The other day, I came across a viral Tiktok video about a dad on vacation. It listed different things he did. For example, walking ahead of the family as though they’re not his family; taking work calls the whole trip; being annoyed and impatient; telling the waiter that he hated the food, etc.
Many commentators chalked these behaviors up as “grumpy vacation dad” while the creator said it was meant to be funny.
There’s nothing funny about this video.
It’s crazy how our culture normalises the disrespectful treatment of women and kids by men.
In cases like this, these bad behaviours are even turned into an identity and brushed off like it can’t be changed. And women just have to live with it. What?
People need to shame behaviours like this (though, to be fair, you could say the creator making that Tiktok video was shaming her father publicly even though she might not see it that way.)
Walking in front of people you go with like they don’t exist, for example, is very disrespectful and should not be tolerated. Men, or fathers, with patriarchal ideologies, should not be tolerated. Call them out or refuse to deal with them.
Imagine if the first time that guy in that video did those bad behaviours to his family and they called them out and had a serious conversation with him about how his behaviours made them feel, it’s likely he would have stopped them if he truly cared about them. But they allowed it.
Actually, it’s quite common that some women internalise patriarchal mindsets and think of toxic patriarchal characteristics, such as workaholic, possessiveness, or aggressiveness as desirable, cute, or even honourable.
So it’s very important that as a woman you do not look at the world and yourself through a patriarchal lens and ask yourself what do YOU think? Whether something is okay to YOU? If it serves YOUR needs?
No behaviour can be desirable if it’s done at the expense of your well-being and happiness.
Don’t enable them. Hold them accountable.
If people know they can get away with something, they will do it again.
If they know what they’re doing is not good and you allow them to do it, they’ll lose respect for you over time and treat you even worse.
You’re not responsible for who someone is, but you’re at least partly responsible for how someone turns out in a relationship with you.
Because you have a say, at any point, whether to continue or stop being with them.
When someone enters a relationship with you, they will treat you based on what they think is acceptable or appropriate. If you don’t agree with them, then you need to make that clear to them or else they will do it again and again, and guess who suffers the most in this equation? You!
Actually, if you’re highly compatible with someone, your ideas of what’s acceptable and appropriate would generally align. But, of course, we’re humans, we’re all different, so communication and compromising here and there are normal and healthy.
If you have to call someone out or correct someone’s behaviours all the time, it means they’re not compatible with you on fundamental levels, and it’s best you part ways.
Remember: Nagging does not work.
When you nag, they are still rewarding them with your attention and if they see no real consequences except for getting more attention from you, they won’t change.
But, frankly, you absolutely should not need to nag grown men. If you even have the need to nag, they just don’t respect you.
On that note, the first few months of dating are incredibly important.
That’s when you assess someone’s behaviours to see if they actually treat you the way you want. You need to:
Have a clear idea of how you want to be treated,
Take your time to vet, and
Be ready to walk away when they fail to meet your expectations.
You do not have to be with someone who does not treat you the way you want. Period.