Yes, you too

And what about the men?

The mass of #MeToos flooding my timeline from women I know, women I don’t know, and women I once knew lodged a lump in my throat that has yet to dissipate in 24 hours. Some have shared a story or two or five, others have simply posted the words, “Me too,” which was more than enough to make me tear up. I don’t have to know the details — we all know, as women, what it means.

It might seem the worst time to ask the question that has become a joke in and of itself —  What about the men? — but it’s on my mind. Who are the people who have caused legions of #MeToos to take over my Facebook feed? And what do we want from them? If anything?

To be clear, #MeToo is for women. I do not want to hear a single man inserting himself into this conversation to remind women, “This happens to all genders” or to say, “This is a human issue, not a women’s issue.” Not now. We know men face assault and rape at the hands of other men. And it is awful. But right now we are talking about women, and what they experience from men, under patriarchy. That is what this conversation is about.

So, now that we are clear: what about the men? I’m serious. What do we want from men in this conversation? Anything? Nothing? Silence? To speak out? Self-castration?

I see women I went to high school with posting #MeToo, knowing that their #MeToo likely came from men we all knew. Men who perhaps are still about — friends of friends. I see women posting #MeToo, knowing that the man who assaulted or harassed them is still in their friend circle, and that the men around them have stayed quiet, while she is left to speak out, alone. I know some women are signalling to men around them: yes, I’m talking about YOU. I know many women are realizing that the thing they went through, that they had accepted as normal or harmless, was in fact not. They are realizing that the routine incidences of boundary breaking by men exist on a continuum —  that sometimes there are violent rapes that leave bruises and sometimes there is public masturbation and sometimes there is a friend who pressures you into sex you didn’t want to have.

I posted my own #MeToo, knowing that some of those around me would know the men and incidences I was referring to, but that they would continue to say nothing to those men. For most of us, #MeToo refers to dozens — maybe even hundreds — of experiences. The time we gave in to sex with someone we didn’t want to have sex with because he wouldn’t let up and we just wanted to go to sleep. The time a man stared at us for our entire commute to work, causing us to go into a full blown panic, but we were unable to explain to those around us that we needed help because the dude isn’t doing anything, he’s just staring. We arrive at work, shaken, unable to explain that we need to sit in a bathroom stall taking deep breaths for 15 minutes because “A man was staring at me on the bus for half an hour.” The time a man we were dancing with at a frat party in 1998 dragged us off to the side of the room and pried our legs open and pushed his tongue down our throat and his hand between our legs, and we used all our strength to push him off, but really that did nothing, because he was much bigger and stronger than some 18-year-old girl, drunk on vodka and Gatorade, and luckily he gave up eventually, most-likely only because there were so many people around. We catch wafts of his cologne every once in a while, out in the world, and feel sick. Unable to explain to our boyfriends how a scent connected to “a man who tried to rape me when I was 19” makes us nauseous. There is the time a man “had sex with me” after I puked all over his porch and passed out in his bed in the suburbs because I couldn’t afford to take a cab home, and the “friend” who called me on Monday while I was at work to scream “whore” and “prostitute” at me, because she’d had a crush on the piece of shit. There is the man who followed me home, screaming he was going to rape and kill me, that everyone walking around me ignored, and when I called my boyfriend to help me, he seemed unconcerned and then started arguing with me about the situation, making me panic even more, and then hung up on me. There is the man who asked me if I had a boyfriend while I was waiting for the bus, and who, when I asked him to leave me alone, spat on me and screamed that he was going to “rip my nipples off,” while everyone at the bus stop pretended not to notice. There is the man who I made out with a bunch, but who I explicitly told could not come home with me, who followed me to my doorstep nonetheless, and who pushed his way into my house, despite my saying “no” again, and who I eventually “gave in to” and woke up feeling like I wanted to vomit. There are the numerous men masturbating in public that you can sometimes cross the street to avoid and sometimes not. There are the men who raped my friends who continued to be cool and popular, while my friends were branded as “sluts” or simply not believed because “you know how ____ is.” There is the man who worked in the office I was a receptionist at, who would come around the desk every single day and put his hands on my shoulders, standing so close that his body touched mine, who moved closer every time I tried to squirm away, always while clients were around, so that I felt too embarrassed to make a scene. There are the legions of men in bars who stand next to my bar stool, positioning themselves so their dicks are touching my leg, testing me to see if I will pull away. There are the worse stories I’m too ashamed to tell, the stories I can’t remember because I blocked them out years ago in order to avoid having to live with the memories, the many more stories I feel are “my fault” because I was in his bed, because I made out with him, because I left with him, because I got in a stranger’s limousine for fuck’s sake, because I went for drinks with my abusive ex and then he fucked me and repeated “I didn’t hit you, right? I didn’t hit you. I never hit you. Say I never hit you.” I don’t want to tell any more of my stories. I feel guilty telling my stories, knowing they are tame in comparison to those of so many women I know, molested by uncles, prostituted as children, gang-raped at parties. What I’ve experienced is normal. Nothing to write home about.

I know there are men reading this who feel bad. Who know they are complicit in all that I’ve described here and maybe more. Who probably are guilty themselves of pushing my boundaries or ignoring the women around them who’ve said a friend of theirs is a rapist or a creep. I know they are wondering what to do that could possibly be meaningful — that wouldn’t amount simply to virtue-signalling about what Good Men they are and about how “I believe you.”

I have tried to come up with an answer, because I do want you to do something. I’m not even sure I know what that thing is, because really, I’m not sure there is a thing that could be done to resolve my anger and the anger of the women around me, who are forced to live with the shame and fear of sexual assault and harassment, while you look for ways to absolve yourself of guilt.

To start, I don’t want to see your “I believe yous.” I don’t care if you believe me. I know what happened and women know what it means to them when these things happen. It is not up to you to believe or not to believe and in any case, it’s happening all the time, all around you, and we keep telling you over and over again that it’s happening until we just give up trying to explain because you either don’t care, or because when we do tell you, you punish us by treating as though we are “damaged,” and therefore “crazy,” and not in a position to “discuss things rationally” or “see things clearly,” and must be tip-toed around because we are the only freak in the entire universe who has been traumatized by a man and ugh maybe you should just talk to your therapist about this.

Don’t tell me what you believe or don’t believe, as though it has any bearing on what has happened to me and every other women alive, throughout our entire lives. What I want is action.

I want to hear accountability for your own behaviour, for your complicity, for your refusal to call out male friends, for refusing to stand up to abusive men, for pressuring women into sex they’ve said they don’t want to have, for following my friend home and fucking her even though you knew she was wasted and didn’t want anything to do with you but she just got too tired of trying to pushing you away so figured if she let you in, you’d leave faster.

While some women may not (fair enough), I do want your apology. I do want you to say something now, because now is better than never. I do want you to tell your brother that what he did is unacceptable. I do want you to criticize your 40 year-old friend who preys on drunk 20 year-old girls. I want you to admit that you have participated in all of this, despite the risks to your reputation. I want you to understand that your behaviour (or apathy) hurt women. I want you too apologize for paying for sex in 1999, because it was your birthday and your friends were all doing it. I want you to apologize for staying quiet when your buddy raped my friend. I want you to step in and say, “No, Perturbed Man On The Internet, this is not about ‘all genders,’ this is about misogyny — that is what we’re talking about right now and you can stop whining about it.” And I don’t want you to just do this all publicly, on Facebook, so that you can bask in congratulatory comments about what an Amazing and Courageous Man you are. I also want you to support the work women are doing to fight back. I want you to donate to your local women’s shelter, show up for our anti-prostitution rallies, fundraise, cook and clear plates at feminist events, support feminist media, stop watching pornography, and step in when you see a woman being harassed or intimidated. I want you to treat women as though they are human beings — not just potential orgasms. I want you to take our stories seriously, and understand that we are strong, and resilient, and we can fucking take it and recover and move forward, without being crushed or destroyed by this bullshit. But also that it takes a toll that you may never understand.

