When I was seventeen and preparing to leave for university, my mother’s only brother saw fit to give me some advice.
“Just don’t be an idiot, kid,” he told me, “and don’t ever forget that boys and girls can never just be friends.”
I laughed and answered, “I’m not too worried. And I don’t really think all guys are like that.”
When I was eighteen and the third annual advent of the common cold was rolling through residence like a pestilent fog, a friend texted me asking if there was anything he could do to help.
I told him that if he could bring me up some vitamin water that would be great, if it wasn’t too much trouble.
That semester I learned that human skin cells replace themselves every three to five weeks. I hoped that in a month, maybe I’d stop feeling the echoes of his touch; maybe my new skin would feel cleaner.
It didn’t. But I stood by what I said. Not all guys are like that.
When I was nineteen and my roommate decided the only way to celebrate the end of midterms was to get wasted at a club, I humoured her.
Four drinks, countless leers and five hands up my skirt later, I informed her I was ready to leave.
“I get why you’re upset,” she told me on the walk home, “but you have to tolerate that sort of thing if you want to have any fun. And really, not all guys are like that.”
(Age nineteen also saw me propositioned for casual sex by no fewer than three different male friends, and while I still believe that guys and girls can indeed be just friends, I was beginning to see my uncle’s point.)
When I was twenty and a stranger that started chatting to me in my usual cafe asked if he could walk with me (since we were going the same way and all), I accepted.
Before we’d even made it three blocks he was pulling me into an alleyway and trying to put his hands up my shirt. “You were staring,” he laughed when I asked what the fuck he was doing (I wasn’t), “I’m just taking pity.”
But not all guys are like that.
I am twenty one and a few days ago a friend and I were walking down the street. A car drove by with the windows down, and a young man stuck his head out and whistled as they passed. I ignored it, carrying on with the conversation.
My friend did not. “Did you know those people?” He asked.
“Not at all,” I answered.
Later when we sat down to eat he got this thoughtful look on his face. When I asked what was wrong he said, “You know not all guys do that kind of thing, right? We’re not all like that.”
As if he were imparting some great profound truth I’d never realized before. My entire life has been turned around, because now I’ve been enlightened: not all guys are like that.
No. Not all guys are. But enough are. Enough that I am uncomfortable when a man sits next to me on the bus. Enough that I will cross to the other side of the street if I see a pack of guys coming my way. Enough that even fleeting eye contact with a male stranger makes my insides crawl with unease. Enough that I cannot feel safe alone in a room with some of my male friends, even ones I’ve known for years. Enough that when I go out past dark for chips or milk or toilet paper, I carry a knife, I wear a coat that obscures my figure, I mimic a man’s gait. Enough that three years later I keep the story of that day to myself, when the only thing that saved me from being raped was a right hook to the jaw and a threat to scream in a crowded dorm, because I know what the response will be.
I live my life with the everburning anxiety that someone is going to put their hands on me regardless of my feelings on the matter, and I’m not going to be able to stop them. I live with the knowledge that statistically one in three women have experienced a sexual assault, but even a number like that can’t be trusted when we are harassed into silence. I live with the learned instinct, the ingrained compulsion to keep my mouth shut to jeers and catcalls, to swallow my anger at lewd suggestions and crude gestures, to put up my walls against insults and threats. I live in an environment that necessitates armouring myself against it just to get through a day peacefully, and I now view that as normal. I have adapted to extreme circumstances and am told to treat it as baseline. I carry this fear close to my heart, rooted into my bones, and I do so to keep myself unharmed.
So you can tell me that not all guys are like that, and you’d even be right, but that isn’t the issue anymore. My problem is not that I’m unaware of the fact that some guys are perfectly civil, decent, kind—my problem is simply this:
In a world where this cynical overcaution is the only thing that ensures my safety, I’m no longer willing to take the risk.
r.d. (via vonmoire)
(Source: elferinge, via mypocketshurt90)
Dolphin comes out of nowhere and asks diver for help !
While the diver Keller Laros was filming stingrays in Hawaii, out of nowhere appeared a dolphin that had a hook and fishing lines coiled in one of the fins. Surprisingly, the dolphin stayed there with the diver until the hook and line had been detached.
Pretty amazing footage..
i thought of you, while in the shower
and i thought of how nice it’d be
to have your things among my things
along the bathtub’s edge
and i imagined myself running out of soap
and using yours
and wearing you to work, and the grocery store
and i imagined that night, laying down beside you
and smelling your neck
and finding out where all my soap had gone
(Source: abigailpaige, via aliveagaintoday)
The saddest part is that EVERY girl regardless of race, sexual orientation, body type, disability, health, age or any other difference between us says phrases such as:
- I actually look pretty today.
- I like my body today.
- I kinda look okay today.
- My face looks terrible but I like my outfit!
And the sad part of this is that we are all shocked when we think we look good. Because WE ARE ALL made to feel bad about ourselves.
We are all taught that there is something wrong with our bodies so do not love them.
Do not love yourself.
And certainly don’t love other girls for having features that are unique to them.
This is not okay.
This is not okay.
How long until we all stand together?
How long until we decide for ourselves that we are worthy of self love?
oh my god, itstrueitstrueitstrue
(Source: evenidontknowwhatimdoinghere, via oh-sweet-pea)
Stuff happens, occasionally.
Well done, xkcd. View the full “Frequency” comic here, it’s truly mesmerizing. I had no idea there were so many Sagittarii named Amelia who were fans of carbonated beverages.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to continue waiting for my turn signal to synchronize with that of a stranger’s, longing for that unspoken, unknown connection, that most universal element of the human experience.
"Don’t marry a man unless you would be proud to have a son exactly like him."
Unknown (via cavum)
Make this gender neutral and listen to it.
This honestly blows my mind whenever I see it
(Source: capecodcollegiate, via oh-sweet-pea)
Sometimes I think to myself, “do I really want to buy another chocolate bar?”
And then I remember that there is a super volcano under Yellowstone that is 40,000 years overdue and when it erupts it could potentially cover most if north America in ash and create a volcanic winter that kills half the worlds population
And I’m like, fuck yeah I want that chocolate bar
This person has the most real values to date