Upon review, this post sounds a little angry. I know women aren't supposed to be angry. And I will add that I am not angry at most men. Most men I know are lovely. But my God, the 27% I guess it is that are always waiting to fuck up the world.
And sure, I know, there must be a equal percentage of women out there, fucking it up for the men. But I can't help but believe it's not the same thing. Men are afraid of women because women might mock them, or refuse them, or leave them, or take their money, or refuse to give them children, or who knows what. Women are afraid of men because men might beat us, or kill us, or rape us, or do all of those things to our children. And we're afraid of that pretty much all the time, even when we're pretending not to be afraid of it.
Like when I am standing in a post office looking at the stamp machine trying to figure out how it works with my kid standing beside me. A guy comes in. Probably an okay guy. Who knows. But he's big, and he's alone, and we're alone. So I have to do the little terror assessment: is he a rapist? Will he kill us? Will he rape us? Are we safe?
And maybe you think I'm being an hysterical girl, but I cannot tell you the number of times I've had guys just like that one assault me, verbally and physically. Once at a bus stop, a guy rubbed himself -- his cock, I mean -- against me. When I yelled at him to stop he laughed. I was fifteen or sixteen, I think. Once in a bus station, a guy sat down next to me and asked me if I wanted to eat his cock. He said he would give me twenty dollars. Once when I was riding my bike and the tire went flat, a guy stopped and told me he'd give me a ride home if I would fuck him. When I said no, he drove really slowly along beside me for a long time -- it was a highway without much traffic -- telling me he was a good fuck and I wouldn't be sorry and I looked like I needed a good fuck anyway, why not?
So no. Maybe most guys aren't going to assault me, or my kid. Maybe I am safe in most places. Maybe I shouldn't be so angry because it's only some guys and not all of them.
But here's the thing -- when I yelled at that guy at the bus stop to stop it, and he laughed, no one else at the bus stop did a fucking thing. When the guy in the pickup was trolling me, offering to fuck me because I looked like I needed it, none of the other cars passing by stopped to see whether I needed help. And if I had gotten raped, there on that highway? Lots of people would have said I'd had it coming. What was I doing riding alone on that semi-deserted highway, after all? Being a girl and all? Possessor of a vagina? Didn't I KNOW that someone like me has no business going out into the world, acting like she has the right to ride a bicycle anywhere she wants, just like she's equal and shit?
That's what guys in that pickup are for, to teach little misses like me a lesson: we aren't equal. We don't have the right to go anywhere we want. We need to be taught better.
And I did get taught better, by the way. I had been a long distance cycler before that, riding miles and miles through the landscapes of Louisiana, but I quit after that. I never rode my bicycle long distances again. I stuck to well-lighted parks and tame landscapes. Like a girl. Like a girl should. I got tamed.
The men win. That's what makes me so angry, I guess. They scare us enough that many of us shut up. We don't ride our bikes across the world. We don't finish our Ph.Ds. We don't get angry, because good girls don't. We don't wear that sassy dress. We stay home after dark. We keep our heads down.
And we don't speak up.