Yes, #MeToo is for women. But I do want something from men: hold yourself accountable and hold other men accountable, because, yes, this is about you too.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • lk

    Huff post was talking about the #metoo going viral on Twitter. And usually when guys get involved in these kind of online conversations, I cringe…but huffpo shared one tweet from a male that I thought was important: “Men, don’t say u have a mother, sister, daughter….say you have a father, a brother, a son who can do better…we all can #metoo.”

    As I see all these men coming to call out Weinstein, I can’t help but wonder how many of these men solicit prostitutes, manipulate or force women into sex, physically, sexually, emotionally abuse women?

    Are they calling out Weinstein because they do not want to call out themselves…because it is easier for them to publicly shame Weinstein while ignoring their own sexist behaviors towards women?

    I am sick to death of hearing what women need to do to avoid sexual assault….women become victims of sexual assaults no matter what we do or don’t do.

    • Jani

      Oh, undoubtedly there are plenty of hypocrites of the “I always give the lap dancer a decent tip” variety.

      The more I think about it, the Hollywood image of women, getting them on the red carpet in a revealing or figure hugging dress, often with a built-in ‘boned bodice’ that is constricting, walking on heels that hurt, having to work out and diet intensively just to show up at an event and be photographed IS a form of sexual abuse and subjugation. The likes of Weinstein have created these dictates, and for what purpose? To be held up as desirable, and more importantly, FUCKABLE objects….that creeps like him feel they have the rights to use and abuse on a whim….. it’s ALL sexual abuse.

  • thebewilderness

    Men have already begun to declare me too. I assume they mean to be confessing to being predators. Perhaps they are confessing that they knew about the predatory behavior of their friends. Since male violence is the greatest human rights crisis the world has ever known I find I must acknowledge that the only people men kill more often than women is other men. Perhaps they should make a hash tag.

    • Jani

      Didn’t take long for “Me too” to turn into “Men too!”

    • catlogic

      And of course the TIMRAs are whining because it’s not about them getting their sick fetishes catered to.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    HO. LY. HELL. I don’t have the right words to say how amazing, fierce, and brilliant this is. I feel like I’ve been cleansed by fire. Strong, angry, righteous, CLEAR fire. Thank you thank you thank you

    Also, it’s part of the Great Dudely Gaslighting that you believe your stories are, by any measure, “tame.”

    Also, there’s some smug-assed dude named Jackson-something who is imploring us ladies NOT to say “Me too,” because, you see, that is passive and it removes men from the equation and they are the ones doing the assaulting, and we, the ones experiencing the assault, are saying it wrongety-wrong-wrong! STFU you fucking mansplaining asshole. Do you think WE don’t know that men are held accountable? Do you think this shit has never occurred to us, you know-it-all virtue-signalling fuck? We will NOT shut up and we will NOT go away and YOU do not get to tell WOMEN how to talk about this. FUCK. YOU.

    • Meghan Murphy

      <3

    • Hekate Jayne

      This article is fabulous.

      Meghan brought me to tears. And I haven’t cried about anything since 1985.

      It was angry crying. But still. Didn’t know that I had it in me. After all this time.

      • Meghan Murphy

        The last 24 hours have been so teary for me. Lotsa love, sister <3

    • Robert Gonzalez

      Virtue-signalling is the BEST term ever. I was guilty of doing it when I first embraced feminism, I’m sad to say.

  • Hekate Jayne

    ” I don’t want to tell any more of my stories. I feel guilty telling my stories, knowing they are tame in comparison to those of so many women I know, molested by uncles, prostituted as children, gang-raped at parties. What I’ve experienced is normal. Nothing to write home about.”

    I want to hear your stories. And I want to hear everyone else’s, too. Because then I know that I am not alone, I am not overreacting, that I am ALLOWED TO BE ANGRY.

    And here is my clear statement about what I want from males:
    I want you all to shut the fuck up and leave me alone. I do not care if you think that I am hot, or that you want my number. I don’t need you to tell me how pretty you think that I am or that my titties be fine. I don’t need you to demand that I smile.

    Know that I don’t exist to give you a boner (and if this boner thing is a problem for you, don’t bother announcing it, because no one cares and it is aggressive) or to be a pretty, pleasant object for you to look at. When I leave the house to go to work or the store, trust that I am not waiting for your validation in the form of unwanted commentary on my appearance or your dick. Whatever *I* Am or appear to be is NOT ABOUT YOU.

    In short, and in terms that even the (many, many) simplest of males can understand……SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTH.

    And as I am typing this, I know fully well that males aren’t going to honor my request. Too many times, it is mansplained over and over that harassment and even assault is a compliment. Instead of shutting their mouths and keeping their hands to themselves, we get “confused male”.

    Oh, he is trying so hard to not harass, threaten, intimidate, but he just Can’t quite grasp the tricky, tricky concept of treating us as human beings instead of fucktoys.

    Males have convinced me that they are a lost cause. They either have an excuse for their misogyny and sexism, or they swear that they have never seen it. We have patiently explained, asked, described, begged, only to be met with “confusion” and violence. They cannot be any clearer. They don’t care and don’t want to change. The only question left is what solution will we choose. I have chosen mine.

  • anne cameron

    Spot on!
    And I’m sorry, but if one more gentle sensitive new age guy says “not all men” I think I’ll just barf all over his shirt!

    • shy virago

      me too!

  • Polly MacDavid

    Men…. just shut up.

  • Jani

    What an amazingly powerful article. It’s a sad fact of life that once a girl starts to grow into womanhood, sexual harassment, assault and rape become not only very justifiable fears but realities. I’ve lived through my own traumatic experiences and it’s never just a one-time thing. Staying safe requires constant vigilance. As for the Good Men, I thought I’d met an ally, but what did he turn out to be in the end? A porn junkie with a penchant for strip bars, who would ‘stalk-but-hey-I’m-not-really-stalking’ women around the supermarket, in the park and even on the street. These Good Men are the very ones who believe that there is such a thing as ‘feminist porn’ and that lap dancers are savvy career women making a ton of money, and who believe that jerking off to free porn is OK because the women are there of their own free will, they are all professionals and nobody is getting exploited. You kinda wonder why, if all this shit is free, how can these professional high earning career women possibly be earning anything? The reason why I hate porn so fucking much is that at around the time of my 13th birthday I was a real live “teen” being assaulted by a bunch of guys intent on having a “gang bang”, the ringleader was overheard just before saying “I don’t care what she says, I’m going to rape her”. It was no Dolce & Gabana ad. I lived with the shame and trauma, I guess I still am. That was my iinitiation into womanhood. So fuck off to all that “teen” and “gangbang” porn shit. In my adult life I’ve experienced all the full spectrum of unwelcome and unwanted intrusion. Yeah, and Good Men do it too. They just believe misdemeanours won’t be noticed or known, and delude themselves they’re not “That Guy”, but they are.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks for your support, Robert.

    • Robert Gonzalez

      You are amazing, Meghan. You always manage to say what needs to be said. I continue to look forward to the latest posting on Feminist Current.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks sister <3

  • shy virago

    Absolutely brilliant. Thanks, Meghan, for your work – which keeps getting better and better! – and for
    saying what everyone else is afraid to say.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks shy <3

  • Amish Rake Fight

    “You don’t fight revolutions by appealing to your oppressors” and later, “…the only solution I can think of for women … is stop siring male children … and if necessary cut males out of your lives completely,
    along with the women who continue to defer to them.”

    So, since you claim to know a thing or two about fighting revolutions, can you show me one historical example where your suggested “solution” of the oppressed isolating themselves from their oppressors led to a successful – or even an improved – outcome?

    I don’t mean this maliciously, mate. But if this shit is all you have to offer in response to this article, you might want to heed the sentiment expressed in other commenters’ responses here, and kindly shut your mouth.

    • Liz

      I believe the black power movement of the 60s and 70s had some success through creating their own systems of black-owned businesses/services and institutions. I haven’t read nearly enough about it, but based on what I have read, it seems like they achieved a limited extent of liberation in some places (what I imagine as “pockets” of liberation).

