Recently, my friend sent me a video about Louis CK and dating.

While female friends I sent this to cried out at how relevant it was, male friends were either hung up on when he says there’s someone for everyone, too distraught to consider the rest of his message, or incredibly defensive. One even said that this “is really going for a narrative that simply doesn’t exist on a daily basis. This lowkey promotes that man-hating agenda“, and “you get shit [statistics] like 5 out of 10 women get assaulted every day”. He didn’t bother listening or take into consideration the truth behind the jokes before firing off his own opinions.

While that statistic isn’t true, it made me think about what the statistics actually were. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the United State’s largest anti-sexual violence organization:

  • 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
  • As of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape.
  • 82% of all juvenile victims are female. 90% of adult rape victims are female.

While this is on the more extreme side of things that can happen to a woman, on the other end, there are things such as harassment and microaggressions that women often experience almost daily. The way society has shaped and influenced our thoughts and behaviors towards women is so ingrained in us that some don’t even realize that it’s wrong to say or do certain things. Many guys, like this friend of mine, do not experience this. Some think this does not happen often, some think this does not happen at all. I, as someone who has experienced this firsthand countless times, am telling you this type of attitude does in fact exist and is more prevalent than you think.

When your politeness towards a patient at the office is seen as invitation to ask for your address so he could take you on a date because politeness is seen as interest.

When you’re treating a patient and he thinks it’s okay to grab you inappropriately thinking you like him because your job requires physical contact.

When you’re alone with him in an empty Starbucks parking lot because he wants to have a little fun but you just wanted to grab some coffee.

When he tells you he’s attracted to you because he thinks you’re exotic.

When he messages you to hang out daily despite you telling him you can’t.

Why is it so hard to say no outright? Because when you say no, they get angry.

What started out as a good time with a nice guy who said he’ll wait for you to be ready turns into a guy who says he never wanted a relationship anyway. His sweet, kind messages become passive aggressive. He unfriends you on Facebook and blocks you on Instagram. He gets mean.

Things like this happen so regularly that you become reluctant to give chances. The next guy comes around and says some combination of:

I’m a nice guy.
I’m different.
I’d never do anything to hurt you.

But they do. You want to keep giving chances because you think there is hope out there but you get let down. In the words of Taylor Swift, we “would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that [we] have never asked to be part of.”

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