It’s Not Me, It’s You(r Male Entitlement)

“You’d be better off with me” he says, looming over me, breathing hotly down upon me, touching my arm with lust and anger. I don’t know this guy. He doesn’t know me. We’re simply sharing the same train platform. He…thinks I’m pretty, I guess. He asked if I had a boyfriend. He asked where I was going. I have no obligation to answer his questions, but what happens if I don’t? He’s touched me three times in the last 60 seconds. My leg, my arm, my shoulder. I already asked him not to. I’m trying in vain to control my heart rate, to stay calm and not panic. The metro workers are watching from afar, and their presence offers the slightest bit of security. The seconds grow loooooonnnnngggerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Where is the train? Oh god, where is it? Please don’t get in the same train car…

Every train of thought I attempt is derailed. Every futile attempt I make to end the conversation increases his agitation. He’s getting more antagonistic, as he talks more shit about the boyfriend I made up when I said “yes,” that I do. Every woman out on the street by herself “has a boyfriend” when the male stranger approaches with the same stale question. It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. For every time a woman complains about unwanted advances, there are 10 times she never spoke of. There is rape and molestation and degradation that every woman will bear silently. Yes, rape. I cannot imagine how deeply skewed the numbers are. I only know from private conversations and personal experiences that they are indeed deeply skewed.

As a woman and a writer, I have often chosen to steer clear of women’s issues because it can potentially alienate about half my audience (the male portion). I desperately do not want them to tune out when I am speaking (writing). This is a sad fact about feminism, and the men who can’t stomach it. But today I have this to say to those men (many of whom I would like to call out by name): Harden the Fuck Up. Note that I did not say “Man the Fuck Up” because in this age that seems to mean something more along the lines of “be more of a misogynist pig.”

Every time one of my male friends looks at me and says “I’m sexist” – I kind of want to explode. I also kind of want to cry, go on a rampage, and also give up hope for the human race. That’s not an ideology worth owning. It’s not OK to be a racist bigot, and it’s not OK to be a sexist misogynist. You should be ashamed to hold onto those ideas. Uttering these statements makes you an enemy to every woman to which you may also be a friend, an ally. And suddenly, as a woman, our whole world is against us. Even the women, who compete to be the one he’ll treat better, or the one who can be an exception to the sexist acts that belittle us. And so the men around me that I respect and admire for so many things – their ambition, their compassion, their creativity and positivity and loyalty to their friends – are at odds with the idea that as a woman, I’m held at arm’s length; I am more object than ally: I am subject to only limited respect and loyalty and trust. When you say this, you are telling me: As a woman, I am here to serve a sexual and subservient purpose.

And so we live on the defense. We understand the world based on what is safe, and who is threatening, and who might help us achieve a little more leverage unto a higher plane where we might gain a little more humanity and respect in a way that either capitalizes on or diminishes our sexuality. Will we embrace or deny it? Either path involves real sacrifice, of either our dignity and self-respect (as I pull my skirt up and my top down) or force a dissociation with femininity altogether (“You’re an exception to all the other women I hate, you’re not like them…you’re not a part of that…”…so I become neither; there is safety in androgyny). Yet both will never leave us free from valuation that is based on this hypersexuality or the power to defy it and attain perceived worth for something other than our tits and asses.

Moving past the state of being on the defense constantly, what do we have to empower ourselves? I have chosen denial, action in spite of fear, and straight up walking into the hailstorm of misogyny, just so I could come out the other side and say that it would not kill me. But inside, we are dying. Inside, the women around you are shrinking, staying in, lying about fake boyfriends and committing to abusive ones because all of our options tend to be tainted with male entitlement. You before us. Submission is our mission. These statements are absent of exaggeration.

But it’s not me, it’s your male entitlement. The ideas you claim are embedded so deeply in you that you could not see things another way if you tried. Well, have you tried? Have you really tried? Do you think we are not demeaned when you say things about other women in the presence of your female friends? Do you think that we are comfortable in this state of forced acceptance? Shall I protest, and risk exile, or give you the silent look that implies reluctant consent?

