"I use birth control for sex, a human activity. I want sex and I don't want children. Die mad about it."
I found her attitude immensely useful for a variety of positions I have no intention of changing and that seem to make some people angry. I would like to pass on this advice to this group of people in general, and a particular subgroup, which is men who have been told that their behavior makes certain women uncomfortable or is felt by many women and men to be inappropriate.
I have witnessed this personally a few times and heard about it many more times, from both the men involved and observers. It goes like this:
- A man, let's call him Alf, makes some comment, physical gesture or touches a woman. He does this more than once to more than one woman.
- The women involved and/ or the witnesses tell people in authority - school principal, administrators, teacher, whoever.
- The authorities impose some sanction - put a note in his file, put him on probation, require him to attend some training.
- Alf is outraged. He points out that he has not committed rape, that not everyone in the building was offended, that he knows other women who are not uncomfortable with said behavior and DEMANDS that the action be retracted.
Let me explain something, Alf. You don't get to tell people if you make them feel uncomfortable or not. If you stand close to a woman and are touching her and she twists away, asks you to stop or takes your hand and firmly shoves it away, then tells you that you made her uncomfortable by doing that - don't fucking do it again. Don't tell her that Sissy Lou isn't made uncomfortable by it. First of all, for all you know, she is, unless she specifically told you otherwise. Secondly, that's irrelevant. THIS woman right next to you told you she doesn't like it when you blow in her ear during matwork.
If one woman says she feels uncomfortable by your behavior in a judo class (or any class), that is bad enough but if multiple women complain about you, it is definitely not them, it's you. I've taught judo since I was a teenager - over 40 years. I've taught college since I was in my twenties, over 30 years. Women are embarrassed to complain. They don't want anyone to think they can't hang with the big boys in judo class or engineering school. It is RARE that a woman speaks up and if women have complained about you multiple times, you are a creep. We all know you. You are that slimy guy who makes remarks you think are funny but are insulting to women. You make comments about women's bodies while they are working out. If you wouldn't say, "Look at that nice ass" about the guy you are working out with, don't say it about a woman. If you wouldn't post up suggestive pictures of men in the locker room, don't post them of women.
So girls quit coming to practice. Sometimes their boyfriends or just other guys in general do, too, because they kind of feel like jerks for not speaking up. The other guys think you are a creep, too. They talk about you but no one wants to say anything to you, no one wants to be viewed as a troublemaker or a wimp or can't take a joke.
Well, almost no one. Yeah, I'm that bitch who says,
"Cut it the fuck out right now!"
When you get all huffy and say,
"She didn't say she minded."
not knowing that she has actually said to me, privately, that she very much minded, but did not want to "cause trouble", I'm the bitch that says,
"Well, *I* mind. Don't fucking do it again."
Yeah, maybe I'm a bitch but you're a creep. Saying you didn't intend to offend people and make them uncomfortable doesn't change the fact that a) you did it and b) you feel justified to continue your behavior because YOU didn't feel uncomfortable doing it, it was not intended to embarrass or harass people (which I don't believe, but it's irrelevant), and c) judo clubs, places of employment, public institutions all have the right to eject people who don't meet their standards.
Getting accused of harassment is kind of like a DUI. It never happens to most people but it's possible that it could happen to a person once as an isolated incident or mistake. If it happens multiple times, you got a problem and I will call you on your bullshit. So, yeah, you're a creep.
To Alf, and just to people in general who don't like me because I refuse to back down when I see something happening that I know is wrong, who think women should not speak up - I'm not changing.
Die mad about it.