#NotAllMen is fucking poison.

Comedian, and feminist Jen Kirkman is awesomely vocal about the disparity that women face navigating day to day life. Today, all day, she’s been retweeting horrific stories from women around the world of their experiences. They range from annoyance, to down right malignant. The thing to keep in mind is that each tweet, is ONE example from ONE woman, a woman that has had many (hundreds, maybe thousands) of these experiences, and will continue to have them until the day they die because men are awful.

This thread was started because of a clever tweet about street harassment, that of course received a ton of defensive negative response.

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As the #NotAllMen comments started to flow, the thread took on a life of it’s own, and it’s still growing, because there is no end until men fucking check themselves, and put other men in check. We know that not all men do this. We’re not fucking stupid. What we want you to know is that #YesAllWomen is a thing, and while you’re busy defending yourself, you’re ignoring that this is happening to people that you love.

I decided to come up with a list of my own, for posterity, and hopefully education on what women face. This list does not include, random cat calls (because I would be writing this shit for days, and I’ve lost count). These are examples of the most fucked up, most malignant incidences.

Let’s start from the beginning.

8 years old: Broad daylight, at church camp. A 13 year old boy cornered me in a treehouse, asking me if I had learned sex education in school yet, mocking my ignorance, and asking me if I wanted to learn some stuff. I kicked him in the balls and fucking ran. I ran into this asshole as a grown adult later, while with a boyfriend that had known him in high school. My boyfriend introduced me, and they chatted for a bit, all the while I felt like I was going to vomit. I guess I couldn’t figure out a smooth way to say “hey remember that time you sexually harassed a 7 year old at church camp, that was me!”. Later that night, I told my boyfriend the story, because he said he was thinking of inviting the guy out with us sometime.

9 years old: Someone (presumably male based on the handwriting), slipped a note into my 3 ring binder that I found later when I started my homework. It read “thanks for last night, bitch”.

From about 9-13 there was a group of boys at school that took turns picking on me. Offenses ranged from pushing/tripping me on a near daily basis, sending me home with bloody knees, breaking my glasses, calling me cute, and then when I ignored it or rejected it, I got called ugly. By the time I went to Jr. High I took to faking sick so I could stay home from school, because a lot of times it was just too much to deal with, and it was always written off as “boys will be boys”.

12 years old: At a rest stop on one of our family trips to Oregon, I went to the bathroom alone, and while sitting on a toilet, I saw mens shoes walk up to and stop in front of my stall. I pretended to talk to “someone” in the next stall, “hey mom can you pass me a roll? The TP is out.” the shoes ran out.

15 years old: While standing on a street corner in broad daylight, waiting for the light to change, a man in a truck yelled “How much baby?”. I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and a flannel.

18 years old: Halloween night, I went to see a band play and ran into an old friend. He was a bit tipsy, and we wanted to see if we could get someone to buy us some beer. We walked down the street to a 7-11 and a guy said he’d hook us up, if I went inside the store with him. I stupidly agreed, and while pointing out what we wanted, he reached up my skirt, fully cupped an asscheek and squeezed. I ran, grabbed my drunk friend, and made him run with me – so fast that when we got back to the venue, he vomited.

20 years old: My stepmom (SUPER pregnant at the time) and I went thrift store shopping. While in the car at a stop, a truck pulled up next to us. When the light turned green they remained the same pace as us, and started cat calling. The driver did that super classy two finger cunnilingus sign at me. This made my stepmom fly into a rage, I will never forget her leaning over me with her super pregnant belly screaming “don’t you fucking do that at my daughter you fucking pieces of trash” while driving, and trying to pull away, because they were pacing us the whole fucking way.

21 years old: I worked at a bookstore. It was a slow day, and I was behind the front counter looking through a magazine. There was a wall to the right of the check out counter that was taller than the counter so that we could put a book display on it that people would see when they walked in. It was about shoulder high to an adult man. I set my magazine down to ring up a male customer. He took his bag and started to walk out, but then paused at the wall, and just stared at me. It was really fucking creepy. I asked him if he needed anything else, he slowly closed his eyes, looked at me again, said “No thank you”, then smiled and walked out. I didn’t think much of it, until about an hour later when I got a phone call. It was a guy who said “remember when you rang me up earlier today, and we locked eyes as I left? I was masterbating”.

