I’m in a bar with two friends I’ve known my whole life, one getting the drinks, one beside me on his phone. I can’t see what he is looking at but I’m 99% confident he is NOT sending an unsolicited picture of his dick to some unsuspecting woman on Tinder.
That’s what I’d like to believe. After all, what kind of sad bastard sends an unsolicited picture of his cock to a woman? Not the men in my life, surely? But then who are these dick pic guys, because from what female friends tell me, there’s a lot of them out there?
Sending unsolicited pictures of your dick is a misogynist drone strike executed from the ‘man cave’ security of your sad bastard bedroom as you work little Donald up into a weaponised stiffy. But allow me to give you the benefit of the doubt. Dick pics are maybe just your way of saying, ‘I’m only trying to show women what it is that I want from them by demonstrating it with a pre-emptive retaliatory strike.’ Should I assume then that you are naïve enough not to understand sexual threat, sexual assault and sexual power games? That’s an assumption most sane people wouldn’t take the risk of making were you to physically whip it out in the same room as them.
I feel completely confident in suggesting that, whoever these guys are, they wouldn’t send an unsolicited dick pic to someone they perceived as a physical threat, a psychological threat or a career threat to them. That’s a given. And I think that tells you all you need to know. Power, that great aphrodisiac! (Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I’m here all night!)
And again, I want to know… who are you? Is it really my friend sitting with his phone? Maybe it actually is my other mate at the bar, now looking at his phone as the pints are being poured. Is it the dude on the bus who I can see out the window or is it the two guys in the booth near the door looking at a phone screen and sharing a laugh over it?
I think I’ve met men who would do it. I’m sure I’ve worked with some of them over the years, that I’ve met friends of friends who I’d be fairly confident in putting down as potential dick pic senders. But maybe that’s just my own prejudice surfacing.
Just because I’ve heard you make some clichéd joke macho comment about women, does that put you in the same boat as the phallic photo gang? Would you tell me the truth if I asked you? And would I take you to task for it, if you admitted it?
And here we come to the our role, as non-dick pic senders, of being brave enough to imagine a world where would-be feminist men buck up, take a stand and stop being guilty through our silence when we hear what some of our male friends do, say and think. And I hold my hands up. I’ve got a long way to go with that. I’ve still heard the odd sexist joke and, if not laughed, kept what I thought at the time was a dignified silence to protect the speaker from embarrassment – what I haven’t done is call it out for the bullshit it is. And I’m trying. I really am.
So the thing to do is, if it’s your mate who is doing it and perhaps even tells you so you can both laugh at the woman’s horrified reaction, maybe instead of laughing along with him this time you ignore his dick and try and find your own balls and call him out on it.
Being a decent human being means being a decent human being to everyone…. To the women receiving the unwanted pictures and to your idiot friend who maybe needs an education in kindness and basic human empathy.
Sending dick pics may sound like a small thing (about small things) but it’s just the thin end of the wedge and if you let the small things slip by, then you’ve got no chance of fighting the big stuff.
The pints are at the table now, my friend’s phones are in their pockets, their dicks are in their pants.
I know you’re out there. So who are you?