There is sadly a truism about dating in this over-connected world. There is always a seeming level of disconnect between the types of communication that are available to us. Someone you might enjoy the company of in person can become someone entirely different when texting or emailing.
Plus, we women have to make a risk assessment any time we physically meet someone we’ve only just met on the Internet. It’s actually something we have to do any time we’re out with someone – even someone we may have known for a while.
Men complain that we don’t trust them. That we assume the worst of them before they’ve even gotten a chance.
As girls, we’re taught that men and boys only want one thing — to have sex with us. So before we’ve even started dating, we’re already set up to be afraid — whether it is on a conscious level or not. Then, we’re taught to dress in a certain way, act in a certain way or any of hundreds of other little criticisms about our behavior that eventually mean that if a man or boy actually attacks us sexuality, we are already set up to believe that the problem is with us, that we somehow provoked the attack by how we dressed or how we acted. Rarely, until more recently, was it ever stated clearly in many public discussions that perhaps the rapist is the problem, not us.
But what I am finding in this round of dating (having been married for decades and only dating within the polyamorous community), is that more often than not if you disagree with a man you might have just started dating or tell them something they don’t want to hear, suddenly the issue becomes YOU. There are threats of bodily violence. There are threats of destroying you emotionally.
Guys talk about the “crazy chicks” out there. They have all sorts of stories about the crazy ex-girlfriend or ex-wife. But, if you bring up these experiences with psycho men, suddenly it is YOU that is the problem. If you didn’t argue with him, he wouldn’t have gotten angry. If you weren’t trying to be yourself but who he wanted you to be, you wouldn’t have gotten hit. It comes down not to the fact that it is the man who is having an unrealistic response, but that you as a woman are always suspect as the source of the problem.
I REFUSE TO ALLOW THIS BEHAVIOR TO CONTINUE WITH ME.
I WILL call you on your behavior. I WILL report your behavior to the correct authorities. I WILL stand up for myself, no matter how many people say that I somehow provoked the attacks.
You want me not to have to do a risk assessment every time I (or any other woman) walk out of my own house? Then you had better start looking at your own behavior. You better start looking at your best friend’s behavior. You better start holding yourself and your friends to a far higher and more rational standard. You had better start teaching your sons that sex, relationships and other interactions with the female gender do not mean that they are OWED anything simply by the virtue of having a penis.