An open letter to all of the “creepy guys”…
Creepy guys, or can you just chill the hell out for a second? This isn’t some white-knight rant about how I’m different or I really understand girls. I don’t and there’s probably more than a few of them that can attest to that fact. What I do know is that I wouldn’t leave the house and shut down all forms of communications if I were a female. I’m being completely serious. There’s a lot of guys that don’t seem to get that living as a woman in this society is a bit different. If you don’t think so, start out by asking yourself a couple of these questions…
1) Have you ever been messaged, called, texted, or stalked by multiple females in your life to the point where you’re actually fearful of these complete strangers?
2) Have you ever texted your boys after driving or walking home to see if they’re okay because there was a legitimate threat that you could have been assaulted, raped, killed, etc. by a anyone?
3) Have you ever felt scared in a parking lot, your college campus, or at work?
4) Have you ever been threatened by someone you’re talking to or have they threatened suicide if you stopped talking to them?
5) Have you ever been called a ton of names because you didn’t reply back fast enough to some pervert who kept messaging?
6) Do you carry pepper-spray, a taser, or any other weapon around regularly because the sheer amount of threats and attacks and constant threat of being attacked, even in broad daylight, is always there?
7) Do you constantly have to put up with sexist comments from co-workers, classmates, or complete fucking strangers on a near daily basis?
8) Have you ever experienced a rape or attempted rape like 1 in 6 women in this country have?
9) Have you ever been pulled out of class because someone might get aroused due to your shoulders and you had to cover them up since your fellow male students and male faculty apparently can’t control themselves at the side of nude collarbones?
10) Have anyone ever judged your worth or competency because you’ve, you know, had sex before?
No? Didn’t think so. I know there’s probably some insecure menimists out there trying to grasp at straws and claim every one of those things happened to them or they don’t happen to women every single day, but piss off. I do know that there is more than one female reading this that has experienced every single one of those and more. Those are just examples I have been told about more than once from real women on real incidents.
The internet has opened up a completely different outlet for women to be harassed. It’s not all bad. I say that because many relationships start with a facebook message or something else. I know it has for me. I also know that when I was a teenager I would message and try to flirt with everyone. That was creepy. What I didn’t get then, and still don’t now, is why guys continually message a girl dozens of times when they have been completely ignored or even told that the girl isn’t interested. What’s wrong with you? Do you think annoying and harassing them is going to get you anywhere after weeks of messages with no reply? Is it an ego thing? Is that your “game”? Is it because you’re that damn stupid and oblivious? Just stop. Take a hint. Do you know what kind of message that sends? Not only are you coming off as creepy, but controlling, possessive, and undoubtably stalkerish if they were to go on a date with you. And what do all of those signs point to? Abuse. Violence. Nothing at all good.
Recently, there was a local craigslist ad that was passed around that was a prime example of this. It was in the “missed connections” portion where a man posted describing how he was attracted to a woman he had saw and wanted to meet her. The problem was that he detailed how he had followed her around several times, stalking her, and even back to her home. He stated that one day he would go knock on her door and somehow she would be his. When that post was taken down, before I could get a screen shot of it back on my laptop, he posted another…
I’ve been attracted to many girls, naturally, and have always wanted to have the confidence to approach them in a social setting and talk to them. And hell, some may even think I’m a creep now. But, I have never, ever thought about fucking stalking someone and following them around. That’s insane and frightening. Are you serious?
When I started dating, well more when I was dating and old enough to drive or them to come over to my house, I noticed something. Several of them would make a joke saying they asked around about me or looked me up to make sure “I’m not some killer” or “rapist”. I thought it was a joke most of the time. Other times I just thought it was incredibly odd but oh well. I was an 18-19 year old guy and of course I never thought about anything like that to check on the girl. It also never hit me that the girl may literally fear for their life coming over to a guys house. I was viewing it through my prism, one that was very narrow, ignorant, and oblivious. I would think “Me? I’m harmless.” I’m a short, chubby guy that looks 16 on a good day. I couldn’t imagine being threatening to anyone. I was, however, because I was a male that they didn’t know. That doesn’t mean all males are a danger. Of course not. It also doesn’t mean, at least from my point of view, that those negative assumptions should be made about every man….but I’m not a woman. I don’t know how it is to be one. I know that it’s different. I know that knowing what I do now from stories, statistics, and society, it takes a lot to put up with the shit women put up with daily in this country.