21 years old: I was walking to a coffee shop in the early evening. A white car pulled up, a guy rolled down the window and asked if I needed a ride somewhere. I told him no thank you. The car sped off. A couple blocks later, the same car pulled up again, the window rolled down, he said “are you sure you don’t want a ride somewhere”, I responded with “No thanks, I’m good”, and the car sped off again. A few more blocks down and he shows up again, this time he pulls up right in front of me as I was about to cross the street, yelled “you should have taken the ride bitch!” and then sped off. I ran to the coffee shop, knowing that my friends would be there, and there was a security guard on duty at all times. There was a security guard and duty at all times because there had been a rash of rapes perpetrated by someone that drove a white car, and frequently picked women up from that plaza. The same plaza as the bookstore. When I told my roommate the story of the white car, she told me that a white car had followed her home one night after school, and that she sped up to get into the gate of our apartment complex, the white car hit the gate as it closed. She had been really freaked out because the only thing that was being reported about the serial rapist is that he was driving a white car, and picked up girls near her school, and the strip mall that we hung out at. That serial rapist’s career ended with murder. He chased his last victim in her car. Her car was found crashed on a side road, shot full holes, with blood in it. Her body was found on a grassy hill in the middle of nowhere. I honestly don’t want to know if these are related. I lived in a smaller suburb at the time, and even if it’s just a coincidence, it makes me sick to my stomach.

25 years old: I was out at a club with my best friend, this harassment really belongs to her, I was just threatened with violence. We were talking, and smoking, waiting for a band to come on or something. I was mid sentence when I noticed my friend’s eyes had become even bigger than they usually are (seriously, she’s got alien huge eyeballs, they’re really pretty). There was a man in jeans and a jersey standing behind her grabbing her ass. I looked at him and said “Excuse me, get your hands off my girlfriend!”, and the guy countered with “I thought this was a fetish club”. This was a goth club, and it did have a fetish room – upstairs, with performers, it was not a free for-all ass grab orgy club (do those exist, and even if they do, is that automatic consent?). I told him that he was mistaken, and that he needs to keep his fucking hands to his fucking self, and get the fuck off my friend. She clammed up. Completely frozen, just not even knowing what to do with this situation as me and this jackass were exchanging barbs. Another girl ran to get security, the guy was tossed out, yelling about how he was from San Francisco, and we had weak ass clubs in LA or some such bullshit. What I didn’t know is that this screaming back and forth had caused a group of men to form behind me, they thought that this was going to escalate into me getting hit. While it’s comforting to know, had asshead actually thrown a punch, he would have been pounded severely by a group of guys, why didn’t they step in and say “Hey dude – touching girls is not ok, threatening girls is not ok, you need to leave, because you don’t belong here”. I’m not saying that we “need” men to protect us, but dudes, let other men know that it’s not ok to treat women this way. Speak up. Don’t wait for fists to fly.

26 years old: Same club, probably one of the last times I went, because it was just not fun anymore. I had been doing my usual, drinking and dancing for hours. It was time to hydrate, and wind down. Dance my buzz off. I went to the bar to get water, and as I was waiting a guy came up and offered to buy me a drink. I politely said “thanks, but I’m just getting a glass of water”. “Come on, let me buy you a drink.”, “Nah man, I just want some water, but thank you.”, “Well, let me get you the water, and a drink.”, “I don’t want a drink, I want water – look, my boyfriend is right over there, we’re going to be leaving.” (yeah I lied, I thought a made up boyfriend would deter him), “I don’t care about your boyfriend, let me get you a drink.”. Now I’m pissed. “I don’t want a drink, you’re so insistent on getting me a drink, you gonna roophie that drink? I’ve told you no, a bunch of times, let me get my water in peace”. His response “You don’t need to be a bitch about it, I was trying to be nice”… Are you fucking kidding me?

33 years old: I get threatened by a man who had been saying “hey cutie, hey honey” while following me. I ignored him, clutched my pepper spray, because he would not go away, and he was being really weird. His response? “Bitch, you got pepper spray, I got a gun. Stuck up white bitch”. I wrote a blog about it. There was more to that story. I just wanted chips and salsa.

35 years old: I get chased down an alley with a man wrapped in a blanket, screaming “die bitch, die”. That’s all I’m going to write about this one because I’ve recently decided that I’m tired, and need to wrap this up.

This is just a taste. I can’t reiterate that enough. These are the ones that stick out in my mind the most. I’ve also been grinded on inside of a 7-11 (I don’t know why these stores are so f’ing weird), followed in cars, down streets, had to change my route to make sure that someone following wouldn’t find out where I lived, cat calls at least once an outing when I go for a walk – ranging from mild to offensive. Honestly, I don’t leave my house on foot much more anymore. It’s just too obnoxious. I’m glad that I have school and work to keep me busy, and it’s not fair that I have that mentality.

Bottom line, all you #NotAllMen guys, while you’re bemoaning about being lumped in with a bunch of assholes, people that you love are being treated this way. Stop trying to defend yourself, and protect someone actually being injured.

 

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