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How Not To Be A Dick

Eva Wiseman on how to not be a dick, basically

Observer columnist Eva Wiseman (@evawiseman) offers one simple tip

All advice about manliness, when boiled right down to stock, whether about ‘the length of cuff one should show when wearing a tux’ or ‘how to please a woman’ can be summed up with the suggestion: ‘Don’t be a dick’.

In a group of other men, when one says something that is almost certainly sexist, and, in certain lights could be read as racist too, don’t laugh along. Don’t ignore rape jokes shouted by strangers on the bus. Don’t look away from schoolboys being bullied outside Tesco, or women being shouted at from cars on hot days; don’t be a dick.

At work, when a female colleague tells you she feels like she’s being treated differently because she’s a woman, don’t write it off, just because it’s not your experience. Don’t gaze off towards the canal and wait for her to finish. Don’t assume that a crying woman is ‘hysterical’. Don’t tell her to calm down when she’s talking about something she cares about. When spending time with your kids, don’t call it ‘babysitting’. Don’t make judgments about people based on their weight, their makeup, the way they stand. Don’t be a dick.

When you split up with your girlfriend, delete any naked pictures of her from your phone. And before you break up, when you’re still in the throes of wild, sweaty passion, be thoughtful, be generous, do the things you know she likes. Make her feel nice. Don’t be a dick.

Don’t eat all the food. Don’t drink all the wine. Replace the milk, and the toilet paper, and the light bulbs. Remember birthdays, anniversaries, and that people close to you have relatives dying. Have difficult conversations, even when you don’t want to – offer help and food to friends who are having bad times, talk about things they want to talk about.

Don’t smoke with the windows shut. Be considerate on public transport – don’t stretch your legs as wide as a canal so the person next to you gets less than a third of the seat. Don’t tell people what you think of them, unless they specifically ask. Don’t start your sentences, “No offence, but…” Don’t move the goalposts in an argument about what to have for dinner, so the fight is about the whole of your lives and the futility of sex. Be a man. Please. Don’t be a dick.

(Photography: Katherine Rose)