A few reasons why women/LGTBQA+ people/POC/etc. need safe spaces…

1. Not because we are afraid of radical new ideas, but because too many people don’t understand the radical idea that we are people in deserving of respect.
 
2. Not because we are too sensitive for the big, harsh world, but because the world is even harsher on us than our more privileged counterparts.
 
3. Because as a woman, it would be nice to go somewhere where I don’t feel like everyone’s staring at my chest or trying to figure out how to sleep with me.
 
4. Because as a woman of color, I need a place where I don’t feel like someone’s fetish.
 
5. Because as a bisexual woman, I need a place where people aren’t constantly asking me to be part of a threesome.
 
6. Because as a woman with a mental illness, I need a place where people aren’t telling me to “get over it” or to “toughen up” or who hypothesize that I don’t *really* have a mental illness, but rather that I’m simply “quite sensitive” or “a little different.”

7. Because my need to feel safe is mocked.

8. Because you think you know better than me what is best for my well-being and emotional health.

9. Because the world is not a safe place for people like me. I’m not afraid of learning new things or hearing opinions that are different from my own. I am afraid of being objectified, I am afraid of being belittled, I am afraid of being attacked.
10. Because racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/ableist/fat-shaming/slut-shaming/etc. language is considered a valid opinion rather than hate speech.

Instead of mocking people for needing a safe space, try to make the world safer for people of all kinds. Your mockery is part of the problem. Your mockery is what I need to escape from. Even bloodthirsty feminist warriors such as myself need a break from fighting the patriarchy sometimes, but… it’s everywhere. It’s in ads, it’s in institutional policies, it’s creeping out in microaggressions from the mouths of my friends and loved ones, it’s shouting at me as I walk along the street.

When you mock the need of some to go to a safe space,  you are part of the problem, not the solution.

No Means No, Fucker: Entitled Bastard Drastically Mishandles Rejection

In the course of my outspokenness when it comes to feminism, I’ve come across a not-insignificant number of people who don’t think my activism is necessarily, well… necessary, people who think I take social justice too seriously. I would love to live in a world where I don’t need feminism, but unfortunately, I do. I really, really do, and I don’t believe I know anybody who doesn’t. I don’t know anybody – man, woman, child, transgender, cisgender, no gender, all genders, uncertain gender, and anyone I’m forgetting – who hasn’t been somehow, sometime negatively affected by sexism, traditional gender roles, ideas of toxic masculinity, the strict adherence to the typical gender binary, etc.

Take, for example, a woman’s right to say no. Even though women, of course, have the right to say “no” to sex, in practice, it doesn’t always work that way. Some men do not know how to take “no” for an answer, and sometimes react extremely – with physical violence or verbal abuse – to a rejection. Unfortunately, not everybody wants to believe that, and chooses instead to blame the victim – for the way she dressed, for her drunkenness, for giving  unclear signals, and the list goes on.

As many of you have experienced firsthand, I am very vocal about the faulty logic and general awfulness of victim-blaming; in social media and in face-to-face conversations, people have asked me to give examples, to provide proof, usually to challenge me to admit that “Jk! I made it all up!” I mean, I don’t know what they expect of me, but I guess that’s one option.

The great – and terrible – thing about the Internet is that people write down their horrible, misinformed, and hateful opinions so that there’s written proof that yes, real people think like this. By request, I am going to begin posting some evidence of this phenomenon as I’ve experienced in my daily internetual operations (I would also post – anonymously, if that’s what you’re into – similar logs from anyone else, if you’d like to send them my way).

So without further ado, a conversation I had over a popular dating site (It starts with O and rhymes with “No way, stupid.”) with a man who would not leave me the friggity frack alone even when I – at first, politely, and finally, excruciatingly directly – turned him down. For a little context, I still have a profile on the site where I’ve listed myself as “seeing someone” (a wonderful, wonderful someone) and as “looking for friends”, since I have met some cool people there, although I pretty much never go on it anymore. At the time of the conversation in question, I was more active, listed as “single” and was looking for “short-term dating, long-term dating, and friends”. Note that I did not have “casual sex” listed there, although it is an option on the site. The photos I use are all super boring and tame – nothing I don’t probably have posted on Facebook somewhere. The man who messaged me had absolutely no reason to think I would be interested in his suggestion. That being said, I’m not generally against someone on the site asking, as long as they politely accept when I politely decline, but as of this writing, that has not happened yet; insistence followed by indignation seems to be the norm. What follows is the English translation (translated by yours truly), but if you do speak the Sprache der Liebe (or are learning!), the original screen shots are linked below. Also, los!

(In both the following translation and the screenshots, identifying information is redacted to protect the very, very guilty).

Him: Hello, beautiful lady, I’m [redacted]. Very nice to meet you. You’re looking for a man, and since I really like you, I would love to meet you. How would it be with the two of us?

Me: Hi, I’m Linda. How would it be with the two of us? That depends. Tell me something about yourself. Where are you from?

Him: I’m looking for a woman to spend some lovely hours with. And I’m from [redacted].

Me: And you think I’m such a woman?

Him: Well, one could always just meet up with someone for sex, right?

Me: Sure, one could.

Him: So, do we want to meet today?

Me: No, we don’t. I’m sick.

Him: That’s too bad that you’re sick.

Him: What do you have, exactly?

Me: The flu.

Him: Oh, my poor thing.

Him: Can I come by and take care of you?

Me: I’m okay.

Him: I have no problem with your flu, my love. Do we want to meet for sex today anyway?

Me: No.

Him: But I really like you figure, and I absolutely want to fuck you. 🙂

Me: I don’t want to. I don’t even know you.

Him: Why don’t you want to? Sex is something beautiful.

Me: I don’t know you at all. And do you think that would be a good idea for me? Get a message from some guy online and meet him for sex?

Me: And secondly – as I’ve already said – I’m sick and I don’t want to have sex.

Him: It would be something like a one-night stand, where two people normally don’t know each other. Let’s have sex. In this way, we could get to know each other.

Me: No.

Him: Oh, come on. Trust me, you won’t regret it. 😉

Me: No. I don’t know you and I’m sick. The answer is no.

Him: Why would you have to know me to have sex with  me?

Me: Because sex is really personal and I would have to feel safe.

Him: I would give you more than enough safety in my strong arms.

Me: I already feel unsafe since you apparently don’t understand the word “no.”

Him: -_-

Him:  Hmm, not only is this app shit, but the “women” here are also totally retarded. Then go fuck yourself,  you frigid piece of shit. I don’t need to beg someone for meaningless sex!

Me: Apparently you do, since you’ve been annoying me this whole time just to have sex with me. I am not a frigid piece of shit, but you are an ugly fucking pig and I wouldn’t fuck you if you were the last man on Earth. Have fun alone with your hand – I already have pleeeenty of other men I can fuck.

Sorry, [redacted] no longer has an account.

(Author’s note: I totally recognize my closing comment is quite harsh, but I had run out of politeness and nice words at this point. I also bent the truth just a little – while there were plenty of men, women, and other people of various gender identities around me that I could have had sex with, there were shockingly few that I actually would have had sex with. If you have an opinion about that, do me a solid: write it down (please be sure to use good penmanship and proper spelling/grammar), fold it up real nice, put it in a clean envelope, and send it to your nearest recycling bin because I don’t give a fuck. Later, haters.)

As promised, if you are so inclined: Let me peep dem screen shots in the original German, fam.