Tag Archives: Relationships

R

The last few weeks have been weird. This ex and I decided to stay as bffs after the breakup, and for the most part it’s been good. He and I are the only people in our respective friend groups who share the same sense of dark humour, and we still have plenty in common despite no longer being officially together. It’s been this way for 1+ years. Lately, we’ve been starting up again, in both a physical and romantic way. We’re both frustrated, and have embarrassingly strong feelings for one another, so fair enough. We’ve even shagged a few times. Now, part of the reason we broke up was my abysmal sex drive. I have been seriously abused in the past, which as you can imagine has had a great impact on me. I understood his reasoning; he’s human after all. But tonight, it was different. We were both drunk (I still am as I type this), and we came to an agreement that I would sleep with him for money. $10, to be precise. $15 or more for anything else. We finished up a while ago, and he tried to sweet talk me out of $15. I said no, and he protested. By the end of it, I felt worthless. I know this is fucked up, I know this is weird, but it’s just somehow the way it turned out. Just now, he came back into my room, worried about how I actually saw that encounter. He wondered if I saw it as real, or just roleplay. His particular level of disconnect is fascinating, given the endless twists & turns my mind has been going through recently. He’s not dense, he’s not insensitive, but the sheer difference in perspective is very interesting. I was 100% serious. And some part of me thought he knew that, and was conspiring against me anyway. I wish people could reply to these posts; Am I crazy? Am I overreacting to a situation I caused myself? Or am I right to feel so worthless? I’ve given up looking for answers.

A Walk in Public

A couple times now my girlfriend and I (bi f) have been harrassed while walking down the street. Men have stopped their cars in the street to roll the window down and say ‘aweee’ and have even gone as far as taking pictures of us holding hands and asking us to ‘give eachother a kiss’. We’ve been called dykes despite not identifying as lesbian and it’s not a term that we’ve reclaimed. We are scared to travel even in Canada because of these comments that strange older men seem entitled to making. Oh and don’t forget the constant threesome offers as if our sexuality is completely about and for the display of men.

Hopeless case

I’m male, mid-30s, straight. I don’t think I had any real understanding of the depth and range of sexism in the world until the last few years. Growing personal awareness of this has been challenging, has made me feel quite depressed and hopeless at times. I was raised to treat everyone respectfully and would be seen as a “good guy”. But I can see that I am still steeped in the subtle sexist ways of thinking and being that run all through society. This harms my relationships with women. I try to work against these processes, to develop and change myself – but with limited success. So many heterosexual couples I know face the same problem, where the man is just not able to meet the emotional needs of the woman, that we’ve started to (half) joke that happy heterosexual relationships are just not possible (well, not ones that work for women and men equally). Bummed. At this point I’m really struggling to see a way forward. Maybe hope will emerge at a later date. But we need to work so that future generations don’t have things quite so bad.

Lesley

My ex-boyfriend. everything about him caused me problems. He was going through a tough time with his family- i understand. he doesnt feel ready for a relationship- i understand. he definitely felt ready for sex though. Fast forward a year of on and off relationship, i decided to draw a line under the sexual relationship and just be friends, he agreed. however he believed that he could still have sex, even though i made it very clear that we were friends (family problems= dad passed away and sister 5 years before) I thought he needed me so i stayed his friend. he wanted sex, i said no, he treated me like garbage after. 34 year old man acted like a kid who couldnt get his own way. the result? i told him we couldnt be friends and i didnt want to stay in contact. moral of the story? I get messed around for caring about someone, disrespected and treated like a whore and finally made to feel as if everything that went wrong was because i wasnt trying hard enough. I should feel grateful for the attention right???? wrong.

Julia

I’ve heard lots of girls say they want their future boyfriends to be taller than them, when asked why they usually don’t have an answer other than “it would look weird” Story from my mum: a friend (who is pretty tall and loves high heels) used to have a boyfriend who told her she couldn’t wear heels, because they would make her taller than him Also saw a woman sell her high platform shoes online, because they made her taller than her boyfriend

Anonymous

It was my freshman year of college, and I’d been dating this guy for about four or five months. We were laying in bed in my dorm and he started to put his hand down my pants. I told him that I wasn’t in the mood, but he kept going anyways, saying things like, “Oh come on, it’s not like you have to do anything,” or “What’s wrong with you?” I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing. I started crying, quietly at first so he wouldn’t hear me, but soon it became loud and uncontrollable sobbing. Only then did he stop. But when he stopped, he didn’t apologize, he didn’t wipe my tears… He just said “I can’t believe that you’re not into this,” and turned over in bed. It wasn’t until several years later that I realized that I had been violated. Until quite recently, I had thought that entire situation was my fault and that he had the right to be angry with me. This is why sexism needs to stop. It needs to stop so that the next girl who gets violated by her boyfriend knows that it’s not her fault.

