Gentlemen and ladies of the world, it’s time to be brutally honest about sexual assault and rape culture.
And when I write “gentlemen” (and for many women who are just as guilty), I mean all men, because many of you aren’t gentle in words or deeds even though you’re convinced you are.
Because our culture is obsessed with sex and sexualising women from a young age and on throughout and until death—
Because our culture (and most cultures) is a “rape culture,” filled with discriminatory and unattainable standards of beauty, and constantly blaming women for unwanted sexual advances and rape—
Because we allow catcalling, physical and verbal abuse, and sexual assault against our women (and yes, men) from a pre-pubescent age to adulthood—
Because “cute,” “pretty,” “princess-like,” and “beautiful” are the go-to adjectives and states of assumed being for our girls, young women, and daughters who aren’t old enough to know what “sexualised” means, I have the following:
It needs to stop. Now.
Women don’t and never deserve rape, unwarranted attention, sexual assault, catcalling, or any variety of these typical cultural standards that have been with us as humans since the very beginning.
Only consensual sex will do; only non-sexual compliments will suffice; only the most respectful comments for our daughters, sisters, and mothers will stand.
So I will offer the following advice in a series of he thought/he said in hopes that we can start fresh with the reader—from the mind of a man who reasons rape culture away, and from the justifications of cultures around the world (and most recently from media coverage of First World election-heavy-America).
Please apply all that apply:
Women love the attention, so therefore it’s okay to catcall and aggressively compliment them on their appearance.
No, it’s not okay.
Not even if the lady says thank you?
Meshel Laurie talks about whether joking about rape or assault can ever be funny. Post continues after audio.
Not even if the lady wears skin-revealing clothing and is showing off her body? Don’t they want a compliment?
Not even then. Even if they like being told nice things, which everyone does. Everyone wants compliments in life, especially when they dress up. People do it every day.
Okay, I get “aggressively compliment” but what about just a nice statement about their legs, breasts, butt, face, or arms?