Sunday, August 11, 2013

I'm Not Fond of Strangers Grabbing Me

I might or might not have been using my empty water bottle as a drum as I listened to Uganda drum rhythms when he lunged for me.

An ignorant smirk passed over his face as he crossed into my half of the sidewalk, reaching to grab my side.

I was not, not ok with that.
I do NOT like being grabbed.

I think he expected me to keep walking. He hadn't actually succeeded (I'm proud of my reflexes). I've seen Ukrainain and Slovakian women passively let strange men fondle, grab, and touch them. I was not going to be passive.

This boy was young - probably around 18. He was with a friend and likely trying to do something for their own amusement - at my expense. He probably thought it was harmless.

But, in my books, it's not.
Touch without consent is not ok.
Grabbing strangers, definitely not.

I wanted him to know then and there that it did bother me.

I had dodged him in time and they walked on and I quickly yelled, "NO!"

They whirled around - the laugh still in their eyes.
Already their minds started calculating what was happening.

"That is NOT ok."

They continued to give that mocking laugh that happens when you're upset and the other person could care less.

I continued to shout and removed my sunglasses, glaring (ever seen a Margaret-glare?). I know they couldn't understand me...

And after a few sentences, something in his eyes changed. The smile faded. Something more subdued took over. He stumbled over his English as he tried to say something. He got the message.

Part of his thoughts might have been, "Oh snap! Grabbed at an English speaker."
But I was hoping, hoping that he would think twice before grabbing at girls again.

He probably thought I was his age - I look it.
He probably was not expecting someone to express that what he was doing was wrong.

I hope, I hope he learned something. I fear a human being who, at a young age, feels like he can dehumanize another human by reaching out to grab them. I fear that because I fear what it will become in the future. If he can do that in the middle of a sunny Sunday afternoon, what will he do in a few years if he met me on the streets at night?

Is this happening in the States to lots of folks and I've just missed it?

In Ukraine, strangers have followed me (for over 40 minutes!) as I've wandered the streets alone, kissed me without my consent (I shoved him with a big, "NO!"), and now grabbed at me - all in less than 3 months. I've seen gross old dude sit behind ladies who are young enough to be their daughters and rub their thighs (and, here's the thing - she didn't even do anything about it - she told us if she got angry, that would be worse than him rubbing -- please, get angry!). I saw a man slip behind another young women and grab her breasts - from the look on her face, she was not pleased at all.

Do men have to deal with this? Guys, when you walk down a street on a sunny afternoon, does it ever pass your mind that someone might try and grab you?

I'm frustrated.
And I'll keep yelling, "No!" each time it happens.

Saying "No" actually took practice. We've been trained to "take it."

Thank you to the feminists in my life who have taught me that touch without consent is not ok. Honestly, you guys are the only ones who have talked to me about this. You've taught me it's ok - not because it makes me uncomfortable - it's just not acceptable. Ever. And that's my standard. And anyone who slips below that is going to get yelled at because, when you're small like me, sometimes that's all you've got.

I think I want to take some self defense classes...

10 comments:

  1. I don't think it is just feminists that say NO!

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    1. And keep on saying No!

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    2. True. But only feminists have talked to me about the importance of it. They're the ones that have nailed it into my brain, "No one should ever touch you without your consent."

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  2. I wish you would not be alone when there is this kind of behavior, common and roaming about where you are. This is the "harmless" part of that behavior. If they do this in daylight, they are bold enough to do something worse if it's dark or more remote. You are correct in your behavior, but you don't know why the women are scared to speak up. They may have reasons. Be careful.

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    1. I'm being safe when it gets dark. Usually I'm on populated streets during the day. At night, I take a taxi. I appreciate your concern. I'll do my best to make wise decisions.

