How's this for messed up? My first thought with the #metoo was "don't be a drama queen, it's not like someone raped you".
Good grief. Internalized misogyny is real and I have it. I sat there staring at my phone last night and thought I was such a goddamn drama queen for sharing a status when nothing that bad happened because I've never been raped. Like rape is the gold standard and I had no right to complain because that hadn't happened to me.
I didn't want to share it. But for you men out there who think it's not a problem, it is, and I was 12, maybe 13 the first time a stranger talked about my body in a sexual context. Touched in the pool in a way that wasn't appropriate for my age by a man later convicted of rape. It got worse from there. I was 17 when my friend's boyfriend tried to kiss me in the car and I had to get him off me by squeezing his throat until he backed off. The worst part about that? She didn't break up with him. He tried to sexually assault me and she didn't break up with him.
Every time some guy makes a lewd comment or a gross suggestion, I shrug it off. Mostly because I still have work to do (it happens at work too) or the guy's drunk, or some other dumb reason. Mostly, I shrug it off because I don't want to deal with it. Because I don't want to waste my precious time dealing with some pervert's actions in a way that would punish me as much as him. I mean, hell, did you know if you pull a knife on someone, rather they just grabbed your ass or not, people call the cops? That pepper spraying people is kind assault-ish? I really don't want to go to jail in this county, people. People die in there.
But here's the thing, guys: I don't want you to start standing up against perverts sexually harassing women because we're your sisters, or your mothers, or your wives. Do it because we're people. That's reason enough. It ought to be anyway. If you see something, say something. Use that manly physical strength to tell another manly specimen that is disgusting and wrong to treat women like disembodied boobs and butts. That it's wrong to talk to a girl like she exists to make babies and cook dinner. That's wrong to think you're entitled to sex. (That's wrong for everyone to think, women included) Just freaking stand up.
Because that's the right thing to do.
Yeah, I crushed Justin Wade's larynx with my hand and I fought my way out of that situation, but if someone doesn't, it's not their fault. It's the person committing the crime's fault. Always. Every time. Every single time.
So believe them now and stand up.
And believe us when the Harvey Weinsteins of the world have the light shone on their cockroach corners.
That would be great.