I have spent the past few days getting progressively outraged over the UC-Santa Barbara shooting, and progressively more embarrassed to call myself a man. I have seen women of all stripes, ages, shapes, sizes and walks of life angrily pour their hearts out about the violations of their dignity and sometimes their body inflicted upon them by men who at best saw nothing wrong with their actions and at worst were adamant that she must have liked it, stories that until this moment they have been afraid to tell for fear it would negatively impact their career and/or their lives. I have seen women who are still, even amongst all the visible support, afraid to tell their stories because they continue to fear the men that still don't understand why the women are angry and why they won't just shut up about it already, men who are liable to respond to them on Twitter within seconds. I have seen women express fear of rejecting a man now, lest that man turn out the same way.
I have seen many men offer their support as best they can, hopefully taking to heart the pleadings from the women to do what they can to get it through their gendermates' heads because clearly the women aren't being listened to by those that need to do so. For I have seen some men insult the appearance of these women, disregarding their cares because they are 'too ugly' or 'too fat' or 'overreacting' or 'paranoid'. I have seen men call women 'man haters' as an excuse to continue their vile behaviors. I have seen men who have taken this moment as a sick and twisted opportunity to push an NRA agenda, suggesting that women carry guns so that they may ward off men like them, even though many women already carry mace and tasers for this same purpose, as if to suggest that the women will have to actually kill the men in order to stop them. I have seen this train of thought furthered in complete ignorance of the actual point, which is that women feel like they should not have to carry guns, mace, tasers, take karate classes, or make any other special effort to defend themselves against unwanted advances from men who refuse to take no for an answer.
Never mind that I and everyone else has seen a woman use a gun against threats from her husband, as a warning shot, and be sentenced to 20 years in prison as a direct result.
I personally AM a man who has expressed disgust, is expressing it now, that I cannot step in and admonish these men, these men who objectify and diminish and violate, without being accused of 'white knighting'. As a fan of Taylor Swift, I have seen her- a woman who takes great pains not to discuss her sex life lest she become objectified- accused both of sleeping with too many men (thereby being a slut) and of sleeping with too few (thereby being a prude), sometimes in consecutive comments in the same thread. I have seen men threaten women that they had better pose for nude pictures soon lest men stop taking interest in them, and men immediately cease to take interest in women who have done so quickly after ogling their bodies. I have seen men see a current photo of Jennifer Lien- aka the highly desired Kes from Star Trek: Voyager, replaced on the show by the even more desired Jeri Ryan, aka Seven of Nine- and, now deeming her to be insufficiently attractive, gnash teeth, rend clothing and curse the heavens that now they'll never have sex with her. I have seen countless men post about the disgusting and harmful things they would do to themselves in order to sniff an attractive woman's farts. I have seen far too many demands to hand over my 'man card'.
I have seen women shamed for sleeping with men, and I have seen men celebrated for sleeping with women. I have seen far too many premises in major media where a man's quest to sleep with as many women as possible makes him into the protagonist, such as in virtually any movie starring Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn or Jason Sudekis, 'Hall Pass' being a particularly enraging example. I have seen far too many premises in which the female equivalent is made into an antagonist, such as Mystique of the X-Men, or Krysten Ritter's character in 'Don't Trust The B---- In Apt. 23'. I have seen far, far, FAR too many plots in which the woman is turned from the side of the bad guy to the side of the good guy after sleeping with the male protagonist, but a man is not turned but rather ensnared into the service of the bad guy when sleeping with a woman. The genders are almost never reversed. The woman is encoded and perpetuated as evil for desiring sex even though she is commanded to supply it, as all that is needed to turn her good is being fucked by the right guy (and she must be the submissive one, as attempting to take control could be harmful to the man). The man is encoded and perpetuated as merely undertaking a humble and noble quest to "score", and of course, when one is scoring, one must try to get the highest possible score.
I have seen men pat themselves on the back merely for refraining from raping a woman.
I have seen enough.
I have had enough.