All The Times I Let Men Violate Me, Because, Boys Will Be Boys
Men aren’t mind-readers.
I’ve bitten my tongue many times around boys.
Boys who put their hands up my skirt when I’d already politely tugged it away.
Boys who got a little too aggressive during oral sex and made me choke.
Boys who told me I should come and sit next to them in work meetings because I had nice legs.
I’ve let boys do lots of things to me I wasn’t comfortable with.
Because it felt safer than getting up and moving for the door, or telling them they weren’t going to get their way today.
So I gritted my teeth and smiled back at the boy who sat next to me on the train and told me what he’d like to do to my body.
And I didn’t think twice about letting my college boyfriend fuck me after he threatened to leave me if I didn’t have sex with him.
I didn’t even say anything when a boy I was casually seeing entered me anally without asking.
After all, I put myself in those positions. A girl shouldn’t do that unless she’s expecting it…right?
I let myself be alone with boys and trusted them not to push my boundaries.
I dressed in short, tight skirts and low-cut tops.
I should have known better.
I should have understood, as New York Times columnist Bari Weiss explained in his op-ed, Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being A Mind Reader; men aren’t mind-readers.
How are they supposed to know I’m not comfortable unless I clearly and directly ‘call them out on it’, make a scene, even tell them to “Get the hell out!”?
I should have understood, repeatedly pulling someone’s hand out from under my skirt while we’re sitting on the couch together is “just a bad date”. I should have known to expect him to try it on after I invited him to hang out at my place to watch a movie. I know what you’re thinking: I really only have myself to blame.
Because, men aren’t mind-readers.
I should have understood gagging during oral sex isn’t necessarily a signal a girl isn’t enjoying herself. After all, he’s watched porn, and the girls in those clips always seem to really enjoy that. How is he supposed to know I’m not comfortable, simply because tears are rolling down my cheeks and I’m visibly choking?
After all, men aren’t mind-readers.
I should have understood wearing short skirts to work and showing off my legs would attract the attention of male coworkers, who were only commenting to pay me a compliment. I mean, there’s no need to get all feminist and PC, right? There was no harm intended, even if I did spend the rest of the meeting feeling anxious and uncomfortable.
And, besides, men aren’t mind-readers.
We shouldn’t automatically expect a guy to understand repeatedly walking away, pulling away, shaking and crying are indications we’re not comfortable. How are they to know it’s not all part of the game?!
Because, boys have been taught to chase women. It’s not their fault they don’t understand the difference between her arousal and her discomfort; the difference between “That feels good, touch me here” and a body that’s gone cold and turned away from them.
How is he to know her displays of physical unease aren’t simply the frosting on his cake of sexual persistence?
If she truly doesn’t like it, she’ll scream; yell “Stop!”, perhaps slap him in the face indignantly and demand he gets out immediately, like in those old-timey movies. Right?
And if she doesn’t? If she simply turns away, hunches her shoulders, goes quiet or stops smiling or showing any real signs she’s ‘into it’?
Then obviously, obviously he can’t be expected to stop.
She’s painted herself into this corner. She should have been clearer, more vocal, not gone back to his place, or agreed to one sexual act without expecting to do all the others… I mean, she had to be expecting this would happen…right?
At least, that’s what I’ve been taught to believe.
And so I let boys be boys, and do things to me I wasn’t comfortable with, so many times, I’ve lost count now.
Sometimes I vainly expected better.
I expected them to act like men.
Men who ask, “Is everything okay?” when a woman starts to cry or wince during sex.
Men who don’t try a second, third and fourth time to slide their fingers under a skirt after they’ve already been tugged away.
Men who just don’t feel right continuing to do things with a woman who’s suddenly stopped expressing any enjoyment, laughing or smiling. Because if she’s not into it, what’s the point?
But I should have known better.
I should have known boys will be boys.
Perhaps because they themselves are confused about how to act around a woman; conflicted by the sexual emancipation of our generation and the omnipresent intensifying power of feminism. Of women who didn’t know any better then, but do know better now, and are making it heard in unison, by chanting “Me too!” and “Time’s up!”.
Who don’t care about how uneasy voicing their stories of so-called “bad dates”, “bad sex” and “just a compliment” make anyone feel. Who want to be able to engage in casual sex the same way men do, without being branded “sluts” or “whores”, but still expect a man to show them the basic respect of stopping if they’re expressing discomfort at any time. Who don’t view an invitation back to someone’s place as guaranteed sex.
Because they want the current to change.
For there to be a time when the definition of a “bad date” doesn’t include returning home in a cab, crying and feeling violated.
When the definition of “bad sex” doesn’t include being in physical pain.
And when someone giving “a compliment” doesn’t involve unsolicited creepy comments on their bodies.
In the meantime, it’s folly to expect anything else than what we’re ‘asking for’. To expect the next boy we see not to repeatedly try to turn a situation sexual when we’ve pushed his wandering hands away, smiled and moved to the other end of the couch; and especially not if we’ve already let him undress us.
After all, if I’m back at his house, I should have expected it. I should have known better.
The only thing he’s guilty of, is not being a mind-reader… Right?
Image via shutterstock.com.
Comment: Have you ever had an experience where a man made you feel physically uncomfortable, but you didn’t speak up?