      • Hanakai

        Not quite. What happened was that the Black Panthers started some alternatives, some schools, some breakfast programs, legal education programs, in an attempt to bypass the institutions of the oppressors. And what happened? The government came down on the Panthers hard —- Chicago Police murdered Fred Hampton and Mark Clark as they slept in their beds at 4:00 a.m. Hampton was shot point blank twice in the head as he slept in bed with his 9-month pregnant fiance. West Cost Panther leadership was also destroyed by the government which murdered or imprisoned the Panthers and tied up leftists like Angela Davis in long expensive trials.

        And today, the objective situation of black Americans has actually regressed, with fewer in college, with young black men more likely to be in prison than in school. And look how the entertainment industry has colluded to undermine the black community. Instead of young black Americans having role models like Dr. King or Malcolm X or Shirley Chisholm or Barbara Jordan, or elegant entertainers like The Supremes or Harry Belafonte, the entertainment industry has elevated misogynistic rappers and instituted stripper pop. The police are shooting and killing more black Americans than ever and getting away with it. This is not progress.

        Maybe it is possible in a minor way to create a small separate peace and secessionistic institutions, but only if done in a quiet way that does not draw the attention of the establishment. Soviet dissident poets under the repressive party years quoted a line of poetry: Flowers that cannot bloom by day must blossom in the night.

        • Jani

          The Black Panthers were obliterated and deliberately so. I can’t remember who, but he said that as the civil rights movement was undermined, black neighbourhoods in the US were suddenly flooded with drugs like heroin and eventually crack cocaine, and he believed that was allowed to happen to kill off the voices of black activism. I don’t live in the US but I’m horrified at the disproportionate killings of young black men by trigger-happy cops. Rap once had a political voice too, very early on, but now it seems to be a vehicle of toxic masculinity. However, I’m seeing some promising signs like Black Lives Matter and this take a knee protest. I want this to send a message out to more people to say that they CAN take a stance and that their voices DO matter.

          • Hanakai

            Yes, there was a book called The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia that explains how the CIA was central in running heroin to the USA, specifically to undermine the revolutionary potential in the black community.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    What perspective do you come from, Rich? I’m just curious. Are you aligned with radical feminism?

    I struggle with the answer of how to deal with men. On a personal level I have defended women and called other men out on their bullshit. But I haven’t seen any real change in any of the men that I have confronted. I’m at a point in my life where I seek to limit my contact with other men because each one I meet demonstrates some level of deeply rooted misogyny. I also know that I’m not perfect and constantly check my own privilege and question my own intentions when I interact with women.

    I’m also troubled by transgender women (born men) who are trying to infiltrate feminism and turn it their way. I’m beginning to believe that women have nothing to gain from men but pain. So many men have nothing but the worst intentions for women and it’s so normalized that it’s rarely ever even questioned. It’s amazing we even got this far with the Weinstein scandal. Although I’m certain it’ll become a non-issue for the press within a few weeks.

    Male violence is the most troubling issue we have right now. It’s responsible for so many of the social ills that we’re currently facing. My point is that I might actually agree with you. I just don’t if its overly pessimistic or not pessimistic enough.

  • Jani

    Some women in the UK during the 1980s actually did this, and set up all-women communities/networks and shared houses.

  • Unree

    It won’t work.

  • marv

    Riches beyond compare. For example:

    “I also want you to support the work women are doing to fight back. I want you to donate to your local women’s shelter, show up for our anti-prostitution rallies, fundraise, cook and clear plates at feminist events, support feminist media, stop watching pornography, and step in when you see a woman being harassed or intimidated. I want you to treat women as though they are human beings — not just potential orgasms. I want you to take our stories seriously, and understand that we are strong, and resilient, and we can fucking take it and recover and move forward, without being crushed or destroyed by this bullshit. But also that it takes a toll that you may never understand.”

  • Danielle Cormier

    Thank you Megan. I could hear my own voice and countless other women in this.

    • Meghan Murphy

      <3

      • Mmmeee

        Hi Meghan. You seem so honest and it deeply saddened me what happened to you. I don’t know how you do to bear all of this. I admire you.

        • Meghan Murphy

          It happens to all of us. That’s why we fight.

          • Mmmeee

            Sorry to annoy you a last time but I wasn’t specific enough : I meant with ‘ I don’t know how you do to bear all of this’ the ungoing hateful and disgusting attacks you are exposed to (especially on twitter). I can’t stand this anymore. I hope you don’t get too much depressed and keep on.

  • Liz

    Right before the Me Too hashtag took off, I was reading Jezebel’s annual scary stories collection (if you aren’t familiar, anyone can post a scary story in the comments and the thread quickly becomes HUGE). And as I read, I started to notice how many of the stories were not ghosts or unexplained events…very many of them were stories about real live men lurking about, watching women sleep, following women in the street, standing outside women’s homes, actively menacing women. So, so many of the stories were not traditional scary stories at all, they were stories of men threatening women.

    I don’t know if this feature has always been that way but I’m just more aware of male violence or sensitive to it right now. I had to stop reading because I wasn’t spooky-scared at all…I was terrified for women. Many of the stories were from girlhood too, it was just so truly frightening.

  • Jani

    At such a young age, that experience changed my life and I ended up as a target for abuse throughout the remainder of my teens because it was known about in my school and in my area, because the guys responsible bragged about it openly. It was OK to harass me, grope me, write about me on walls, call me a slut and a whore and a prostitute, hold me captive and force me to remove my clothes and/or perform sexual acts under threat of violence, and all this at the age of about 14 when the story of what happened to me, in the words of the gang leader (who was a complete psycho) spread like wildfire through my school and neighbourhood. The only person I told was my best friend at the time and even she distanced herself because of my “reputation”. So I was introduced to what I can only call the ugliest face of sexism at a very young age. And I grew up fast.
    As for porn, I saw my brothers magazines and the women were always presented like passive victims in vulnerable poses. I looked at that shit and I see myself as that kid, as I was then, stripped naked on the ground, looking up at the 5 guys who physically overpowered me, wondering WTF was coming next. And then I remember the next day, staying at home, my parents out at work all day, me unable to go to school, sitting in the kitchen as if I was like a statue, not crying but with tears running down my face, wondering how the fuck could I ever go to school, or even leave the house. It’s no coincidence that I was eventually expelled for truancy. Victimised again, it fucked up my education too.

    • Tinfoil the Hat

      Oh my God I am so, so, SO sorry.

      • Jani

        Thanks for your support <3
        I’m only grateful that all of this shit happened before the internet and mobile phones. There have been similar incidents that have been recorded and uploaded online. At least I didn’t have to endure that degree of depersonalising humiliation. But they still bragged about it spread by word of mouth.

        • kfwkfw

          How are you doing nowadays? Have you seen a therapist?

    • FierceMild

      I keep trying to upvote you and the disqus isn’t recording it. I’m so angry that they did this to you. That they do it in some way to all of us. I think you’re strong and brave.

    • kfwkfw

      So very sorry…there are really no words.

  • Tinfoil the Hat
    • Hanakai

      Yes, thanks.

      And if you ever get a chance to see her play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf, please do. A work of brilliance.

  • FierceMild

    Thanks, dude. Spread it to other dudes. You should know you aren’t alone. There are some other unicorns.

  • FierceMild

    “You don’t fight revolutions by appealing to your oppressors.” By “you” you must mean men.

    Men haven’t had to fight a revolution by appealing to their oppressors because their oppressors are not also their fathers, their brothers, their lovers, and their sons. The entire history of the feminist revolution has taken the men’s ‘how to’ handbook and completely modified it. We are not done. We are not free. But name me a revolution that was 100% successful. You can’t. So stop telling us the rules.

    • Rich Garcia

      @fiercemild:disqus I didn’t make the rules. The separatists of the 1960’s and 70’s did. I just agree with their methods. And that’s all I have left to say.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Depressingly, I just know so many women who’ve been through so much worse… I feel like my experiences are just the norm for women.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks Liz!

  • Hanakai

    My policy is and has been to cut entirely out of my life any men who refer to women with the ugly b-word and c-word, or who use pornography or who go to strip clubs or who otherwise champion the exploitation and oppression of women. I will not allow them in my house or business, I will not represent them or avail them of my professional services, I will not interact or socialize with them.

