This post will likely contain some triggery shit. You have been warned.

Not all men are dicks. All women have been threatened by those with dicks, however.

Not all men rape. All women live in the fear of being raped.

Not all men are domestically violent. All women are aware that statistically women will have violence done to them in their home.

All women. Everywhere. Live in the shadow of violence done to them by men. No, not all men. But even one can cut a swath through the female population. More than one? Shit, the numbers of women they will touch with violence exponentially increases. Every. Fucking. Woman.  Yes, all women.

My first touch that was inappropriate happened when I was 11 or 12. A much older man laid his body on top of mine while I slept. I woke up to being suffocated by a large male body. He was the husband of one of my mom’s friend. But that isn’t my first experience with having my body, me sexualized. That happened when I was about 8. I was told that his dick would go so far up into me that it would take up the space of most of my torso. And I’m writing this in a much nicer way than it was told to me. Seriously. The words he said shocked me. So much so that I’ve NEVER forgotten it.

An 8 year old girl should never be sexualized. I was. And I know I’m not alone.

Another occurrence that stuck in my mind occurred when I spent a summer in Paris. I was followed for several blocks by a man. I couldn’t go home because I didn’t want to lead him to where I was living. Me, alone in a foreign country, scared shitless. So I kept walking and SCREAMING at the top of my lungs hoping that my noise, my screams would protect me. Even then, I KNEW it wouldn’t be enough. So I stayed in crowded areas until about 45 minutes later, he stopped following me. He stopped. No one stopped him. No one came to my aid. No one.

Every time a women goes out with a man, she takes her life into her hands. Every. Single. Time.

Crazy doesn’t wear itself on the outside. Violent men don’t show their violent faces until they do. And it could be on the first date, the second anniversary, or a post-divorce party. Women don’t know they are going to be the target until they are. Sure, there are signs SOME men put out. We avoided those guys like the plague. It’s the ones that pass as normal. That pass as “normal.”

So, dudes, I get that you don’t want to be painted with a brush of violence that seems to be so pervasive amongst your gender. But when you defend YOURSELF with #notallmen, instead of acknowledging #yesallwomen, in essence you are doing some violence by dismissing, deflecting and defending men and marginalizing women.

So, shut the fuck up. And listen.

No, not all men. But one is too many. Because yes, ALL WOMEN.

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2 Responses to #YesAllWomen

  1. Yes, you hit hot buttons. Buttons that should be hit with a jack hammer. Everything you say is absolutely true. I was in your shoes, only my treatment right about your age, and for years after, was so. much. worse. I never recovered. How many other women out there never recover?

    Americans are so incensed (the ones that even care – I am appalled at how many don’t) that Saudi and other middle eastern women are brutalized and murdered by their families and others, and yet it happens here. Every Single Minute a woman is mistreated, beaten, terrorized or raped. And until men start watching out for the activities of the men around them, they will all be painted with the same filthy brush.

    How many times has a man laughed in a bar, or at a party, or between friends, about the woman he “screwed” with no consideration of what that makes him? How many times has a male acquaintance sat around with his buddies and bragged about his “conquests?” Men will talk about what good guys they are – but just acting in this manner is demeaning, and encourages the next bad thing, and the next.

    Thank you for an insightful article!

    • D.R. Slaten says:

      You are so welcome. And correct.

      I could have listed so much more in this article, but it would have taken pages and pages. I know I’m not alone. I can’t think of one woman I know who doesn’t have a story of being in fear at some point in her life just because of her female-ness.