In response to this post at The Hairpin, wherein the male author pleads,
"The compulsion to look at cleavage is a constant struggle,** as the rewards offered by a stolen glimpse of upper-to-mid-boob are far outweighed by the risk of being viewed as a creep. But controlling the urge is a thankless job; in the history of gender relations, I doubt any woman has ever expressed gratitude for the restraint a dude showed in not copping an ocular feel. And that’s fine! We don’t expect to be thanked just for not being jerks. But how about maybe just quietly giving us a smidge of credit? We’re not monsters and we’re not homunculuses*** blindly flailing our sweaty, disgusting eyes toward any partially exposed breast that comes into view. Don’t we deserve the courtesy of not being under constant suspicion?"
I must reply, No, men do not deserve that courtesy, because it is not a courtesy. A courtesy, for the sake of defining terms and avoiding a devolution into semantic arguments, is "consideration, cooperation, and generosity in providing something". Thus, the courtesy for which the author asks is not a courtesy any more than you not eye-molesting me is a courtesy.
Unless the author thinks that his NOT eye-molesting people is a courtesy, at which point he has very helpfully identified himself as a misogynist who believes that women deserve whatever treatment they are handed by the powerful males in the world and the author's resisting the rights duly afforded to him by Having a Penis is a generous act. The simplest way I can think to put it is that this person seems to think that my not slapping everyone who bugs me across their fleshy, slobbering faces is something to be praised. I mean, that's very nice of him, but I fully recognize that my ability to manage life in a completely non-violent fashion is not an accomplishment. It's just WHAT'S EXPECTED OF ADULTS, and rightfully so.
Okay. I am hereby putting myself in Time Out, reason: Ranting at a Converted Audience, but let me just say - before I do - that this article having been thought out, written, and published by a man who is by all other measures someone I'd admire makes me feel nothing short of suddenly, very alone, to a degree that it may only be described as crestfallen.