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Love Notes – Show some respect

Posted on November 19, 2014 by Maple Creek

I have to admit, a few weeks ago I had no idea how to spell Jian Ghomeshi’s name, let alone who he was.

But within a few minutes on Oct. 26 I knew more about him than I wanted to. Way more.

Regardless of whether or not you believe Ghomeshi is capable of what he’s being accused of, whether or not you believe nearly a dozen women’s accounts, the situation brings a scary side of the world of dating into the light.

Maybe there’s not an epidemic of men being physically abusive towards women, but there sure are a lot of people who have no idea what a healthy relationship should look like.

The way we approach dating and relationships has changed a lot from what it used to be.

Gone are the days when men actually asked women out, took them on a nice date, and hugged them goodnight at the end of the evening. Now it’s a meager text asking if she wants to hang out.

The lines have become so blurred that we’re all confused as to how it should look when someone cares for another person.

Several years ago, a friend of mine pursued a boy (technically a man, but his actions lower him to boy standards in my eyes) who repeatedly called her “pig.” Logic should have told her this was a guy who did not deserve her attention, but unfortunately she had other girl friends who gave her the terrible advice that his jokes simply meant he liked her but was afraid to directly show it. Looking back now, it’s not surprising she regrets wasting her time on said loser, er, boy.

Yes, the onus should fall on males to know how the fairer sex should and shouldn’t be treated, but a vast number of them have to actually be shown what is and isn’t acceptable.

While many men are taught from a young age to respect women, there are unfortunately far too many who haven’t been raised this way. That’s when women need to teach them to show respect.

If he texts an inappropriate comment, don’t respond. When he asks why you aren’t responding, politely explain that you won’t be spoken to that way.

Now imagine if every single woman this guy spoke to responded that way.

Eventually they’ll get it. Or be forever alone. Their choice. Either way, women are better off.

In the workplace, if a colleague is making inappropriate comments, a superior should be told right away. And management should act right away. No company wants anyone who behaves like that associated with them, and other employees shouldn’t be forced to work in that type of environment.

The “I’m a guy” excuse or “boys will be boys” (which I’ve heard far too many mothers in particular use to brush off poor behaviour) are too easily accepted.

It’s tough, and we’ve all wasted our time on losers. But until you step up and demand better, that guy is going to continue to be a [creep, jerk, abuser, or any other descriptive word of your choosing].

If self-respect isn’t a good enough reason to walk away from a toxic relationship, do it to set the example for your sister, best friend and other young women who need to see models of healthy relationships now more than ever.

Trust is earned, and respect should be, too. Unfortunately, it isn’t always given when it’s deserved. If we want respect, we need to demand it.

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