Language is constantly evolving. The phrases that I used in my childhood are out of favor and I have a hard time following the lingo of today's youth. And most of the time that's okay; it's just the nature of language. What's not okay is a term that's become popular in the last few years: "big dick energy".
But what does big dick energy (or BDE, as it is often abbreviated) even mean? In short, it's "quiet confidence". It's derived from the stereotype that a well-endowed man doesn't have to be boastful or loud or cocky, that he is at ease with himself and others because he knows that he's got a whopper in his pants. The use of big dick energy isn't limited to men — Beyoncé exudes more calm confidence than every male on the planet put together, and I'm fairly certain she lacks a penis of her own.
There's just one big problem with the term big dick energy: it's degrading of all men. Obviously it's meant in good fun, after all, saying that somebody carries themselves like they're packing a massive cock should be taken as a complement, right? Except that it reduces that person's confidence to a genital stereotype. Even if they do have a big dick, it turns their hopefully well-earned confidence into a one-dimensional joke. Whose to say that their quiet confidence doesn't come from a charming personality or gym-toned body or a fat bank account?
On top of that, it's a stereotype that's not remotely true. There are plenty of quietly confident men with average-size and even small penises. And there are plenty of large-dicked men that lack confidence despite knowing what they've got. The concept also reinforces toxic masculinity, with men faking confidence in ways that perpetuate other stereotypes and degrade both genders.
The worst aspect is the flip-side of big dick energy: "small dick energy". It's used to label men that come across as needy or insecure as lacking endowment, and it's massively insulting regardless of their penis size. It again reduces a man's personality to an organ whose size he has no control over and that society has always needlessly objectified. The use of SDE is intentionally demeaning in a way that cuts to the core of many men. You think they're insecure now? Wait until you hit them with that insult.
Instead of objectifying and emasculating men for a cheap laugh, let's use the words we already have. There's no need to demean or insult or degrade anybody, and tying their personality to unfounded stereotypes about penis size helps no one.
Besides, think of the uproar that would come from saying that a woman's confidence is "tight pussy energy" or that her insecurities are "small tits energy". It's awesome to continue to strive for gender equality, but that means that when women demand to be treated with respect and dignity so too should men. No history of male-driven disrespect of women makes it okay for men to be made the butt of jokes instead.
Let's use the words we already have, words that everybody knows and that don't require insulting explanations. Instead of "big dick energy", say that they've got quiet confidence, swagger, or respect. Instead of "small dick energy", say that they're needy, insecure, selfish, or cocky. Leave the emasculation out of it, please.