combining my work experience, life lessons and observations into a fun new topic that pertains to the book community, my thoughts will be a monthly featured post on the first of every month.
Disclaimer: These are my thoughts, my open, honest and complete thoughts. Please do not take offense/judge me for stating my opinions.
This is one topic that I had started but never finished. There’s too much to say.. And finding the time to write it down and even organize it all.
Recently, the brutal murders of women by misogynist Elliot Rodger. His video is full of quotes like:
College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. But in those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness. It’s not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me. But I will punish you all for it,’ he says in the video, which runs to almost seven minutes.
‘I’m going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoilt, stuck-up, blonde slut hat I see inside there. All those girls that I’ve desired so much, they would’ve all rejected me and looked down on me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them,’
I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one. The true alpha male …
What does this have to do with me and even books?
Well here it is.. I’ll tell you. Sexual harrassment has been prevelant in my life from the time I started puberty. I know I’m not alone. And I gather courage to write this because I believe it needs to be said.
I commuted for years working downtown. That basically just means I would spend about 2-4 hours just getting anywhere every day. Spending time in public places, waiting around.
I’ve had one man follow and stare at me for days on my commute. Even tried to make a friend with one guy whom I started talking to as a friend, but afterwards realized he raised a few warning flags, I changed my schedule to avoid him, thus never seeing him again.
I’ve been pinched, grabbed, touched, violated on public transportation, all done by men. I said nothing. But now that I think about it, I really should have reported it.
If these men have done it to me, they would have done it to other women. We need to be brave and stand up for it. I know I was scared to even do anything.
Even while clubbing, I have been violated and I dismissed it as these guys being drunk. Drunk enough to sandwich me, grope me then lick the side of my face right after. I was too nice, I wanted to kick them, punch them and break bone.
Saying “I have a boyfriend” dismisses most pick-up lines..
This article has reigned around the Internet and I had to agree wholeheartedly that it needs to be done. I had experience with saying I was not interested with a guy and every time I said no he would pursue me more. This guy didn’t stop. He grabbed my wrist and that’s when I decided to forcefully wretch my hand away and say, “No I’m not interested.” THIS is why women go to the bathroom together. I was on my way to the washroom by myself.
Did I really have to do this? Yes. Do men think they have the right to treat women like this? Some do, but not all men. I do NOT and WILL NOT condone the misogynists who think they are the superior race.
Which brings me to stalking..
This also brings me to stalking. I’ve had stalkers before.. Three of them in fact. One was harmless.. He never really contacted me but he did go through my garbage once or twice. That one didn’t raise a red flag. The second one was a lot bolder. He followed me when I would be commuting from work, or even when I would go to a mall, he would also call my cell phone numerous times and would say nothing. (I have no idea how he found my cell either). The last one was the worst. He was someone I chatted to almost every day online. I thought he was someone he wasn’t. One minute he’d be normal and then the next he would act possessive and scary. Sprouting words of love and soulmates and even tried to get me to dump my boyfriend at the time. First warning sign? He asked for my phone number. Second? He found my Facebook account when I didn’t even give it to him nor did I tell him my FB URL or full name. I immediately stopped talking to him, blocked him, deleted my accounts and basically disappeared from all the areas of the Internet he knew I would be on. A year passes by and I received a phone call on my phone from the city of where he lived. He also found my Facebook account again. Thus scaring me into oblivion.. I got my then boyfriend who worked as an ETF police officer to block him and hide me from his whereabouts. My boyfriend told me that he had booked a ticket to Toronto.
Do you know how scary that is? To think there are people out there that will do anything to get to you? Will find information about you on the Internet? I was freaked, but luckily I knew he was bad news as soon as he started sprouting crazy things. I was lucky enough to have someone there to protect me too.
So what does this have to do with books? Well, in some cases I realize there are books that depict these men as romantic. I’m not blaming the author at all, but these are the books that I despise. They make the stalker the romantic. The bad news character that treats women like dirt and reigns control over her.
Case in point? Fifty Shades of Grey, an adult erotica “romance” this book made me cringe. Never have I seen a man take control over a woman’s life better than Christian Grey. He told her what food to eat and what to wear. She told him to give him space and went on vacation and he followed her. My memory is spotty so you can skim my review here.
I’ve been stalked and harassed just like Anastastia Steel’s character, and while that is fictional, it doesn’t mean that women love it. It’s not flattering nor is it a compliment. In my opinion, being stalked is scary and terrifying. You’re constantly looking over your shoulder, placing your keys in a position for attack, and getting into your car as fast as possible.
Recently, I realized that whenever I am in a public setting where there are large crowds of men, I am constantly on high alert. I remember the the exits and the washrooms so I know where I can be in a safer place. It’s gotten so bad that I stress and worry whenever I have to even walk by any male groupings, whether they are teens or adults. They do this consistently..stop talking, become silent and stare and stare and stare as I walk by. Like I’m a piece of meat they want to cook. Like I’m an object to rate and admire. Like I’m not even a human being anymore, just a sexual piece of meat for their eyes.
Sure others can argue, “Oh silly boys that’s in their DNA.” And it is, but men have the choice to not objectify women like this. The rare few who do tell their friends to stop staring are the ones that I admire. They are the guys that I smile at and briefly say a prayer for. Thank God there are people like them still around.
And that’s what I’m wiling to remember and focus on. That there are men who don’t do that, who do respect and love their moms, wives, sisters, aunts, grandmas, friends etc. We need to teach men that it’s not okay at all. We