This is just for the men

This is wildly off-topic for this blog. But in a way it isn’t cos I do have C-PTSD cos of SOME men. But honestly I’m so fucking exhausted and I wanna talk to you.

I started a blog in 2015, so, almost exactly 6 years ago. It was sparked because I was raped by two colleagues in the UK in 2013 and saw no real justice for it. After the guys were fired, I was essentially just told to shut up and move on by my bosses and transferred bars/cities. I tried to and lived for 2 years in what I now know was survival mode until I got home to NZ and my whole body and mind was suddenly encased in the 2-year-old trauma. Cos apparently it never left, I had just repressed it super well most of the time.

The bubbling-over emotions that came, meant not being able to sleep without drinking and numbing my body and mind, just wanting to cry at all times, the… just… fully overwhelming sickening feelings. And that was the reason I had to write about it and get it the fuck out of my body.

This was at the same time that the Roastbusters were all over the headlines (google it if you don’t know it), and I also felt I had to talk about my experience because it felt so similar to those underage teenage girls’ experiences. People everywhere had been suggesting those girls somehow had it coming, like they had with me in Blackpool. It was horrific.

And this was all before #MeToo as well. I don’t wanna brag, but I’ve been traumatising myself in public by relaying my experiences and being questioned and undermined about it before it was cool.

Then #MeToo happened in 2017 and that was super fun for my PTSD. I had many panic attacks during that time, cos it is awful reliving your worst experiences over and over.

And now, AGAIN, in 2021, we’re in the middle of a global conversation about gender-based violence against women. Rape and murder, and of course harassment, assault, intimate partner violence etc. So I’m fucking triggered again and while I used to feel indignant, or tired, or upset. But this time, I’m exhausted and furious.

Why are women still having these conversations while the majority of men, the people with the actual power to do something, are staying very, very, very, suspiciously quiet?

Tell me why you’re not saying anything in public?

Are you not upset? Are you not concerned? Do you not want to make a change? Do you not care about women? Are you happy that we’re afraid for our lives and bodies every day? Are you just… cool with that?

I’m very angry, so it’ll be hard to write this in a way that is nice enough to make you want to read to the end, but I’ll try.

Remember that I’m personally invested in this because I’ve been raped by multiple men, emotionally and physically abused by a boyfriend, and sexually assaulted by just… so, so many men, harassed by even more, and even low-level stalked and shit. So keep that in mind if you’re like, why is she being mean to me? I’m not being nearly as cruel as men have been to me. I’m just angry and asking for understanding and help from men.

I don’t know what the concept is called, but there is this idea that when you’re in the “majority”, it’s harder to break from societal constraints, than if you’re being oppressed by them.

An example of this is society’s deep importance of the Christian hetero idea of relationships and marriage. It’s between a man and a woman, the father hands the daughter over, she takes the husband’s last name. They have missionary sex once a week, push out 2.5 babies and live in a nice house happily ever after.

But gay people were never allowed to marry OR have sex – it was illegal. However, of course, they still did because…. of course they still had sex and relationships. Thing is, they weren’t restricted by society’s strict idea of hetero sex, relationships or marriage. They were able to redefine it for themselves cos no matter what they did, it was all “wrong” so therefore nothing is really wrong. You can do anything. So they did. Just more secretly so as not to be outcast or jailed.

And you see the impact of this today, hetero relationships are mostly pretty by the book, and LGBTQIA+ relationships tend to go off-book much more than the straights. A lot more polyamory, openness in sex and kink, etc etc.

However, we’re starting to see how restrictive and old-fashioned our marriage expectations are now and people (straight people) are finally starting to pull away from it, change it to fit them, amend their view as time changes perspectives.

This can be applied to basically anything that can be considered a societal or gender norm. Often it’s the “majority” keeping the “minority” in check, trying to force them within their idea of what’s the norm, BUT they also do it to the “majority” too. They keep each other in check, and that’s what’s so brilliant about the way society is set up – it’s self-regulating.

I think this is why street fights between women are so vicious, and why people with haircuts/colours that don’t conform to their gender norm tend to dress differently. Come talk to me about these cos I’m so invested in this theory.

So why do I say all of this in relation to rape, you may ask?

Let’s be real, we all know there’s a bro code. I assume it’s just within you all and not written down somewhere, but I’m not a bro, so who knows.

I also know that one of the most important rules of the bro code is loyalty. To always have your boy’s back. No matter what. To the bitter end. Bros before hoes. Saturdays for the boys. Don’t dog the boys.

It’s important because if you have someone’s back, no matter what they do, you earn them having your back, no matter what you do. Meaning you could be an absolute piece of shit, and your mate HAS to have your back, cos you’d let him be an absolute piece of shit. In case one day you were and you needed to have someone on your side.

