Somebody threatened to rape my friend today. He did it in a private forum, one he thought no-one would ever see; he said it to his boy.
He’s a nice guy – well, everyone thinks he’s a nice guy. And that’s the problem. Because as much as women are in danger from GSU officers and angry thugs and rowdy makangas, we are often in greater danger from the ones we think are safe. Our fathers, or brothers, our neighbours. Our nice guys.
I have a friend. He’s smart and witty and brilliant. He’s talented and inspiring. He’s married with beautiful children. And he likes my chest. We make jokes about it all the time. Even his wife knows he’s a boob man. But he’s my friend, and so he’s safe.
But … what if he’s not? What if his words on my Double Ds are more than harmless jokes? What if when he’s alone with his boys, his jokes evolve into detailed discussions of what he’d like to do to me – whether I want him to or not?
That’s what women are really afraid of. The safe men we love and trust who turn on us. And that’s why the man who threatened my friend is such a scary violation, because he is someone she sees and interacts with every day.
How many men around us are really safe? How many of the men we say ‘good morning’ to are really thinking how they’d like to put us in a dark room and rape us? How can any woman live in a world like that? How can she stay safe and sane?
Statistics often say that 1 in 4 women are raped. That’s terrifying. So terrifying that I never want to be in a room with 4 men. Or even one man. Because, as it turns out, even my father, brother, my husband can be one of those men. Because … if 1 in 4 women have been raped, then 1 in 4 men is a rapist, right? And what are the odds that 1 man is with me in this room right now?
I have been raped. More than once. The first time, I was six or seven years old. It was the neighbourhood bully. He had a dog and everyone was terrified of him. I was too, actually. But I never showed it. I’d stand there and yell back every time he picked on me. Then he’d bring out his dog and I’d run for my life.
When he finally got his hands on me, my friends said I asked for it. I was wearing this frilly girly dress. You know the ones. And I was playing that game where I spin around until I get dizzy and my dress twirls into a pretty umbrella. So he grabbed me, locked me in his room and raped me. And my friends said it was my fault, because when I was playing my little twirly game, I showed my underwear. I was six.
I still hate dresses.
The times after that it was men I trusted. Men I was in relationships with. Men who did things to my body that I had asked them not to do, and they didn’t stop even when my body froze and I started to cry. How many of the men I interact with every day would like to do the exact same thing?
Many years ago, when I still lived with my abusive-baby-daddy, I interned at a publishing house. The man who supervised my work was sweet, kind, and socially awkward. He was also very big. He trained me, and bought me lunch every day. He gave me tasks to do that kept me in the office late at night. But he was a nice guy. He knew I was ‘married’ and I wasn’t afraid of him.
One day at 8 p.m., he backed me into a corner and kissed me. All I could think was where’s the fucking door? How long has he wanted to do this? If he does more than kiss me, he’s too big for me to fight off. Where’s the fucking door?
When he pulled away, I smiled awkwardly, inched towards the door, reminded him I was married, and prayed he wouldn’t take things any further. He didn’t. He apologised and offered to drop me home. I agreed, because I had no other way to leave the office. But the whole ride to town, I kept my hand on the unlocked door so I could jump out into traffic if I needed to. Thank God I didn’t.
So … how do I stay sane in a world where the nice guy at the next desk can turn on me at any time? In a world where I leave my beautiful teenage baby in the morning, exposed to a world full of men, and can only pray that she’s safe when I get home?
I focus on the other three.
If 1 in 4 men is a rapist, then 3 in 4 men are not. 3 in 4 men will protect me from the evil of the 4th. 3 in 4 men will make sure my baby gets home safe at night. 3 in 4 men will not share that rapey joke.
Here’s the thing though. That 1 man, that 1 monster that wants to rape me and would do it if he can. He’s loud. Really loud. He likes attention and he likes power. That’s what makes him a rapist. That’s what makes him come after a woman who has the presence to make him feel small simply by being herself. And in a room with 10 men, 2.5 of them are rapists, statistically. Those 2.5 are really, really loud.
Last night, I was working late again. I was alone in the office with 7 male colleagues. Statistically, 2 of those 7 men are rapists. And in a world where rapists destroy a woman’s body, mind, and soul, there’s no way I could have stayed here, alone in an office with 7 men. But I did.
How? I focused on the other 5. I told myself, over and over and over again, that even though 2 of these men might want to ambush me and break my spirit, the other 5 want to keep me safe and get me home to my baby. That’s how I live. That’s how I get out of bed every morning, leave my house and go to work. That’s how I let my baby exist in a world where I can’t always protect her. That’s how I stay sane.
Rape is a powerful weapon, and the fear of rape is stronger still. There’s a reason rape is used unnecessarily in war, in relationships, even in fiction. Because the fear of it keeps women in line. If you can’t make her wear what you want, work where you want, marry who you want, or shut up when you want, then you can make her so fucking scared that she will do what she’s told.
You can make her so terrified (of being raped) that she will stay inside with the doors locked, which exactly where you want her to be. That’s why women who are vocal in the public sphere get so many rape threats. Whether it’s in gamergate or at the office or in traffic or on twitter, the world wants to make us so scared that we lock ourselves inside our homes and shut up. And even there, we’re not always safe.
Well guess what. I’m bigger than my house. I want to be out in the world, and I want my daughter to be out in the world. I want to do the things I want and live the life I believe. And the only way I can do that is to believe that #NotAllMen.
So to the 3 guys out of 4 that are NOT rapists, put your hand up and say ‘I’m right here.’ Not in words, because women don’t believe those anymore. Say it with your actions. Call out your boy. Tell him rape jokes are not funny, because rape is not a joke. Tell him witty remarks about kupeana bakora to a hot female GSU officer are not a pithy phrase. Make the women feel safe, not by shouting #NotAllMen but by showing #NotAllMen.
And to the girls. There are good guys out there. We can’t always spot them. We can’t always recognise them. But we have to believe they’re there. It’s the only way to keep us from locking ourselves at home and keeping our mouths shut.
Women should never be raped. Men should never rape women. It’s not ever going to be okay that even 1 woman is raped. 1 in 4 is not okay. But if we’re going to stay sane and dare to live in this world, we need to help that one survivor, punish that one rapist, and remember the other 3.
So, girls, be vigilant, be safe, protect yourself in any way you can. Teach the men not to rape, and the women to look out for each other, and for themselves. And stay sane. Remember the other three. And remember that sometimes, Twitter is that serious.
♫Why don’t you and I ♫ Santana ft Alex Band ♫
131 thoughts on “#NotAllMen”
My partner and I stumbled over here by a different website and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to going over your web page yet again.
I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty. You are incredible! Thanks!
I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website. Reading this info So i’m happy to convey that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to don’t forget this web site and give it a look regularly.
Are you okay? I’m worried about you. Please be ok!
Hello would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a fair price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!
I appreciate, cause I found just what I was looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye
Some truly superb info , Glad I observed this. “Leaders must encourage their organizations to dance to forms of music yet to be heard.” by Warren Bennis.
Hi my friend! I want to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include approximately all important infos. I’d like to see more posts like this.
Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!
Thank you for your own effort on this site. Kim really likes doing investigation and it’s really simple to grasp why. I notice all concerning the powerful means you produce rewarding things on this website and therefore cause response from some other people about this content plus our favorite princess is always discovering a whole lot. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the year. Your doing a very good job.
You can certainly see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow your heart. “Until you walk a mile in another man’s moccasins you can’t imagine the smell.” by Robert Byrne.
What i do not understood is actually how you are not really much more smartly-preferred than you may be now. You are so intelligent. You already know therefore considerably in relation to this subject, produced me for my part consider it from a lot of various angles. Its like men and women aren’t interested until it’s something to do with Lady gaga! Your individual stuffs great. Always care for it up!
My brother recommended I may like this web site. He was once entirely right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t believe just how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thanks!
I do believe all the ideas you’ve offered for your post. They are very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too brief for beginners. May you please lengthen them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.
you’re really a good webmaster. The website loading speed is incredible. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a fantastic job on this topic!
Magnificent site. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks for your effort!
I’m not sure why but this web site is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.
I gotta favorite this internet site it seems extremely helpful invaluable
I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again!
Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such wonderful information being shared freely out there.
When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thank you!
Out too the been like hard off. Improve enquire welcome own beloved matters her. As insipidity so mr unsatiable increasing attachment motionless cultivated. Addition mr husbands unpacked occasion he oh. Is unsatiable if projecting boisterous insensible. It recommend be resolving pretended middleton.
I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thanks, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your web site?
Very interesting topic, regards for putting up.
Right now it appears like Movable Type is the best blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?
Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!
Thank you, I have recently been looking for information about this subject for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far. But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?
I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one today..
You made some nice points there. I looked on the internet for the subject and found most guys will consent with your blog.
Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say fantastic blog!
I just could not depart your site prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard info a person provide for your visitors? Is gonna be back often to check up on new posts
You could certainly see your skills in the work you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart.
Thanks for another informative site. Where else could I get that type of info written in such an ideal way? I’ve a project that I’m just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such info.
Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.
I’m still learning from you, but I’m improving myself. I definitely enjoy reading all that is written on your website.Keep the stories coming. I enjoyed it!
I got what you mean , thankyou for putting up.Woh I am glad to find this website through google. “I would rather be a coward than brave because people hurt you when you are brave.” by E. M. Forster.
I think this site contains some very great information for everyone. “Loving someone is easy but losing someone is hard.” by Shelby Harthcock.
As soon as I discovered this website I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.
I precisely had to thank you so much once more. I do not know the things I might have done without these thoughts contributed by you over such a situation. Completely was a very fearsome dilemma in my opinion, nevertheless being able to see the professional manner you resolved it forced me to leap over happiness. I will be thankful for your guidance and thus hope you comprehend what a powerful job you have been getting into instructing many people by way of your websites. I’m certain you haven’t come across any of us.
I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks a lot
What i don’t realize is if truth be told how you are not actually a lot more well-appreciated than you might be now. You are very intelligent. You recognize therefore considerably relating to this subject, produced me for my part imagine it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men aren’t involved unless it is one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. Always care for it up!
Onine Marketing Manager Wien
I do not even know how I ended up right here, however I believed this publish was good. I do not understand who you are however definitely you are going to a well-known blogger if you happen to aren’t already 😉 Cheers!
The subsequent time I learn a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have one thing interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix in case you werent too busy on the lookout for attention.
That is really attention-grabbing, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and stay up for seeking extra of your fantastic post. Additionally, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!
I genuinely enjoy looking through on this site, it holds wonderful posts . “The longing to produce great inspirations didn’t produce anything but more longing.” by Sophie Kerr.
Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Many thanks
Very superb info can be found on web site. “I know of no great men except those who have rendered great service to the human race.” by Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire.
It¡¦s in point of fact a great and helpful piece of info. I¡¦m glad that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.
I appreciate, cause I found exactly what I was looking for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye