Team Don’t Be an Asshole

About 10 minutes ago, I’d decided against posting this because I don’t like being political. And then I read another story about three more women — allegedly — getting shot at after refusing to sleep with men. So fuck it, let’s do this.

I’m not informed enough to discuss the UCSB event itself. I’ve been avoiding the news because I can’t stand the speculative, argumentative nature of the coverage in these situations.

But I’m glad #YesAllWomen is trending, even if I suspect it’s just a transient bit of slacktivism we’ll all have forgotten about next month.

To be clear, NOT ALL MEN, certainly. I think it’s pretty clear I adore men. And yes, women can also be crazy — I’m the first to tell you I am batshit insane. I’m not even trying to advocate gender equality here. I’m advocating basic decency. I am Team Don’t-Be-an-Asshole.

I am also a big believer in “no means no.” If I want you, you’ll know it. I am not subtle. And I read men the same way — I can tell when you don’t want to be talking to me, even if you don’t say so explicitly, and I leave you alone.

But yes. ALL women have Those Stories.

I went to a bar once with girlfriends, and genuinely worried they’d have to help me beat up the guy who wouldn’t stop touching me and trying to kiss me despite being clearly told “no” and pushed away. I was grateful my friends had my back, and for the female stranger at the next table who came over and asked the guy, “What are you doing? She said ‘no.'”

There was the grody man on the train who opened by telling me I had pretty feet. Even though I simply said “no” at first, he wouldn’t stop asking for my number until I answered “yes” when he asked if was “spoken for.”

There was that time a “friend” took one of my Facebook photos and used it as his profile pic on a porn site.

When I was 14, some guy at the skating rink asked how old I was. When I said 14, he said, “Your body don’t look 14,” and skated away.

I’m glad #YesAllWomen is trending, mostly because I know, if this list is all I can remember, apparently I can count myself among the “lucky” ones.

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