Ever noticed a man’s first response or reaction when a woman says something? Probably we don’t pay attention but next time try to. Usually, the first response to everything a woman tells a man is to refute, say no, or, say something negative, thus challenging her acumen. Most of the things women come up with during basic conversations, important discussions or arguments are debated against or ignored.
However, this simple act of replying or reacting to something a woman says with an outright “no” or refusal not only robs women of their confidence but discourages them from participating in dialogues. It feels like you are banging your head against a wall. So what’s the point? Better stay quiet. Better find people who will listen to you instead.
So why do men say no to women’s ideas so frequently?
I Know More Than You
The thinking ‘I know more than you’ is quite prevalent among men. This leads to them rejecting every idea a woman comes up with. They’ll often say no to anything they ask or suggest. You must have seen men cutting in between making their own point when a woman is talking.
This gets horrid when it piles up. It makes daily conversations with men anxiety-inducing for women because they have to prepare a counter-argument for everything. Mansplaining is the biggest example. Men try to explain things to women in a condescending and patronising manner, without acknowledging the fact that the woman could possibly be better informed about the subject, purely because of a deeply ingrained gender bias.
Women often face unwarranted resistance which is bad for their mental health. But the problem tends to disappear when it’s a man speaking. The resistance comes for absolutely no reason and is solely based on the gender stereotype. In a good number of cases, women stop mentioning or asking anything.
If you don’t agree with someone’s opinion or want something differently there’s a way of saying it rather than straight away rejecting their idea or saying ‘no’. You can agree with what the woman is saying and not resist just for the sake of resisting. A lot of times men actually end up liking the idea they initially rejected.
The Bro Code
Bro code plays a huge role when we talk about this resistance from men. Some things you just do to fit in with your peers. Not everything needs to be a debate, especially if it could mean you being ousted from the conversations in your circle. We can also call it a herd mentality where one follows what their peers are doing because it seems the most natural and obvious thing to do and doesn’t put one in the harm’s way.
One should ask men who reject women’s opinion just because their bros are doing so, “what exactly are you resisting?” Mostly they are not resisting women’s ideas or opinions. They don’t even pay due attention to them. They are actually resisting the women. And the idea automatically gets canceled because a woman suggested it.
It might seem like an uphill battle to many women, to stand up for their beliefs in conversations dominated by men. Perhaps the best way to deal with such situations is to have more conversations with men, individually and raise raise questions, rather than point out that they are making a biased rejection out of sexist mindset.
Views expressed are the author’s own.