There’s all these songs about loving a girl who doesn’t know she’s beautiful. But what about loving a girl that does? How come liking myself makes me less appealing?
These are forms of male aggression that only women see. But even when men are afforded a front seat to harassment, they don’t always have the correct vantage point for recognizing the subtlety of its operation. Four years before the murders, I was sitting in a bar in Washington, D.C. with a male friend. Another young woman was alone at the bar when an older man scooted next to her. He was aggressive, wasted, and sitting too close, but she smiled curtly at his ramblings and laughed softly at his jokes as she patiently downed her drink. ‘Why is she humoring him?’ my friend asked me. ‘You would never do that.’ I was too embarrassed to say: ‘Because he looks scary’ and ‘I do it all the time.’
Women who have experienced this can recognize that placating these men is a rational choice, a form of self-defense to protect against setting off an aggressor. But to male bystanders, it often looks like a warm welcome, and that helps to shift blame in the public eye from the harasser and onto his target, who’s failed to respond with the type of masculine bravado that men more easily recognize.
He lit a cigarette. His glass of whiskey lit a cigarette. “I can only truly love my dead best friend,” he said, “but not in a gay way. Women wouldn’t understand. They’re too gay.” Both of the cigarettes agreed.
a musical based on my life featuring such hits as:
- where did that bruise come from
- i think i’ll procrastinate later
- oh look i ate an entire container of cookie dough by myself
- why can’t i just be beyonce
I know it’s over, and it never really began, but in my heart it was so real.