To every one of you asking “Why don’t women report their assaults?”, I will tell you.
You. You are the reason they don’t report.
Because you are the same people who declare that Trump bragging about grabbing women by the pussy is “locker room talk.” You are the same people who voted for him to lead our country, as if sexual assault is a tiny transgression, a thing to joke about, like stealing candy from a store when you’re eight.
You’re the same people who say “boys will be boys.”
You think all men do this? Wtf.
I don’t know what kind of shitbags you hang out with (although I have a few ideas), but men I know have never assaulted a woman, even if he had the opportunity. Even if he was drunk. Even if he was young and drunk. Even if she was hot, and they were both young and drunk.
I have been straight wasted in a room full of men, all of us half-dressed, all of us in college, and none of us were touched against our will. I have “led men on” and changed my mind and dude says “okay” and we have a beer and hang out and I go home.
I have been in “dangerous” situations and walked the fuck away because ONLY BAD MEN RAPE. ONLY BAD MEN ASSAULT.
Assault is not a “normal part of male development.” It is a development unique to sick, violent, deplorable human beings.
Is that the missing piece for you misogynist assholes? Do we need to say “Rape is done by bad guys, always?” Like never ever is a good guy assaulting. Never ever is a good guy attempting assault.
We don’t report it because the first question many of you ask when you hear of a woman raped while jogging is: “Why was she jogging alone?”
We don’t report it because when you hear of a high school girl gang raped in a bedroom at a party, the first question you ask is: “Was she drunk?”
We don’t report it because when you hear of a woman targeted at a night club, or walking home after a night out, you ask: “What was she wearing?”
We don’t report it because no matter what we do, we can be blamed. We led him on. We were wearing the wrong thing. We were drinking. We were alone. We dated bad men. We conversed with bad men. We were in the vicinity of bad men. We were at a bar. We were at a party. We kissed him. We didn’t kiss him. We were wearing a skirt. We were wearing a tight shirt. We were too pretty. We were sluts.
And even when we do report it, you say we’re reporting it to “ruin careers,” to get back at him, to get money or fame. Even when we do report it, our attacker can get a mere slap on the wrist, but we will forever be the woman who accused. The woman whose sexual history was put on display. The woman whose attack was detailed on a stand to determine if it was big rape or little rape. Everyday assault or casual assault.
The kind of assault that gets you jail, or the kind that gets you into the White House?
We report it and the man can be sentenced to nothing. We report it and you cry about his swimming career. We report it and you say “losing his job is a life sentence.” We report it and you say this is his “one pass.”
Is that it? Are men allowed a courtesy assault? A courtesy rape? A get-out-of-rape free card? Just once! You get one free rape, guys. But after that, unacceptable! (Unless you’re a GOP senatorial candidate and raped underage girls, in which case, go team.)
This is why we don’t need you. Because you can’t even wrap your heads around the fact that all assault is bad. Wrong. Violent. Violating. An indicator of a morally bankrupt human being.
This is why you’re dead to us. This is why you’re dead to all of us fighting for our lives and our daughter’s lives, while you scream at us to settle down and take it. We won’t. You’re done. The levee has broken and women are furious.
You can try, and you will win a lot of battles, but you will not get out of this undisturbed, un-fucked-with, unscathed. We will tear your shit down with everything we’ve got, because this isn’t about us anymore. We already lived your hellish reality.
This is about our daughters.
Have you ever seen a mother protecting her children? Have you?
She’s fucking crazy. She’s full beast mode. We may look like normal people, but fuck with our kids. Fuck with our babies. Tell our daughters to be quiet and take it. Tell our daughters nobody believes them. Tell our daughters a boy has a right to “just be a boy.”
Just say it. And watch.
Ah, wait. You’re saying it now. Are you watching?
You see, we know what you’re about. We used to be like you. We believed it, too. That we have no power. That it’s “the way it is.”
We are the girls who stayed silent when they snapped our bras. We are the girls who said nothing when our cousins, uncles, and stepfathers came into our rooms at night. We are the girls who bowed our heads on Sundays though we all knew what the church leaders did. We are the girls who silently avoided the boss who cornered us. We are the girls who shook it off after the sex we didn’t really want, the submission because we thought we had no choice.
We are the girls who lived it, year after year, humiliation after humiliation, shame after shame, and now we are the women fighting for our daughters, and you are small, hypocritical, and on the wrong side of humanity.
Get the fuck out of the way. We’re coming for you the way you came for us, with no regard for what you think you deserve, but unlike you, we’re on the side of safety, of bringing dark to light, of freedom and fairness, and we’ve got nothing left to lose.
We have only the faces of our daughters looking up at us, generations held in their eyes, and the fiery knowing that this fight is ours.
You. You are the reason they don’t report.
And we are the reason they will.
Are you in Oakland? I will be this Thursday.
Join Nancy Davis Kho, of Midlife Mixtape, and me for a conversation on womanhood, motherhood, and the bullshit therein.
Oh, and we’ll be discussing my book, and the bullshit therein. Wait.
Thursday, September 27, 2019, 7pm