Yeah, this is an emergency alert – respect for females and their voices is missing from our culture.
Are you alarmed yet? Because if not, you should be.
If you haven’t heard about the drama between actors James Woods and Amber Tamblyn, here’s a summary. Woods tweeted a negative comment about Armie Hammer’s upcoming movie in which a relationship takes place between a 17 and 24 year old, directed at the age difference between the characters. Considering Woods has famously dated women much younger than himself, this drew responses of hypocrisy. In turn, Amber decided to speak up about how Woods actually tried to pick her up when she was just 16 years old.
Woods responded that Tamblyn was a liar.
Amber responded with this powerful op-ed in the NY Times that she – and all women – are sick and tired of this bullshit of having to explain ourselves; to be interrogated and not believed without proof. Of being accused of lying or misinterpreting events. And, basically, not being respected.
Brock Turner – fuck. Need I say more? He raped his victim while she was unconscious, and the poor girl was literally dragged for months, because apparently there are many behaviors that might encourage your rapist (and also make you subject to interrogation as a female). She also released a powerful statement that brought to light the painful process of being victimized yet again, as if the act of being raped wasn’t intrusive enough.
Amidst the Kesha trial against her producer, Dr. Luke, I wrote a blog post and article for Elite Daily last year that detailed how I was molested at just 9 years old by a 27 year-old man. During his trial, his parents suggested that I was lying, that I had made the whole thing up… for attention (despite witnesses). After all, he had a very high IQ, so he couldn’t have possibly done anything wrong.
I was mostly incredulous back then, but I am angry for the 9-year-old me now.
I remember hearing that and thinking how before their son exposed himself to me on the street corner by my house, I hadn’t even understood the sexual insinuations that had previously gone over my head. I hadn’t known what an erect male penis looked like. I had to sleep with the lights on for months because I was afraid that because he knew my last name, he could find my house and come “get” me this time. At nine, I remember thinking how stupid those people sounded when they accused me of lying, how would I even talk about things I had known nothing about?
19-year-old me experienced it too – the fear of not being believed after I was sexually harassed at my job (I just wrote about this). I quit because it was easier than confronting my assailant or worrying about how people would view me as a troublemaker. I didn’t think that anyone would believe me, and I chose to walk away.
I can think of numerous accounts where boys and men said or did things and I either said nothing or did nothing, out of fear that fighting back would cast me in a negative light and/or I would have to prove myself. I’ve also been told things happened differently than I remembered them. With a straight face. Even when I had plenty of proof otherwise.
Months ago I wrote about the Tinder guy that wouldn’t take a hint. He’s back, supposedly wanting my advice because he wants to write a book. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but it’s basically him assuming he has the right to give me a hard time for 1. not wanting to drop everything and date him, 2. not being at his beck and call. When I told him I’m dating someone, he proceeded to outline how obviously the guy is cheating on me since I’m older than him. I laughed it off, and because he failed to get a rise out of me, he “joked” that the guy must be really great in bed. I responded flippantly, and he made a comment about his size – of which I made a joke back at his expense. He then sent a dick pic. When I responded asking why the f he did that, he acted like I was the one with the problem.
Let me just say that I am not against dick pics – when requested. I am not sure why guys think it’s okay to just send pictures like that without a request. It’s gross.
You might ask yourself, ok Karen, at this point, why not just block the guy? Because you’re already wondering, I again must explain myself.
The guy is so full of himself that quite honestly I responded, at first to be polite, but secondly because there was no way I thought he couldn’t get the hint. I was wrong about that. His lack of self-awareness would honestly be amusing if not for how ridiculous it truly is – and all I can ever think is, if I acted like this toward a guy, I’d be labeled a crazy bitch – and then I realized I responded because I didn’t want to be called a bitch. So when he texted me again (after midnight, mind you), I didn’t write back – first off because I was asleep, but I still didn’t after I saw it the next day. I then posted to my Instagram story later that night, and he instantly texted me.
“Exciting Saturday night, eh? Oh wait – you didn’t respond to my text. Nevermind.”
I told him that while I didn’t need to explain myself to him, I had been sleeping the night before, and again, don’t understand his attitude… he retorted that it’s disrespectful to ignore his texts. Perhaps I should’ve ignored it, but I’m tired of ignoring men that think I’m/women are a bitch for not reacting as they like.
I was blown away. I had to pull myself back and only respond with the ‘k’ once this guy actually challenged me on how a dick pic disrespected me (and that he expected me to explain it was disrespectful to begin with). And, of course, he pulled the “whoa, so sorry you’re obviously sensitive and crazy for responding this way” bullshit.
This man is a single father who is constantly posting about his little girl and the struggle he is going through with his ex and portrays himself as a #1 dad (cue the book deal). He’s also a teacher in the public school system, around plenty of young girls. I almost asked him if what he did was no big deal, how would he feel when boys start doing the same to his daughter…
There are a lot of debates about feminism and what it actually means to be a feminist. Lately I notice that a lot of people describe anyone that gets upset about not accepting substandard treatment as complainers or “sad/angry” troublemakers. For me, it’s simple – just treat me with respect.
Why is that so much for women to ask?