    When I learn these things about them, I tell them immediately that they are forever henceforth dead to me and why, and explain that if they bother me in any way or attempt to contact me further, I will call the authorities and press harassment charges. Some have apologized profusely, and begged me to reconsider, making all sorts of lame justifications and excuses, to which I can only say, “Your’e dead, out!”

    This makes life far more pleasant and insures that the men allowed into my reality are good decent people. Of course, one cannot avoid all misogynists, like having to deal with judges, police, random troglodytic men in public, but where one has a choice, it is salubrious to exercise choice and control.

    I sometimes think that the Lysistrata strategy of women eschewing men and refusing to engage in sex with men might be a useful strategy, but of course the many handmaidens and Third Wave meninists would never go for it.

    • Jani

      I wouldn’t ordinarily have any contact with this guy, he’s on the periphery of an in-law connection. It’s just that I feel uncomfortable knowing what I know, and I suspect his wife doesn’t have a clue. If some random dude asked his wife or his daughter to strip for him and he’ll give her 10 quid for it and maybe an another fiver if she works a bit harder for it, would he think that’s respectful behaviour? Or would he be horrified that his daughter’s value was no more than a ten pound note? Yet he’d do the same with someone else’s daughter, and somehow it’s just a “guy thing”. I keep my distance from him, believe me.

  • Pera Raks

    Amazing. Thanks Meghan.

    • Meghan Murphy

      <3

  • Robert Gonzalez

    Thanks for sharing all of that, Rich. Was there any specific literature that helped you arrive at the conclusion that segregation would be the best option for women?

  • Meghan Murphy

    <3

  • Robert Gonzalez

    Amish Rake Fight is right. What you’re saying is coming off more as “Well, your current ways aren’t working and what I’m telling you will work better for you.” I agree with some of the points you’ve made about men, Rich. And men really don’t deserve any sympathy or understanding from women. But it really isn’t our place to be telling feminists how to make feminism work better. As the article said, we need to shut up and listen.

    • foamreality

      ‘Rich. And men really don’t deserve any sympathy or understanding from women’

      Really? why? Do no men of any kind have no worth or value whatsoever under any circumstance? Theres a real problem here, if you can’t even contemplate any man ever having any worth or value. Thats not radical feminism, its an irrideemably hopeless distopia that means women will always be oppressed for as long as men exist. I understand anger men. But it must have caveats that go deeper than cynical #notallmen platitudes. What rich was saying was mearly a point about how to make women realize they will necessarily have to change society without them. At that point men will still be here. Hopefully changed by what women chose to do without them.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    Amish, by any chance, do you blog at all? I would love to hear more of your own opinions.

    • Amish Rake Fight

      I do not blog. At the moment I feel like I have far more reading, learning, and listening to do. Aside from an occasional comment, I don’t feel like I have the knowledge to contribute anything meaningful to most political conversations. I don’t want to inadvertently muddy the waters, there’s way too much of that going on as is. It makes more sense, for me, to signal boost people who blog/write/speak who are more knowledgeable than I.
      Cheers, mate.

  • Liz

    Based on what Hanakai and FierceMild posted, I guess it doesn’t sound very successful after all. I thought there were neighborhoods and even towns where it did work, but it sounds like any success was very limited and fleeting. Definitely not enough to sustain a revolution.

    • FierceMild

      I hypothesize the reason for that is that the oppressors (whether they be whites, aristocrats, or men) require the presence of the group they oppressed. They aren’t going to just watch their unpayed workforce/emotional props/bed warmers walk out the door.

      • catlogic

        Precisely! All this talk of separatism – just how are the oppressed half of the world supposed to achieve this? Men are not going to nod and accept women removing ourselves from their society, even if it were possible on a global scale.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    This is a great response, Calabasa. Thank you! I think it’s not too late. I think that we can undo what’s been done to society. Empathy is such a key to accomplishing that. Empathy is downplayed in men and I don’t believe that men are just naturally hardwired to lack it.
    Neuroscience has more than proven how plastic the brain’s development is, The brain appears to atrophy its empathy circuits from lack of use. I think that’s particularly obvious in men because we are so rarely encouraged to be empathetic at all. It’s also selectively focused, too; meaning that if women are highly objectified, they may receive no empathy from a male at all. It makes me think of the Stanford Prison experiment where even a simulated institution successfully showed how powerful group acceptance of social hierarchy led to the maltreatment of the experiment’s “prisoners.” The only difference is that in real-life it’s women that are seen as the “prisoners.”

    • FierceMild

      I think of that experiment often.

  • Mmmeee

    Wow! A deep cry from your heart. I feel disgusted for all men (myself included even if I didn’t do all these things, but I was not a saint because I was gawking at some women too in my youth). I didn’t know that Vancouver was soo bad and I’m happy that you are so strong and resiient enough to recover. I feel so bad for the other women too. I’m really a little bit shocked now. I didn’t know all these things could happen. We (men) are in reality cowards to take responsibilities for improving these situations. I don’t know why. I think some men fear women (me) and didn’t learn how too behave in a normal way with them (not me). I strongly feel there is an underestimated genetic part of it (testosterone) which doesn’ t excuse anything but which has to be analysed and debated more seriously. I like your precious work and wish you to continue and never give up.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I actually think Vancouver is quite good in comparison to many other places in the world! But of course sexual harassment and assault happens everywhere…

    • Wren

      “I didn’t know all these things could happen.”
      You should know that even here, on a radical feminist site, many of us women are under-reporting our experiences because there is just so much, and sometimes because it’s repressed, and sometimes because we have denied the severity of the experiences so that we can function and continue working and surviving. It’s impossible to process everything that happens to a woman in her lifetime without going nearly insane. Personally, I wouldn’t even know where to start.

  • Mmmeee

    As a man myself I can only compliment you. I agree 100 percent with you. The only thing I don’t do is reading radical feminist literature (I fear a lot it’s too depressing and can’t handle it)

    • Tinfoil the Hat

      Jesus. You can’t “read” it? Fucking try LIVING it.

      • Wren

        For realz.

  • FierceMild

    You need new friends.

  • FierceMild

    My mister has been wondering about finding/starting some kind of Men’s Auxiliary specifically for radfem allies.

    • Tinfoil the Hat

      Hmm. A Radfem Allies meetup. My sons would go.

  • Rich Garcia

    @hyperjoy:disqus Being in too deep is the best way to describe women still invested in the idea that men can change. They want to reform the system rather than liberate themselves from it. And it’s funny how I’m getting accused of telling women how to do Feminism, because I am a man who supports and understands Radical Feminism, which makes no compromises for males at all.

    I’m just the messenger. If you want basic Feminism that goes beyond victimhood liberalism that does nothing to empower females, here are a few sites I can link you too, even though some of them advocate political lesbianism as a means of liberation:

    https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/

    http://thearcticfeminist.wordpress.com/

    https://trustyourperceptions.wordpress.com/

    • Meghan Murphy

      What is the point of doing feminism if we believe men can’t change? The whole point of social movements is to change society. Feminists don’t believe men are inherently terrible, we believe socialization and structures of power are the problem…

    • hyperjoy

      I am familiar with all those sites, thanks, Rich.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks for your support!

  • Wren

    I don’t believe in segregation. I mean, personally I may never choose cohabitation with a man and I’m not having children, but I don’t think segregation is a long-term solution. I think men must stop being encouraged to be their worst selves, and men need to be afraid of women (I am not a pacifist), and of the law (we need to reform the judicial system to give a fuck about women), and they need to be fiscally punished to the highest extent possible (think of the loss of income and life earnings a woman incurs because of trauma). Men need to pay for their crimes against women. I think if this happens, and men are still violent fuckers, then we shall see if segregation is necessary.

    I am speaking only for myself, but I am a radical feminist because I actually believe men are not born monsters. I don’t believe such anti-social and woman-hating qualities are intrinsic to manhood. However, I hate what society encourages men to become, which seems impossible for many of them to resist. If I didn’t have some hope in men, I would be a libfem, making excuses for porn and prostitution and BDSM, etc., and I would accommodate their evil like libfems do.
    No way. They can do better.

    Also, comparing dogs to men is unfair. Dogs are awesome.