I know it, I’ve seen it, I’ve been told it.

Loyalty is an important value, I think it’s normal and healthy. But that’s not the loyalty I’m referring to. I’m talking about the toxic kind. The kind that has no limits whatsoever. That holds no one to account when they deserve it.

Toxic loyalty is an extremely effective way of upholding power. The patriarchy relies on it. The boy’s club is nothing without unwavering loyalty as its central value.

Women don’t have this. We were never allowed to have girl’s clubs. We were reliant on men for housing and money. It’s not easy to get out and about and bond this way when you’re home-bound and on an allowance from your husband .

We don’t have anything like “don’t dog the girls”, although we have co-opted “hoes before bros” for funsies.

We’ve always been pitted against each other. We were each other’s competition. Expected each other to be catty, dramatic and over-emotional. You don’t have ride-or-die loyalty with the competition. That would never work.

And while nowadays, we’re overcoming seeing each other as competition and all those awful, overblown stereotypes, it’s pretty hard to get to the level of undying loyalty that so many men have with each other. The loyalty that saw men out with colleagues, openly with mistresses while their wive’s worked at home.

It’s every joke like this.

Friendship between women:

A woman didn’t come home one night. The next day she told her husband she had slept over at a friend’s house. The man called his wife’s 10 best friends. None of them knew about it.

Friendship between men:

A man didn’t come home one night. The next day he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend’s house. The woman called her husband’s 10 best friends. Eight of them confirmed that he had slept over, and two claimed that he was still there.

I know women are the most likely to call me out when I step out of line. As they should. Cos that’s what I need to grow as an individual. I trust my female friends for that exact reason.

Women are more likely to call men out as well, cos they’re less concerned about the fall-out from men. Men never feel like they owe us that level of loyalty over their boys, so there’s a lot less to lose from the fall-out with men. We don’t breach their loyalty by telling them they fucked up. We might just upset them a bit.

But guys calling each other out? Telling each other when they fucked up and why it’s wrong? Like… barely heard of that at all to be honest.

It’s hard. You’re the powerful group, and that’s the rule of the group. It’s the Christian marriage owning the wife. It’s expected and it’s hard to break from the norms when you kind of feel like you don’t need to. It’s easier to just do the thing than push out of the norm and be seen as not a part of that group.

It’s easier for women to hold people to account. I’ll give you that. We were never invited to the boy’s club. We were never included in the bro code. So it means less to me to not be endlessly loyal to some dickhead that I know.

But we are still being abused in front of your eyes, so it’s time to try.

I know a guy whose flatmate told him he sees women as literally nothing more than masturbatory aids for him to fuck and kick out of his house. Which he did a lot. He said he playfully slaps women in the face on the first date to see if they react, and if they don’t, he knows they don’t have boundaries and he’ll pursue them further. Clearly abusive, dehumanising tendencies.

My friend didn’t like this guy or see him as a friend, he complained to me for months about this guy’s mentality, but he still didn’t call him out for a single thing. Not one. And instead, let that man date a female friend of his. Like, explain that to me?! And this friend of mine is what I would consider an extremely good guy.

He just happens to be fucking weak and pathetic like that, like most men I know, and unable to stand up and say something when he sees something.

(Oop and the anger overflows)

I believe that men are deeply afraid of other men thinking they’re not loyal. Cos that’s the strongest bond between men.

I also feel like that’s why so much is blamed on women, cos it’s much easier on your feelings to believe that some bitch hurt your feelings, than your bro broke your loyalty.

Like, a guy is seeing a woman and his friend sleeps with that woman. Well, then the woman is a slut right? It’s much less hurtful to feel like a slut fucked your mate, than to face facts that your mate broke your loyalty and slept with someone you liked.

Men will even stand up for men they don’t know, in an incident that they weren’t at, being relayed by a female friend.

I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve told about my UK rape that have interrogated me cos they think the guys could have been innocent and I’m exaggerating… Me, the woman they know, being vulnerable to them about some of my deepest trauma, about some extremely unlikeable men in Blackpool that they’d hate if they met. They’ll stand up for them before I even finish my story.

This is why I can’t tell men my rape story unless I trust them deeply deeply deeply. And I’d tell any woman off the street if she asked cos they don’t do that shit to me.

Cos men will be loyal to fuckwits they don’t know. Cos why? For what?

Have you thought about this? Do you interrogate why you can’t stand up and call your mates out? Or other men? Why you’ll be loyal to a man you don’t know over a woman you do?

Do you see women call men out, and get harassed? Why do you not step in when you agree with the woman?

You don’t even have to do much! We’re asking for the bare minimum at this point.

You’re bigger than us, stronger than us, and you’ll let us go to battle alone? Doesn’t sound like good guy behaviour to me.

