Men are just like that is an excuse for sexist incidents, particularly sexualized environment incidents. It is an essentialist argument and usually takes one of the following forms:

  • Men are biologically compelled to make fairly indiscriminate sexual advances towards women.
  • Men are naturally deficient in social graces.
  • Women should have pity on men and educate them gently due to their natural deficiencies in social graces.

The argument also fails to acknowledge that gay men, as well as asexual men — all of whom somehow manage to resist the alleged in-built male compulsion to make indiscriminate sexual advances towards women — exist.

In the extreme case, this argument becomes an apology for violence against women; some people portray violence against women as a trait that men simply can't help.

Feminists generally argue, as part of arguments against essentialism generally, that men and women do not innately differ in their ability to display social graces, or exhibit decent human behaviour, which feminists argue includes rejecting sexist behaviour. Proponents of "men are just like that", feminists argue, are anti-men in portraying men as inherently less moral and less self-controlled than women.

Reproductive arguments

There are specific criticisms of arguments along the lines of "a man has to try and sexually approach every woman he meets, because it's a sensible reproductive strategy" or "geek men have superior genes and are therefore required to reproduce":

  1. There is no recognized moral imperative towards improving the gene pool, if an action would otherwise be wrong, but happens to improve the evolutionary fitness of one's descendants, it's still wrong.
  2. It's doubtful that indiscriminate mating is in fact a successful reproductive strategy for most human men. Humans adults across all genders are capable of forming close, caring and loving relationships with babies and children. Humans take many years and a lot of care to mature, and investing a lot of time in a small number of children improves their chances of survival markedly (in the environment we evolved for). If one was to be so interested in reproductive fitness in the first place, in which case, see point 1.
  3. Evolutionary psychological theories are controversial in the scientific community. Such theories have been criticized for their frequent lack of attention to cross-cultural variation: that is, they often attempt to assemble evidence that a behavior that is specific to a particular Western culture has deep evolutionary roots, while ignoring the many contemporary cultures where this behavior is absent.

See also

  • He's just like that for certain specific individuals who it is considered to be a waste of time to criticise for their sexism
  • Geeks are just like that for the excuse that geeks (or geek men) in particular struggle with interacting with women.
  • Autism is to blame for the excuse (or accusation) that neurodiverse people perpetrate the harassment in geek culture.
  • Sex is beautiful for the argument that unwanted sexual advances to women are just the vanguard of a new sexually healthy society.
  • Essentialism and evolutionary psychology for the argument that the behavior is biologically ordained.
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