I’ve been hesitant to comment on this publicly because honestly, I feel incredibly lucky. 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, and the fact that I spent many of my thinnest, most attractive, and certainly horniest years surrounded by the comfort of several gay men probably helped me to avoid some of the douchiest of douche-bags.
I am lucky, but at the same time, 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 bar; a male friend of mine used to tell me that he liked my butt and was constantly grabbing it in public. 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 are objectified and sexualized in this way, it impacts us. It creates this idea that women are pretty little things here for the pleasure of men, and our societal power structure has led men to believe that 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, and I hope that he’s learned something. There are so many men like that, and all of those men have friends who are laughing like it’s no big deal. Stop laughing. Stop enabling. It would be so powerful it if you just said, “Hey man, that’s not cool.” Try it out.
P.S. Also, honest, opinionated, intelligent women are not abrasive, bossy, or bitchy. Stop being wimps, you guys.