The Female Life Experience

 

Please read to understand what it means to be female in this society…

I often encounter men who have NO CLUE why I am as cautious, questioning, a bit anxious about certain topics, or hesitant to progress with them. There are many reasons why. I promise you, I am not alone in my female experience

“Modern men” need to gain an understanding about what the female life experience is.

What is this experience? Let me sum it up for you…I will try to be brief…

I have beauty standards, motherhood, and domesticity pushed upon in at an early age of 2-3 years old in the form of gender based toys…fake makeup, dolls, toy kitchens, barbies…

I will be made fun of by peers if I want anything that boys would want (microscopes, chemistry sets, lasers, anything not girl).

I am told to smile because it makes my face prettier.

I am dressed in clothing that would make me a pretty girl.

I am sexualized by the time I am 12…because my body changes into more of a shape that makes me “attractive” to men…larger breasts…hips widen.

I have boys offer sexual favors by the time I am 13.

Street harassment starts and is consistent throughout my life.

Once I become a teenager in high school, I have already been called various derogatory terms for a sexual woman because my body looks like a woman.

Family members tell me how I’m all grown up…How pretty I am…Boys are evil and should keep away or grandpa will shoot them with his rifle. Grown men at church pay more attention to me and find reasons to hug me.

Boys at school start false rumors about my sexuality because they are attracted to me and “boys will be boys.”

I start college and am required to take a defense course because women in this trade are assaulted regularly.

I am stalked 3 times by boys. A few family members tell me it’s because I’m so pretty.

One of the boys sexually assaults me at a club when I am 19…not raped, fortunately.

One stalker forced me to move in with my grandparents so he could no longer find me.

I do not report anything because I am afraid and think this is my fault because I must have given off the wrong signals. Shame on me.

I say nothing to my family because I can’t bear to be blamed for this.

I’ve been conditioned to self loathe my body because I am not a supermodel. Eating disorders start as well as reckless exercise.

Street harassment as well as sexist and misogynistic comments do not cease.

At 21, I work for a man who keeps porn on his computer and magazines in his desk. He has business ties with local strip club owners. He encourages me to sell to them (I do as it’s my job) as well as work for them (I decline). Even received phone calls from the head of all the chains asking me to join him.

I later become a DJ and play at fraternity parties getting regularly harassed by drunk men.

My agent wants to engage in sexual relations with me. I decline. He takes a bigger cut than what he takes from the males.

I could give endless examples of more of the same…

Fast forward to re entering university…I am regularly harassed by a boy in my science classes. He tells me the sexual things he wants to do to me. It took me humiliating him to get hi to leave me alone. I saw him on campus the other day…he had found my dating profile as well as my FB. Tried to get me to go out with him again. I had to block him across the board to get him to leave me alone.

I get told science is hard and that I am girl…then denied letter of recommendation to enter grad school by a male professor of whom I did a year’s worth of undergrad research with.

Dating sites, I get bombarded by messages from men who want to take from me. They are explicit in nature…few are actually well thought out and polite. They hide behind the cloak of anonymity that the internet provides.

Social media, I get unsolicited penis pics sent to me. I have rude and explicit direct messages as well as public mentions. I am slut shamed. Yet if I don’t comply, I am a prude.

Street harassment does not stop…sometimes wearing headphones doesn’t work either, because some men ignore this subtle cue of a request to leave me alone.

I am once again sexually assaulted by a different man I trusted.

I am stalked again…this time digitally on social media and harassed via email and phone. It affects my work, and I have to notify my boss about it. Fortunately he is understanding and gives support.

Why am I telling you this? Because every 109 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. 90% of those people are female. 1 in 6 women are sexually assaulted. Only 6 in 1,000 people will serve time for sexual assault. This is based on those who reported…I did not report. I can not fathom how much larger this number is.

Statistics: RAINN

So again, why am I telling you this? Because I am not the only woman this happens to. When you are at a party/work/bar, take a look around…1 in 6 women are me…but truthfully? That number is likely much larger. When you talk to women, you need to realize the scope of their possible life. I promise you, my story is a common one for many women.

They don’t speak out…why?

  1. They don’t see the point. (No one really goes to prison)
  2. They’ve been conditioned not to and to self blame.
  3. They don’t want to be shamed.
  4. They don’t want you to judge them.
  5. They don’t want to hurt others (family, current partner).

Men…remember this when speaking to women. They’ve been at battle their whole lives for just being female. Do not take things personally.

Read to understand…speak out against those who harm us…give us a space so we can be vocal without fear.

Thank you for reading

M x

Rape Culture in the Poly World

Being polyamorous, I sometimes find it difficult to find partners who understand the parameters of the poly lifestyle. At first, I thought that it was because many misunderstood what being “poly” means. There are many types of non-monogamy. For me, being “poly” involves developing lasting relationships that have emotional attachment. I am not into one night stands. I do not have sex indiscriminately. I make this plain in all of my online dating profiles. I feel that I am rather clear as to what type of relationships I am interested in…

I consistently get emails and messages on these dating sites from men who are crass, crude, lewd, and speak to me with a complete lack of manners. I had been giving them the benefit of the doubt in that they may not understand what being “poly” is. They may legitimately think that I am looking for such advances in regards to a filthy nature. I was making excuses for them and ignoring such messages.

