Twitter has a daily dosage of women and men who are speaking – from decades ago to last week –about being sexually assaulted.
More often than not, they are speaking in great, precise detail and naming their attackers.
It's like, as one Twitter user said, that Hugh Hefner's creepy ‘pervdom’ was serving as a force field of protection and now that he's died, everything vile has come out to play in the sunlight outside of the Playboy Mansion.
It's a problematic society, as women have been saying for quite a while. But no one ever really believes you unless there are at least 30 women backing your story. With one or two victims, you're basically on your own.
I mean, how long did it take the Bill Cosby accusers’ brigade to be taken seriously? Every time someone says ‘men are trash’, no one ever really questions it – like with Harvey Weinstein, and George Takei (did you hear that interview?), and Kevin Spacey.
Women just end up avoiding the men in power who harass them, bear it for years until they can just leave, and try their best to warn their friends about these men.
Why? Because of the reactions. People roll their eyes, say ‘Women are being dramatic’, or ‘It was just a little friendly grab, why are you making such a big deal about it,’ and move on – which is exactly how people have been acting towards sexual assault for decades.
BARGAINING FOR YOUR HUMANITY
Yet, there's a reason why women keep saying ‘men are trash’, and there's a reason people have been acting like it is nothing. We say it because we're too annoyed at this point to bother explaining themselves, because it just feels like we're begging to prove that we're human. 'Please, stop hurting us! You're killing us! Spare a thought!'
When someone oppresses you for long enough, you lose the patience to bother explaining in a logical and thoughtful manner how you feel – for the most part.
You lose the patience to educate and explain that yes, more often than not, power dynamics that are again, more often than not, gendered, lead to rampant harassment and these allegations just prove it.
You tire of asking people not to brush aside all these women 'suddenly' coming out of the woodwork. You are exhausted from bargaining for your humanity with terrorists who are not at all interested in giving it to you. And you are exhausted from people saying 'Kwani everything nowadays is assault?'
Women are not stupid. We can tell the difference between flirtation you can fend off and the type of person who's bordering on the edge of harm. It isn't the same thing.
If you have gotten to this part of the article and are overwhelmed by the swirl of rumours about public personas whom you admired from afar, and your natural instinct is to righteously defend these people who you do or don't know, I would ask you to consider this.
Consider that women are always reluctant to come forward with their accusations because of the reactions most people have towards them. Consider that people deal with sexual assault on different timelines, and are allowed to do so, as they please, because obviously, there is no one way, one trick or one formula to recover from violation.
Consider that the number of people who actually lie about sexual assault in comparison to the number who are telling the truth is not at all a significant number, especially when you consider the ones not speaking out.
Kindly consider that these women have nothing to gain after the infamy and victimisation. The over-rated 15 minutes of fame becomes not worth it, and they know this.
Kindly consider what comments on social media do to a person who has been a victim, and think about how they view you after you say 'she asked for it', or 'how can someone want something so ugly', and 'I'm sure he didn't know what he was doing, that guy is so nice'.
Know that they will never be able to trust you with their safety again.
Finally, consider that when women say men are trash, they know perfectly well that they don't mean all men. They mean, a lot of men. Just enough men are trash.
Just enough men are problematic towards women, and act on it. Just enough men, even if they aren't the direct perpetrators of the assault and violence, don't stop it.
Just enough men have that one trash friend who they never stop or talk directly to about his sexist and misogynistic mannerisms towards women, even when they know what he's done or what he's about to do. Consider that perhaps the reason you are so irked by this statement is that you know it to be applies to you.