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Some men seem to be having trouble figuring out what women are talking about when it comes to the reality of our daily lives. We talk about ‘misogyny’ and hear ‘misandry’ back. We talk about the issues we face as a matter of daily life and see the subject hijacked to talk about the horrors of being a man.

Perhaps it will help to distill the point down for the confused. What is men’s Number One fear about going to jail? Is it about the bad food? No. Is it about the possibility of getting shived? No. It is about being helpless, overpowered, abused and raped.  Who in their right mind wants to become a ‘prison bitch’?

Welcome to women’s daily life outside the Big House. We fear abuse and rape as a matter of course. This is our reality. We get on with things. We derive strategies to avoid and we survive. Not only do we survive, despite the misogynists, we manage to thrive. Those of us who don’t get killed or mentally beaten to a pulp in the process, of course.

I’ve been stalked/hunted, harassed, objectified, diminished and raped. I’ve been followed home by strangers both at night and during the day. I’ve had strangers rub their penises against me on public transport. I’ve had my breasts brushed during a handshakes. I’ve been lectured about ‘my place’ (i.e. beneath the moronic-but-stronger-than-me man lecturing me). I’ve been told that as a woman I need not be listened to. I’ve been threatened for saying ‘no’ to a date request. I've had someone I turned down start rumors that I was a 'slut'. I’ve had neighbors knock on my door with hard-ons. I’ve been held down against my will while other men laughed at my screaming. I’ve had bosses invite friends in to watch me work. I’ve been fondled and groped at work. I’ve been fired from jobs when I didn’t want to date the boss. That’s jobs, plural.  I’ve had bosses in other jobs make passes at me where my refusal didn’t result in termination. As the owner of a company, I’ve had all answers to my questions addressed to my male business partner. I’ve had the father of an employee stalk me. The list of what I, a vagina owner, have dealt with as a matter of course goes on and on and on.

Notice that nowhere in that list do I talk about my self-actualization dreams. My fancying people who didn’t fancy me back. My battles against shyness and awkwardness. My pushing back on societal expectations that my number one goal in life should be to get married and have 2.5 kids. Why? Because those are my issues. They have do to with me living the life I want to live. They have nothing to do with men threatening me or treating me like an object. They have nothing to do with misogyny.

I have yet to see any Men’s Rights activist or "misandry" thread hijacker detail any level of personal struggle that even remotely resembles that of the hundreds of women who have shared their experiences over the last few days. I would say that I am more than happy to discuss the hurdles that men face but my honest reaction is “seriously?!?” Besides the fact that we talk about you people all the time, in my world, men have much more power than I do. They make all the laws I have to live with. They not only walk around oblivious to the safety issues I obsess about but they are the reason I have to obsess.

I'm super sorry that some men feel like they don't get to live an authentic life because of societal pressure but, give me a break, that is one thing that both sexes have in common.

Originally posted to ExpatGirl on Thu May 29, 2014 at 08:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, Barriers and Bridges, and This Week in the War on Women.

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