This has been showing up on my news feed recently. I saw it and my blood boiled.
I’m gonna call bullshit*t right here.
As a woman, I feared for my own safety walking back to my dorm alone, late, after fencing practice. I was the only dorm resident. I would keep the closest blue light in my sights at all times. I feared walking alone from my car to my dorm after a party. I always kept tabs on my girls at parties and never let anyone pee alone.
As a woman, a male gas station attendant felt it was his right to reach into my car window, which I “foolishly” left open on a hot summers day. He groped me while my tank was filling. I yelled, he seemed spooked. Didn’t my friendly banter and cute top invite him to touch me? From that moment forward, I wouldn’t open the car window more that enough for the credit card to go through. Even on a hot day. I sat in the car sweating because it was safer. Only when I wasn’t alone would I dare open the windows. That trauma has strongly subdued since leaving New Jersey where I was at the will of a station attendant to fill-up my car.
As the mother of a daughter, I fear for what could potentially happen years from now in college. I fear for potential issues in high school as well. As I’m sure my mother feared about me before. I fear that what I went through will happen to her. Or worse.
As the mother of a son, I have no fears that someone will cry rape towards him. Because I’m raising him better than that. I’m raising him to stand up with women, all women, all people, for the betterment of everyone.
As a mother to one of each, I mindfully teach both of my kids consent. I do this with the purpose of Witchlette knowing the power within the word know and her use of it and Witchling to understand when he hears no, he is to back away.
It seems to me the only men to have to fear the “cry” of rape are those who are potential predators. The cat callers. The gropers. The rapists. The only mothers of sons who have to fear their sons reputation are those who allowed their sons to be raised in the patriarchy and follow along with it. Those who allow their sons to see women as a prize, as seen in almost literally every macho action movie.
Then there’s this:
“I draw a line down the middle of a chalkboard, sketching a male symbol on one side and a female symbol on the other.
Then I ask just the men: What steps do you guys take, on a daily basis, to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? At first there is a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they’ve been asked a trick question. The silence gives way to a smattering of nervous laughter. Occasionally, a young a guy will raise his hand and say, ‘I stay out of prison.’ This is typically followed by another moment of laughter, before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states, ‘Nothing. I don’t think about it.’
Then I ask the women the same question. What steps do you take on a daily basis to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? Women throughout the audience immediately start raising their hands. As the men sit in stunned silence, the women recount safety precautions they take as part of their daily routine.
Hold my keys as a potential weapon. Look in the back seat of the car before getting in. Carry a cell phone. Don’t go jogging at night. Lock all the windows when I sleep, even on hot summer nights. Be careful not to drink too much. Don’t put my drink down and come back to it; make sure I see it being poured. Own a big dog. Carry Mace or pepper spray. Have an unlisted phone number. Have a man’s voice on my answering machine. Park in well-lit areas. Don’t use parking garages. Don’t get on elevators with only one man, or with a group of men. Vary my route home from work. Watch what I wear. Don’t use highway rest areas. Use a home alarm system. Don’t wear headphones when jogging. Avoid forests or wooded areas, even in the daytime. Don’t take a first-floor apartment. Go out in groups. Own a firearm. Meet men on first dates in public places. Make sure to have a car or cab fare. Don’t make eye contact with men on the street. Make assertive eye contact with men on the street.”
Jackson Katz, “The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help”