The Comical Hypocrisy of Men Who Say Women "Shouldn't Have Put Themselves in That Situation."
The following story is 100% true.
"You should have stayed over last night."
I look up from the lemon I'm slicing to see Charles, a friend of many years, smiling at me in the doorway.
Yesterday was Valentine's Day, and I'd spent most of it on a plane. That's just the way the timing of my recent, epic, two-week East Coast trip worked out.
Knowing that, Charles and I had made a plan -- as friends. Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays, and even though my flight got in super late -- especially considering the time difference -- I still thought it'd be worth it to do something special when I landed. I mean, everything's always worth it, right? And one of the best ways to always be happy and never be bored is to live your whole life like you're traveling (it sure beats falling into a lame routine).
That's why I'm so willing to drop everything and chase the moon.
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And that's why I'm willing to get of a six-hour flight to cook lobsters with a friend, even though it's already 1am EST.
Our plan hit a little snag when Charles couldn't get his grill working. Rather than steam or boil them, we decided, we'd just enjoy our dozen oysters, then have lobsters tomorrow.
So we drank champagne and ate delicious oysters, and I told him about my trip -- the incredible Broadway shows in New York, the glorious weather in Washington, DC, after the polar vortex.
Dress: Gwynnie Bee. Image: @TheHappyTalent on Instagram
I even showed him a few clips from an amazing open mic night at the Scallop RePUBlic in Port St. Joe, Florida.
Meanwhile, he filled me in on what I'd missed in California: snow in the Bay Area, volleyball tournaments, ultimate frisbee games.
But then I got super exhausted, and I asked him to take me home. He invited me to stay -- three times. "You can have your own room and bathroom," he'd promised. Part of me wanted to, because I was so freaking tired...
But I thought it would be a better idea to go home and sleep in my own bed.
Which leads us back to Friday, 7:30pm. The grill is now working. We're finally cooking our lobsters, and Charles tells me, sort of out of the blue:
"You should have stayed over last night."
"You shouldn't have put yourself in that situation."
Lobster was amazing. Champagne and peas were the perfect complement. And now, we are in the car, on the way to see this cool Grateful Dead cover band. I've just finished telling Charles about an aspect of my East Coast trip that wasn't so epic. Specifically, that a trusted friend of many years had invited me to stay on his couch, as friends, then gotten gross and sexually aggressive in the wee hours of the morning.
Charles responded by telling me about... some model or something that Mike Tyson raped? I wasn't familiar with the story, but apparently he'd asked her to go back to his hotel room with him to retrieve something he'd forgotten, then raped her once they got upstairs.
It's ridiculous, Charles told me, that this upset her, because she "shouldn't have put herself in that situation."
Just like, apparently, I shouldn't have put myself in the situation of crashing on a trusted friend of many years' couch, even after clearly telling him that we are friends and nothing more.
But... I should have put myself in the situation of crashing in his guest room?
So I ask him, "You literally just said, two hours ago, that I should have stayed at your house last night. Should I have assumed that you were going to try to rape me, and not put myself in that situation? Or should I assume every man in the world is trying to rape me except for you?"
No, you don't understand, he insisted in some stupid way. With me, you're not putting yourself in a situation. Only with other men. But it's okay to trust me!
To illustrate his point, I guess, he says that it would be dumb for someone to walk down a dark alley. It would be dumb for a woman to walk down a dark alley because rapists hide in dark allies (even though, statistically, they don't). It would be dumb for a man to walk down a dark alley waving his Rolex around. And it would be dumb to get in a car with someone who had been drinking.
"You've been drinking, Charles," I remind him. "Am I in danger right now?"
No, no of course not! Only if I'm in the car with someone else who's been drinking. He stops at a red light, and I get out of the car.
"I'm not going to put myself in this situation," I tell him, then get out my phone to call a Lyft.
Before I can finish requesting my ride, he's pulled up behind me, because it's "not safe" here.
It is safe for me to crash at his house, but not someone else's. It is safe for me to be in his car with him after he's had a few drinks, but not someone else's. And I will surely be safer riding in his car, alone with him, deep into the woods where there's no cell phone reception, than I will be here, under this street lamp near a Safeway in Palo Alto.
The hypocrisy, I point out, is almost comical.
"Fuck you in the mouth," he says, then peels off into the night.
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2/19/2019 05:26:51 am
I'm confused about the 'friend of many years' after Friday 9:30 pm... Is it Charles? Is it the man from the East Coast? I guess it's the East Coast man?
2/19/2019 09:30:32 am
Both were friends of many years. Charles is the one in California who does the speaking. I'll edit to clarify. :)
2/22/2019 10:16:59 pm
Yikes! I hope he’s a former friend now. How is it so normal in our culture that the burden of expecting men NOT TO RAPE is too much to ask and instead women should constantly monitor their behavior and actions to not “lead men on” or “ask for it”?
2/23/2019 05:22:08 am
Sorry to hear that you've had these experiences.
3/9/2019 01:05:42 pm
It sounds like you need some better friends.
3/31/2019 01:22:14 am
Crap. Sorry those things happened.
3/19/2021 12:20:03 pm
I kind of understand what you're meaning to say, but @ the same time, I kind of get where he's coming from as well, even if he wasn't "framing" it in the right way; To him, his words make sense, because in his heart of hearts, HE knows he's not going to do anything violent/inappropriate to you.. but you can't be 100% sure, so it seems stupid to you that he can't seem to comprehend that in your eyes, there's really no difference between trusting one male friend over another, especially when one of them had JUST treated you in such an inappropriate way.
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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