Op-Ed: Women Need To Stop Putting Me On A Pedestal

I’ve gone back and forth regarding whether I should pen this piece, especially considering the delicate political climate of this country. But I’m a humanitarian, and in the end, revealing my thoughts in this case was in the best interest of not only myself, but also my legions of female admirers.

The first time I was referred to as an Adonis, I’ll admit I was flattered. Of course, I’d been complimented on my appearance a plethora of times before, but that particular adulation really struck me. Once, a  woman standing behind me at Starbucks collapsed, apparently overcome with emotion and arousal from the very sight of me ordering a decaf. As EMT’s rushed in minutes later, one of them shielded her eyes, crying, “I can’t even look at you, you Hemsworth Medusa.”

Since that fateful day in the sixth grade, I’ve fought a constant battle against the idyllic qualities that women constantly thrust upon me. A peaceful few hours in the gym can turn into bacchanalia at a moment’s notice.  My strong jaw, carved abs, and euphoria-inducing genitalia aren’t just strengths, they are my greatest weaknesses. For just a month, even a week, I would like women to stop putting me on a pedestal.

Here’s the thing: women look at me, and they see a Jewish knight in shining armor, the pinnacle of masculinity. They refuse to acknowledge that I am flawed. Take my freckles, for instance. One could argue they represent a lackluster attention to skin care. But instead, women demand they they see a face with added character, a youthful whimsy.

Every day, women tell me, “Ben, it’s not just your body that we find so alluring—it’s also your captivating personality. How do you balance such hardened, time-tested sensibilities with acute sensitivity and grace?” Now, this one really bugs me. This oversimplification of the multiple idiosyncrasies of my personality is the definition of objectification. I guess women don’t care to know that I also volunteer at Peggy Adams Animal Shelter, hugging puppies back to health with my muscular arms and gentle smile. I guess women don’t care to know that I cry when I listen to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac or, that I pick my grandmother up from hospice every Sunday to take her to her favorite spot on the pier. No, women don’t care to hear that because it doesn’t fit into their tight little narrative.

I am not a perfect man. I have feelings. I fall in love too much. I spend too much time in the gym I care too much about my family, and I don’t say “I’m a male feminist” often enough. So enough already!

I’m not perfect.