Still have MRA/MGTOW/”manospherian” arguments and talking points on my mind lately, much as I sometimes wish I didn’t anymore. Got into an interesting conversation the other night with my companion, which I wish had been recorded, where we were discussing violence perpetrated between the sexes and how running of mouths can escalate things. He’s the type of man who doesn’t believe in hitting women, and likely it’d require some major breach for him to act differently (such as a woman attacking him with a lethal weapon or harming his son). The reason he takes this stance is because he is so physically powerful to where there is no question if he chose to hit, the fight would be over in an instant. Plain and simple. And he’s not the kind of man who needs to prove that in order to feel validatated, nor does he attract women who attempt to beat the shit out of him. But he’s no stranger to how women can run their mouths — myself in particular.
We talked about that, as we have already in the past, and I explained to him how my sense of physical powerlessness is likely a big reason for why I sometimes go for the jugular verbally (though I have been working on curbing this tendency for years, with mixed success — consider it something deeply ingrained and rooted in my childhood experiences of trying to defend myself against older males, particularly verbally). That sense of powerlessness that I experience is extremely frustrating to the point where I don’t always know how to handle it and get embarrassed when my last resort is simply to break down and cry because there’s nothing much else I can do in a given situation. It’s a frustrating dilemma, not only as a female but as a short-statured person who spends time socially primarily with males, because not all males are created equal. Some know they’re strong and use that to be intimidating and cruel toward physically weaker people. Over time I’ve learned to sniff out people a bit better so as to attract toward kinder men with higher standards of conduct for themselves, and due to this transition in my social scene I’ve been provided a strong incentive to reel in my own aggressive tendencies since they are overkill when directed at decent men. It’s been a learning process, and not an easy one.
My companion talked about how women running off at the mouth can come up against men who may be decent much of the time but who, once pushed beyond a certain limit, only see red and lash back out forcefully the way they might against a male “punking them out” like that. Yes, I’m aware of this. And this is a big reason why I don’t escalate violence beyond a slap, because I realize I am in no position to defend myself physically without a weapon at the ready. But the reason I have slapped is also generally due to how men can run their mouths and act as if they rule the roost and can act any which way (most offensive when in my own home), or because they grab me and won’t let go. Some men pride themselves in not outright hitting women, but they may still grab, shove, kick, and physically restrain me. That’s been my experience, and I don’t see my slap as upping the ante any greater than their actions in these cases. But then again, I have been in a few situations (two immediately spring to mind as clear examples) where the man in question went way overboard and did harshly strike or physically damage me disproportionate to my prior actions. And both of those were huge neanderthal types who weren’t too bright and seemed to enjoy their ability to intimidate and manhandle others. Funny thing about both of those men in these examples is that neither would be too quick to get into a serious physical altercation with other men despite their body size and strength — underneath it all they were cowards who preyed upon and started shit with obviously physically weaker people.
I detest those kind of men and don’t regret standing up to them despite it leading to my injury. Fuck them. And now that I read what guys in the “manosphere” online like to say on these matters, claiming that we womenfolk are just looking for opportunities to involve the police because we’re that “gun in the room,” poised and ready to fuck them up for any transgressions — funny how that’s not how either of those cases went down, though perhaps they should have. I refused to press charges. Why? One time because I was 17 and scared because I didn’t understand the law well enough and worried that I might be seen as partly at fault because I slapped a Navy man who had grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. My Papa and the cops had a talking to him anyway, and I never saw that man again. In the second case, I did file a restraining order, which he immediately violated, so I didn’t follow it up by appearing before the judge because I didn’t believe the police could or would protect me from that bastard, especially not when I had been working as a sex worker (a vulnerability that that boyfriend openly exploited to his advantage).
Let me go into a little greater detail about that second guy mentioned (probably talked about him elsewhere on this blog, he being the most bizarre and extreme asshole I’ve ever dated, that being back in 2003-2004 when I was in my early 20s). He was a crook who stole items from people’s luggage at the airport where he worked. While we were still dating, though at a seriously rocky point when I’d have been glad to be free from the bastard, he wound up stealing a gun that belonged to some Big Dog who made a big stink and got the cops involved. They pulled the surveillance footage and tried to make out if it was in fact this guy who had stolen the item (footage was surprisingly grainy for an airport, I might add), and they came to my home asking me to come downtown to look at the footage to see if I could help them by making a positive ID. But first they requested to search my apartment, which I consented to (know better than that now), and the detectives made comments as they searched through my belongings that demonstrated that they didn’t think much of me either. So, I went downtown, viewed the footage while these cops were acting all snarky toward me, and I knew in that instant that I’d be a fool to help these people, because that guy would fuck me up and these jokers wouldn’t care. Told ’em I couldn’t make a positive identification, they got disappointed and acted more rudely, and I left. The next time they came by my place of residency asking to search the premises, they were denied access and never produced a search warrant.
