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OP-ED: My Name Is Brad And It Hurts When People Say That "Men Are Trash" Because Trash Is Bad and I'm Not Bad, I'm Cool and Nice


Photo from Pixabay / CC0

Hi, there. I'm Brad. 

Here are some fun facts about me: I read two articles about intersectional feminism after the election, and then told all of my classmates/goddesses about my discovery in my Intro to Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies recitation.* 

I've seen every episode of Broad City, and laughed. A lot. Women are funny! The vagina is nature's pocket, amiright?

I'm from Miami, Florida, yet I prefer a temperate climate with four seasons over the constant and exhausting sunshine. I enjoy cold brew coffee the most, yet I also own a french press. I wear a size twelve shoe. 

My name is Brad, and I'm someone who liked all of my friends' Instagram posts from the Women's March. Every. Single. One. If that's not ally-ship then, geez, what the frack is? 

Now that you know a little bit about who I am and what I stand for, let's take a walk in my enormous shoes. I have feelings just like anybody else. And sometimes women are mean. Really mean. And not funny. But like I've already established, I do think that women can be funny. Abby and Ilana's wild hijinks get me every time. 

I'm referring specifically to when women say "Men are trash." These days, this happens in all corners of the internet: on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, in Venmo charges, Yelp Reviews, Tinder bios, the NYT crossword puzzle app, and the list goes on. 

Why, guys, why? My feelings matter too. 

When women post about sexual assault, domestic violence, targeted violence against trans women of color and caption these horrible, unfathomable, unprecedented tragedies with "Men are trash," my feelings get hurt.  

I'm a hetero cis man, but I'm a feminist too you know. So, why are women blocking me, unfriending me, and even attacking me on Yelp comment threads when I respond to "Men Are Trash" with my personal truth? They say things to me. Terrible things like "quiet, Brad" or "stop centering yourself in issues that don't materially affect your life, Brad." Even "you're garbage, Brad." Just hurtful stuff all around. So, here's what I have to say to that: 

#NotAllMen. I am a feminist and very cool and nice as well. I have a mother you know, and I personally know people with daughters. Being related to women positions me to care about their existence, while still allowing me a certain objectivity that is difficult for those too close to the issues to maintain. Trash is for garbage cans. I'm a person." 

I do acknowledge that there are bad guys out there, of course. Trust me, I know because I'm friends with lots of them! But it's just not my place to lecture them about things like consent and feminism. That's girl talk. 

*Ed's Note: Classmates in said recitation told our correspondent that Brad consistently interjected while they were speaking to loudly comment, "I think the point you're making is a strong start, but it lacks an intersectional understanding of the issue." Brad once allegedly burst into a lecture centered on KimberlĂ© Crenshaw's scholarship twenty minutes late, immediately raised his hand to get his participation points for that day, and said the same thing to the professor.