For a long time I thought people were just being jerks when they said that sexual violence was just boys being boys, a joke, fun that got out of hand/that you are taking too seriously, etc. and I thought it was a way to dismiss and avoid the truth.
The more I experience, and the more I hear about others’ experiences, the more I realize that men who push unwanted sexual advances onto women do not have the intellectual conflict or guilt about going against their victim’s desires that we assume they do. Men say that they care that their sex partners enjoy (“enjoy”) the sexual interaction; whenever you hear that, remind yourself that it means the opposite of what they say it means.
Women: train yourselves to do this. Eventually you will see it everywhere.
It is only when we realize that they do not think our feelings count as valid human responses that we will begin to require compensation for all interactions (including non-sexual interactions, because it may turn sexual at any moment and they will turn it that way if you give them the chance, even when they say they won’t). I am NOT saying that you should charge money (or other pay) for all sex and I’m not even saying you should charge for any sex at all, but what I am saying is that the option should be available and you should be fully conscious of it; if men knew that they had to pay even to look at us, they might start acting nicely so as to minimize the amount of time (and therefore money) that they have to spend before we no longer need to charge as an insurance. If we controlled it as much as possible and charged them more the more they take from us, we might be able to minimize things like this (or at least call it out as clear-cut stealing when it happens):
FetLife user Dayna posted about being sexually assaulted on Halloween…she was approached by a “gaggle of revelers”…
Having a good time always has to involve violating someone else’s space, right? Especially in college–the best time of your life!
[they] asked her what she was dressed up as… [she] said she didn’t have a costume this year. “C’mon, you gotta gimme a kiss for not being dressed up, it’ll make you feel better.”
THIS. The victim’s true feelings are not acknowledged and are pretended to be whatever the perpetrator wants them to be. We all know from reading the victim’s account that the perpetrator did not care about whether she felt “better.” But, the point I’m trying to make here is that I don’t think he was trying to make her feel bad, either. He wasn’t trying to make her feel any way at all. Recognizing her feelings is so far away from what he intends to do that he actually thinks assaulting her can have a positive affect on her feelings if she would just open up to him and stop being such a closed-off un-Halloween frigid bitch.
Why did I bring it on myself?…I’m so angry people still try and deny rape culture exists as a pervasive, damaging, unacceptable part of our society. I’m so angry about what has to happen for people to notice. I’m so angry about what happens and they still don’t notice. I’m so angry.
But you don’t have to be! We could all fix this, if we charged. I’m not sure that we would make a lot of money–it might last days or it might last years or forever before they decide to get their act together. What I am sure of is that the money we would make is equivalent to the amount of suffering we go through.
I proposed a similar type of requirement on OkCupid* that you always pay until I trust you and they all thought I was asking for something special. I am not. I am asking to have the same type of assurance that I will be respected that men have all the time every day. Don’t talk to me about equality until you have agreed to this plan.
*In keeping with the themes of “FetLife” (as mentioned in the article) and “misunderstanding my OkCupid profile,” I had one guy, upon deciding that (as a different OkCupid man put it) I was “on a quest for casual sex,” suggest to me that I join the FetLife website. What I thought was gross was that he didn’t tell me what it was (I mean how should I know what “fet” is?) and probably thought it would be funny if I were expecting a regular dating site and happened upon a fetish one instead, unexpectedly.