It Goes Down in the DMs
How many men have gotten unwanted pussy pictures? How many times has a guy said ,"Wow that woman just pulled out her pussy on me." Or "Omg that woman sitting next to me on the bus started stroking her pussy" Or "I am really uncomfortable in this crowded space because this woman is rubbing her pussy on me." How many men have had to deal with bosses who were female and creepy? Teacher professors or high school teachers? How many men have been afraid they are going to be raped when alone with a woman? Most women have multiple stories where these kinds of things have happened to them. It is not just once or twice, it is reoccurring over a lifetime. Sexual Violence against anyone is not okay, but trying to silence women when they say it is a problem is quite unsettling. I stand here in support of anyone who has posted “Me too” on their social media and I am happy that no one has to feel alone.
But why are we always putting it on the victims or the subjects of harassment or violence to push the conversation forward? Being alive for nearly three decades I can’t say I know one woman who has not been harassed or women who were not warned about the dangers of men, and given an entire how to guide on how to walk through world on tiptoes trying to protect yourself from someone else’s threatening actions.
Once upon a time when I was a teenager and started to receive phone calls from boys, which my old black parents screened, my father sat me down and said he only knows one woman who has not been raped. One. He made it very clear that young men can be very dangerous and I should always watch my back. He told me he knew guys who did terrible things to women, tricked them, mislead them and probably left countless young woman with lifelong scars. How many men can say they know women who lead their friends to a gang bang? But these are the things men know other men do and there has been a culture of putting the responsibility on women to be defensive instead of blaming men for their actions. I have always wondered if my father had a conversation with my brother about how he should handle dating women. How should he know if he was encroaching on her rights, being intrusive or abusive? What he should do if he sees other men mis-treating women. I guess this would be the perfect time to ask.
There have been a lot of stories coming out about how men themselves have been the perpetrators of violence and I could not agree more with taking that route. There is always a sense of complacency when we force victims to re-live their trauma instead of making sure the enactors of the crime stand up and fight against creating an environment of complacency. Men who have been standing in support thank you, anyone who has been a victim I empathize with your pain.
The only way to make sure we can stop predatory behavior from happening is by holding the predators in our society accountable and snuff out problematic behavior at the beginning.
Teach boys it is okay to cry, love and feel. We all owe it to the people we know to take down and deconstruct toxic masculinity. Not only to prevent their being victims in the future, but to stand with survivors of assault. Don’t let bosses, co-workers friends or presidents get away with de-humanizing someone. We all need to be responsible for the things we can do better.