Mae

The world makes me sad sometimes. It’s mostly men, that Adam Johnson prison bragging, I wish I’d raped her. Why do men hate women? Sometimes I worry that I will end up hating actually all men. Especially when men I love or have liked do things that make them part of the problem. I hope that I can help them to hate us less. Did I really just write that? We don’t deserve to be hated. I did not deserve to be raped, I did not deserve to be sexually assaulted. How can I get past these things? I wrote that I should not give them brain space, maybe I should free the nipple in protest, but all that would do would make me feel more objectified as they’d would look and scoff at me. I could get really fucking good at manly things? Like mechanics and woodwork, but would that be winning if I’d rather be doing other things. I have a strong resolve to teach any children I might have to be more respectful and to love themselves, I could raise solutions, hope to raise people that would not rape or be raped. But is that on some level saying I could have prevented some of what happened to me, raise them to have better judgement of people. The people that hurt me told me they cared about me. I don’t want to raise children incapable of trusting other humans. I feel like I need a tattoo that says ‘it wasn’t your fault’ I need Robin Williams to shout it in my fucking face and shake my shoulders until I believe it and cry. But I’m not Matt Damon, I am a perfectly functional loving woman, I have not shut down, I trust. I feel triggered by my partner sometimes, when he grabs, I tell him i don’t like it. I don’t know if he believes me. Sometimes if I’m not in the mood to make love he tries to guilt trip me, as if he does have some sort of a right to my body. I don’t know how to make him understand that. I don’t know how much it affects me. I know I don’t like it. I’d like to be able to say no and that be ok. It feels like I have a limited amount of nos. I’d like to be more clear in myself about why I say no, sometimes I feel like I’d like to make love but I say no, and I don’t know why. Is it because I don’t feel safe somehow? I know I don’t like to make love when I don’t feel safe. Today I tried to do yoga in the park and a Lorry drove past and beeped at me. I was angry.

Stef

I work in a national park visitor centre where I advise customers on hiking trails in the area. Travellers often come in as couples and it is incredibly common for the man to come up to me and ask various questions that make *his* goals very clear, while his female partner hangs around silently behind him looking resigned to the fact that they will do whatever *he* wants to do, regardless of what she would like. I will always make a point to ask her what she would like to do. It’s somewhat sad to see how surprised and grateful many women seem for this small amount of consideration and courtesy (that their partner can’t be bothered giving to them, apparently). As it turns out, more often than not, women have clear opinions too (surprise surprise!) – they know what they want and don’t want to do. It’s just that their partner doesn’t bother asking them – or if they ask and get an answer they don’t like (such as “I’d rather not do this long hard trail you want to do because I don’t feel as fit and confident as you” or “I have concerns about the weather and would rather wait for it to get better” for instance), they simply ignore it and drag the woman along regardless. The implication is always very clear and always the same: what he wants is more important than what she wants, every time.

Katy

I am reading your book. I hadn’t really thought about my own experiences of sexism before. Having a sister who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted at 14 and later experienced domestic violence, I didn’t really think anything less was particularly notable perhaps…but I would to add to the project. First sexual experience, repeating ‘god please make him stop’ inside my head but not feeling able to say anything out loud. A few months later, the same boy led me to a tent while I was drunk and removed all my clothes. Again, was unable to say anything. Luckily my friend found us, got rid of him and helped me back into my clothes. We carried on like nothing happened. Age 15, broke up with my boyfriend for cheating on me with my friend and then a year of bulimia. Who knows why. First long term boyfriend, aged 16, used to wake with him on/in me in the night. I thought it was what I got for having sex. Over a year later I ended the relationship after months of my boyfriends behaviour becoming more erratic and hostile towards me. Eventually he threw me into some patio doors at a party. That night I admitted to my best friend what had been happening and about a month later finished with him after another incident at a party. University of Edinburgh. Friends called us slags and made constant jokes about getting back to the kitchen. We were regularly groped at clubs and in bars. GI Joes and Barbie Hoes night sticks out. Guys seemed to think that if they just smiled at you they could then stick their tongue down your throat. The worst part is we let them. In my final year, the girls in one of my tutorials were rated by the boys on how fuckable we were. It was all sexism. But I know that I am one of the lucky ones.

Amy Hilgers

To my first serious boyfriend, You taught me that the most important part of me is my sexuality. That I should be eager to please and easily pleasured and that’s how to earn affection and attention. You taught me that there’s something wrong with me if I’m not pleasured by what you do and how you do it. You pushed me to do certain things enough times that I said yes, because I thought I was supposed to. You shaped, molded, and manipulated me until I learned how to fake intimacy and give everything to be the girl you dreamed of. My thoughts warped to the point that man after man has treated me this way and I didn’t even bat an eye. I swore up and down I’d never let anyone hurt me the way you did. I put my heart in chains and locks, but I somehow forgot to protect my body. The sacred gift that I have from God, I just let it be the object that you taught me it should be. I’ve been sexualized and made to feel like an object by you, by your best friend after you, by men I thought were my friends, by strangers, by an older coworker, by younger boys who thought they had that right too. No, I didn’t let them all have what you had. But I let them objectify me because you taught me to see myself that way too. Now I’m left with the tragedy of what I’ve allowed, but you’ve lived on seamlessly because that’s how it works. That’s how being a girl in this sex-hungry entitled-man’s world is. You should have known better. But the truth is, you get to walk away, somehow, without even being aware of what you’ve done.