Hidden Crimes Against Women

Good men have an obligation to be aware of all the unquantifiable ways women are taxed, hurt, and disrupted.

There is no simple metric to measure the difference in how something like a late-night walk through a city is felt for women versus men. Photo by Matteo Modica on Unsplash
  1. Eating is never painless. Eating good food is one of the most basic joys of human life, but women are denied that simple pleasure. Their eating is policed and judged constantly, witheringly, to the point that not a single meal can be had without some feeling of guilt and shame. Good men should take time to consider just how deeply this inescapable pain would hurt. If a woman cracks under all the shame and spirals into a disordered eating mode she will be blamed, which adds another layer of pain to what should be a purely joyful experience of sustaining one’s body through eating.
  2. Being casually ignored and interrupted by men. Every conversation with men is likely to tax a woman; men cut women off, speak over them, treat them as though they have less right to speak and be heard, and otherwise and in so many little ways communicate that women are not worth listening to. Men are conditioned to do this and will do it constantly without making a conscious effort to behave better. This is another daily corrosive effect that makes it harder for women to both feel good about themselves and to be seen as valid, which cuts against their inner life as well as hurts their professional and social lives. I can’t stress enough that every single man has got to actively monitor himself and purposely let women speak without interruption or else he’ll be just another casual bully among so many. It isn’t enough for a man to just call himself a feminist or think of himself as a good man, he has to practice listening in ways society didn’t prepare him for.
  3. The miasma of fear. The totality of all injustices seeps into every time and place. Danger is everywhere for women. They aren’t able to feel secure even in their homes, either because they are alone and risk attack, or because they are with men who present a constant threat (it is close relations that do most of the assaults, not strangers). Many women have had their bodily boundaries violated, which destroys — often in ways that do not ever totally heal — their sense of safety. I’ve heard many women in my own life, as well as female writers, say things to the effect of “I wonder what it’s like to feel safe and secure?” Men, listen: women are denied a moment-to-moment feeling of security — something basic which we take for granted. Good men should make an effort to recognize how destructive this lack of security is, how exhausting and paralyzing it would be to feel always afraid, never secure. There is no metric to tally the effects of this ever-present fear. Good men have got to see it, to listen to women, and to be relentless and creative in their attempts to ensure the women around them both are safe and feel safe.

Essayist, former scientist, trans woman. Striving for actionable methods of peaceful revolution — relationships, community, mutual aid, subsistence, science.

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