    • FierceMild

      I am 100% in agreement with you. Radical feminists are the only people on the planet who hold men to account. Men aren’t born monsters; they are taught monsterdom and revel in it gleefully. I am also not a personal pacifist (though I believe war is wrong because it solves nothing and mostly kills women, our children, and the elderly). I think women should be able to protect ourselves, our property, each other, our children, and each other’s children without apology.

  • shy virago

    Reading this made me remember the most recent time a man harassed me, and it was only 6 weeks ago!
    You try and push it away but it never leaves you.

    Parked at a stoplight in a university town, my mouth numb from dental surgery 30 minutes earlier, heading to get my haircut. Gorgeous fall day, windows rolled down. The car next to me full of men, one asks about my slightly damaged bumper.

    Because I said ‘No’ when he asked if I wanted him to fix it, and laughed that I
    would never go to someone who has to offer his services at a red light.

    I can’t write what he said next because I will throw up.

    The light doesn’t change and I spew a stream of swear words at the car full of men.
    I am 54, stuck at a red light, I can’t move.
    I get to my hairstylist, sit in her chair and cry.

    • therealcie

      How awful for you. Some of these so-called “men” have no shame whatsoever.
      I’m 52 and tend to feel relieved that I’m now mostly invisible to these creeps, but we can never entirely escape.

    • Blazing Fire

      Dreadful… I’m so sorry.. I hope that whole pack of wolves in that car ran down a cliff somewhere or bumped into a rock & broke all their bones & teeth.

      • shy virago

        I do too!
        cheers 🙂

      • shy virago

        great image!
        thanks, sister :0

        • Blazing Fire

          Sure! Hugggs:) Take care. God Bless you & keep you safe, sister!

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    Jesus fuck.

    • FierceMild

      Right? And this brother (not the molester) also came to our parents house while I was staying with them specifically to drop off extra firewood because he knows I get very cold due to an injury. I didn’t ask him to, our parents didn’t ask him to, we don’t need to. That kindness is normal for him. How do you sort through that?!

  • Heidi Hall

    HELL YES!

  • Meghan Murphy

    If we thought that people were beholden to their “hormones” and couldn’t make ethical decisions, we wouldn’t bother having laws or ethics. We expect adult human beings to be able to make ethical choices, like not murdering one another or raping one another or flinging their shit at one another. Of course it doesn’t mean people always obey these social codes, but again, if we truly thought people were governed only by biological forces, we would never bother trying to effect social change.

  • melissa

    Holly shit, I’m so sorry. This is insane. Is this enough evidence to take any legal actions against these monsters yet?

  • Jani

    Unfortunately Mayim Bialik is facing a predictable backlash, her words taken out of context and misconstrued as victim-blaming. Something similar happened with Chrissie Hynde when she said in her autobiography that she takes responsibility for the occasion when she was forced to perform sex acts on a group of men, that she was out of her head on drugs and naïve for willingly going to the “party” where it happened. Ultimately she had to do what she did to get through the experience and get out of there, and part of the reason she left Ohio for England was for her own safety. That’s a long way off from saying “some women are asking for it and it’s their own fault” but that’s how her account of her experience was taken out of context and turned into an oversimplified soundbite.

  • FierceMild

    You’re absolutely right about what happens when you say these things to people you know. I’ve been piled on plenty of times. But I’ve also gotten private texts and calls from bystanders later on telling me they agreed with me.

  • M. Zoidberg

    While all the men around Weinstein are falling over themselves to claim that they “knew nothing” of his rapist ways, ONE MAN stands above them all and admits, “Yeah, I knew. We all knew.

    >>”When Sorvino [Tarantino’s former girlfriend] initially told him what had happened [unwanted neck rub from Harv, then chasing, then stalking], “I was shocked and appalled,” Tarantino told the Times. “I couldn’t believe he would do that so openly. I was like: ‘Really? Really?’ But the thing I thought then, at the time, was that he was particularly hung up on Mira [Sorvino]… Because he was infatuated with her, he horribly crossed the line.

    Sorry, Scarantino, even if a man is “infatuated,” that doesn’t fucking excuse any of it!

    T is a man very comfortable in his misogyny. Almost as comfortable as how he is using the n-word around Sam Jackson.

  • doodles

    The last to sentences in this post really sums it up for us men. To be honest, the things you call for us to do is not hard things to do. Many things, like stop using pornography and cutting out misogynists from your social circles even improves your well being and makes life a lot more enjoyable.
    It can be hard to come to terms with the fact that you either done something really shitty or not spoken out against someone elses predatory behaviour. But compared to what I know has been done to women (people who I truly love and admire as friends) that feeling of shame is honestly not worth mentioning.
    This is as you say a struggle that has to be for women by women, and should put women front and centre. There are somethings we can do as men. First of all, we should do all the things you mention above. I also believe men should get together and discuss how to be a better ally and what we can do against patriarchy. When done the right way this does not end up writing humble brags on facebook, but in genuine self improvement and support for womens causes.
    These things can be very low key, I listened to a very nice story on Swedish Public radio about this. Every year they select three book circles to act as a jury for a literature prize. One of the book circles was a bunch of men between 40 and 70 in a small norhtern Town. They had decided that they should start a book circle in which they exclusively read novels by female writers. From this they could discuss (except the novels of course) issues related to equality and feminism. To me, doing things like this seems a lot more honest than writing (or sharing on facebook for that matter) a “Five ways you can blah your blah!” on everydayfeminism.com.
    Oh, and I’ll send Feminist Current a little money when I quit work, both for support and as a token of my appreciation for your work.

  • Blazing Fire

    Oh My…… I can feel your shivers & trembling & sobs while reading through this…

    “.. screaming he was going to rape and kill me, that everyone walking around me ignored, and when I called my boyfriend to help me, he seemed unconcerned and then started arguing with me about the situation..”

    Can’t imagine how bad this is. I’m sorry to take you back to the unpleasent times, but I hope you ditched that cheap piece of dung who called himself your “boyfriend” after this. (And I hope he didn’t get any chance to stalk you or harass you after that)

    Your other experiences here – which would be just the tip of the iceberg – and the comments here are equally horrifying.

    Women & girls in the west are worse off in this area, I think. The males there are totally unbridled. Anyone who tries to discipline boys are smeared with soot & kicked off.
    The golden words by Mark Twain – “When a boy turns 13, put him in a barrel and feed him through a knot hole. When he turns 16, plug up the hole” – have been throw away & young mad bulls are ravaging the whole place (affecting women & girls the worst). Many males naturally never “grow up” till they die – as it is, these types create a lot of problems for their wives & others. And on top of it, if this type of a guy had been raised unbridled & entitled in his teens, and if the society also doesn’t keep a strict watch, he will continue forever to act like the 14 year old football player who gang rapes cheerleaders with his friends & feels he did nothing wrong & rages if someone says so.
    Even with all the disciplining, a lot of them grow up into street harassers – even if get good education & posh jobs and wouldn’t like to be caught in the act – but would atleast hesitate a little before approaching a strange girl in public & shout out that he would rip off her nipples if she ignored him.
    (Now our place is also turning in the wrong direction though, all thanks to “men’s rights” & “boys’ rights” & “why do you treat your sons different from your daughters? – this is reverse discrimination” noise from many cheap cowards claiming to be “progressive thinkers” – they have gained a lot more boldness after seeing the white male MRA cheapos – so, don’t know how long it will be before we hear similar stories from here.
    PS: Side tracking here, but just to mention : Disciplining will certainly not hinder anyone from turning into a wife-beater/wife-killer, but could probably partly tame this extreme harassment of other women outside the “family”. That is all I meant.)

    It’s a miracle that you have emerged strong from all these heavy death-blows in your formative years, and are now helping other victims & being a voice for them. God Bless you & protect you.

  • melissa

    “He’s been violent before but that’s not what he appears to want now
    (strangling someone) so he’s looking for something specific (hanging out
    in a lot of feminist groups and going to survivor events)…”

    “(He hit on one woman after she burst into tears while reading a poem
    about her violent rape in childhood). He offers to interview them for
    his lit mag, and then the interview turns out to be at a bar or a party
    where he tries to get them drunk. So far though despite his persistent
    harassment he has struck out with all the rape victims…”

    What the actual fuck. This is beyond horrific.This guy clearly never had anything resembling a conscience. Everything he did, he did because he could. Its insane that nothing can be done to take down this sadistic piece of human garbage yet. I can only hope you and every woman that’s been victimized by him can get some justice, closure and peace some day. Stay strong and safe sister.

  • will

    Well, if it is a foundational truth that certain men actually cannot control themselves because of their sex hormones, and that those sex hormones compel them to torture, beat and kill other humans in their community, then those men must be castrated, incarcerated or put into exile.

  • Alienigena

    ” I don’t understand why male identified straight women feel the need to find a less than perfect feminist to tear down every single week”

    Love that term “male identified” as I think it is so representative of the mentality of certain types of women but I have to disagree that only straight women fall into this category. I think lesbians can be (although I find it paradoxical, but I have lesbian friends who seem to fit the category) male-identified. Maybe it is a daddy’s girl thing, that is, if you identify with your father more than your mother, if you want to be on what I have dubbed the “winning side”, i.e. male side, you are male-identified.

    I have to agree with Mayim Bailik about the experience of non-hotness. I have been described as cute (easy way to say you are not ugly but also not ‘hot’) but also as a mutant (by my brother) as I have a very long torso and short legs and possibly broader shoulders (proportionately) than many men. I guess I look athletic (barring short legs) but I am not. When I was younger men mostly seemed to want to cause me physical harm (to prove I was not as strong as I looked??), not sexually harass (though there were instances of this) or assault me.

    I think you realise how creepy all men are from a young age when your own male family members act like jerks, all the time. My brother was and is a creep because what kind of person comments on the body of their sister in that way (hi, I am a mutant) and isn’t a creep, I mean I was not a prospective romantic partner for him, what did my body have to do with him? An emotionally and sometimes physically abusive father helped seal my fate as someone who is not male-identified.

    Even on this forum I find some commentors to be male-identified when they talk about their tomboy childhoods. The fact that they didn’t like to do girl things and hang around girls. Being a momma’s girl and choosing to be around girls as a child I don’t get the need to emphasize that history. As a child I liked reading, lego, puzzles, horses, the odd doll, and the outdoors and didn’t like the limitations that girls seem to place on themselves (I realise society was inculcating these values in girls, now). I think of it as programming and the majority of people never question their programming.

    I don’t think that attractive actresses should be silenced but neither should the actresses who, as others discussing the Weinstein story have pointed out, didn’t even get considered for a role, because they are not ‘hot’ enough. Although, it seems that Weinstein was just toying with many of the attractive actresses, and never intended on giving them a role in his films. The promise of a role was just a lure to get them to come to his hotel room(s).

    ” If I heard a male “Friend” had a reputation for harassing women, I would probably believe it was true.”
    Yeah, agree. My father always had a good reputation at work and with the neighbors and reserved his drunken belligerence and abusive behaviour for this family. So, these men can be very skilled managers (or have assistants who manage) of their public reputation and successfully deceive friends, family and others. Family becomes complicit, if only to spare loved ones potential harm. It just occurred to me that all the times I have held my tongue around my family or friends about my father were a warped way of protecting my mother as my father would likely have punished her for my negative comments. She lived with him from the ages of 28-86 years until she went into a nursing home for a few months and subsequently died as she was quite frail.

    • Kiwipally

      Some of us are emphasizing our tomboy backgrounds to show other readers that girls and women can do, and can be, anything. This is the opposite of male identification – we have happily performed “masculine” roles and we are totes girls and women, not trans. This is an important narrative to repeat given the strength of the societal forces that have backlashed against feminism and are pushing extremely conservative masculine and feminine mores.

      • Alienigena

        “Some of us are emphasizing our tomboy backgrounds to show other readers that girls and women can do, and can be, anything”

        I guess, but I remember comments to the effect that tomboys didn’t want to play with girls. Why don’t they want to play with girls? Because girls are lesser? Or girls aren’t engaged in the activities they like? Because that seems to be labeling activities that are mostly just neutral male or female. Fishing to me seems neutral but it is often seen as masculine. Building things seems neutral to me because growing up my father was constantly building or renovating something so we had access to tools and wood scraps. My siblings and I built small boats that we would race down the river. Why can’t play with dolls (and by the way, most of that play isn’t dress up or pretend shopping, it is more creative) lead to an interest in puppetry and in 3D animation, as it did for me?

        My best friend growing up was a tomboy. I don’t think being a tomboy inoculates the tomboy against buying into sex role stereotypes because once my friend turned 13 she seemed to buy wholeheartedly into those stereotypes. I agree with the commenter below that women of all types can be male-identified.

        I can’t even say that I was ever a girly girl (I think I was called sensitive and quiet). I am not sure that I even knew any girly girls, just girls of various types. Most didn’t challenge boys. I remember standing at the edge of the soccer field as an eight year old and wondering what it would be like to play it. Mainly because the boys made it seem like a limited good (the soccer balls always disappeared first from the equipment that was available for recess and I was never able to get one). When I did take a step on the field all the boys stopped playing and starting to walk towards me in a hostile way. I was like a cat walking into a dog bar to quote (sort of) Eddie Izzard. My tomboy friend didn’t join me.

  • sangria&stretchies

    I’ve talked these issues to death this week with my girlfriends and my boyfriend. This is everything that I’ve failed to put into words and everything that I’m still hanging on to. Thank you so much for writing this.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Hey Rich,

    You’re being kind of an asshole.

    Check yourself pls.

    • Rich Garcia

      Isn’t this what you all want? For us men to admit how horrible we are because we’re born with a Y chromosome and our gonads produce testosterone? That we can’t control ourselves because it’s in our biology not to? What if it is true? Then maybe we do need to be put out of our misery.

      I can’t be the “ally” women want in men if I can’t be honest. And maybe it’s because I’m Puerto Rican that I’m hot-blooded and abrasive, which makes it worse. But you can do you want. I won’t bother you and your readers anymore if you believe I’m telling you how to be a feminist.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Men are fully capable of making choices and controlling their behaviour, regardless of what they desire to do, whether that desire is biological or social, or a combination of both.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You are saying ‘they’ but you are talking about US — our movement. You don’t actually get to tell us what we think and what our movement is.

  • Wren

    “There are women who are tired of hoping men can stop raping, maiming, and killing them, and deciding every aspect of their lives from the cradle to the grave.”

    I don’t know if men will ever stop being violent, I’m just saying that the concept of holding them accountable for their behavior is a social experiment we’ve yet tried, and I’d like to see the results.

    “And I know what I have to say isn’t popular either, having been banned from so many websites for lacking a filter and not being lukewarm in my delivery.”

    The problem isn’t that you’re lacking a filter; the problem is that you’re being an asshole.

  • kfwkfw

    So true about bulls in a china shop

  • kfwkfw

    Thank you guys for showing us the real consequences, feelings, and thoughts associated with male abuse

  • Bleeps3

    I always think of elephants — highly intelligent, highly social with many traditinal customs passed down through the generations, matriarchal — the males go through musth and become violent, basically totally lose their shit.

    I know it’s Wikipedia but it’s a good overview:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musth

    IF there is a similar condition in the human male animal… well, that gives me the closest thing to hope. What got me started on this line of thinking was actually a documentary on pedophiles; one of them cut his own testicles off to get what he called “relief” from constant thoughts about hurting kids. He believed it worked. We know chemical castration is the closest thing to an effective treatment for sexual predators.

    It doesn’t mean we don’t try to raise boys differently, change culture and social structures, get more women into positions of power, but, just as you say here, I’ve had too many men explain this 17-35 thing (including a police detective) to ignore it.

  • acommentator

    “I say what I say because I am a male and I know what I’m talking about.
    Even I don’t trust myself around females because I know full well what I
    am capable of, which is why I turned down a job working in a public
    school”

    I am a male and I know what I am “capable of,” which is being generally clueless sometimes. Nothing to stay away from schools about. If you feel you need to stay away from schools because you are “capable” of something more, you need to find some help. You are having some issues here.

  • Hanakai

    In American law, truth is an absolute defense to defamation. By the way, slander is spoken defamation, libel is written defamation. As long your defamatory statements are true, you can say anything. And, by the way, defamation cases are very very hard for an allegedly defamed person to win. They actually have to prove the defamation was false and show that they suffered actual economic damages as a direct and proximate result of the defamation, something that is almost impossible to prove.

    You can rent a billboard, put the names of the abusers up there, and if the truth is on the board, nothing the felon can do.

    I would also suggest fists, teeth, nails, pepper spray, wasp spray, Tasers, firearms. Remember that revenge is a dish best served cold.

  • Hanakai

    There has been an uptick in thyroid issues, women are particularly prone to hypothyroidism. It also turns out that children and cats have been developing thyroid disorders at an alarming rate. Research has shown the thyroid issues are related to exposure to chemicals called PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers).

    California and other states required that these flame retardants be put into children’s pajamas, furniture, electronics, rugs and carpets. Cats and children are close to the ground, play on carpets, cats lick themselves, and the PBDEs get into their endocrine system and disrupt things. Research shows that younger women exposed to chemicals called PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) may be at higher risk of having a sluggish thyroid. PBDEs can linger for years in products.

    If interested, you might read the work of the amazing mountaineer and scientist, Arlene Blum, who started and runs the Green Science Policy Institute, and whose activism was the key to getting California to ban PBDEs. Note that the California law banning the same explicitly recognizes the role of PBDEs in causing thyroid disease. http://greensciencepolicy.org

    Most weight gain has nothing to do with thyroid disorders, but rather with excessive calorie intake and lack of exercise. Note that there are thyroid disorders, like Graves’ disease, which cause sudden weight loss. The main stress hormone in the body is cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands. Men, too, increasingly have thyroid issues, this as the environment becomes ever more toxified, though Hashimoto’s disease is like 8 to 1 women, other thyroid disorders more like 5 to 1 women. The reason women are more prone to these disorders is that women have more complex endocrine systems, which are put through enormous stresses during pregnancy.

  • Mmmeee

    The stories I read here on this forum are already horrible enough, depressing and very hard to swallow.

  • Sherri Ingrey

    same. I think living in a mid size Canadian city and my age have something to do with it as well, although being a lawyer intimidated some men, and being outspoken certainly did.

  • Rich Garcia

    @marvwheale:disqus I’m not stereotyping my own people. To say that we’re stupid, we’re lazy, and we live off welfare would be to stereotype Puerto Ricans, which is what white racists and racist “Latinos” have been doing for generations (and in my personal experiences living in Latin American communities where culture clashes between national identity or ancestry are common).

    Stereotypes carry a negative connotation, whereas idiosyncrasies are general characteristics and personalities that are specific to a group of people. Usually as it is applied to language and culture. And EVERY culture has unique qualities and customs that sets them apart. To say that I’m hot-blooded is more of a quirk than a stereotype because of how I was raised. We’re not all the same, contrary to what liberals want us to think.

    I’ll add that “white dominance” and colonialism are symptoms of manifest destiny. Of moving to new land for the goal of attaining more resources. The damage has already been done, and there are no more “white settlers”, but descendants of those Spanish, British, and French land grabbers, along with descendants of European immigrants like the Germans, Irish, Polish, Italians, etc. They have nothing to do with what happened hundreds of years ago to the indigenous New World populations.

    So executing white people for being white people because of how they allegedly make brown people miserable is out of the question, IMO. The problem is maleness, and whether it is a biological impulse to impose our dominance on this planet.

  • Kiwipally

    This is coming close to victim blaming, and is post hoc ergo propter hoc (maybe they weren’t hesitant before the abuse and its consequences!). There is no evidence that assertiveness training would have prevented the abuse, and – even if it had for those two victims – it may merely have displaced his attentions onto alternative victims. Finally, in situations where women have escaped the abuse, far too many times the man has tracked them down and murdered them. The entire fault always lies with the abuser.

  • Wren

    Hell yes, I’ve seen it many times, done to myself and others.
    I’ll add that there’s a type of man, maybe a more educated one, who chooses women who are well-versed in feminist principles and strong minded, and he’ll appeal to their intellect as an ally, and then slowly erode their confidence through intellectual manipulation and gaslighting. These kinds of women are the ultimate prize to misogynist intellectuals.

    • Blazing Fire

      Yeah, and since he had initially shown sympathy & support, the woman would feel obliged to agree with him later when he gives some semi-intellectual logic that dilutes feminism a little at a time. The sooner this type of guy is disengaged from feminist activities and debates, the better.

      • Wren

        Yes, he totally chips away at her sense of rightness. It’s very hard to recover after that, and then a woman feels equally shamed and less of a feminist for falling for some dickhead, and doubts her rightful mind even more. But she shouldn’t. Some predators are just that good and it’s no reflection on her.

        • Kiwipally

          Yes, it’s abuser tactics straight out of the abuser handbook.

  • Anthocerotopsida

    Moodiness with PMS is largely myth + placebo effect. There are parts of the world where women never report moodiness before their periods because that myth isn’t present in their culture, so neither is the placebo effect.

    Stop promoting the stereotype that women are at the mercy of their crazy-making hormones, and the placebo effect will vanish with time.

    PMDD is another thing entirely, of course, affecting a minority of women. Most of us experience PMS as bloating, cramps, headaches, and the like. We might be, understandably, irritable, but not whacked out on hormones.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I have never gotten moody before my period and agree that many women simply say they do because they’ve been told they act ‘crazy’/’emotional’ when they experience PMS so many times that they just believe it.

      • Anthocerotopsida

        This is the study I read on this subject:
        http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/48939.html
        Anyway, I’m a little embarrassed that this is my one contribution to this thread. The FC comment sections are a rare bright spot in the depths of internet awfulness, so I often feel like I have nothing to add that other commenters haven’t said already. And thanks, Meghan, for your writing. I’ll be sharing this article with anyone who will read it.

  • Tobysgirl

    Thank you, Jani. By saying that these women were seemingly hesitant and apologetic, I am hardly blaming them, I am simply describing how they present themselves even when they have been brave enough to come forward and speak openly about their experiences. And I wasn’t suggesting they need assertiveness training, though it might help them speak more strongly about their experiences. When I mentioned assertiveness training, I was talking about being a young woman in a VERY DIFFERENT ERA, one in which many women felt encouraged to speak confidently and directly no matter who disapproved. I really get tired of people deliberately misreading and misinterpreting comments from myself or anyone else.

    • Jani

      I’m also from a different era! When I came of age the “second wave” was beginning to have
      genuine influence so there were such things as assertion training and self defence classes at low cost or free. There were also community based activities and resources for women and there was a lot of campaigning for rape and sexual assault victims to be treated with respect when reporting the crime. There was a collective voice that was speaking up for women.

      These days, I don’t know what has happened to feminism, the “fun” kind that says buying pink handbags and matching lipstick is empowering or some such crap. I was on a site yesterday and it was all “trigger warning” and this-shaming and that-shaming, and you know, what are we going to be ?-shamed with next? Reality-shaming? Tea-shaming? Sneeze-shaming? It’s getting ridiculous. The whole thing about feminism was to speak out about the unpleasant aspects of being a woman. The harassment. The constant threat. The expectations to wear fashion, heels, make up. Being talked over. Ignored. Having your ideas stolen and attributed to the dominant male. Being targeted by online abusers. Having to endure sexist men making rape jokes. Being expected to put up with porn even though we don’t want it in our homes, our relationships or our work environments? Speaking out about these things is so much harder now because it’s “feminazi” “prude” “TERF” and no-platforming. It’s easy for people to expect others to follow certain rules or codes. Chrissie Hynde was accused of victim-blaming when she was actually describing her own experience which was coercion to perform sex acts on several men under threat of violence. That was where the real outrage should have been directed towards, not the woman’s misplaced self-blame. Who was talking about the behaviour of the men, the perpetrators? Nobody.

      We all need to speak up and speak out. About the crimes against women perpetrated by men and patriarchy. Not the fucking wrapping paper.

      • Tobysgirl

        It is so hard to overcome our socialization which taught us to pick at other women. I don’t know what it was with me except that I was my mother’s child. I’ve never competed with other women, never gossiped about other women, never bullied or harassed other women, never cared whether men thought well of me or not (and interestingly I actually get along fairly well with the men I come into contact with, maybe because I don’t care what they think of me!).
        You are absolutely right — we need to speak up and speak out! Right on, sister!!!!!

  • Wren

    Honestly, I don’t think this is about “trauma reenactment” or whatever a psychologist might call it. These are just skilled con artist/predators and I don’t think that a woman should take any of the blame for being tricked. I don’t think I’ve ever known ANY woman who wasn’t fooled by the sweet words of a man telling her what he knows she wants to hear just to claim conquest and use her. It’s happened to every woman I’ve ever known, whether she was sexually traumatized or had lived a sincerely sheltered and blissful life. If there’s a woman who says “never, not me!!” she’s in deep denial or is very, very young and in for a rude awakening.

    Although I hope I’ve learned to trust my gut or to be extremely wary, it could very well happen to me again. I think that being very honest with at least one close friend (and listening to her) is what saves me time and time again.

  • rosearan

    Agree overall. However, the serial Cassanova seducer and the violent, stalking ex are two sides of the same patriarchal coin. The Cassanova is intent on abandonment of the woman, while the violent stalker is intent on never letting the woman go. The woman’s humanity and feelings mean nothing. Yes, the violent stalker is much more terrifying and physically and criminally dangerous. But they are both extreme products of a patriarchal culture that conditions men to believe that they ‘own’ women – physically, emotionally, sexually and psychologically – and can do with women whatever makes them feel good.

  • Wren

    “Men do find intelligent women intimidating and I wish women could comprehend how easily frightened men are.”

    Yes! There’s a man at my job who I think is interested in me, and I might have been interested in him until the other day when he decided get into an intellectual pissing contest with me because he thought I was wrong about sooooooooooooo many things! (you know the usual, I’m feministing wrong, I’m wrong about men, I’m wrong about movies, whatever). I couldn’t for the life of me understand why he got so aggro and word vomited on me, but I think he felt threatened. He said some dumbass things and he knows it and he knows I know it. Now I have no interest in him.

    I slept much better once I got one dog, and now that I have two I have a pack and have never felt safer in our little den! Of course, they’re annoying and a lot of work, but I really really believe that dogs are WOMAN’S best friend.

    • Tobysgirl

      Word vomit! Perfect! Have you ever noticed how men online go ON and ON and ON and ON? I don’t mind long comments when the commenter has something to say, but really! Man’s diary: Gotta find a feminist website today where I am not welcome and explain what doesn’t need explaining.
      Our new doggy was wandering the streets of Memphis when she was impounded, and was fortunately rescued by a terrific rescue where she got good medical care, food and supplements (in a very nice foster home!). I don’t think she yet believes that she has found her forever home, that will take a little time, but she is a total sweetie who sounds incredibly fierce when anyone comes near the house.

  • Reiko Asiko

    For now I blame a lot the sexologists psychologists medical doctors and educators (specifically white male health professionals) and blaming biologists I am undecided it dépends what ‘findings’ they tell to the population, for somehow forming boys to become rapists and girls to become victims

    these people have a lot of power because of their university studies and statu, lay people or non-scientific people or people not-with-the-same-knowledge cannot object to some of their theories if they find them negative, most people don’t have the background knowledge to anulle their detrimental theories or their biological laws

    I say everywhere (to erase rape and help non-conforming boys)

    that sexe is not a necessity to live healthy and happily that the libido is a social creation not biology and not hormonely that equal consensual sexe is mathematically impossible, at base everybody can easily be asexual or non-sexual

    and boys don’t need testostérone in their body for it to be healthy, calcitonine vitamine D and molécules in fruits and grains keep our brain and bones healthy alone, also our fat cells (girls and boys) produce enough œstradiol-17bêta that helps keeping our brain and bones healthy with not forgetting the first molécules I mentionned, also mental and physical exercises stimulate brain and bones cells to revigorate themselves (by autocrine)

  • catlogic

    Asseriveness training (yes, I am old enough to have had it too, at work) doesn’t stop a man who is far more powerful than you, both physically and in his ability to end your career, from harassing or attacking you. And as Kiwipally said, those women were speaking *after* their assaults – how many women would not be hesitant or diffident, especially given the extra abuse that gets thrown at us for speaking? We are given the lifelong message that we are to blame for anything men do to us. Speaking up at all is very courageous.

  • catlogic

    ‘The golden words by Mark Twain – “When a boy turns 13, put him in a barrel and feed him
    through a knot hole. When he turns 16, plug up the hole”’

    Damn I love this! Couldn’t agree more.

    Plus, think of the revival in the cooper’s trade.

  • catlogic

    You heard it here folks, dropping bombs is natural!

    The entire culture – indeed most cultures – reinforces male entitlement and violence from birth. You’re underestimating socialisation.

    • Rich Garcia

      @catlogic:disqus Funny how I’m being thrown under the lens, when all I’m doing is repeating what SOME feminists (usually bloggers) across the Internet have to say about males, and what many males know and admit about themselves.

      It’s not in my place to out people because I don’t want to cause any drama and controversy for women on the Internet who may be readers of this website. But if I have to I’ll provide links to confirm that I’m not losing my mind.

  • catlogic

    Yes! If a baboon troop (the one famously observed by Robert Sapolsky) can change its culture completely in a generation, then humans must be capable of change. The new males entering the troop were taught what sort of behaviour was acceptable and what wasn’t.

  • Blazing Fire

    > “but I think a far younger brain is capable of knowing that something is wrong and you do not do it”
    You are very right.

    > “why would a gang of boys dropping rocks from a highway overpass think they were going to be charged with murder when they kill a driver?”
    Were they blindly throwing rocks without thinking that someone could get hurt (extreme stupidity, but nothing else.. In this case, seeing that someone died as a result of their stupid game should have shocked them enough to make them think a dozen times before doing any sort of “fun” activity after that. If it didn’t, then may be they fall under the next category)? Or were they getting their fun out of others’ hurt (but perhaps didn’t think that someone could get killed.. or may be they didn’t care about that either)?
    If it is the second case, it is incurable so far. You can’t “change” them (and that too when they are 15) into loving, caring people who no longer fell happy hurting others. So, it must be drilled into their head that there are unconditional boundaries: No one cares if it looks like fun for you, if you are hurting someone it is SIMPLY unacceptable, you just can’t do it, end-of-discussion. How to drill it into their heads? The rod (punishment or in this case, consequence, as you said) is the best way. “Grounding” is no good at all, imo, especially when death or physical hurt has happened.

    Even if they fall under the first category, they still need to face the consequence of their action, but they might atleast partly accept it as something they deserve.

    • Tobysgirl

      It was five boys, all under 18, now being charged with murder as adults. I don’t know what punishment I would find acceptable. I don’t think life in prison is a good idea, but there need to be very serious consequences for what they did.
      I hope someone is looking into the questions you ask because they are very good ones. Often in these situations one or more boys may be sociopathic but not necessarily all of them.

  • Blazing Fire

    🙂 I would have asked the same question 10 years back. But now I think I know better – I’ve seen a lot of otherwise intelligent men who can solve problems well, plan well, come up with quick & good responses to cross-questions, debate well (other than women’s issues – our issues are the topic that they constantly get “F-” grade. Somehow all critical thinking skills seem to totally disappear when coming to our issues) etc, etc, but still treat women very bad. Probably the other skills could have come from experience (most of them were very well-experienced), but.. somehow, after all these years I’ve begun to see the intelligence needed for work or play as something different & independent from the overall intelligence or wisdom needed to see a woman as a whole human (and make other humane decisions)… May be I arrived a wrong conclusion.. I’ve just given up..:)

    But I do remember reading someone’s comment on the Ivy League educated guys who created the Enron scandal (and who were also behaving quite rude shortly before the fraud was exposed) – “smart enough to maneuver around the rules, but not wise enough to understand why the rules had been written in the first place”.

    Anyway, intelligence or not, heritable or not, it’s still fine – mom & baby can carry on with life if they aren’t boycotted or witch-hunted by the society. Right, it is mostly not easy, but I meant that is comparatively much less difficult than life under a violent guy’s foot.