So a continuing theme in the continuing story of assholes getting called out for sexually harassing women, both in gaming and in the broader world, is that we have spent years, decades, centuries with women being roundly disbelieved any time we talked about being assaulted or raped.
This is the result of a combination of factors.
Part of this is, as a country we suck at “separation of church and state.” Meaning, the fact that we were founded by unpleasant zealots who had been run out of at least two other countries still shows in how our culture deals with women and sex in particular. Now, this is going to rile many of you, but I am here to tell you that the first time that someone male referenced Eve to try to put me in my place happened before I hit double digits.
Eve. Pandora. The Lorelei. Sirens. Over and over, women who tempt men into sin or their doom. In college I openly challenged a male college professor, who would later face censure for sleeping with female students, by saying, “Why is the moral, ‘women are dangerous,’ when a more apt moral would be ‘men are dick-led fools who shouldn’t be in charge of themselves let alone a ship?'”
I’m still not sure how I pulled an A in that class.
But this thread runs through the mythology that built the western culture we live in today: women are liars and temptresses who seduce poor confused men merely by existing with boobs and stuff. Even better, we are often liars and temptresses who seduce men merely by existing with boobs and stuff BECAUSE IT’S OUR NATURE AND WE CAN’T HELP IT.
This is where all the head/desk-ing catches up and I die of a massive cerebral hemorrhage.
Yeah… We are BOTH supposed to be the gatekeepers of our, and men’s, virtue, but we can’t help ourselves and actually really want it. “Your mouth says no, but your eyes say yes.”
Yeah, well my size ten Fluevog pump says “go fuck yourself, buddy.”
“If you didn’t want it you wouldn’t have been alone with him/dressed that way/drinking/would have fought harder/outside of your house…”
Yeah… Did you catch that “would have fought harder” I tossed in there? That is a thing people say to rape and harassment victims. “I realize you fought, but if you REALLY didn’t want it, you would have fought harder.”
Even if you fight, you can still be blamed.
So, yeah, all of this shit and a lot more is why when women accuse someone of sexual assault or harassment the majority of people do not believe them and immediately either call them liars, or start grilling them like a cop in an old Bogart movie.
And this goes for women, too.
And scumbags count on that part. Because it keeps the victims coming. “Well, he has female friends, he can’t be that bad.”
Yeah, he can. He can keep up appearances in front of these women he doesn’t want to fuck, so they provide cover for those women he does want to fuck and will end up assaulting.
So straight up, people. BELIEVE SEXUAL ASSAULT/HARASSMENT VICTIMS. Because they know when they tell you this shit that they are facing an uphill battle that is likely to end up with them ostracized and their abuser on top of the world.
And I don’t care what excuse you have:
“He’s never assaulted me.”
“He’s fun to hang out with.”
“We game at his house…”
Abusers will not stop until they know that they can’t get away with it. Or they have a personal epiphany that “Hey, women ARE people! Mind blown!”
And this is the thing, we raise men in this society to think that way, to think that women secretly want them and they need to keep pushing, that stalking is romantic, that being nice to a woman means they owe them, that the hero should get the girl…
We need to quit glorifying the abnegation of female free will and personhood, and start taking this shit seriously or it’s going to keep happening.
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