“Don’t be so witchy,” he said.

So, this fuckin’ guy.

I don’t know this guy. He took exception to something I wrote on Twitter (it was about abortion but that’s neither here, nor there). So this guy, this stranger, this person I have never met and likely never will meet, decided to tell me how to act.

There may have been a time in my life when I would have been cowed by a stranger calling me a bitch – or a witch, as in the case of this delicate flower who bosses strangers around but won’t swear while he does it – but that time is so long ago that I don’t have a firm grasp of it in my memory anymore. If bro-ski here thought I’d feel shame and change my ways, he was sadly mistaken. This story is really about him, and not about me and my witchy/bitchy ways at all.

I always think of an old joke when I want to define the word bitch. “What’s the difference between a slut and a bitch. A slut will sleep with anyone. A bitch will sleep with anyone but you.”

That joke is problematic af because slut shaming is the exact opposite of cool but it gets to the heart of what’s really going on when a man calls a woman a bitch: it’s not about her. It’s about him feeling like she has denied him something to which he thought he was entitled.

News for ya, boys: you’re not entitled to anything.

There is no contract that says the women around you owe you anything. Not sex, not praise, not attention, and certainly not any kind of code of behavior that you want to impose on them. If you don’t like the way women relate to you, find different women whose behavior is more to your taste.

Or look in a mirror and take stock of all the ways you are asking women for things you don’t actually deserve.

Either way, men need to get comfy-cozy with the idea that they don’t get to dictate the behavior of anyone, and most definitely not the behavior of grown-ass women they never even met before.

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