By Brianna Green
I ended the second part of this trilogy by saying, “The second thing that really bothers me is the entitlement this man felt that led him to show up to my apartment, my space, and demand my time and attention — especially after I had made it clear that I did not want him there. Why do some people feel like they have the right to break someone’s boundaries and invade their space?”
One explanation for someone (a man, specifically) feeling this entitlement to other people’s space, time, or bodies, is the socialization of boys.
The way boys see themselves fitting into society can give them the feeling that they have an inherent right to certain things without needing to do anything to earn it. SaferResources says, “In the Western world, many men are taught from birth they have an inherent right to power… little boys see these lessons play out in the books they read and the movies they watch and the media constantly feeding into their subconscious.”
SaferResources gives examples of male entitlement which includes:
- “Having an attitude of superiority, of being better and smarter than one’s partner and other women in general;
- Insisting on [unearned] respect or treatment entitled to as a man;
- Dismissing the opinions, ideas, and feedback of others;
- Acting above criticism;
- Possessing a strong need to be right and to win; and
- Expecting sex from their spouse as a duty or a demand.”
Male entitlement is an issue that can be harmful to many people. Look at my story as an example: because this guy felt entitled enough to come to my place, I feel more anxious and like I have to be hyper vigilant at night now.
When someone feels they deserve something inherently, being denied that thing can make them angry or even violent. The World Health Organization lists “ideologies of male sexual entitlement” as a factor “specifically associated with sexual violence perpetration.” Definitely check out this article to learn more about entitlement leading to violence against women.
To avoid leaving you on a sad note, one thing we can do to combat this issue, according to SaferResources, is “take responsibility for behavior that we know is harmful to others. If you see others acting in destructive ways, point this out. Never collude with disrespectful behavior.”