Subtle and Not So Subtle Ways Men Exert Sexual Power Over a Woman
This is one of those things I've always had a hard time putting words to. But it's astonishing how so many men are so skilled at putting women into impossible situations in which we have no power and no way out. Really, I guess it's not that difficult, because our society gives men a butt load of easy outs in these situations. The narrative is pretty much the same every time. Men can put us in these situations and no matter what we do or say, we end up being the bad ones.
The author, Sarah Ratliff, starts by describing an incredibly common type of situation. An old friend who is married with kids sends her a gross, sexual message. Being married herself, she is not into it. What does one do in a situation like that? Any woman can tell you that it doesn't matter. There is no way to get out of that with your dignity intact without being called a bitch.
Politely tell the guy you're not interested? Oh, it was just a joke. Now you're humorless and an embarrassment.
Tell the guy you don't appreciate sexual jokes from a married guy when you're also married? Now you're a humorless bitch who gets offended over nothing.
Ignore it? You're a bitch, and leaving the door open for further and escalating harassment.
Try to gently change the subject? Now you're leading him on and leaving the door open for more harassment.
Block him? Humorless bitch who punished him over nothing.
Hell, you could flirt back and eventually sleep with the guy, doing everything he wants, and you still end up taking all the blame for the infidelity and called a whore.
There is no out for us. The second a dude decides to send a message like that or make an offhand comment to us in person, we're fucked. And they know it. And we know it. That's why we get so stressed out and pissed about these situations, because there is no way out that doesn't end in us being called a bitch. Men know they can throw us into these powerless situations at any time, and no matter how we respond, they can duck any consequences by calling it a joke and making us the villain. And that's why they do it. To have power over us. In this way, women are constantly reminded of our disempowered place in this society, where men are never responsible for their actions and women are responsible for everyone's actions.
And that is why I say any man who does this is absolute fucking scum and deserves nothing less than a bag of flaming shit on his doorstep, because fuck it, it's not going to end well for us anyway.
Any male "friend" who does this to me can expect to get his house egged. At least. After I send a screenshot of the conversation to his wife and his mother.