This past Thursday, a group of men started cat-calling/hitting on a group of women in Chicago. When the women said, no, the men threw bottles and then SHOT at their car as they tried to drive away. One woman was shot in the shoulder, and the driver took a bottle in the head as she tried to drive off. Last month in Washington, DC a Transwoman was shot for turning down a man’s request for sex as she sat in her car. In August a woman in Atlanta was shot for refusing to get in a car with a group of men. In May of 2010 a young woman was shot in the leg for turning down a man’s advances.
Ok, so that was one googling, which also yielded an article on a woman in Australia who was shot in the thigh after refusing to perform oral sex. Many people will claim that these are just “isolated” incidents. But three of those took place in the last two, two and a half months. That’s not really isolated, in fact, that sounds distinctly like a pattern.
When guys complain about women not giving them a straight answer, this is why. Granted, these are fairly extreme. However, on a regular basis women who turn down men, no matter how nicely, are insulted, yelled at, spit on, hit, kicked and knocked to the ground. Most of these assaults go unreported because women know that the police aren’t going to take them seriously, particularly if they’re dressed at all nicely or “sexy.”
This is why the Schrodinger’s Rapist post resonated with so many women.
“Why are you afraid of women?” I asked a group of men.
“We’re afraid they’ll laugh at us,” replied the men.
“Why are you afraid of men?” I asked a group of women
“We’re afraid they’ll kill us,” replied the woman. -Margaret Atwood
When men ignore our boundaries, try to push or test them, we rightfully feel that they are a bigger risk for pushing even more important, dangerous boundaries, like say, raping or hitting you.
Yeah, I know, a lot of you are out there (if you’ve gotten this far) thinking, “That’s bullshit! I’d never do that!” And maybe you wouldn’t, but we can’t take that chance. And when you push boundaries or ignore our “No”s, even about small things, this puts you higher and higher up on the risk scale.
We can’t take those chances because when we’re raped or assaulted it’s always our fault. Everyone tells us so. Every single person who says, “I’d never blame the victim, but if you’re wearing a short skirt, what do you expect?” Every fucking magazine with their “Ten Things You Can Do to Not Be Raped” articles, that place all the onus on women, and none of it on, oh, the rapists.
How do you not scare women?
Respect their boundaries. Take no at face value. As a commenter said over on Pharyngula, you have nothing to lose: If she meant no, you’ve respected her wishes. If she meant “pursue me harder” or whatever bullshit, then bullet dodged. You don’t want to deal with that kind of mind-game playing, anyway.
But in all seriousness, guys, if you ever wonder why women act like their scared of you, read the above links again.
Schrodinger’s Rapist is an excellent article. If you haven’t read it, then I encourage you to read it. Trigger warning: mentions of sexual assault or rape.