First and foremost, salute to those brave women who are coming out and making the disgusting behavior by self-entitled men public. Bravo to the entire “MeToo” movement.
Now, with all of these sexual assault stories coming out, a sad realization has been festering in my mind lately; Most men do not know what sexual assault is.
The most recent catalyst to my realization is the story of actor, Aziz Ansari. His offense is less aggressive in nature compared to those of others we have recently read, but still disturbing. In short, he continued to coerce this woman to perform sexual acts on him even after she said she was uncomfortable. Despite Aziz’s clear lack of respect and restraint, I found the worst part of this story was in the comment sections. An overwhelming amount of boys/men left comments similar to, “If continuing to try and kiss a girl and trying to guide her hand places after she initially shuts you down is sexual assault then that means I have done it plenty of times.” Yes, yes you have.
The more comments I read, the more I realized the problem. Men do not understand sexual assault. Unless you have consent to put your hands on a woman, you should not put your hands on a woman. Simple right? Turns out, apparently not.
I hate that just because a woman wasn’t brutally raped, their stories are somehow invalid. Men need to listen to these stories and learn from them. Any sexual advance that makes a woman uncomfortable should be stopped immediately. The more comments I read, the more I found out how many men disagree with that statement. Somehow, throughout the years, the advice given to boys is that if she shoots you down, try again. How fucked up is that advice? These boys are growing up thinking they are entitled to a woman’s affection simply because he wants it.
Once again, I am so proud of the brave men and women who are speaking up and having this dialogue. I just hope the boys/men in the comment sections listen to the conversation.