I recently had a phone conversation (and later a Skype) with a potential romantic interest. He told me that he wasn’t surprised that I get such messages because clearly my dating profile says that I am looking for sex. It does not say that ANYWHERE ON MY PROFILE. I became livid. I asked him which part he felt presented such an idea. He said that what I was looking for was “lasting relationships that could lead to intimacies” and that I was in an “open marriage” was what made some men think this. He left out the part that I say I am not into one night stands.

He apologizes for upsetting me and says that this was not his intent. We later go onto Skype to chat a bit more.

On Skype, we talk for a little bit, then he starts fondling himself. He asks if it bothers me that he is doing that. I say that it doesn’t bother me per se but I have not met him yet and it is awkward. He continues to do so and puts the camera on his hand while he fondles himself through his clothing. I say that I’d rather look at his face because that is what I am talking to and he turns the camera back around.

Conversation continues…He tells me how horny I make him, that he can’t help it, and then he whips out his penis and starts stroking it. He puts the camera back on it and asks me if this makes me uncomfortable. I say that it does and he once again says he can’t help it…he has a high sex drive. He asks me if I want to see him cum.

Skype had disconnected several times during the conversation. So, I took it upon myself to hang up on him and blame Skype.

We had made plans to meet the following day…Needless to say, I cancelled them. How could I possibly trust a man not to give into his urges when I clearly said things were making me uncomfortable…and he said he couldn’t help it.

First Skype calls are like first meetings. Would any rational man whip out his penis in a bar and start stroking it saying he couldn’t help it because I made him horny? How would he feel if I kicked him in the testicles saying that I just couldn’t help it because he made me angry?

After a tremendous amount of thought about the whole experience and the messages/emails that I regularly get on online dating sites, it is VERY clear to me that this is a solid example of “rape culture”.

He was excusing his lewd acts regardless of my protest because I was making him horny. And somehow ALL of this was acceptable because my profile states that I am in an open marriage and looking for lasting relationships that could lead to intimacies…He was placing blame on me.

THIS is Rape Culture in all of its hideous form. In his mind, I was clearly asking for this. It is my fault that I get messages that are lewd, crude, and crass because I am non-monogamous and enjoy sex. I should expect such behaviour because this is somehow “par for the course” for being a woman who enjoys sex.

No, I am no longer going to assume that men who message me do not understand what being “poly” means. I make it blatantly clear in my profile. If they are not clear, they can ask me questions. I normally ignore such messages. I will respond to these lewd comments with stern replies correcting such behavior. It. Is. NOT OK!

I am non-monogamous. I am kinky.

However…

I AM NOT asking for pictures of your penis.

I AM NOT asking for your rude and lewd comments.

I AM NOT asking for you to whip out your penis on Skype and fondle yourself.

And when I say I AM NOT comfortable with ANY of what you are doing, I DO NOT CARE if you THINK that you “can’t help it.”

No STILL means NO! Online or in “real life”. Guess what? I am STILL a human being online like I am in “real life”.

No one will blame me for their inability to control their urges…THIS is Rape Culture as I experience it nearly everyday in the poly world through online messages/emails and in Skype calls with men who do not listen to me saying that I am uncomfortable…and who excuse their lewd behaviour because I am non-monogamous.

Rape culture does not sit only with how a woman dresses…rape culture exists heavily where women are vocal about enjoying sex and their relationships…It is truly frightening how ingrained rape culture is in our society.

Thank You For Reading,

Melliscious xx

As an aside…This post does not apply to men with whom I have met, with whom I have a connection, and have a solid understanding.

“I’m a good girl. Please…”

I am going a bit off my usual misadventures of recent times to discuss an event in my life that is relevant to recent discussion involving victim blaming in sexual assault and acts of rape. The victims never are “asking for it” by wearing heels or suggestive clothing. My assault? I was wearing jean shorts, a tank top, and sneakers….Here is my story…

It was summertime…I was 19 and a virgin…

I worked at a shopping mall at a formal wear store. I enjoyed my job. I steadily became familiar with other people in the mall and the stores where they worked. There was a clothing store 2 doors down from me that sold stylish clothing of the current styles. Some were “night club” style clothes. I would frequent this store and buy nice work clothes there. From time to time I’d play around with trying on the sexier night club style outfits. A boy (appx. 21) worked there and would help me coordinate my wardrobe. Sometimes he would pick out a sexier dress and ask me to try it on to see if I liked it. I was 19, a virgin, shy and quite naive. However, I knew what he was doing. I would smile and decline a bit flattered at his attention. I would then leave the store…

I never spoke to this boy outside of the store where he worked. I would sometimes see him at the food court but we would just smile…nothing more.

I enjoyed going to nightclubs. My mother did not like me going and often I would lie to her saying that I was just staying with a friend and going to the movies. She was afraid that I would experience that sexual assault scene at a night club from the film THELMA AND LOUISE. She made this plain to me on a regular basis. She felt that nightclubs were meat markets and I would get preyed upon and hurt. To be fair, my mother was always over protective of me. I saw this as another example.

