I’m one of the lucky ones. In my 31 years of life, I have avoided so much of the kinds of abuse that many women I know have experienced. My face of the resting bitch variety, giving me that unapproachable vibe, and spending my thinnest, most attractive, and certainly horniest years surrounded by gay men probably helped me to avoid some of the douchiest of douche-bags.
Still, I’ve been thinking about experiences I’ve had that I’ve laughed off because, well, dudes are creeps. And we’re used to it. I wrote in this blog about a man offering to impregnate me outside a bar. Once, at a bus stop, a man looked me up and down and said, “You look good,” as if I were actually a delicious food item. I posted something witty on Facebook about it and moved on with my day. Guys have grabbed my boobs “accidentally” in bars; a male friend of mine used to tell me that he liked my butt and was constantly grabbing it in public, while he and his friends would check out girls and say, “twice” when they saw something they liked. This meant not only would they fuck her, they’d do it…twice. Lucky her.
It’s part of the female experience, and while it bothers us in the moment, we forget about it and move on.
Every time women we here these things, see them, experience them, it impacts us. It’s a reminder that we are here for the pleasure of men, and they can do anything and say anything without the risk of consequence. It chips away at our spirits, bit by bit. Hopefully, this moment we’re in right now is the start of piecing ourselves back together and reclaiming ourselves as our own. I hope it doesn’t fade.
I know there are good men. I’m with one, and I know a lot of them. I’ve also known a lot of shitty ones- like the former co-worker who used walk around the office talking about women he dated like they were nothing but orifices for him to fill while the other bros in the office laughed about it. He was finally let go after years of complaints by women in the office. There are so many men like that, being egged on by their friends. We have a long way to go to deal with these issues. But at least we are seeing something that resembles accountability.