The following day, I attended a workshop about preventing gender violence, facilitated by Katz. There, he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:
“I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street,” said one.
“I don’t put my drink down at parties,” said another.
“I use the buddy system when I go to parties.”
“I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction.”
“I use my keys as a potential weapon.”
The women went on for several minutes, until their side of the blackboard was completely filled with responses. The men’s side of the blackboard was blank. I was stunned. I had never heard a group of women say these things before. I thought about all of the women in my life — including my mother, sister and girlfriend — and realized that I had a lot to learn about gender.
I had an experience like this at a workshop, although in my case the guys did generate one or two ideas, mostly to do with passing as straight when they felt unsafe outside of queer spaces. It was still a very powerful visual demonstration, and I wish I could make every guy I know experience it.
What most people don’t realize is that this is hurtful to both men and women. Women are forced to be paranoid in this culture we live in (And with reason), and for men it’s harmful because they can also get raped, but apparently that’s a fairy tail to most people.
Yo estaba pensando en Eraser (Polite) del Further Down The Spiral, donde el Fuck You va penúltimo. Pero en Eraser del The Downward Spiral va como sale en la polera - que igual era obvio al final, porque es merch original, herp derp.