There are entire Facebook groups devoted to women looking out for each other in the dating world. Some revolve around semi-famous men who are problematic yet remain in the public eye, while others are general dumping grounds. For example, there are city-specific groups that ask Are We Dating the Same Guy? that don' stop at overlaps in relationships. Many of the posts are warning other women about awful men they have personally encountered.
And while I understand that women are encouraged to be nurturing while men are largely taught to stuff their feelings away, this doesn't excuse something many ladies have witnessed in their own lives. One TikToker, who goes by @_alrighty__aphrodite, spoke out about a time her ex-boyfriend stopped her from getting a ride home from a man he was friends with. My dudes, why do you insist on hanging out with men you wouldn't want around the women in your lives? Get it together.
Men, please stop hanging out with creeps.
We love when people like @_alrighty__aphrodite_, who I am calling Mira, ask the tough questions. In one TikTok, she addresses male friendships and in particular, the ones where a dude is friends with an outright creep. Fellas, you don't have to collect them all as if they are Pokémon. It's OK to drop the dirtbags.
"Let me set the scene for you," says Mira who can't wrap her mind around the idea that some dudes will fully spend time with men they would never want near any woman, ever. I agree. It's odd!
While in college, Mira dated a bartender which is of course very convenient for any struggling student. This usually means free drinks and a pretty darn good time. One night Mira popped by the bar to hang out despite the fact that she had broken up with the bartender. "We were doing that thing where we were like kind of together, kind of not together. You know the drill," she explained.
The evening was pretty chill. Her ex was pretty generous with drinks, and Mira was playing beer pong with some people in the bar. At the end of the night, Mira realized she drank a bit more than she intended and couldn't drive home.
"This guy I had been playing beer pong with all night but is sober, he's just been drinking water, was like 'Hey tell you what, I can give you a ride home it's no big deal.'" No one ever has to explain why they aren't drinking. People are sober for a variety of reasons. That being said as a woman in the world, I'm wary of anyone who watches a gal get tipsy while intentionally staying sober. It smells like a trap.
Mira enthusiastically said yes because it was a weeknight and she was ready to go home. Plus, her ex-boyfriend was closing up the bar and who knows how long that would take. Have you ever waited for a bartender to close up shop? It's interminable.
Literally as Mira is getting into sober beer pong dude's vehicle, her ex runs out of the bar and whispers in her ear, "Don't get in this guy's car." To his friend, yes friend, the ex says he's going to take Mira home because they have some things they need to work out.
Almost any rational person would have no problem with his change in plans. I'm of the mind that only a person with some problematic plans would protest. Guess what? Sober beer pong dude had a problem with this new arrangement. "No dude, I got it," he says to Mira's ex. After more back-and-forth, Mira follows her ex back into the bar.
"What was that about," asks Mira to her ex. "I thought he was your friend." His response sent to the moon and back, yet didn't surprise me. "He is my friend," replied the ex, "but you should never get into a car alone with him. He had other intentions and I know it." You know it??? And yet all night long, the ex didn't feel compelled to mention this at all.
Before anyone accuses Mira's ex of being jealous, she is convinced that wasn't the case. During their relationship, they both agreed it's totally fine to flirt with other people. No one felt threatened by that. Either Mira didn't press her ex for more answers or she didn't share them. What she did say is her ex maintained that friendship for years.
What's strange about the behavior of Mira's ex is that it goes against all the normal excuses we hear about alleged sexual assault or rape. Her ex definitely believed this guy was bad and he didn't engage in the bystander effect. Does it all come down to not wanting to have an awkward conversation? Please have those conversations with your male friends. The women are tired.