Photo: via ProtectHer.com
For a site that spends every waking hour giving you folks the goods, you’d think we would’ve hit this one out of the park by now, but that was before we met Alexis Jones, one of the truly most badass women we know. She taught us that, instead of bringing back men, maybe we need to bring up the new one. Because if you want a real woman — a bad ass woman — you’re going to want to learn some new moves, gents.
Jones, as a result of being a fiery self-starter, is the proud Founder & CEO of ProtectHer, an organization that is rebranding the old man inside of collegiate locker rooms by teaching them how to respect women, but not just the ones they’re tackling (with consent) off the field — all women. Sisters. Mothers. Freaking dogwalkers. The women you’ll see tomorrow in passing. All of them. What’s interesting is that, after these hour-long talks with as many as 300 young men at a time, they stay an extra two or three hours to soak up her wisdom and to find out how to land a badass girl like Jones.
What started with talking to some of the top high school quarterbacks in the country led to her phone ringing off the hook from Division I coaches for Jones to come speak to their athletes. In colleges across America, at least one in five women have the horrendous experience of being sexually assaulted, and it’s become this powerful pack leader’s initiative to teach young men, who have the potential to go on and influence generations of men after them, about how treating women with respect, whether it’s from far away or up close in a relationship, can help other men to join their team and be on the right side of history.
Jones sat down to talk with us about some of the things she discusses in her talks, answers to the burning questions most of the young men in her locker rooms have, and what makes a real man today. Because if you want a real woman — a bad ass woman — you might have to toss out the old playbook. Are all these sports analogies working for you guys yet? Read on to learn how to drop your guard down and man up in the modern age. Keep up with Alexis and support the cause @ProtectHer.
Real men aren’t afraid to hold their woman’s purse.
Photo: via kzoz.com
That’s not a metaphor. According to Jones, her husband is one of the biggest men she knows, and that’s not just because he’s a former pro basketball player. He holds her purse during events, cries during movies and engages with her about his feelings with complete vulnerability. She is, in her opinion, a real man. I’ve met the guy, a bit of a tree and a teddy bear rolled into one, and I can confirm this is what our future needs more of: somebody who could appear fearless yet foregoes it in order to empower those beside him. OK, it’s also a metaphor.
Real men empower women, even if it isn’t to their advantage.
Calling yourself out in front of others is sort of the most badass thing we can imagine. When you see women being persecuted in the locker room, at the bar, fuck, even at your next slumber party, call those people out. But let yourself be the first one thrown on the fire because the wrongdoing we most often recognize the easiest is the bad behaviors we’ve let go of. You see yourself in that shit and know it’s wrong. Once you’ve corrected that in yourself, you can then correct it around you. Nobody is ever without fault, especially if y’all are at a slumber party. Tummy Sticks!
Real men don’t have to brag (ahem, Mr. President).
Anyone who gets up in front of people and brags is probably still trying to convince themselves what they’re doing is actually good. Real courage shows itself. Real men are strong enough to squash “locker room talk,” not create it. Jones believes that it’s a real man’s job to make women the focus of empowerment, not ridicule or competition. Talking to fellow teammates or friends about other women in an objectifying or foul manner empowers neither her nor you. What makes a strong man is somebody who interrupts that trend, points out its flaws and uses the opportunity to redirect and rebrand the trend to a positive light. We all have sex and put our mouths on each other’s privates; why is it women who only get the attention for it?
Real men are strong enough to say “NO” to keg stands.
The Upside Down is no place to be, specifically if a keg of beer and people holding your legs in the air are involved. The women we date and the way we live our lives, according to Jones, are good indicators of where a guy is heading. If he goes for the easy lay-up, it’ll be a lifetime of lay-ups without ever attempting half-court shot. What stadium ever roared for a man who sank a lay-up? We happen to agree. Choose someone who makes you a better man, and in turn, work to empower her to make up for the fact that you’ve got a way hotter, more badass girl than you could ever deserve.
Real men aren’t afraid to ask for directions.
Photo: via quickmeme.com
Real men don’t have all the answers. Hell, none of us do. Having the confidence to be weak in front of another, that takes gut. The real man will let out vulnerability, let go of stubbornness and let in a helping hand from his fellow man or woman, even if it makes him look weak, in an effort to better his life and those around him. Real men stop and ask for directions. Unless it’s in a sketchy neighborhood. Then you just lock your doors and drive like your mother until it’s safe to stop.
Real men aren’t afraid to be afraid.
Vulnerability, according to Alexis Jones, is just about the sexiest thing a man can show. All this time, you thought, maybe, it was that collage of your peen that you work on day and night (You can toss that, by the way; nobody is going to believe that’s Elmer’s glue holding that thing together).
Just once this week, take a moment out of your day to express your insecurities to someone (a friend, a female, a fucking barista). Letting go of ideas about who you think you’re supposed to be and letting in some objective viewers may be the best thing you ever did that it might become habit-forming. That kind of ritual is free therapy, and nobody (no real man anyway) will ridicule you for expressing uncertainty, especially in yourself. You’d be amazed how well people may react.
Real men don’t need a crutch.
So many insecurities and anxieties are masked with painkillers, be it the booze, pills or simple avoidance. We’ve talked about depression before (sorry to get heavy; one sec, there’s a solid joke coming), but the best way to handle your fears is to walk right into them. Real men handle their shit. They don’t avoid or set that shit aside. Pills and prescriptions are a huge problem. Instead of listening to some quack doctor, listen to the women in your life. My mother has never been wrong in all the days I’ve known her, except for that time she voted for Trump. There it is!
Real men do not learn about sex through porn.
Currently, 90 percent of porn shows acts of aggression towards women. That’s nuts (pun heavily intended). Can you imagine how that affects their thoughts towards girls when given a misogynistic viewpoint around the same age they’re having their first public erections? Well, we’ll tell you. More than 65 percent of young men say it impacts how they want to experience sex. That’s potentially way too many dudes trying to convince their girl to saw off her arms so he can try out amputee fetishes.
If you want to learn about sex, talk to your woman before, during and after. It’s the new smoking. Not only will she be your official myth-buster, but she’ll tell you what she likes and, more importantly, what she doesn’t like so you can more easily please without fail. And she might show you some seriously kinky shit that porn doesn’t even know about.
Real men choose badass girls (and protect them).
And badass girls choose real men. It’s the circle of real badassery. That is all. Now go surround yourself with badass women. Because once you go badass, you never go back.
Real men love their mothers (especially on Valentine’s Day).
As you should. So how will you be more of a real man? What will you find when you take a long look at yourself, and what will you change to strengthen and support the women in your life?