It’s not too much to ask men and boys to “look, but don’t touch.” A young woman who wants to be noticed, even desired, without being assaulted isn’t making an unreasonable request. She’s not defying the facts of biology. She’s asking to be watched, appreciated, and left unharmed. Saying that she’s asking to be raped is like saying that a talented actor who portrays an unsympathetic villain particularly well on screen is asking to be attacked by an outraged member of the movie-going public. There’s a difference between a performance and an invitation, and it’s not that hard—really, it’s not—to distinguish the two.
I’m going to go cry in this corner now, thanks.
If it makes you feel any better, eight years ago I had no idea what I was doing with my life. I had just been laid off and I had no job. I had spent four years getting a degree that appeared to be useless for everything except getting me into other schools. I had just moved out of my parents house and to a new town where I had few friends.
I was living in a 500 square foot apartment in this complex, which has an average rating of 1.5 stars on apartmentratings.com.
But the point isn’t that you’re going to get way cooler and have a way better life in eight years (though you probably will.) My point is that I was pretty happy with my life back then. I had a supportive family and a really great girlfriend. There were people who cared about me back in Florida and I knew I could make it back there if I had to.
I was doing new and interesting things and meeting cool people and volunteering at a bunch of non-profits. I was exploring and learning and trying to figure out how to make it all work. It was hard and scary and it still is…because I’m still doing roughly the same things with roughly the same outlook on life.
Mix it up…talk to strangers…learn things…you’ll be fine.
I felt despair. The word ‘despair’ is overused and banalized now, but it’s a serious word, and I’m using it seriously. It’s close to what people call dread or angst, but it’s not these things, quite. It’s more like wanting to die in order to escape the unbearable sadness of knowing I’m small and weak and selfish and going, without doubt, to die. It’s wanting to jump overboard.
“It was cool, clear blue of watered ink, somewhere between night and dawn, and everything was quiet except for Ron and Hermione’s slow, deep breathing. Harry glanced over at the dark shapes they made on the floor beside him. Ron had had a fit of gallantry and insisted Hermione sleep on the cushions from the sofa, so that her silhouette was raised above his. Her arm curved to the floor, her fingers inches from Ron’s. Harry wondered whether they had fallen asleep holding hands. The idea made him feel strangely lonely.” - Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows