NO to rape culture and (sexual) harassment

I decided to write a post today about rape culture and (sexual) harassment.

First things first

Let’s move past this thing first: rape culture and (sexual) harassment is not just a heterosexual phenomenon. Rape and sexual harassment is not just done by men. Rape and sexual harassment is not gender or “racially specific”. Rape and sexual harassment is not only about power.

Rape is not just done by adults. Rape, sexual harassment and attempts to rape can also happen between children.

Who are you?

You are maybe:

  1. A nerd/geek – You have (possibly/likely) been bullied, mistreated, rejected by (many) others.
  2. A minority in a specific group – By- and for whatever reason. You have (possibly/likely) been bullied, mistreated, rejected by (many) others.
  3. An outsider – For whatever reason. You have (possibly/likely) been bullied, mistreated, rejected by (many) others.
  4. Someone who is/feels different than the others – For whatever reason. You have (possibly/likely) been bullied, mistreated, rejected by (many) others.
  5. A victim of violence and/or mistreatment — By- and for whatever reason. You have been bullied, mistreated and/or rejected by (many) others.

It is possible and/or likely you have encountered:

  1. Verbal violence – From being “called names” to being humiliated in private and public, gossiped about and people using that verbal violence to destroy and cripple your social reputation for whatever reason
  2. Psychological violence – Including bullying, harassment, gossip, defacement.
  3. Physical violence – From being pushed around to being beaten to worse.
  4. Rejection – For whatever reasons in whatever situations, from love to job opportunities to being helped or accepted in specific groups and areas.
  5. Discrimination – For whatever reason: from the way you look, to your social status within your groups and society.
  6. Vandalism – Of property that belongs to you or people you love or like. From small objects to things you use on a daily basis to the place you live. From theft to destruction to damage and defacing that property.
  7. Denial of acknowledgment – People denying that your situation and your pain is real or something to take seriously or take steps about. People translating your actions as “a call for attention”.

This is probably done to you by:

  1. People you know – “Friends”, family, peers in your working environment
  2. People you do not know – Bullies who see you as an “easy target”. Trolls online. People who found out about you through your activities online or offline. Random strangers.

It is possible you encountered:

  1. False sympathy – People pretending to understand you in order to look good or take use of your situation to push their own agenda, from religious to dragging you into their own private version of general bullshit to more abuse along similar or same lines.
  2. Suicidal tendencies – Considering to kill yourself
  3. Murderous tendencies – Aimed at the people who hurt you the most, or people in general
  4. Violent tendencies —  Aimed at the people who hurt you the most and/or objects and representations/expressions of those people, or people in general

Whoever you are, whatever happened, and whatever other people try to tell you, the pain you felt is real to you. And whoever you are and whatever happened, people will have their own opinions about you and what you should or should not feel.

What this post is about

This post is an attempt to give things a place where it comes to (sexual) harassment and the associated aspects of rape culture.

Systems of harassment and rape culture both assume it is “OK” and “normal” to harass other people and force something (including sex) upon other people. (sexual) harassment is/can be used by rapists to create a forced form of “consent” from the subject: where the rapist “had permission/consent from the subject”.

(sexual) harassment

(Sexual) harassment is/can be (very) destructive. And we – as a society and as individuals – have no fucking clue how to deal with it. Our society has several “hooks” that allow certain forms of harassment to happen and to continue, either by a specific set of broken approaches from the subject: “smile and pretend”, “it will stop at some point” and/or by a broken approach from the surrounding environment, putting the blame and responsibility on the wrong side: “are you sure you did not provoke this?” “maybe you were asking for it”.

Rape and rape culture

Rape and rape culture (see also “rape apologism“) are not “normal”. Rape is an act of intense and vile violence towards another human being. In any and all forms and cases of rape, in any case of sex without explicit mutual consent, the rapist acted as the violator and the aggressor. In not one single case of rape, the rapist is or was acting out of self-defense.

I strongly believe that rape and rape culture represent a very broken, very sick and very deliberate deformation of human culture.

The very sad, very broken and very sick part of rape and rape culture is:

  1. Done by clinically sane people – Most cases of rape are done by clinically sane people who think/believe rape is “allowed” in certain situations.
  2. Blame put on the subject of rape – That the subject of rape and abuse has been/is still the suspect (re: “are you sure you did not provoke this?”) in many cultures that sell themselves as “civilized” to the rest of the world.

“Is it normal”?

I take a very simple stand. I refuse to accept any theory that rape and (Sexual) harassment are “normal” to human nature. And I refuse to accept any explanation that considers rape and abuse to part of a healthy human culture. We – the people at large – are not sociopaths. We – the people at large – do not enjoy to be raped, bullied and/or mistreated.

Regardless of what our culture might try to tell us: including the “soft rape” “she/he wanted him/her so badly but did not realize it until they made passionate love” and “seduction by sex” bullshit. In all cases this is just another form of rape.

Why do people push?

Why do people push? Why do people continue to cross someone’s borders?

  1. Lack of respect – The pusher has a lack of respect. This can be due to several reasons, including your “race”, social status (oppressive) bullshit and thinking: “you do not deserve” respect. All these possible justifications for a lack of respect are bullshit. Run. As fast as you can.
  2. Lack of insight – The pusher simply lacks insight. Silver spoon, never got “no” for an answer, lack of proper education, fed with a one-sided world view. In some cultures, sexual harassment and forcing yourself upon someone else is considered “normal”.
  3. Lack of empathy – The pusher is a sociopath, a narcissist or both. And a very, very potential rapist. Run, run, run. As fast as you can.

Where?

Assholes are anywhere. Including among fellow subjects to similar events. They can be like you, with the same preferences. There is no specific branch or tribe of birth-place or star-sign here.

Avoiding: what do you do?

Four things:

  1. Be aware – When you say “no” and the other does not respect this, step back.
  2. Don’t let paranoia take over – Breathe. Remain open. Not everyone is an asshole.
  3. Don’t be, become or behave like a victim – Birds with a broken wing are easy targets. Abusers smell victims from far and will focus/flock on them first. Someone else already did the basic works for them. Repair the “victim” part. Mend the broken wing. Hide the broken wing.
  4. Realize it is not about you – It is about them and their satisfaction. You are an object to be bullied, trolled, abused. You are just one of many possible targets. The more you are able to reduce the flags that attract the bullies, sociopaths and trolls, the likelier it is to stay out of harm.
  5. NEVER take the blame – I go into this deeper later. Taking the blame is a trap. It is useless. It is a waste of time. It is already hard enough to deal with the consequences of the assault. “Who is to blame” is a bullshit question. “Why” is another bullshit question. Something is broken (within you). FIX it.

When you are the bully

People who have been hurt usually become bullies as well. Out of anger, frustration or lack of awareness. Several things are indicators of this:

  1. You are regularly involved in heated discussions – Which only stop when YOU are satisfied or when the other shuts you out. And probably they never satisfy you.
  2. You insist on people to listen to you — even if they are not interested
  3. You are insisting in general – Whatever and wherever or in specific topics
  4. You continue with something even if people tell you “no” – In whatever way.

Here is a quick summary for you:

  1. You are using a broken tool – Your approach does not work. It might and probably will only make things worse for YOU.
  2. You are not fixing your own pain – Bullying is just another way to run away from your own pain.
  3. You are in a prison – As long as you continue to repeat your negative/aggressive behaviour towards others, you are in a prison and you will get the opposite of what you want: understanding, recognistion of your pain, love, attention, healing, you will only receive more rejection. People will drop you and avoid you.
  4. Take a step back – When someone tells you “no”, “enough”, “I am not interested”, take a step back. If you continue you are harassing. You become a bully yourself.
  5. You are not always right, even when you think you are – Whatever you think applies for you applies for YOU. Regardless of how awesome that something is, might be completely irrelevant for someone else. Accept this. Step back.
  6. Learn to take it easy – It is easy to fall into the trap of anger and feeling ignored and dismissed by other people. It is easy to feel the same pain and hurt you did in the past. Thing is: these are new people, different people (hopefully). Take a step back. Do not become a bully by hammering on other people until you get what you think want. (You will probably not, or by force. Which makes you just another bully or rapist).
  7. Heal / fix yourself – See: “You are fucked up. What to do?” down below. It might offer some useful tips.

No means no means no, means no

No means no. No is not: “maybe” or: “maybe later”. It means “no”.

It is possible you hold several ideas in your mind that “No” means something else. Let’s look at some of these.

Reasoning why this is only a “temporary no”

  1. Once [name] understands [something] then.. – No. Maybe you think you are cute, misunderstood, sexy, attractive, the only one who knows what is “good” for him or her. Drop it. The other does not see you that way. Even if you think you have 1000 reasons why you are right, these do not apply to this person
  2. But [fill in reason] – No.

Variations on “hard to get”

  1. (But) she/he is playing hard to get – Probably not. Walk away if you think a person is “hard to get”. A lack of interest is usually just that. A lack of interest. And if it is part of the courting game: walk out. You do not want to engage with someone who plays games with you.
  2. He/she is not yet interested, but will be when.. – Probably not. Maybe yes. Don’t count on it. When somebody likes you, when you showed yourself, when there is any interest in you, you will know soon enough. If not, find your bliss with someone else.
  3. He/she said: “no”, but actually meant “yes” – “Hard to get” is a trap. In both directions. It justifies rape to the rapist. It also makes rape “justifiable” to the subject of rape. “What if I INDEED meant ‘yes’ when I said ‘no’.” Romances and novels revolving around the concept of: “Hard to get” are encrypted oppressor/rape-fantasies. If you think you need to “play” hard to get, to get “the right guy/girl” you will probably end up with an asshole. The type that does not take “no” for an answer because he/she does not give a shit about your consent to begin with. More concretely: only rapists and sociopaths really “like” hard to get. If you like someone: go for it.

Putting the blame on you/reverting responsibility:

  1. You did not tell me to stop – The violator continues to (sexually) harass you, to assault you. Maybe you are the violator believing that your subject did not say “stop”. Either way, something is seriously wrong.  When someone indicates you are crossing a line, you stop. Period. “You did not tell me to stop” is similar to: “I will only stop when you tell me to stop exactly according to MY rules”. It is first class bully/rapist bullshit.
  2. No/stop/not interested/leave me alone — When you say “no” or “stop” or “I am not interested”, any non-bully and any non-rapist will say: “OK. Understood. I take a step back”. It is that simple.
  3. Pushing — If the person continues to push, something is seriously wrong. Don’t play with fire. Find a safe exit. Don’t take the risk of challenging a sociopath.
  4. After the assault – When things go wrong and you are on the wrong side of it all, REFUSE to take the blame. Refuse. It is already hard enough to deal with the immediate effects. Don’t add some cultural bullshit-invention on top of that. It is irrelevant “who is to blame”. Shit happened and now something got broken. Stuff remains broken until it has been fixed. Focus all your energy on fixing it. Fuck guilt, blame or whatever.
  5. Do not accept/report – Whatever happened and whatever pain is experienced on the receiving side is unacceptable when violence is involved and that violence was not based on self-defence by the violator. (In the cases of rape, bullying and (sexual) harassment). Report. Silence is one of the things that allows this to happen again. And again.

Summarizing this

Something is seriously broken

(Sexual) harassment and rape are not: “normal human behaviour”. They are not “genetically ingrained/once required as part of human evolution” nor are they: “typical for a specific gender”. Men are not: “inheritly (sexually more) aggressive”.

If and when sexual harassment and rape occur on a very regular basis, it is either due to:

  1. A mental disorder – The person lacks something in his/her personal perception related to other people. The suffering of others is either non-existent, not noticed, “not real” and/or wanted/needed/required by the subject of the sexual assault.
  2. A broken/allowing culture – Any culture that justifies rape and violence and protects the violators in even the slightest way (including social status and “race”) is seriously broken/damaged/fucked up and very unhealthy for people to live in.

When your culture is broken / when it is lack of insight

When a culture is broken, violated, warped, this usually reflects in the sexual and social education of children and of the people in general. For instance:

  1. The power to say “no” – How many times did you hear explicitly and repeatedly that it is very OK to say “no” when someone asks you for something sex? That it is OK to HEAR “no” when you are asking for sex? How many times have you been told to obey? To not resist? Even when things were hurtful for you?
  2. The normalcy of lust – How normal is— and was it for you to see yourself as a being that lusts? How normal is it to you to step up to someone you lust for and say: “I like you / I think you are really hot. Would you like take some time somewhere to fuck?” How normal is it to you to say: “No thank you, I am not into you” and go on without feeling harassed, violated or feeling this creeping sense of fear that that person might show up later to rape you somewhere when you do not expect it? (To be clear: I have dipped myself in two sexual sub-cultures where this exact approach of: “I like you, want to fuck?” “yes/no thank you” to sex is quite normal.)
  3. The way to ask and approach – How do you approach a person to ask for a favour? To ask if he/she likes you? Loves you? Feels lust for you (as well)? How free do you feel in that? What responses do you expect?
  4. Sex, love, being in love and endearment – Do you know what the differences? Do you have any idea where one stops and the other begins? Can you experience one clearly without the others? Can you experience them all at a certain point and then lose it all together somewhat later? Can you accept that you can feel all and all of them for more than one person?
  5. Sexual preferences – What is “normal”? What if you love both men and women? What if you only love people of my own sex? What if you do not know (yet)? What if you love (to have sex with) animals? What if you have specific fetishes? What if you love and lust for a lot of people? What if you love and lust for only a few people, or even only one single person?
  6. Acceptance of rejection – Why do people reject you? How do you reject others? Why would you reject? How do you like to be rejected? How does that happen? How much fear is involved in this whole thing of rejecton? How much do you fear to reject another person? Or to be rejected to begin with?
  7. Inclusion/exclusion – Who do I include? Who do I exclude? Why? How many?
  8. Jealousy – What is “normal”? How do I deal with it when I feel jealous? How do I deal with it when others are jealous to me?

The Euro/American(ized) culture I come from is completely fucked over and fucked up in this. Our wonderful Christian Religion did a great deal in destroying (for everything that was not already damaged) a normal and healthy approach to sex by making anything and made everything suspect that was not “normal” sexual behaviour according to the Church: “you have sex with the sole purpose to reproduce/produce more children”.

Euro/American culture in general has no fucking clue how to deal with this. The United States (from what I see in the mainstream culture) is even worse in its trimming/narrowing down of options and “the normal” than Europe is.

You are fucked up. What to do?

So, you are fucked up. What you feel should be normal and easy (finding a partner, have fun, share your feelings, laugh, cry, fuck, eat) is really difficult. You might encountered in your encounters with others:

  1. Hostility – Towards you or from you to others
  2. Pain/frustration/hurt – As a result
  3. Confusion – Towards “who your are” and “how things seem to be broken” and “how everything seems not to work for you”

I do not have a direct answer, apart from “work on yourself” in: “Get out of the loop of neediness NOW” and “fight for your right to be heard” (see further below).

Wanted: power, sex, love, attention

Sexual harassment (and possibly rape as well) is about either/or:

  1. Power – To oppress you. To show you who is in charge. To “punish” you for some bullshit non-existent thought-crime “you” committed to that person. It is not about you though. It is all about that person and a reliving of a specific pain or humiliation someone once did.
  2. Sex – To have sex with you. To fulfill a very basic human need. But “you” can be anyone.
  3. Love – To receive love. To get your attention, to show you he/she “deserves” your love.
  4. Attention – To receive attention. If it is not your love, at least it is to be seen and acknowledged by you.

Reaching out? Get out of that loop of needyness NOW

If you are the one who is “wanting”, get out of that loop as soon as you can. Cut it. Kill it.

Why? (how people see you)

Here is how other people will perceive you:

  1. Annoying – You bug them.
  2. Pathetic – You are not able to show yourself other than by putting yourself in a submissive or aggressive or a submissive/aggressive position
  3. Threatening – Your responses are – least to say – weird. You are possibly and probably faking it, whatever you do, wherever you do it, because your purpose is to get attention, not to attribute. The moment you flip from “being nice” to being aggressive, you have become a potential liability to the other person. A potential harasser, a potential aggressor, a potential troll.

Why? (What “stepping out of the loop” will bring you)

Probably you are everything you think you are: smart, witty, cute, adorable, deserving love and attention, the greatest male/female/heterosexual/homosexual/bi-sexual/flbrlw whatever lover ever invented. Possibly not.

Here is what stepping out of that loop of needy self-confirmation will bring you:

  1. A more relaxed state of mind – Once you get out of the loop of self-pity and self-indulgence and the need of whatever kind of external confirmation of whatever, you will become more relaxed.
    1. Less need for anger – There is no need anymore to get angry because someone did not acknowledge you. Who gives a fuck?
    2. Less need for justification – So what person XYZ does not see you or confirms the things you want to see confirmed. Who gives a fuck?
    3. Less need for acknowledgement – So you are cute/smart/awesome whatever. Good for you. Now go and make things of beauty instead of wasting your- and other people’s time by talking about it.
    4. More time to show yourself – Acknowledgement comes from your (usually long term) achievements, not from being a whiny bitch.
    5. More time to find people who like you – Nice people. Friends who love you for what you are.
    6. More time for yourself – Each time you are reaching out to get approval, you are wasting your time and abandoning yourself.
    7. Writing/digging – Write about it, make drawings, diagrams. Whatever helps you. Dig deep. Go all the way. Create a personal diary. Keep it private. Why does it hurt? Why does it infuriates you? Go from anger and dig deeper. Go from sadness and dig deeper. Go from pain and dig deeper.
    8. Therapy – Find a therapist. Talk about it. Share your findings.
    9. Regain and reclaim your power – One thing that probably happened is that you have been told that you are powerless. That there is a point where it is useless to resist. That resistance is better to give up earlier to prevent further pain. You are not powerless. Nor should you give in or give up.
    10. Change your sources – Many “appropriate” literature and movies and songs reflect the dominating view of your culture. And in most cases that view is very single-minded and very exclusive. For instance: in my case that is a white, Christian, heterosexual, monogamous, male-dominant point of view. Read gay literature. Read books by people who promote an open mind and an open view to everything. Avoid literature that promotes rape and dominance of one over the other. Read the bill of human rights and INTERNALIZE that shit.
    11. Allow yourself to feel hurt – If you feel hurt, you are already on the right way. You understand someone or something (probably) fucked you over. Feel it. Explore it. Let yourself be overcome by it. Cry. Be angry.
    12. Learn to respect boundaries – When people ask you to stop, stop. When people say “no”, assume it means “no” and not: “maybe” or “maybe later”.
    13. Understand that you are not the center of the world – This “might not apply to you”, but probably does. Your pain and your experiences are not unique. You are one of many. The world is not there to hurt you. Nor is it conspiring to hurt you. Step out of this thinking if you do. It borders paranoia and it is useless.
    14. Stop seeing yourself as a victim – You are not anymore. The moment you take control, you are – worst case – a person in a (very) shitty situation. Work to get out of that. The moment you see yourself as a victim, you are giving up. Victimizing yourself is laziness. It will kill your choices. Considering yourself a victim will keep you in the situation that hurts you. Get out. *
    15. Learn to accept rejection – On/by:
      1. Preferences – You have preferences. Other people have preferences. Your preferences are usually not the preferences of other people. When people do not like your preferences, they probably are very capable in liking you. They simply DO NOT LIKE YOUR PREFERENCES. Which is OK. You probably feel the same to them.
      2. Personal taste – What you like is not necessarily the taste of others. What other people like is not necessarily your taste or stupid or misinformed. If other people do not like your taste, they might still like you, but THEY DO NOT LIKE YOUR TASTE. You are not your taste.
      3. People you find attractive – It is possible you have a crush on very specific people. It is possible these very specific people do not have a crush on you.
      4. Do NOT bug/blame other people – It is tempting to cry out to the world how damaged you are and how XYZ is to blame and go out and find those assholes and RAM it into their FACES how FUCKED UP they are (and so on). Don’t. You are one of billions in this world with that very same and similar problem and therefor very far from unique or special. It will not solve anything. Have some dignity to yourself. There are two places where you express your pain: in your private diary and with your therapist.
      5. Get past it – You will reach a moment where you will get past the hurt and the pain.
      6. Do the things you really like – And learn to not give a shit. When people like your work/your expressions of your self, they will come to you. When they don’t, they will not.
      7. Learn not to give a shit – So you have been hurt before. So your life sucked. So you have been bullied, treated unkind/unfair. Learn not to give a shit. It happened. It is in the past. You can no longer change it.
      8. Change your NOW – If the things that hurt you in the past are still there now, change your environment. Fight it. Leave. Do whatever. Do not stay. Do not accept. Do not allow the hurt to continue.
      9. Understand the concept of equal rights – All people have equal rights. ALL people.
        1. Birth-right is bullshit – Where and how and when you were born is random. To be from a specific location or be born in a specific family does not automatically make you more special, more smart or less special and less smart than anything or anyone else in the world.
        2. Justification of violence is bullshit — Justification of any form of violence is merely a reflection of an abusive culture and people from an abusive culture or subculture. Avoid these people and their conversations, unless you want to fight it head on.
        3. You have the right to a good life — Your rights to happiness and a good life are just as justified as that of any other person.
        4. You have the right to be treated with respect — Your being different in whatever way does not give other people the right to treat you like shit.
        5. You understand that you are not special – Your suffering does not give you the right to treat others like shit or forces you to subject yourself to whatever asshole of a person.

How?

* The American system around victims speak about “Survivors”. But “survivor” of what? You survived many things, including birth, not getting killed by fire, not being killed from drowning and not being killed when crossing the street. The fake-ness of “…survivor” and the less used: “warrior” is mind-blowing. “Overcoming”. The same. You do not “overcome” or “survive” deep trauma or pain. You make choices. You learn to live with the pain. You (hopefully) refuse to fall in the lazy (and sometimes culturally created) trap of victimhood. You go on.

Fight for your right to be heard

You have a right to be heard. Regardless of how inane your situation might seem to others. And regardless of how big the resistance is or other people do not agree with you.

Here is a short list of things to take into consideration:

  1. NEVER compare/confuse your situation with another – Your experience is YOURS. It is personal. “I was bullied as a kid” does not give you the right to say: “so I understand racism and the effects of imperialism” or “I understand how it is to be raped”. Neither can you say: “My [fill in personal experience] was worse than [fill in general/other experience]”. It is bullshit altogether. You are spouting diahrea in both directions.
  2. Be clear how and why it hurt – You only have YOUR experience. Be clear how it hurt YOU and why. Leave it at that. You do not speak for any group. Your pain is not universal. EVER.
  3. Be clear what needs to be changed – What is wrong according to you? What needs to be changed? How?
  4. Keep it real – You do not speak for the world. You do not speak for your peers. You are not some savior. This is your voice and it deserves to be heard.
  5. Find people with a similar mission – While your experiences are personal, the things you might want to change, and how that change can be achieved are probably more generic and universal.
    1. Join up – Join up. Work together. More people means more leverage. But be aware as well.
    2. Do not depend on others/do not get sucked in – Whatever it is you do and whatever your message is, keep it yours. If and when you join, be careful not to become or be moved into the position of the holy martyr who – at a certain point – will carry the entire movement “because you are so good at…”. Contribute. Attribute. Keep it yours.
    3. Make it big – How many are there? What are their stories? How can you find more?
    4. Make it political – Do not fear to kick against the current establishment, to shout out, to provoke the giants, to get things moving. But be careful. Protect yourself.
    5. Use social media – Use whatever is there. Blogs, social tools. Show up. Write. Produce.
    6. Avoid groupies/needy people – Some people rely on others to speak for them. Some people are manipulative and MAKE other people speak for them. While friends are nice, groupies are not. They “need” you. Avoid neediness and needy people. Regardless of how “boosting” they might feel for your ego in the beginning.
      1. Unless you are needy yourself – It is possible you are a needy person yourself. Then: by all means collect other needy people and make circles together. Feed yourself and the others. Have fun. Keep in mind you will meet hostility. Protect yourself, etcetera.
      2. Let yourself be heard – Silence is NEVER good. If you do not speak up, who will? If others do not speak up, how will you find them? If nobody speaks up, how will your cause ever be brought into the daylight? Too many things continue because people do not speak up.
      3. Protect yourself – If the/your experience is one that has “no place” in society, if the responses you can expect from others and from the outside are violent and hurtful, protect yourself.
        1. Work under a pseudonym – Make yourself, the real you unfindable. If and when people attack (for instance because you challenge some strong belief that uphold a whole set of lies), they can be violent and very personal.
        2. Make sure you are untraceable – Do not give away personal data. Do not give hints of where you might live, unless it is wide enough to remain unfindable. Do not link to your “real” self. You and your public personality are completely separate entities living in two completely different universes.
        3. Do not expect sympathy/brace yourself – Your cause will probably meet resistance.
          1. Calling you out – People will call you out, will call you a liar, will attack you on personal levels. EXPECT this to happen. Be ready for it. Do not let yourself be dragged with it.
          2. Trolls and (almost) scripted challenges – Trolls will find you and will use their (almost) scripted and (very) predictable set of attacks to make you expose yourself. To get deeper hooks on you.
          3. People who had it worse (and might hate you) – There will always be people who had it worse and will try to call you out and shut you down, “because you have no right” to feel something similar as they did. YOUR experience applies to YOUR environment. You are not trying to save them nor do you (pretend to) speak for them. Let them fuck off.
          4. Assholes within your own group – People are people. Assholes are assholes. Assholes are within each group and some of these assholes will suddenly feel attacked by you and will start attacking you as a result. It is part of that same damage you experienced around you. 

Additional: Rape culture and sexual harassment

Rape culture is a culture in which the rapist is excused for his or her (violent) behaviour. It is a culture in which it is OK to make jokes and remarks in which the other party is humiliated, muted and objectified. In which people seriously believe the rapist “could not control him/herself” and rape is “provoked” by the one who has been raped. In which the fault is always with the person who has been violated: the victim.

Variations on (sexual) harassment

(Sexual) harassment has two main variations with several sub-causes. In all cases, the harasser is wrong:

  1. Without awareness – The harasser is not aware that his/her behaviour is rude, threatening, creating a strong feeling of threat/unsafety on the receiving side.
    1. Misinformed – The harasser is misinformed. Whatever it is, makes the harasser think his/her behaviour is normal/allowed/required/expected/wanted.
    2. Plain stupid – Above misinformed, the harasser is plain stupid. Regardless of how many times people have been pointing out that the behaviour of the harasser is wrong, the harasser continues to display it.
  2. With awareness – The harasser is well aware his/her behaviour is  rude, threatening, creating a strong feeling of threat/unsafety on the receiving side.
    1. Out of plain cruelty – The Harasser is plain cruel. All actions are done to hurt the other, because the harasser has been / feels hurt him/herself or simply drives a lot of satisfaction from this kind of harassment. This type of harassment is usually intended to destroy something. Like breaking windows, setting your house on fire, making you feel like a sack of shit or worse.
    2. Harassing the harasser – The harasser is fighting fire with fire. By fighting the harasser (A) with harassment (B), harasser A is either brought to silence or to understanding (if without awareness)
    3. To overpower / to control / to get something – Harassement in this case is used to “break” the subject. Bit by bit and piece by piece the subject of harassment is moved into the next stage of submission. The purpose/goal can be various, but is usually set to overpower/subject, to control the subject and/or to get something from that subject. This “something” can be money, sex or a fake form of love or attention.

When people do not stop

Harassment becomes harassment when the harasser does not stop when asked to. People can make mistakes, but when they continue to push on after being told to stop/hold down/relax/tone down/shut up, the behaviour becomes a violation.

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