Elliot Rodger was disturbed, but the women he murdered will never again have to experience the belittlement and degradation that women face daily. The rest of us will. We’re still here. Rejection is just so rough, isn’t it Men’s Rights Activists? Women are just so cruel, aren’t we though?

Men, are you even angry? I mean angry – for how Rodger has represented your gender? Or is it too accurate to own? Bring in the #notallmen retorts. No matter how hard you argue for #notallmen, you will still have to face the reality that #YesALLWomen are subject to harassment, intimidation, degradation and abuse by men they encounter day to day. We’re not even allowed to talk about it without becoming the enemy of men. But I never wanted to be your enemy. Men: How can I get you to be my ally? When will you stand up for me in the face of other men? When will you come to see your sexism as foul and cruel and inhumane? When will you become a real HUman?


One thought on “It’s Not Me, It’s You(r Male Entitlement)

  1. Thank you, for having the ovaries to address this perversion of patriarchy. I thought for a while maybe it was just me. My answer to this: Thick skin and unapologetic living.

    I’m sure this is too long. But you triggered me. Thats for sure.
    You have said exactly, word for word, what goes thru my mind on a consistent basis. “Stand up for yourself or we don’t respect you. Not too loud though…or we won’t respect you. We want you smart… but quiet.” The perversion goes deeper still. “See that girl there she’s so feminine…. See that girl there she’s a tomboy respectable type…” I am confused until I regain MY OWN SENSE OF REALITY. Like since when do men get to define femininity? It’s everywhere and I find myself overwhelmed with things I don’t say about it. So as to not run the risk of becoming “The Dry Cunt” I gave out fake numbers, till call you while you’re standing there thing became common. A woman was SHOT IN THE FACE on Arlington/ Washington because she would not give her number…while her children watched. I was approached in a club and declined due to the fact that my boyfriend had just gone to the bathroom and would not take kindly to the interaction. As quick as I was complimented, I was showered with insults. I’ve listened men talk down about mutual friends… coincidentally, ones they were trying to sleep with. So what does this leave us with…??? For me it leaves a burning desire to punch every two faced entitled and opinionated ball sack I hear/see. If it’s not thin vs. thick, feminine vs. tomboy, outspoken vs. meek, good girl vs. bad girl, light skinned vs. dark skinned, its black girl vs. white girls and so on… SIGH. I think the problem is women need to come together and define their own womanhood as they see fit… (Heaven forbid) Insecurity and entitlement create a hostile environment. Because all of my strengths I am seen as a challenge to masculinity. Because of my disposition and stature, I am seen as something that can be preyed upon. This is not my fault. This lies within the lack luster intelligence/self esteem in these men (and women who agree). WE ARE LITERALLY SURROUNDED BY THEM!! Man, I doge dick like the Matrix! They spray us down just like that kid; from every angle. They think that femininity Is supposed to be this little bubble of soft wonderland. Yet rage war against the very sense of safety that would allow for such a place! (I literally carry weapons because I refuse to be afraid) Well what is manhood supposed to be? I don’t know, but I’m sure respect and protection has something to do with it. Listen to the raps, the remarks, the flow of attention, the flow of INTENTION! So I’ve chosen to continue to live unapologetically. Because common sense states that a person who can’t even create his own opinion shouldn’t dictate mine. I don’t owe you a damn thing… ‘cept maybe kindness… if you’ve so earned it. But I’m not changing my voice level, I’m not wearing skirts for you, I’m not changing the words I use, nor am I pretending to be less knowledgeable then I am, or softening for anyone unnaturally… or being less sexual just so your balls can feel bigger. The cold part: even if you were to do all those things… these dicktards would find a flaw in their own idea of perfection, just to escape any kind of responsibility to themselves or anyone else…accept maybe their male friends.

    Thick skin, no apologies. Thats where I’m at. I’d like to be elsewhere.. tho.

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