So yeah, that whole “gun in the room” theory doesn’t hold up all the time. Sometimes cops aren’t women’s friends either, especially not when you belong among a class of people they look down upon (e.g., sex worker and a resident in a low-income neighborhood at the time — cheap rent being a big priority of mine). I was kinda trapped between a rock and a hard place there and decided I’d be smarter to handle this guy myself somehow rather than risking the cops rendering me even more vulnerable. That was the most abusive relationship I’ve ever been in, bar none. We were together only a little over a year, and I would’ve been tickled to have had it end months earlier, but I couldn’t get the bastard to go away. And then he pulled some bullshit that got me in a bit of a stranglehold, pertaining to my job, forcing me to quit working as an escort for several months and to turn to “legitimate” employment for a spell in an effort to appease this man so as to protect the privacy of my clientele. Stupid life lessons a young person sometimes has to learn, I guess. My saving grace came when the bastard cheated and impregnated another women who was willing to let him move in with her. Just prior to that point I was seriously considering going to extremes to get that man out of my life for good. And he knew it, and he’d just laugh, saying that one of us would wind up dead and the other in prison. I was seriously considering the odds right there near the end. And so the day when I’d had all I could stand and was no longer thinking clearly, words were exchanged, his arrogant cockiness reared its ugly head, and I spit in his fucking face. Then he drove my head through a wall. Thankfully I missed the studs.
The next day I filed for a restraining order, after locking myself in my truck and calling his parents who urged me to do so. Never before then had I hit the man, but he’d threatened to punch me. I never physically did harm to the man, but he left bruises on me. And the cops wouldn’t have helped me. Hell, he violated the restraining order right away, coming to my workplace to cause trouble. (I did report this to the cops but since he would never open his door, they couldn’t served him the restraining order.) I had to move into a friend’s basement where he wouldn’t find me. Men like that do exist, and they can be a nightmare to reckon with, especially when you’re young and don’t have family around to help you out. He had no money, so it wasn’t that that kept me with him (though his family did, and that too made him very cocky since he was a daddy’s boy). It was his threatening, menacing way of being (though he could also be very charming — charmed the pants off my family when we drove down to see them) that made it so tricky to get free from him. If I avoided him, he’d show up to find me. When I threw all of his shit out on the porch, he yelled in the street until 6am, keeping my neighbors up all night. Where were the cops then? (Cops that normally circle our block 13 times a day, we counted.) They didn’t care. When he robbed me in broad daylight one day, carting off my electronics while I physically struggled against him, with many onlookers present, I did call the cops, and the female cop acted like she couldn’t give a fuck less and wouldn’t follow up on it. Said it was a “civil matter” despite that being my home and him not being on the lease. Because I had let him stay there, despite him being free to return to live with his parents (which is where he lived when I met him), she told ME that he had some sort of squatter protection to return to MY RESIDENCE and that if I didn’t like it, I could go stay in a hotel.
So tell me again about how terribly fucking helpful cops always are when it comes to a woman crying foul. Bullshit. Bullshit. Absolute bullshit. Apparently that entirely depends on who you are and who you know or what socioeconomic class you’re associated with. Had I lived in the suburbs I don’t doubt they might’ve cared a little more. But considering the situation as it stood, they did not. So the law of the (concrete) jungle prevails. And people wonder why ghettos are as they are.
My companion already knows that story. I repeat it here because even now, 10 years on, it still bothers me sometimes. Still pisses me off. Because I felt physically powerless to protect myself against an older and stronger ogre hell-bent on fucking with me. That he moved on to prey on someone else isn’t surprising since that’s his modus operandi in a nutshell. After that, I avoided serious romantic entanglements for several years and refused to let most men know where I live (which I remain cautious about). Still to this day some guys who’ve known me for years don’t know specifically where I live. Because I have no tolerance for such bullshit. Even when I met my companion initially, it took me several weeks before deciding to let him know where I live, nevermind that he has his own house that I visited the first night we met. Learned to tighten up. Because I can’t and won’t deal with that bullshit. If I don’t look out for me, who will?
Luckily now I’m older and less interesting to those who prey upon the young and naive. Life’s definitely simplified beyond my late 20s, largely because I did learn to discern between worthwhile men and those best to be avoided. But it’s a lesson one learns through trial and error, or at least I had to. Had I lived in my hometown where I had family, that motherfucker couldn’t have pulled that shit, but when you’re off in a new city where you barely know anyone, those kind of sharks try to sniff you out. That’s what my life experience taught me.
