No. You cannot have this.

You know what?  I get that out there it isn’t safe™.   Being in the wrong area of town could put me at increased risk of harm.  Walking alone at night could put me at increased risk of harm.  Wearing the “wrong” outfit could put me at increased risk of harm.  Drinking with anyone who seems like they might be fun to get tispy with puts me at increased risk of harm.

Can we just be honest?  Everything puts me at increased risk of harm.

Every.  Damn.  Thing.

Let’s be really honest here:  the biggest risk to my well being is being a woman who lives in a world where not everyone believe I have the right to bodily autonomy.  My biggest risk factors come from beyond myself and I will never be able to control them.

I make choices each and every day to mitigate those risks.  My life includes balancing my perceived of safety with my actual potential for risk, with my feelings of insecurity with my frustrations with being a walking target just for leaving my house just as naturally as it balances breathing and walking.

Why?  Because I’ve been getting the message since I was little.  It’s not safe™ to be a woman out there.

So in here?  Here in my body, in my spirit and my feelings and my soul?  This space is mine, and if you think you, or anyone else gets to say a damn thing about how I feel in my body, you’ve got another think coming.

My body is not dangerous simply for existing.  My desire isn’t dangerous simply for existing.

Not unless everyone else’s is too – and that includes men.

If something were inherently dangerous it would need to be dangerous for all people – not just certain people.  And there definitely wouldn’t be a danger-within-a-danger for subgroups within that larger group (women of colour, indigenous women, disabled women).  As Jaclyn Friedman points out: “Rape is not a risk inherent in unregulated partying or sexual behavior. Need proof? Consider this: It’s not a risk for nearly half the population”

I’m sick of the bullshit double standard, my desire for adventure, my desire for passion and sexuality the way I like it puts me at risk because someone might “mistake” what makes me happy in life for an open invitation to my body.

Unless that is that what you’re talking about?  That you believe people can’t actually control themselves?  That you believe we run on pure instinct and impulse with no ability to apply logic, rationale or restraint.  And if that’s the case, are you actually a part of this thing we call society; or are you off learning how to be the next General Bison?

The very reason I expect just as much respect from men as I do from any other gender is because I believe them to be capable of things like rational and restraint.  I believe that they can view people beyond themselves as human’s deserving of the same rights and respect that they too have.  Nothing about seeing men as people and not animals should be shocking.  Nothing.

I keep hearing that feminism hates men; and yet when I see it pared with the argument of women take care, men are dangerous, I have to wonder who really hates men.  Me, or you?

Comments

  1. Yurrrrrrsssss. I had a very similar argument recently about a rape scene in a video game. Sorry world, you don’t get to constantly, constantly, constantly tell me to fear rape and then get mad when I say having it surprise foisted upon my representation of self within an online social world is SHIT. You wanted me afraid — but fear comes with the fight/flight response, so you need to recognise that we’re not always going to run away; we’re also going to fight and we’re going to be loud and we’re going to be heard.

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