This is picking up on the idea I started talking about the end of the last thing I posted…
I thought I had more to say with the last idea that was coming out toward the end of the post. So, I made this one to continue!
ICYMI, the general thing I was thinking toward the end of that post was that it doesn’t matter if he’s a prince or an asshole, if he goes to school with me or not, if he’s “good,” or “bad.” I should be able to be alone with him and not have him put me in an unsafe situation. I should be able to bank on the assumption that I’m not gonna get assaulted – even if he is an asshole!
Because I’ve heard a few times that I should’ve seen all the red flags (and I should have). I’m not saying no one should have any personal responsibility, or that we can just shrug off everything that happens to us as “not our fault” – even when we used poor judgement to hang out with iffy people.
And I’m not saying I *want* to be with assholes, or that that’s cool or fun.
But. I don’t agree with the idea that’s been presented all too often along the lines of like, “boys are assholes.” Or “this guy’s an asshole.” “So, what do you expect?”
Okay, first off, don’t even get me started (I mean, do, but not right this second), on our low expectations for men and how when they do something bad, so many people will say any number of iterations of “boys will be boys,” “boys are stupid,” “boys are assholes,” “what do you expect?” Etc. That’s a whole ‘nother post, but minimizing men’s abilities to listen and be amazing – to state that we are *expecting* them to be harmful in one way or anything is not good for any gender.
But back to the point of this post, and the idea of “how could you be surprised if he did that when he’s an asshole?” – Do you think I’ve never met an asshole in my entire life? We all have! And yet, none of them assaulted me. I didn’t expect them to, and they didn’t, because that’s not just “some asshole behavior.”
If you’re out with someone and they’re rude to the waiter, or they dominate the conversation, or they talk really poorly about everybody in the world, or they say something that’s borderline racist or sexist, or they’re a Trump supporter (etc.), then (in I guess, a take on the Jeff Foxworthy bit), “You might be out with an asshole!”
And depending on how well you knew this person before, or what your gut says, or whatever a million reasons, you may or may not still go home with them, or go out with them again.
“You know, I *must* have misheard their remark. There’s no way they meant it in a sexist way…. I should give them another chance.”
Some people wind up with assholes for a long time. And it’s not great. But it happens, and I don’t expect them to raped. And I don’t expect us to be okay with it if that happens.
I expect an asshole to forget my birthday, or stand me up for a date, or maybe lie to me about something at a mid-consequential level. (Still not excusing that stuff, but that’s what I expect from an asshole.)
I don’t expect him to put his penis inside of me when I am uncontrollably shaking with fear, and saying out loud that that’s why I’m shaking (not ’cause I’m cold, or any other reason, but because I’m afraid – which I voice). I don’t expect him to ignore me when I start bawling and again voicing the reason I’m uncomfortable is him. I don’t expect him to keep on moving forward as though nothing is wrong.
Is that a asshole move? Yeah! It really is. Definitely. But is that all it is? No.
It’s one of those many things in life where “a square is always a rectangle, but a rectangle is not always a square.”
Rape is always an asshole move, but an asshole is not always a rapist.
And look at that sentence right there – “rape is always an asshole move.” Did you read that and think, “what? That doesn’t sound nearly serious enough when you’re talking about rape, to just call it an asshole move.”
That’s my point! It’s more than that.
And I just think we should be careful as too many people say “she knew he was a jerk. She should’ve known what she was getting into.”
If a person is venting because their signifant other forgot an important day (promotion anniversary, birthday, whatever), and you’re like “of course they did! They always do! They’re an asshole, break up with them!” That, I understand.
Sometimes we do need our friends to metaphorically slap a little sense into us, and that is sole truth spittin’ right there.
And if someone does show characteristics of abuse, you really might suspect their SO is gonna be/or is a rapist. And if that’s the case, sure. Ask questions. See if you can help.
But let’s please not excuse criminals or blame women just because we’re gonna chalk rape and sexual assault up to asshole-ness. That’s not right.