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  3. mm... the encountering of the few failed linguists; misogyny is language known by many, but spoken by (thankfully) few. don't be fooled into believing they speak for all (men).

    in any case, as always, don't allow the deviants (those who exist in the top or bottom 2% of all encounters) to sculpt your view of the populous, but certainly be prepared for them. "no" is a good start, and a woman's-self-defense class will teach you to better non-verbally articulate that; ultimately nature teaches us that prey should not have a bark or bite, and if it does, it may not be prey. anyway, if ever you find yourself in a fight-or-flight situation; minor dominance may save you many irritations, major dominance may predicate reciprocal violence, but passivity may promote existing behaviors/abuse.

    ~float like a butterfly, sting with a machette~

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  4. That's part of the culture there... it's 100 times worse in some places, mainly in Muslim countries. And guess what? When those Muslims flood into our countries the rape stats go through the roof. And why? Well, also this is in large part due to feminism. What? How?

    Feminism destroys the male ethos. In the West, part of the traditional male ethos is chivalry and the desire to protect one's own women from harm. This is different in Slavic lands, because both chivalry and feminism are more or less unknown there compared to Germany and westward. Feminism was meant to destroy more than the male ethos though... it was meant to destroy all culture in the West.

    Anyhow, when women are indoctrinated feminists they just tell men to "get lost, we don't need you," often in subtle ways you wouldn't immediately think about. When large numbers of women begin to get into government and make policy, they do not have that male ethos of protection as part of their makeup, because being a group and not just one Maggie Thatcher, they do not conform and adopt that ethos, but go with their own female ethos instead. The male ethos, to put it succinctly, is to conquer, while the female ethos is to BE conquered. The men will adopt this ethos as well, since their instinct of chivalry has been corrupted against them (chivalry is spinelessness in the mind of a feminist,) and the whole government becomes a timid, spineless, PC bowl of jelly that lets millions of Muslims come into their countries to, yes, gang rape women. Thank you, feminism, and cultural marxism in general.

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    1. Chuck... wow. In a very bizarre, roundabout way, I (almost) feel like I know what you are "trying" to say... but wow, you communicated it terribly, and quite offensively, for various reasons, on various levels:

      1) "That's part of the culture" is descriptive (i.e. a reason), but it is no excuse. If a culture is messed up in this way, one should not just accept that as being "the way things are", but rather, it is the culture (that aspect of it, at least) that needs to change. To change a whole culture is no small task, but it can start at the personal level of communicating in no uncertain terms what is or is not appropriate.

      2) The leap to how Muslim immigration will lead to a rise of rape statistics, and how this is the fault of feminism, is unfounded. The country with the highest rapes per capita is South Africa, which has only a 1-3% Muslim population, as opposed to roughly 80% Christian, and has yet to be influenced much by modern feminism. The point is not that Christians are the problem, but that is a mistake to link religion to rape. Likewise, while it is nearsighted to believe the fantasy that feminism is a purely righteous ideology that will have no adverse sociological ramifications on a culture, countries that do not abundantly educate on matters of human dignity and (at least try to) enforce safety measures against such terrible acts as rape, will always have them (in abundance). Such is, in fact more often the case: that people (esp. women) suffer under countries with poor government.

      3) "Feminism destroys the male ethos". This, actually, I agree with... to an extent. But what first must be recognized is that there are various forms of feminism, from Liberal to Radical to Cultural to Marxist and Socialist as you say, (and others still)... and while some are more abrasive "against" men, others are more concerned with social justice and equity (e.g. being able to live in peace and not get raped or fondled as they walk down the street). Thus, how I would word your observation differently is that "Militant feminism challenges the male ethos" (I too will use ethos, for lack of a better word)... "and that in turn spurns gender-hostility"... which leads to men who either feel emasculated, or worse, "rise up to the challenge" (as men are wont to do), and try to "win" (or forcibly "dominate") against their challengers (which, such women have unwittingly become)... all of which, frankly, leads to the very opposite of the "equality" that virtually all women (including other feminists) actually want. In this sense, feminism (the insistent, independent, competitive, man-hating versions of it, at least), though it may lead to positive changes here or there, is (psychologically, sociologically, and thus, in terms of the bigger picture) very counterproductive. I don't think a lot of radical feminists realize this, because it takes an open dialogue with (non-feminist) men, whose opinions they more often avoid listening to. But whether through retaliated aggression or passive confession, what they should be (but are not) hearing from men is that same plea: "you are hurting us".