Now, as for another time the Law got involved in a romantic dispute, that had to do with my husband-at-the-time acting a fool and getting caught in the act by police (who live in our apartment complex). And I refused to press charges. Why? Because it didn’t seem necessary. I prefer to handle my problems on my own, with my people. Cops tend to complicate shit. If it’s not necessary, why do so? But the state of Mississippi decided to press charges against him anyway, seeing as how he was caught in the act by law officers. I had no say in that. They instructed 20-year-old me to sign some victim statement deal that was pages long, all while they were hauling my husband to a cruiser. BUT, months later, when it came time for the main hearing and they wrote to ask me to testify, I refused, and they had to drop the case against him (in the back of my mind I was aware that a domestic violence charge would ban him from owning firearms, and that seemed way too excessive, despite our bullshit). And we were already separated and living in different states by then, fighting like cats and squirrels on the phone, hurting one another’s feelings left and right. And still, I didn’t make it a police matter. Because I loved the man despite our differences and our problems. He wasn’t some criminal scum, though he had lost his way and was flirting with disaster around that time.
He and I could be a bit physical with one another (sometimes a bit too physical), and we hurt each other’s feelings a whole lot of times, but we didn’t call the cops, and I’m glad of that. It really wasn’t their business. I didn’t draw blood, he didn’t draw blood. And I can still remember the first and only court hearing I was required to attend after my husband had been arrested and released on bail (paid for by what I and his boss scraped together) and how the cops who had arrested him that night walked past me and shook their heads, obviously disappointed in me for choosing not to help them criminalize my husband. Well, I’m sorry cops. Ya’ll effectively guilted me, but he was my husband, so it is what it is. We went our separate ways a few months after that and so the fighting stopped, and that’s the best case scenario. No need in having him locked up — just needed to move away from one another. He wasn’t a full-on bad person even though he did some bad things. I wasn’t too good either back then. We had a lot of stress and friction and a whole lot of money problems. Married too young and probably would’ve been better off had we never married at all. But we were bonded and cared about each other at the end of the day, so we managed our problems on our own. And I don’t regret that.
So who’s the gun in the room now? Looks and sounds to me like in most cases it’s just couples/people trying to figure shit out. Maybe my attitudes about involving the Law doesn’t extend to everybody else or even most folks — I don’t know. If a man did serious damage or left me bleeding in a major way, I would call the Law, because that’s when I’d need their help. Or if a stranger started fucking with me and acting threatening in a serious way, I might would call the Law then too…but so far I’ve been lucky to not have a need outside of dealing with that one bastard mentioned up above, and he moved out of state to where he’s no longer an issue for me personally. The other bastard (Navy guy) who hit me only got told off by law officers, not arrested, which sounds pretty lucky IMO for someone who goes around grabbing younger women and knocking them to the ground over his religious convictions (gotta love those self-proclaimed “Christians” down South). Wonder whatever happened to that jackass. Maybe he’s since found himself in legal troubles, or maybe he’s straightened himself up — don’t know, don’t care. Pray for the latter for everybody’s sake since he was extremely stupid yet powerfully strong.
Sharing all of this here because I can and because it’s stories like these that inform my own thoughts and ideas, as well as what I’ve witnessed or heard about others going through (plus what I’ve taken in from reading). Are there crazy women in the world? Sure. In fact, the one person who’s ever called the Law on me was a female I knew back when I was a teenager. She was a little older than me and had been staying at my apartment, rent-free, for a couple months before she moved in with some guy with money. Called the Law after that to report me living on my own at age 16, and a cop came and told me I had two weeks to pack up and move elsewhere despite being on a lease that my mother co-signed on. Told him that was my home and I had nowhere else to go, and he simply stated that wasn’t his problem, I had to vacate. Too young to live on my own in that state, he said. So I had to call my grandparents and they had to make the 19-hour drive to come get me and relocate me to Mississippi. Seriously saddened me, and when I asked that girl why she’d ever do such a thing, she responded: “Because you’re a bitch.” That was all, and that was the last time I ever heard from or saw her. Her name was Summer, and she was a snobby little devil. I had taken her in because the man she’d been staying with, my boss at a restaurant, couldn’t take her shit anymore. No good deed goes unpunished, so people like to remind us.
Anyway, I rambled so much that I lost my original vein of thought. ha Will have to pick this back up in a different post after I tend to some work.
[Edited for typos and greater clarity Aug. 18th, 2014.]