Every guy should know that many women will perceive an unwanted come-on as a threat. Every guy should know that even if they personally have not, would not, and will never commit violence in any way, shape or form, particularly in relation to sex, most women will weigh up the possibility before responding. Every guy should know that if they yell out of a car at a woman on the street, and she doesn’t respond, it may reflect that she’s scared they’ll stop the car and attack her, not that she doesn’t mind. Every guy should know that every woman, at least in Australia, has been told endless times that she may be subject to violence, rape and assault from men, whether or not she already knows them. Every guy should know that women around the world are raped, sometimes multiple times, often by people they know, frequently as a form of control, sometimes as a weapon of war, often by people who should be protecting them, sometimes by their own family members, sometimes as children, sometimes while incapable, sometimes after being sold. Every guy should know that rape culture says that if a woman is raped it’s her own fault – and every guy should know that that is not ever true.
Every guy should know that every girl knows most of those things, and that when he makes an unwanted advance, some of that will inform her answer.
“But what if that’s not good enough for you? What if you’re the kind of self-styled decent guy who still doesn’t feel like it’s fundamentally worthwhile to contribute to a culture where women don’t feel threatened because they aren’t threatened? What reason do you have to forego the rape-joke T-shirts, notice body language signals, object to misogyny, back off when asked to, maintain a comfortable distance, or any of the other little things you can do to bring rape culture down by degrees? If the well-being of women isn’t enough for you, consider this: patriarchy thinks you’re fucking stupid. It thinks you’re a penis without a brain that’s worthwhile and powerful only because women are vaginas without brains and that’s somehow worse. It thinks you’re untrustworthy, that you can’t be left alone with a woman, that you can’t be left alone with a child. Feminists didn’t make that shit up — they’re just noting it and passing it on. You can decide what you want to do about it — but don’t think you can pick and choose which of patriarchy’s mandates apply to you. This is a package deal, my friend. If women’s worth is only in fuckability, then men are just dumb fuckers. We think better of men. Do you?”—Have you tried not being so sexy? « Shapely Prose
When a person comes to you and tells you “this made me feel bad, this offended me, this was fucked up” regardless of whether or not you can relate or know what they’re talking about, the thing to NOT do is say “Get over it, stuff like that happens all of the time.” It’s not about how not hurt you were, its about how hurt they were and it’s your job as a “good friend” to offer some sort of support.
this is relevant. and a true story.
I’ve had a few friends in the past who should read this. *sighs*