I remember being about 15 and a girl confiding in me that she had been raped. I was furious. I wanted to kill the guy. She told me that she never knew who it was, she was at at party, and nothing was ever done. I couldn’t believe it. Someone actually getting away with rape? My youthful ignorance was astounding looking back. I thought that rape and sexual assault were extremely rare. I also not only thought the crimes were rare, I thought the ones that got away with it were astronomically rare. I was so confused. I wanted to do something and felt so helpless…then I imagined what she must have felt like. It happened to her, this horrific thing, and nothing had been done about it. It’s been about ten years since then and I’d wager justice was never served. What’s worse is that that pieces of scum probably continued and may still be continuing to assault other women because he got away with it then. Or maybe that wasn’t the first time? Maybe there are rapists, many rapists, who do this their entire life and are never caught. The thought of that literally makes my stomach feel nauseous. All guys reading this should feel that way. And no, I’m not pretending that I’m some white knight of the highest morality. I say this as a son of my mother. I say this as a grandson to my grandmother. I say this as the nephew of my aunt. I say this as the cousin to three young women. I say this as the friend of many close, dear female friends that I would be devastated if they were harmed including my online friends. I also say this as a stranger to billions of women that I know and will never know. Anyone. It infuriates me and makes me sick that there are so many men out there willing and able to hurt someone and not only that but to escape justice.
Society allows, ignores, and propagates all of this at same time. There’s really no escaping it as a woman. Some experience it from the time they wake up with dozens of messages online, following by the walk to class or to their car. Maybe they hear it going for a jog. Guys, have you ever been in a large city and felt a little uneasy about your settings? With all of the things we’re told about the horrors of the “big cities”, I’d wager that you probably did if you have visited. I have a few times, at night, in cities I wasn’t that familiar with at the time. Now, take that uneasy feeling and imagine feeling that, sometimes a lot worse, every time you walk to your car from basically anywhere at night…or hell, even during broad daylight? That’s how a lot of women feel every day and it’s because creepy ass guys that lurk in every corner or the real and virtual online world. I’m sure many, many feel it at work. Even if the harassment is at a minimal, they experience via their paycheck which is, on average, 33% less than a man’s. While that number varies from job to job, that wage gap exists in both male and female dominated professions. I know there’s denial by many, particularly men of course, because they simply don’t want to admit it or maybe they’re just, you know, too distracted by your shoulders to notice.
Women are treated differently. It’s just the reality we live in and denying that reality doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. The only real way that’s going to change is for men to stop treating them differently. Treat them as you would want any female in your family to be treated. Picture them and apply ideas like these…
Women don’t owe you anything.
They aren’t obligated to have sex with you, ever.
Their uteruses aren’t a topic up for debate.
Their healthcare isn’t negotiable.
Their worth isn’t determined by their outfit or some archaic idea of “purity”. That’s for drinking water, not people.
…and for Christ sake, there’s no such thing as “Pens for Her”..
..so stop fucking making them.
As you can see they deal with far bigger issues on a daily basis so I think their “delicate” hands can manage to lift one of those big, manly pens that I assume are only for the egos of that cocky douchebag who isn’t used to holding something that long in their hand.
I’m sure I left out a thousand other problems with our society today when it comes to gender bias. I’m sure I don’t understand or know a lot. I’m sure there might have been some sigh’s or things I left out or was wrong about. It was a view, a rant really, based on the ridiculous and outrageous things I have observed and learned as a 20-something male in this country, ever how little that is. I apologize for what I don’t know. I’ve been wanting to write about it ever since I found that Mother’s supplies for her classes she began at UVA included a bottle of pepper spray. The first time I had really ever thought about anything happening to her like, a grown woman of 46 who I’ve seen do anything, in my life. My message is mainly to some guys to just chill the hell out and maybe, just maybe, take a hint sometimes. Try your best to take a step back and look at things from a woman’s perspective or at the very least how your perspective may be flawed or contributing to all of these things. And guys, I implore you to purchase a “safety whistle” and blow it the only time one of those things should be blown, you know, like when you see one of your bro’s acting like a jackass harassing some girl, some group of morons catcalling, or maybe whenever a lawmaker tries to infringe on their reproductive rights and access healthcare. I know that sounds like lot of blowing but, in all fairness, it’s really the only kind you should be loud and persistent about.