      ...

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    2. I could comment more, but I have other things to do today.

      In closing, my advice to you Chuck, but also to everyone, would be to be careful with how you connect the dots. (Especially along the lines of religion, ideology, and human evil, as you have allotted them). There are more variables feeding into the equation than you think, and the biggest ones are not necessarily the ones that you yourself take the biggest issue with.

      But also yes, I will agree with you that there are (and are going to be) negative sociological ramifications to the spreading of any ideology. This is true. Feminism is no exception, and especially in the cases of the more radical types, it is aggravating a generation of men whose frustration will have psychological effects that can lead to bitterness, resentment, rudeness/disrespect, passive aggressiveness, or even outright aggressiveness, which in some cases may only be bound to the limits of that which they can get away with doing by law. Sometimes not even that.

      That being the case, we need laws (both in terms of good government, but also in terms of good moral laws as taught by parents, teachers, preachers and other cultural leaders) that make every effort to ensure that women (and all people) are protected against abuse.

      And yes, let's definitely make every effort to bring chivalry back into our schools/homes/culture. Not because the women are frail and need a man to protect them, but because the men need to learn to be men again (i.e. noble, caring protectors, who value the women in their world... not because the women deserve it, but because the men have themselves chosen to be gentlemen).

      More than these, we need people to stop demanding "of" other people, and start loving them. Love always puts "the other" into the right perspective, and it transforms behaviour automatically because it transforms the heart of the person. People need transformed hearts. Feminists need transformed hearts. Grabby men need transformed hearts. I need a transformed heart.

      Therefore, we all need Jesus... because only God Himself can change hearts.

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    3. Well, it certainly was not meant to be offensive. I think you know that, but I understand that the event might be a bit close to talk about bigger social issues that might be causing the problem without bringing some emotions into turmoil, so I'm sorry if this caused you any hurt.

      I did not attempt to excuse the behavior of the Ukrainians here, only to warn you that it could be worse in other areas of the world, and that one of those places could be in Muslim countries. In this case it is about Sharia Law, which you need to read up on. Just recently, a Norwegian woman was raped in Dubai and then, outrageously, when she reported it to authorities, she was jailed for illicit sex. Here's the story:

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/dubai-rape-case-norwegian-woman-receives-pardon-after-being-jailed-8726071.html

      Now you see what I meant by 100 times worse than getting your butt pinched. These societies are tremendously anti-female and I hope you will avoid them. It's not about blaming the religion as you say (though Islam is the basis for Sharia Law.)

      South Africa, and Africa in general, is another place I hope you will avoid. It's about culture, again, and there are other reasons rape is so high there. I won't go into all of them, but to give you an idea, in South Africa, many of the blacks who believe in witch doctors think that raping a virgin will cure AIDS. A very good reason to avoid the place like the plague. So, I'm not linking religions to rape as you say, but warning you that alien cultures have alien concepts, and that perhaps, though it seems difficult now, you should count your blessings that you were shown in a less damaging way that different cultures treat women quite differently. It was lucky only in that you experienced this with a mildly different culture and in a less traumatic way than you might have in Africa or Arabia, for example. I hope, for your sake, that you will take to heart that there are such real dangers in the wide world and will be extra careful and avoid such places when traveling alone.

      About feminism... well, I'll avoid that topic for today, since you are wise enough to see that it's not all cherries and flowers for women either. Be careful about how you change society though... the problem with grabby men in Slavic countries might only need a good dose of training in chivalrous good manners to be solved. That would be true progress there.

      Maybe you understand that my main motive in writing what I wrote is that I've had some worry about you running around the world by yourself all along (maybe those protective male instincts kicking in) and I hope you will not be driven into the trap of thinking the lefty "social justice" crowd may have the answers to addressing the problem you experienced. Often, and often unwittingly though with good intentions, they just cause more problems.

      Anyhow, be as safe as you can make yourself, and I'll say a prayer and ask God to watch over you.

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Your words make me grin.

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