In fact, I find it very pathetic and embarrassing for you.

Cos let’s be serious, I don’t call out every single thing I’ve heard in my life, and not all women do either. I like having friends that don’t think I’m interminable. But I do it when I can and when it’s important. Honestly, just trying is all I’m talking about.

A well-placed, “bro… seriously?” would go a long way in some chats that get a little icky.

I used to have respect for men. I really did.

But the past 6 years, since I started my first blog, and the ways I was talked to by men at that time and since.

The amounts of times I’ve stood up, alone, and said something that YOU AGREE WITH, and had no back up, has really made me lose so much respect.

The quiet sideline conversations that you’ve had alone with me telling me you agree with me and that I’ve taught you so much mean FUCKING NOTHING in the real world.

It doesn’t stop another woman getting raped. It doesn’t stop men gaslighting and abusing their partners. It doesn’t stop your mate taking a stumbling, black out drunk girl home.

Your silence when you’re with the boys on a Saturday is complicit. The misogynistic Facebook groups you join. The group chats with just the boys with the shitty jokes. Any fucker who shares private photos and videos of women with you.

You are complicit to all the abuse that those guys put out in the world.

Let me say that again. When those men abuse women, it is partially your fault. I need you to know that.

To just start to end this nightmare for us women and girls, I need to know you’re strong enough, when it’s important, to dog the boys. When it’s someone else’s life and livelihood at stake, over some douchebag that you’ve known since high school that you don’t even like that much. It should be even easier with a good friend – talking man to man.

It’s not so bad, I do it and I’m smaller than you. I’m sure you, a big strong man, can be big and strong enough to say a couple of words that tell other men that you don’t stand for misogyny.

Cos as far as I’m concerned, if you don’t, I think you’re weak, pathetic, and I don’t respect you.

There are multiple men in my friend’s list who have technically raped me, sexually assaulted me, or just tried to forced themselves on me sexually. And that probably sounds like an exaggeration, but unfortunately, it’s not. So, let’s be honest, that’s probably you or one of your mates.

And I’m just one woman. Think of how many of your female friends have already been hurt by one of your boys. I bet there is at least one.

So do better baby, cos you’re probably already complicit 😘

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One thought on “This is just for the men”

  1. I have to say that was one of the most powerful articles that I have ever read. Please allow me to respond… as a man. I have no male friends that I would call ‘real’ friends. I work in an extremely chauvinistic environment and all I hear day after day are racist, homophobic and sexist comments that the guys in question either say knowingly or don’t realise that the words coming out of their mouths is offensive (to me). I had this very conversation with my wife last night. A few months ago, I decided that I am sick of it and started calling them out on it! I’ve been far too polite and not willing to risk confrontation, but that attitude has died. I am making a point of trying to let them know that what they are saying is offensive. This DOES NOT go down very well but I don’t give a shit! I’m not likely to make any real male friends anytime soon because what they say is abhorrent to me and I have no interest in associating myself with them and adhering to their peer group. They are dinosaurs as far as I’m concerned and hopefully, they won’t pass on their vile shite to their offspring (if its not too late). Fuck making male friends! It’s far more important that I try in a small way to point out that it’s not acceptable to spout this fucking bullshit! Incidentally, I never get any verbal abuse back when I call them out because… a) they know I’m right… and b) I’m pretty much solid muscle and could stick them on their arse should I so wish.
    I have one ‘real’ close friend. I married my best friend from university. An amazing woman that I love and respect more than my own life. I have struggled with anxiety and depression and my wife has literally saved my life. I would have killed myself a long time ago if it wasn’t for her support. This makes me unbelievably respectful of her (and women in general). I have had no ‘bro’s’ in my life looking out for me, probably because I’m not like them so didn’t fit it. I don’t hunt and I’m not obsessed with fishing so I’m ‘not one of them’! I’m actually quite difficult to get to know from a male perspective. All my life, I have had more female friends than male. For this I have even been called gay!
    This isn’t me saying that ‘not all men are abusive’ and can be categorized as such but merely pointing out that there are some guys out there who ARE calling these fucking dicks out when they utter their vile rhetoric. Personally, it means that I will be forever without real male friendship but who gives a fuck about that! I personally think I’m better off with female friends anyway.
    I feel terrible that you have had to write a blog such as this and wish you all the strength in the world to get through as best as you can. I cherish our friendship and the time we spent working together. I hate the fact that I can’t do more to support you. My emotions are at their highest right now and I’m bordering on angry as I write this. As I said to my wife last night… sometimes I am embarrassed to be a man! Please be assured that there is at least one man in this world who stands by and agrees 100% with every single word that you just wrote. I hope there are more.

    Be strong! Always your friend, Simon.

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