Wednesday, May 28, 2014

#yesallwomen


The hashtag YESALLWOMEN was launched this memorial day weekend. The hashtag was started after Elliot Rodger, a twenty-two-year-old man, went on a shooting spree on Isla Vista, near the University of California Santa Barbara, killing six people before committing suicide. In the weeks leading up to the killings, Rodger posted a series of YouTube videos and a hundred-and-fourty-one-page autobiographical “manifesto,” declaring his hatred of all women because, basically, they wouldn't sleep with him. More details of his case can be found easily enough online so let's move on.

Rodgers comments inspired the online community to create the hashtag #yesallwomen to criticize the way society teaches men to feel entitled to women at the expense of their health, safety and, in Rodger’s case, lives. Some men began tweeting in response #notallmen. As in not all men are like this.

Umm, hey guys? We know. My father is an amazing man who has always told me I'm my only limit; I can do or be or say anything I believe. Myke (that's my boyfriend) has never been anything but empowering, encouraging, and amazing to me. Shall I go on? I shouldn't need to. Women know that not all men are gross jerks; HOWEVER, every single women has a story about how a man has acted entitled to her body.

When I was 21, I went to a party with some friends. I got all dolled up, had a few drinks and was ready to dance. I've danced with strangers before - don't worry Mom, I don't set my drinks down - but this night I just felt like doing it up with my girls. This guy came up behind me and started grinding on my ass. I scooted away from him, not wanting to cause a fight, but wanting him to go away.
He followed me the foot or two and said over the music, "You got a boyfriend or something?"
I turned to face him and said "no," slightly confused.
"Well then what's the big deal baby?" he asked and grabbed my hips to pull me towards him. I just shook my head and went to the bathroom, hoping he'd move along instead of wait. He did, but I was still confused.

He was telling me that my choices were A) Be "someone's" or B) Be "anyone's".

Before Myke, I dabbled in the world of "Friends with Benefits." It's a very confusing place to set up camp. I remember making out with an aforementioned FWB and he pushed to take it farther. I informed him that I didn't feel comfortable doing anything besides kissing. He asked if I was a virgin. I left and never spoke to him again. While I was very proud of myself at the time for this decision, I wish I would've said more. I felt so undervalued and unimportant. Why did he think that if I had already "lost" it that it had lost all meaning? It was still important to me, still so personal and invasive. And when I talked to him, it was like something he expected from me.

Now I am quick to take the blame in any situation. I am always trying to think of how I could be a better me. And this time I thought "Well, we were kissing" and "Maybe I lead him on". However, now I have some time under my belt and I know that I should be able to say NO at anytime. I deserve to feel comfortable and safe. If I don't want to, then I don't have to.

Those are only two of my stories. If any woman has only just two I'd be shocked.
I shouldn't have to hold my keys in my hand as a weapon as my walk to my car or predial 9-1 on my phone just in case. What I wear should not justify any one else's behavior towards me. "I don't want to" should be just a viable as "I have a boyfriend". I have never and don't plan on treating all men the same, but I do treat all people with respect. Always, up front that's what I start with. Not because you're older than me or in a higher position or a certain gender, but because you're a human.

Until Next Time,


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1 comment:

  1. Yay! I finally got to read this one! I agree, you said it all very well!

    ReplyDelete