The hazards of avoiding potential ‘He-Man Woman-Haters’

The hazards of avoiding potential ‘He-Man Woman-Haters’

The hazards of avoiding potential ‘He-Man Woman-Haters’
July 20
19:50 2017

No, I don’t want to touch your muscles. I don’t know your friends and I don’t want to add you on Facebook. But instead of saying how I really feel, I smile and pretend to care deeply about your SoundCloud link and Twitter handle.

I am tired of being nice to creepy dudes just because I am scared of what will happen if I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of guys who approach women very politely and have the sincerest intentions. However, in today’s culture, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference.

Women just like these have fallen victim to the attacks of men they rejected. Whether it be an unacknowledged cat-call or an inappropriate gesture that was not reciprocated, women can be beat down or killed. There is a popular Tumblr page titled “When Women Refuse” that is dedicated to telling the stories of women who suffered after rejecting male sexual advances. Almost every day since the page was created in 2014, a new story is posted.

Most notable is Elliot Rodgers, a man riddled with hatred for the women who rejected him, who went on a 2014 shooting rampage in Isla Vista, California. In a detailed manifesto and several YouTube videos, Rodgers explained how the women in his life who had rejected him would all pay for what they had done to him. He killed seven people, including himself.

Knowing men exist who will go on shooting sprees just because a woman has chosen not to indulge them is enough to make me want to keep myself indoors, which is unfair. How is it I am told I have a choice over whom I choose to date or associate with, but that freedom comes with a price?

When someone approaches, it is common courtesy to be polite. But if I find myself uncomfortable, I should have all the power to tell you to go sit down somewhere. Too often, it is much simpler to pretend to listen to this creepy stranger than to witness them grow upset when you show little interest.

Women cannot simply walk down the street without being cat-called by poorly behaved onlookers. Walking across my apartment complex, I remember being told I need to “smile more” and “let a real man show me what’s up.” I’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other and get to my destination. I don’t remember asking to be harassed on the way there.

When it comes to responding to a harasser, it is usually a lose-lose.  Upon rejecting them you will hear “well, you’re ugly anyways.” Okay, then why were you trying to talk to me? In some more severe cases, men have grown incredibly violent. Refusing sex can get you doused in acid. Refusing a prom date can get you stabbed to death.

Women should be free to enjoy the world they live in. Going to the grocery store or visiting friends at a bar should not be a test of your survival skills. While this sounds dramatic, it’s nearly impossible to decipher between the kind-hearted man and the insecure, violent harasser. Because of this, women must keep their guards up at all times.

Something needs to be done. I am tired of being kind to creepy guys out of fear and I refuse to stay home. If men think they have the right to blatantly objectify women and harass them, I sure as hell have the right to reject them.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

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Amanda Lee

Amanda Lee

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