Episode #1: Dissecting the “Good Guy” Excuse
In this episode, Doug and I are discussing the Good Guy Excuse. I came across an article in Harvard Business Review back in August of 2022. The title is, “Stop Protecting Good Guys”, and we’ll link the article in the episode key that you’ll be able to download from the Diamond Arrow group.com website, so you can go check out the article for yourself.
My first reaction when I heard that was, “What? No, we need all the good guys we can get in society!” That was my initial thought. As I read the article, I realized what they were actually trying to say, and some of my initial thoughts were, I had done a post called “the every man”, and I switched it up with what has been said-and I don’t know if it’s an actual quote or not, but every woman you know has either experienced a sexual assault or knows someone who has experienced a sexual assault or almost experienced a sexual assault.
What I had done was I switched it and said, every man you know has committed sexual assault, or knows someone who’s committed sexual assault, or has almost committed sexual assault. And I remember when I created that, that switched up meme, I got the sweats. Thinking about posting that to the Diamond Arrow Group social feeds, because I was like, are people gonna understand? Are people going to…how are they gonna react? Then I had to second guess and say, is that true? And of course, I asked my husband, would this resonate with you? He’s law enforcement, so he is like, you can’t really count me. I know lots of people who have.
But the reaction to it was really interesting and we can get into that later. Good guys are not immune to bad behaviors, so there’s that piece. And I also thought women are not immune to this protective, albeit dismissive excuse either. How about you, Doug? What were some of your initial thoughts?
(laughing) Well, it’s interesting. I hadn’t read it until just recently when you sent it over to me to take a look at, and the first thing that came to mind is, it’s interesting how we use language. You know, to frame discussions, right? Because on one level, everybody wants to be a good guy, but nobody defines what a good guy is. So the language, it matters in this, the article is talking primarily about sexual harassment. Although it gives an example of sexism in the workplace, but the focus is on primarily sexual harassment.
At the end of the day, it’s all about excusing poor behavior under one of a number of guises. I found it interesting. I went and sat down with my daughters to talk through some of this as well and to get their view on it. I wanted to ask them, what’s the counterpart to a good guy? Is it a bad boy? Right? And so what is that language and how do we land there? And what does that mean?
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