This scares the everloving shit out of me.
It's all horrible, every bit of it, but what really disturbs me is that the most so-say acceptable reason for hitting a woman is the wearing of revealing clothes in public. What the FUCK? Twenty per cent of people think it's at least sometimes acceptable to hit your girlfriend because... why? Because she's making other men look at her? What is it? I genuinely don't understand.
Also, I notice, it seems to be more acceptable to hit a woman for flirting than for cheating. I can't really think of anything to say about that, except yargh argh grrrrr argh bah scream arrrgggghhh. The more I see of the world, the more I am made to realise that female sexuality is bad and wrong and weird and scary and must be contained by any means necessary.
One of my ex's favourite lines to justify his possessiveness and dislike of my male friends was "Of course I trust you. I just don't trust them." The whole time we were together, this made no sense to me. How could he trust me if he didn't trust them, unless he thought they were rapists? I asked him a couple of times if that's what he thought, and he responded in complete shock that of course he didn't, how could I get that from what he said? So I remained confused.
I get it now. If I'm around a man who could conceivably find me attractive, said man might think about me. And that, right there, is the violation. There are versions of me running around in other people's heads, versions that no stern looks of his or monogamous nature of mine could regulate or control. It's got nothing to do with how I feel, and it's really not got much to do with whether or not said man would ever act on his hypothetical fantasies. The point is (or was) that they're out there. That somebody created a world where I did not belong to my ex. That in the recesses of somebody's imagination, I was being unfaithful. And (and this is the key point) I should not have been encouraging it. I think this is the logic: You know what men are like. You know what men's brains are like. You should know that being around them, wearing make-up and laughing at their jokes and dancing and everything else you do with your friends, will only make it worse. And unless you want them to be having those thoughts, why would you encourage it? And right there is where it becomes Your Fault.
I'm in no way saying that all men are like this. Indeed, I think my ex is an extreme case. But I look at survey results like that, and I have to acknowledge that no, it's not all that strange. He's not the only man who thinks this way, and I have a one in five chance of coming across another one.
It's stuff like this that makes feel justified in snapping at men in pubs who say shit like this then pretend, innocent faces firmly plastered on, that "it was only a joke". It's NOT only a joke. And I refuse to apologise for being a cranky, sexy, difficult feminist bitch. So there.
I was going to end there, but then I realised that I only put the last paragraph there to avoid ending another entry with "I'm really scared". Defiance is an easier stance to take at the moment, and one that won't result in me hiding in a cupboard for the next thirty years. What can you do with fear, except turn it into anger?