Thursday, October 30, 2008

Did you ever

It has come to my attention that what men need is clear, concrete guidelines for what is rape or sexual assault or just plain sexist doochebaggery. We women have spent a lot of time trying to get men to empathize with what being raped feels like, but perhaps it might be made more clear to them if they saw their own actions through our eyes.

Below the fold could be triggering for some people.

Did you ever..

Yell at a girl on the street. You know, you're just complimenting her on her looks, fine ass, whatever. Did it ever actually get you a date? (I'm going with "no" since I have yet to meet a single couple whose story starts with "he was street harassing me about my jiggly titties") When you yell at a girl on the street, most likely she is going to try and pretend she didn't hear you. That is our self defense kicking in. It's also a reminder that we can never expect to go outside of our homes and go about our business without fear. We fear you when you do this. We do not see it as a compliment. Do you want to be the doochebag that girls fear and ignore? You belong on Holla Back because you are a creep.

Try to cop a feel on a girl who you weren't in the middle of making out with? It's just a game, just a joke, to you. But to us it's a humiliating reminder that we don't get to control who touches us. This is middle school, boys will be boys bra snapping and ass grabbing to you. It's not so fun for us. You are sexually assaulting someone when you do that.

Keep asking a girl out after she told you no or put you off. Did she tell you she had a boyfriend and you said "that doesn't matter". Imaginary boyfriends (or real ones for that matter) are another self protection device. We use them when a guy won't take no for an answer and we want to be nice (because being mean can get us hurt).You are bordering on creepy stalker territory.

Get all worked up cause a girl was dancing/ flirting/ whatever and didn't actually ask if the girl was just dancing/ flirting/ whatever and assumed that those things meant guaranteed sex? Did you think that the girl was asking for trouble by doing that? That kind of thinking is the equivalent of assuming every single person you have ever shaken hands with want to go into business with you or hire you for a job. You are, at best, a rape apologist. At worse- a future rapist.

While messing around try to take things to the next step and have your hand moved away? Did you wait a few minutes and try the same move over? To you, it's just perseverance. To us, moving your hand away was a clear sign that we don't want to go any further. Everytime you keep trying after that reminds us that our own limits aren't respected. Every time you move your hand (or mouth or whatever) to somewhere she doesn't want it to be- you are sexually assaulting her.

Take a "No" or "Not right now" for a maybe. Did you keep trying to change her mind? Did you think that if you just kept at it, she might give in? Were you confused because she is ok with kissing or whatever, but won't go further, and you thought maybe you just needed to try a little harder to get her in the mood? If she did give in- at the very least what you got was pity sex. More likely you harassed her and wore her down until it was easier to give in than to keep fighting you. Is that how you want to remembered, as the asshole who just kept pushing until she did something she didn't want? Wearing someone down until they can no longer say no makes you a rapist.

Did you try to bargain your way out of a "no" with a "how about a nice back rub" or "what about just a blow job" instead? You're no better than the asshole above.

sleep with a girl who was maybe a bit too drunk? Maybe she didn't even seem *that* drunk at first. Maybe she was blurry but kissing you at first. Or maybe more than kissing. Did you keep going after the point when it was plainly clear she was too drunk (vomiting is a good clue, inability to walk is another) Did she pass out in the middle and you took her earlier actions and her lack of ability to say no now as an ok to finish what you started? Maybe it didn't even get to sex. Maybe you just felt her up a little? You are a rapist.

This is by no means the sum total of all possible situations where rape/ sexual assault/ doochebaggery occur. It's just a few of those fuzzy "grey" areas which aren't so fuzzy when you think about consent.

It's time you boys stopped treating anything less than a No as a maybe. Yes means yes, everything else means trouble.

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