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Today I want to talk about something that my roommate​​ & I talk about on almost a daily basis, but first (if you’d like) watch this video

 and also this one 

 if you’ve got the time, because they pertain to what we’re talking about today.

So as I was saying, my roommate and I live a similar lifestyle but with certain differences; partially because as a male there are just things that he can do that as a female – albeit a female more able to defend herself than most – it would be downright stupid for me to do because it would place me in potentially dangerous situations that most guys would barely bat an eye about. I’ve had conversations with guys about why they do certain things or treat women certain ways, and a lot of them really have no idea what it’s like to be a victim – or they don’t care that they’re making people feel that way. Maybe some of them secretly like to make people (more often than not, women) feel this way, but would never admit it out loud. Fore shame. Cat calling for instance, I had a guy tell me once that he doesn’t mean anything by it. He just thought it was a funny thing to do. In retrospect instead of politely nodding my head and changing the subject I wish I had punched him in the face. Would it have seriously hurt him? Probably not, but that, to me, would have been a funny thing to do.

About ten minutes ago I was sitting in my jumpseat at work and as I looked to my right I watched as a man about my father’s age looked me from my legs up, up, slowly, painfully, stopping at the hem of my skirt, up, up, casually raking over my waist, my chest, stopping again at my lips. Now this whole time I was glaring at him something fierce, ooh “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. When we made eye contact do you know what I did? I – who am known for being strong, stubborn, confident to the point of many associating me with female dogs (which is a whole other… animal completely) – I looked away. Yes, the girl who grew up beating up boys for mistreating her girl friends, the woman who stands up for those who are too weak to stand up for themselves, I looked away. Because pretending that I didn’t notice a grown man’s sexual objectification of a woman young enough to be his daughter is just easier than having to meet his eyes and admit that I noticed the moment, in his head, when he stopped seeing me as a living breathing feeling human being. Because we, as women, as people, we have to pick our battles. So as I said, this little girl who got suspended from the youth center as a child for promising a boy that she would knock his lights out if he hit her friend one more time, and then followed through on that promise, grew up. Somewhere along the lines this grown woman realized that to fight this particular fight of “I am not an animal! I am a human being!” every single time I encountered it would be to take on a losing battle. But if you think, for one second, that we as people will lose this war on getting people to respect and empathize with each other, well then – you haven’t met this bitch.

So before you see a woman, nay a person, being cornered in a bar, at the store, at your place of work and you think to yourself ‘she’s asking for it’ ‘maybe she shouldn’t dress that way if she doesn’t want that kind of attention’ ‘my sister/mother/girlfriend/insert-female-noun-here would never find herself in that situation’ stop yourself. Think again. Because #YesAllWomen, unfortunately, live in this reality, and yes #ViolenceIsViolence. So here’s a though – break off a little piece, feel it, experience it, let it marinate, then do with it what you please – let’s just start acting like one and the same species. Let’s just start looking out for each other.