If you’ve been feeling this weird hunch lately that all men might, in fact, be the fucking worst, sigh a sigh of relief: A new study out of Harvard University has determined that men are unequivocally terrible. The study took place over the course of a 12-month period, January to December 2017. In it, researchers documented the actions of all cis men for the entire year, and found overwhelmingly awful results.
“The results are in, and they’re undeniable: Men are trash,” says Dr. Rebecca Cantor, the lead on the project. “And that’s not me talking – that’s the data.”
Interestingly, the project initially speculated the opposite was true. “We hypothesized that being a cis man, in itself, couldn’t possibly be an indicator that a person is bad,” says Dr. Cantor. They called that theory the “Bad Apple Theory” – that, although men often do bad things, like commit sexual assault and shame women into thinking it was actually their fault, these were isolated outcomes.
“Once the Weinstein scandal broke, and we gathered more information about men, we were totally blown away. But hey, it’s these types of surprising results that made me fall in love with hard, indisputable data in the first place.”
That coworker you always thought was a good guy? Terrible. Your upstairs neighbor who always brings your packages upstairs and leaves them in front of your door? Awful. The guy who held the subway for you this morning when you almost missed it? Worst of ‘em all. This, of course, is according to science.
Dr. Cantor clarifies that, scientifically speaking, the only exception to the rule was her father and her brother.
“We gathered substantial evidence suggesting that oftentimes, men who present themselves as not pieces of shit, are actually doubly pieces of shit,” Dr. Cantor tells us. For instance, in the first part of the 2017 study, many men who attended DSA feminist meetings were deemed “good;” by the end of 2017, the evidence suggested they were truly fucking terrible.
Aside from the obvious markers such as sexual assault and harassment, factors in men’s terribleness included playing the victim while they were actually arguing against the wants and needs of women, mansplaining aspects of feminism they still didn’t fully grasp, and just being unnecessarily loud at all times.
The study also found that the added element of celebrity exacerbates the irrevocable terror of maleness nearly tenfold. As does being a stand-up comedian, a member of a gym, a registered driver, a cat owner, a Twitter user, clean-shaven, full-bearded, and/or pretty much anything else.
“Of course, as scientists, we’re always collecting data on fascinating subjects like this,” says Dr. Cantor. “We’re continuing the study for 2018, though we’re not expecting very different results.”