I frequented a local club because usually I could just go to dance and most of the time people left me alone. Being a dancer, this was really the main reason I went to dance clubs. I never went alone and was always with a friend. This evening was no exception.

I arrive to the club. The boy from the store was there chatting up a girl and he starts to watch me dance.

I paid him no attention…

He came up to me when I left the dance floor to get a soda. He said hello and asked if he could talk to me. I agreed. He said that the club was too loud and he knew of a place in the club that would be a bit quieter.

I follow him to a room that had been raided by police earlier for people smoking illegal substances. He said it would be ok to chat for a few minutes. I agreed and went with him into the room.

This moment…here…is where I blamed myself in all of this…I should have never been alone with him…I felt I should have known better.

I had no clue that he was dangerous. I worked 2 doors down from him in the same mall. I went to High School with his Assistant Manager…

We go into the room and sit on the couch on the far wall. There are 2 couches. One is on the back wall and the other is on the wall by the door. He tells me he is interested in me and likes me. I was young and inexperienced. I was flattered and suffered a bit of low self esteem.

He kissed me. I kissed him back. He started to grope my body. I pushed away. I said that I didn’t know him that well and this was moving a bit fast for me. He persisted and started to kiss me again and continued to grope me. I pushed away, got up and started to head for the door.

He had locked the door…

Albeit it was locked from the inside, but it was a bit dark and I struggled with the lock…I failed to get it open in time…

He grabbed me and slammed me up against the wall. I struggled to get away from him, but he was far stronger than me. The music outside the room was so loud, no one could hear our struggle.

He started to kiss me with more ferocity. His hands were now going under my shirt and into my shorts. I pushed and tried to force him off of me to no avail. I was not going to break away from him.

My body felt cold. I was going into some kind of trauma induced shock. It was like I was leaving my body.

I defaulted to a calmer state and began to talk to him.

I said, “I’m a good girl. Please…this is all going a bit too fast for me. Maybe we could go out for coffee and a movie sometime. I know you like me. I like you. Let’s go out and see where things go.”

I say all this while he is trying to remove my clothes. He takes a step back for a second seemingly surprised by what I have said. I take this moment to race to the door.

He is fast and grabs me again…

This time he throws me onto the couch by the door with my legs draped over the arm rest pinning me down. He had not managed to remove my clothes yet, but had managed to thoroughly grope me.

I continued to calmly plead with him saying, “Please. This is too fast. I really like you, but this isn’t how I do things. I don’t think this is how you do things. You seem nice. I only know you from work. I’d to get to know you better before we go this far. Let’s go out and see what happens…please.”

He stops trying to remove my clothing and looks at me. He says, “Hurry up and go before I change my mind!”

He takes his weight off of me and I race to the door. I immediately find my friend. I watch him as he leaves that private room and hurries out of the club…I am still in shock as to what has happened to me. I am shaken, cold, and feeling out of my own body.

We leave the club and I tell her what happens. She asks if I should phone the police. I declined…

I did not report this because I was afraid…

I was afraid my mother would be angry and lecture me why she was right. I was afraid no one would believe me. It was my word against his. I felt it was my fault because I went with him into that room alone. And I was still in shock. I did not believe what happened actually happened to me…

While I did not report it, I did speak with the manager at his store. I had gone to High School with him and told him what had happened and what he had done when I shopped there. Whether or not he was fired, I’ve no clue…but the boy was no longer working there shortly thereafter.

That boy started stalking me. He would show up to places where I was. He would watch me work at the mall. I moved to another store at a different mall. A month later he started trying to get work in the same shopping mall at various clothing stores. I had already befriended many of the managers there and discreetly mentioned how he made ladies uncomfortable shopping there because of his suggestive behavior.

He never worked near me and I never saw him again…

I feel some guilt wondering if he has done this to other girls. Ultimately, I was lucky. I talked my way out of my own rape.

Even now all these years later I am in tears writing this remembering every moment…every sound…the bruises from his hands on my wrists…the disgust of his hands groping my body…feeling utterly helpless as I was pinned down pleading for him to stop…my body going cold…and all times I felt shaken and disturbed from triggers setting me back to my experience…

I did not ask to be assaulted and nearly raped. I was not suggestively dressed. He wanted me. It did not matter what I was wearing. It was not my fault.

Some will blame me for being naive and going into a room alone with him. I had no idea he was dangerous and it would not have been any different with a non-dangerous person having a chat in a quieter room. You take greater risks getting behind the wheel of a car than having a quiet chat with an acquaintance.

Final thoughts …

Blaming victims or saying that any woman can avoid being raped by not wearing heels or short skirts is ridiculous.

If someone is going to rape another person, they are going to try no matter what. They are going to do whatever it takes…and unfortunately these people do not wear “I Am A Rapist” signs.

I will not live my life in fear of being raped by not wearing heels or short skirts. I certainly will not blame myself for the evil of my attacker.

Thank You For Reading,

Melliscious xx