Over the past several weeks a few of the men in my life have made snarky, disparaging comments about the #MeToo movement, and it got me thinking; why are otherwise decent men so clueless about the actual meaning of this movement?
For example, my father: on the one hand, he’s stated emphatically that if he found out that anyone had hurt his wife, daughter, sister, etc. in “that way”, he’d handle the asshole. It’s likely there would be violence; not that my dad is a violent dude, but he can be very protective. At the same time, he makes cracks about not being able to touch his own wife because she might have her own #MeToo story. My stepdad, the man who raised two women, has a granddaughter and nieces, who married one of the toughest chicks I’ve ever met, makes comments like this too.
Clearly, I don’t find these jokes amusing.
I don’t feel like this movement, or these stories, are difficult to comprehend. It’s not like the men and women coming forward are talking about their significant others giving them affection, or people approaching them respectfully asking them on dates. We’re talking about men who’ve used their power and influence to elicit sexual favors from unwilling partners. Who’ve threatened, coerced, and sometimes even drugged and raped. Men who catcall. Men who unleash violent tirades on women who reject their advances or don’t answer quickly enough in dating apps. Men who like to think of themselves as nice guys but simultaneously complain about Chads and advocate for the redistribution of sex, i.e. legal rape.
It’s absolutely unfathomable to me that anyone in my life doesn’t get this.
Do you think it’s possible to educate people who have this kind of attitude? The kinds of people who immediately side with the accused or blame the victim or downplay the need to bring these stories to light?
I have plenty of my own #MeToo stories, from the age of 11 or 12 onward. I don’t tell them, and maybe I should.
Omg you don’t even want to get me started on this. It makes me so angry I can’t even speak when men in my life act this way, especially men that know my personal situations and then talk like this to other men in my presence like sexual assault is a joke. It’s that exact utter lack of sensitivity that’s the root of the problem. Most men can’t even fathom being in the kind of situations that so many of us have been in. They have no idea what it feels like to live with something like that happening to you or the fear that a lot of us walk around with that no one else understands. I’m irritated while writing this so pardon me if I’m not making sense lol, but I’m sure that you get my point. Anyways…. I think what irks me the most about men we are close to acting this way is: not only do they come across ignorant and insensitive, but a lot of times these are the exact men that we want to believe would protect US were something to ever happen in their presence.
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I’m sorry that you’ve also experienced so much of this bullshit. I can’t imagine my dad or stepdad or brother standing idly by while some asshole groped me without my consent, but there’s a disconnect somewhere. I don’t get it. I think some of them CAN imagine it, but they think they’d be flattered by the aggressive sexual advances of a woman even if they weren’t interested in her. I don’t think they understand the physical power disparity that causes so much of the fear we have… like, the men in my life are big strong dudes who can fight off a woman if they need to. They don’t think about being the weaker party in a situation like this.
I understand being annoyed. My blood starts to boil every time I think about it.
I’m going to go ahead and put this out there… no one reading this really knows who I am but you, and I truly feel that sharing these stories empower each other. Anyhow, my most recent experience was also my worst. I’ll try to make it as short as possible.
I’ve always been a major tomboy; I was a daddy’s girl, not in the spoiled princess way, but the fishing, hunting, athletics kind of way. I had two older brothers. My very first bff was my mom’s best friend’s SON. My only neighbors to play with growing up were all male. I grew to relate better to males when it came to friendship, but I also learned to never take any shit from them either.
Almost a year ago to the day, I got a ride put from an old male friend I hadn’t seen in several years (I didn’t have my license). He brought a guy with him that I knew from my past… a guy that I met for a moment in time who had come onto me years before. This guy was trashed and kept coming onto me during this short trip to the store. The guy I call a friend was one of my sister’s close friends and I had known him his whole life, he was like a little brother to me. I’d bring up moments I remembered about him and the “other guy” would get jealous over friendly reminiscing. When my friend would ask about my kids or husband, this other guy got to the point where he flat out said, “I don’t want to hear about other men in your life!” I never knew this guy very well to begin with, and by this point I’m thinking that he’s flat out crazy.
Well I had taken care of what I needed to, and my friend started to drive me home. “Other guy” was in the passenger seat, and I was sitting in the middle of the back seat. About 5 minutes from home, I said something about my kids and “other guy” says, “Fuck your kids, I hope they die.” I saw red. I had a fountain drink in my hand, and went to throw it on him but it was like he read my mind. Before I even got the lid off, he was flipped around looking at me, knocked the drink out of my hand, and started strangling me. I’m not over emphasizing the situation, my throat felt like it was touching the back of my neck. This guy that I barely knew had been showing signs of jealousy all day because I was talking about my family and refusing HIS advances. My actual friend was a very little guy and was panicked. We are making eye contact in the rear view. I can’t breathe, and this guy isn’t letting up. My friend drives his car off the road into someone’s yard and jumps out. The “other guy” isn’t phased, he doesn’t let go. By this point, I hadn’t been able to get a breath in around 2 minutes. My friend opens the back door and pulls me by my arm like tug of war. He managed to pull me put of the back door, but the other guy jumped out, came around and hit me in the face several times. He actually chipped my front tooth.
Long story short, my friend got me to safety. This all happened because some psycho wanted me and I turned him down. I had blatantly obvious PTSD for the first 6 months. Every night I was having dreams about someone trying to kill me. While I was awake, I was petrified. We live way up on a hill around no one, but I’d have a total break down/ literal panic attack if the door wasn’t locked. I kept imagining that someone was going to show up and try to kill me.
I called the police the second I got home, while the adrenaline was still pumping, and I was nothing but grateful to be alive. My neck was swollen and it had a literally scabbed ring around it. He had squeezed my neck so hard that he broke the skin. My tooth was broke, my eye was blacked. I room pictures of it all to show the police the next day. But I never went. That’s another thing I hear men close to me say a the time. “If this REALLY happened to her, why didn’t she press charges?!” Because we don’t EVER want to have to look at that man again. We don’t want to risk that he’ll get off and then retaliate. We value our lives. We know what it’s like to almost lose it at the hand of a monster, and we don’t want to test it.
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Oh my god. I’m so incredibly sorry this happened to you and that you couldn’t feel safe in your own home.
THIS is why we worry about rejecting men. This dude was basically a stranger who felt entitled to your body, your time, whatever. Despite you being married.
THIS is why we don’t press charges. “If it really happened…” Seriously? There was a witness. Fuck.
THIS IS WHY WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT.
Fuck. I just… FUCK.
Replies are showing up in a weird spot for me, but I’m so sorry this happened to you.
I flat out don’t deal with men that make those types of comments about #metoo. So I don’t have advice on how to teach them anything. I can help you burn those bridges, though, haha.
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