dear men

Dear Men,

You might not know this, but a woman you love was groped. Maybe she was fondled in the breasts. Maybe the crotch. Maybe she was kissed when and where she didn’t want to be kissed. Maybe some coach said something sexual about her body. Maybe her privates were grabbed by her friend’s creepy uncle in a barn. Maybe a total stranger squeezed her tit while she was hustling through a crowd in Times Square. Maybe some pallid thug flashed her. Maybe a self-styled playa sent her a shot of his erect penis via Facebook message.

But whatever happened, she was violated. As a kid, as a teenager, as a woman: she was violated. And not just one woman you know was violated. Many women you know were violated. More than you ever realized.

You don’t know about it because they never told you. Maybe they never told anyone. Maybe they were too embarrassed. Maybe men have always been so dominant in our culture, in our families, in our day-to-day interactions, that we automatically diminish our selves, our points of view, our feelings of worth. We are less than men. We’ve been less than men for so long that we struggle to explain why we’re not. When a man tells us that we’re being pushy, whiny, bitchy or defensive, we have a hard time saying: No, I’m only being human. I’m only being as much me as you’re being you. And when a man grabs us somewhere he shouldn’t, somewhere that’s ours, we have a hard time saying: No, I’m more than an object. Your object. Your idea of who and what I am.

What we should do: Kick the asshole in the nutsack, then tell everyone in shouting distance.

What we usually do: Curl into a ball, feeling dirty and flushed with shame.

Right now, dear men, I want you to try something. I want you to imagine that some woman you love, possibly several, at some point in her life had good reason to kick a man hard. But didn’t. Then carried it with her, all of it — the violation, the icky-sticky embarrassment and gnawing anger, the unleashed, phantom kick — for decades.

Picture it. The whole thing. What happened to her then. What happens to her now every time she learns it happened to someone else. And the next time some repellent pig brags about groping a woman, then dismisses it as “locker room” talk, don’t laugh. Don’t brush it off. Don’t ignore every story that comes out in the aftermath, including the latest allegations from violated women who sat quiet for years.

And for God’s sake, men. Don’t vote for him.


11 thoughts on “dear men

  1. Amy, I visited my sister this past weekend, and we started talking about this. We each had our own story of being groped, which neither of us had previously spoken of with our husbands or each other. We believe that most women have this same story. It is more widespread and ignored than anyone realized. We say that now, if it happened to us, we would slug the guy…..but years ago, in our youth, you just didn’t do that. We were trained to be subservient. Thanks for this article.

  2. The photo is great, as is the sentiment, and by that I mean I do not mean sentimental. Those past infringements on my body are forever imprinted on my mind, and finally, after many years, I forgive myself for enduring them. Thank you again Amy for brightening my day, and saying what needs to be said.

  3. I said “No” multiple times. I said NO and pushed with all my might. I was still raped.

    And I’m still confidently voting for Her.

    • SB, I am so sorry. I’m grateful you found my blog and posted here, sharing your story. If this horrible national nightmare we’re in has one upside, it’s the way the conversation about assault is changing — and women are talking. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s