Most girls are relentlessly told that we will be treated how we demand to be treated. If we want respect, we must respect ourselves.
This does three things. Firstly, it gets men off the hook for being held accountable for how they treat women. And secondly, it makes women feel that the mistreatment and sometimes outright violence they face due to their gender is primarily their fault. And thirdly, it positions women to be unable to speak out against sexism because we are made to believe any sexism we experience would not have happened if we had done something differently.
I cannot demand a man to respect me. No more than I can demand that anybody do anything. I can ask men to be nice to me. But chances are if I even have to ask he does not care to be nice. I can express displeasure when I’m not being respected. But that doesn’t solve the issue that I was disrespected in the first place.
I can choose to not deal with a man once he proves to be disrespectful and/or sexist. But even that does not solve the initial problem of the fact that I had to experience being disrespected in the first place.
As a young girl, I wish that instead of being told that I needed to demand respect from men that I had been told that when I am not respected by men that it’s his fault and not mine. But that would require that we quit having numerous arbitrary standards for what it means to be a “respectable” woman. It would mean that I am not judged as deserving violence based on how I speak, what I wear, what I do, and who I am.
my biggest regret in life is that i will never be able to meet amy pond and say “cool rory bro”
These are forms of male aggression that only women see. But even when men are afforded a front seat to harassment, they don’t always have the correct vantage point for recognizing the subtlety of its operation. Four years before the murders, I was sitting in a bar in Washington, D.C. with a male friend. Another young woman was alone at the bar when an older man scooted next to her. He was aggressive, wasted, and sitting too close, but she smiled curtly at his ramblings and laughed softly at his jokes as she patiently downed her drink. ‘Why is she humoring him?’ my friend asked me. ‘You would never do that.’ I was too embarrassed to say: ‘Because he looks scary’ and ‘I do it all the time.’
Women who have experienced this can recognize that placating these men is a rational choice, a form of self-defense to protect against setting off an aggressor. But to male bystanders, it often looks like a warm welcome, and that helps to shift blame in the public eye from the harasser and onto his target, who’s failed to respond with the type of masculine bravado that men more easily recognize.
I feel this. I once described an encounter I had on my way to have coffee with a friend. A man followed me for three to four blocks mid day even though I had politely tried to get him to leave me alone a number of times. He harassed me on the bus and I got off the bus early. He got off and waited at the corner til I passed him and followed me even though I said, “I’m meeting a friend and I’m a little late!” and “It’s just down this way, I really must be going” and “It’s really not necessary to walk me there”. I was told that I should have told this tall, sort of muscular, very “assertive” guy to leave me the hell alone and go fuck himself. And frankly I can see how that would have gone: he still would have followed me, except instead of being amicable he would become hostile. Instead of some guy trying to hit on me and make himself look like a big shot, he would follow me telling me all the things that are wrong with my attitude or how I was discriminating against him or something like that.
Most male friends don’t understand the sort of damage control that goes into just having an unwarranted conversation with a stranger. When you’re in a situation where there’s no escape - you can’t just run into your house or hop in a car or hop off the bus - you try to do the best you can knowing that yelling at them or calling out their bullshit will not automatically make them go away. People say “it’s worth a try” but they don’t understand what risks that attempt comes at. I won’t risk my life just so some onlookers can say that I wasn’t “asking for it”.
bread is so fucking good man I could prob eat an entire bakery in 25 minutes or less