Allow me to get something off my chest. In light of the recent ‘Me Too’ hashtag raising awareness about sexual assault/harassment and the need to call out rape culture. I’ve recently lost a lot of ‘friends’ because of this. I called out a supposed ‘friend’ who had spent months and months harassing a girl for not going out with him. He would call and text this girl nonstop harassing and trying to pressure her into dating him. This included comments like, ‘I’m going to kill myself cause you won’t go out with me.’ He claimed it was love. I witnessed this horrid behavior for almost a year. I am guilty of trying to rationalize this behavior as ‘oh he’s in love and doesn’t know how to handle it’, ‘oh he’s a good person with an issue he needs to handle’, oh this, oh that. It took me actually witnessing this man assaulting this woman, in my own home no less, when he forcibly detained this girl in his room and tried to pressure her about why she wouldn’t go out with him. This girl had to force her way out of the room and out of the house, where he proceeded to follow her and block the path of her car so she couldn’t leave. When asked about his behavior his response to me was, “I don’t like being denied.” This infuriated me. His blasé response, as if women were candy bars or toys for his enjoyment. As if his needs would always supersede any woman’s, as if all women were objects for male consumption and pleasure.
I began to reflect over all of my interactions in the past with this person. I started to remember the times he would talk about violence against women who didn’t want to date him. How they were bitches and what he wished he could do to them. Then I thought about the suicide threats and how I knew he did in fact have a gun. I worried about what he might do with that gun since he was so obsessed and kept bringing up how he was going to harm himself if this girl wouldn’t go out with him. Would he hurt her, would he hurt himself? I was angry at myself for the allowances I gave him, chalking it up to him just being upset. But it doesn’t matter how upset you are. I began cutting this person out of my life and I thought that other people would understand. This wasn’t the case. A lot of mutual friends took his side, couldn’t understand what I was so upset about, said he’s just in love, he’s just hurting, you have to forgive people, he’s from the south, excuses, excuses, excuses. I was told to get over it. To make matter’s worse this man still tries to contact me even though he has been explicitly told never to do so again. He has used my girlfriend and others in my inner circle to try to get to me. He called my phone last night using a different number to get around the phone block. I hung up immediately and blocked the new number.
The point of this isn’t to point fingers, isn’t to name names. It wasn’t about the girl, I don’t like that girl and I am not friends with her. It’s about the principle of these matters. It’s about having standards. It’s about enforcing those standards instead of just paying lip service to the idea and in practice ignoring these actions. People wonder why rape culture exists. It is because we allow it. We can make statements all day about what we believe, but if your actions don’t match your words then this behavior continues to thrive in the shadows, it continues to damage innocent people, IT CONTINUES. PERIOD. I lost friends because I refused to stand by this behavior anymore and I refuse to associate with people who condone and make excuses for it. As for me, I apologize for having made those excuses in the past. I realize now I was a fool and I promise to never make those allowances again.