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.
a guy walked into the board room and said
"hi sweetheart if you could fix me up a coffee real quick im meeting with the regional reports manager in like five minutes, thanks darling"
and i just stared at him and coldly said
"i am the regional reports manager"
we are now twenty minutes into this board meeting and i dont think i’ve ever seen a man look so embarrassed and afraid in my whole life
today there was a snowboard race at the resort i’m staying at and i’m a pretty decent snowboarder so i thought why not try right. so i wear all black just because it’s the only color i own and i ended up winning and when the announcer came over to me he said “dude! that was pretty awesome bro, what’s your name?” and i took my helmet off like in the movies and let my hair fall out and was like “caitlin” and everyone was liKE OOOOOOH
Scarlett Johansson puts Extra’s interviewer in his place after he asks: Were you able to wear undergarments [under your suit]?
Actresses are asked such INANE, bs, “sexy” questions by male interviewers, thank god she actually calls them out
I love how Jeremy is just cracking up the entire time.
His face in the first one. It’s just so… “Oh god, you are in for it now. I’m just gonna look at my hands while she tears you open.”
My love for Scarlett Johansson just went through the stratosphere.
There is nothing not awesome about this, because not only does she say things that should be said often and more loudly, but Renner’s reaction gives it another layer of win. ScarJo is sick of this shit, and Renner knows you’re really gonna get it now.
You can almost see the words “for fuck’s sake” pop across her face. I bet her and Jeremy had a bet on about if they’d ask her something stupid like that.
I love that face of disapproval she has before she even starts speaking
I love that she tears the interviewer apart indirectly, and then sarcastically gives them a choice - “I’ll leave it up to your imagination,” knowing whatever she tells them cannot match up to them imagining her as a porn star - but makes it well known she’s really annoyed
I hate that the interview might have come out as, ‘Johansson smiled and suggested we imagine whatever we felt “she should or should not have been wearing under the costume.”’
Reporter: I have a question to Robert and to Scarlett. Firstly to Robert, throughout Iron Man 1 and 2, Tony Stark started off as a very egotistical character but learns how to fight as a team. And so how did you approach this role, bearing in mind that kind of maturity as a human being when it comes to the Tony Stark character, and did you learn anything throughout the three movies that you made?
And to Scarlett, to get into shape for Black Widow did you have anything special to do in terms of the diet, like did you have to eat any specific food, or that sort of thing?
Scarlett: How come you get the really interesting existential question, and I get the like, “rabbit food” question?
The respect given to you if you’re a man in the entertainment business, and the respect given to you if you’re a woman in the entertainment business: all perfectly summed up in one idiotically thought out line of questioning.
To match what Emma Stone said
|Emma Stone:||But people do always ask that. They ask who is my style icon, what's the one thing that I can't leave my house without. I'm always like, "My clothes!" I can pretty much leave without anything. It's fine as long as I'm not naked.|
|Andrew Garfield:||I don't get asked that—|
|Emma Stone:||You get asked interesting, poignant questions because you are a boy.|
|Teen Vogue:||It's sexism.|
|Emma Stone:||It is sexism.|