Wanting to be “one of the guys” is about belonging.

Photo by  Helena Lopes  from  Pexels

Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

Dear Eamon,

At coffee this morning a friend commented on his coworker’s ass. She’s a friend I admire, and I found the remark unprofessional, as we were discussing this friend in a professional context. While I agree that our friend is very attractive, I felt bad talking about her physicality. I couldn’t think of another way to respond to her co-worker’s comment, so I mumbled my agreement. I suppose it falls under the umbrella of “locker room talk,” but I’m wondering how I can show up for my female friends and not alienate our other friend, when I assume the point of the comment (perhaps) was to see if I’m “one of the guys.”

Dear One of the Guys,

First of all, in my opinion, desire itself is never wrong or harmful. Indeed, it is uncontrollable. It is okay that both of you find your mutual friend attractive, so you certainly don’t need to try to suppress that. The question is, where and how is it appropriate to express that desire and how do we act when something feels out of integrity?