Threatened Man’s story: unwanted touching

One time I was just walking down the Ave and a group of girls were standing outside a Thai restaurant. One of them slapped my butt as I passed and said “nice ass baby”. I felt like turning around and kicking her in the cooch but I resisted because I didn’t want to lower myself to her level. It just makes me so irate when women put their hands on me without asking.

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  1. bunnika says:

    Your innate response to suffering an assault almost always targeted at women is to…violently assault a woman? This is all shades of problematic.

    It is never appropriate for a person to touch another–particularly in a sexual manner–against their wishes. Any individual is well within reason to be upset by such a violation. But the inclination to lash out physically is steeped in male privilege, and the fact that you wanted to make it a sexual assault (by specifically attacking a sexual organ) is additionally disturbing.

    When women are targeted by these sorts of advances from men, it holds an additional threatening element, as only 1% of rapes are female-on-male, and 90% of rape victims are women. Speaking as a survivor of rape, I wince even when a man drives by and shouts something out a window. If a man actually touched me while making a sexual comment, I’d be overwhelmed with anxiety and probably not leave my house for a month. These actions are not equal when experienced by the different sexes, and I hope you understand how disturbing it is in turn to see a man react with violent impulses. If you WERE to react violently, do you feel you would have almost assuredly lost in that physical confrontation? Do you believe you would have been raped in punishment? Men and women are socially trained to have respectively active and passive responses, and so men do not suffer the same consequences as women when reacting actively.

    What happened was not okay, by any means. But your impulse in turn was also not okay. It is good that you didn’t act on it, but the inclination itself is something you should examine, so you can avoid sinking into the violent self-righteousness that leads man men to inflict this sort of violence on women.

    I am truly sorry that you had this experience, and I hope it never happens again. As a man, you’re in a unique position to talk to other men about how such catcalls and assaults are inappropriate. Only by breaking down the social structures that encourage this behavior can we hope to avoid it in the future.

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