As I am confronted with the knowledge of a truth I have known but was not always aware of, I find myself mulling over this question. And as I gather all of the supporting details from experiences in my own life, past and current, I grow more sullen and more frustrated with the answer.
In the recent guest feature “Why my sex positivity is not without fear shame or trauma,” Myisha talks about how even as sex positive or sexually liberated individuals, even as we are standing before you saying that I am a multifaceted person and yes this includes my sexuality, we are still being relegated to a singular objective form.
For reasons of being very sexually expressive, of being sex positive, sexually liberated and talking very candidly and sometimes explicitly about all things sex and our own sexual experiences, we become a target for predatory behavior specifically from men.
Unsolicited & Unwanted
Unsolicited dick pix and sexual advances fill my private messages inbox. Stalker behavior from men you’ve blocked for being inappropriate who continue to harass you even after you’ve asked them to stop. Even being blocked does not stop them. “Oh, you blocked me?” once message read, “I’m gonna show you something,” it continued followed by several notifications on other social platforms that this same individual was now following me.
It’s my own fault I suppose. Putting myself out there like that. What did I expect? **rolls eyes**
What the fuck!? were my exact thoughts.
Demands of “Why aren’t you responding to my messages?” It doesn’t matter. I’m not so just let it go. I’m not obligated to do anything I don’t want to do particularly if doing so makes me uncomfortable.
The fear and the trauma is real. You start to think maybe I should stop posting these photos.
A guy I know messaged me on SnapChat asking me out to lunch and offering fun afterwards. Of course, I already knew what he meant by “fun” right. I messaged him back, “Fun???” His response was, “Maybe movies and something else.” **ROLLS EYES**
I won’t deny the feeling of anger and disgust I felt; the desire to shrink myself so small that no one would recognize me. I felt vulnerable in the most victimized way; that feeling were conditioned to feel.
I know him. I know him in real life. He’s not just a guy who decided to follow a half-naked woman he happened upon on Instagram. He has never approached me in such a way before. What in the male psyche convinced him that it was suddenly appropriate or ok to proposition me in such a way now? Just because you saw a few revealing photos of me on the internet? So fucking what.
For the life of me I cannot comprehend how that translates into, Ok now I have the green light to say (or do) whatever I want, however I want to this person. Please, someone help me understand this logic.
Just last summer, I had a very scary predatory experience. I went out on a very public date with a guy I connected with on a dating site. The most he ever said to me was, “Want another?” referring to the empty glass sitting in front of me. After the third, I declined.
Once we were outside and saying our goodbyes, he pinned me against my car and tried to kiss me. I pushed him away and he grabbed my arm and attempted to pull me towards his car. He was saying something but because of everything that was going on, I don’t recall a word of it. As he continues to pull me by my arm, I grabbed his keys and informed him that he needed to let me go and let me leave.
He smirked as he released my arm. These instances of coercion are just too common for comfort. I’ve heard it expressed as, “That’s why I’m glad I’m married.” Women see marriage as a means to escape predatory behavior?
Some have argued that because I present myself a certain way, this type of behavior is to be expected. A very usual expectation, I’m sure, doesn’t make it any less predatory or repulsive and it certainly does not make it appropriate or acceptable.
My friends encourage me to ignore them. They are not aware of their conditioning enough to change their own behavior. It’s not a decision on their part to act on your representation, it’s a reaction.
They have very literally lost their god damn minds.