I Know the Coolest Peeps (I learn so much from you). Alex Cordrey, Lisa Jones, Me First, thank you to all who read my recent blog about rape culture and ideas for how to change it. If you missed it, click on Dreamy Ryan Gosling to get up to speed.
Alex Cordrey: Thank you for your honesty and bravery. I'm sorry for all the shitty men out there. I had no idea that the dick pic thing was that much of a thing, and I'm wondering what is wrong with all these... not-men... Males? My guess is that it might also have to do with buried shame. For many of us, our first experience of our penis is having part of it hacked off by a doctor. What message does that send a baby? Then many of us pick up cues from our mothers or others that there's something dirty and shameful about our penises. Many of us suffered the mortifying mix of constant boners, sweat pants, and middle school blackboards. Then, when the Internet provides an opportunity for perceived safety through anonymity, we jump at the chance to wave our wangs around. Just thinking out loud, and inviting a dash of compassion for the douche bags out there. I'm trying my best to teach my son that women are to be honored, boundaries are to be respected, sex can be beautiful, and his penis is nothing to be ashamed about.
Jane Alvey Harris: Thank you for writing this, Alex. I've thought the same things, because it comes from somewhere. The people who told me shaming things actually believed them. I don't think that every guy who is disrespectful to a woman does it with some manipulative mastermind plan to dominate the entire free world. Women AND men have inherited rape culture, and we can work together to change it.
Alex Cordrey: I Just tried to edit out the "compassion" but but you read it already. 😬 Compassion is an inside job, I don't feel right "inviting" that. I'm just trying to understand myself.. Wtf is wrong with dudes?
Lisa Jones: Jane and Alex, I am also perplexed by the dick pic thing! Thankfully, I had no idea this was a regular occurrence. I don't consider myself particularly sheltered either. Again, my first response is to ask WTF is wrong with these creeps? However, I also agree Alex, that perhaps there is buried shame and trauma as well as a need for power and control. This is all helpful (and scary) to think about as I raise my 10 year old son. We have intentionally tried never to shame him about his body and normal body stuff. We are also trying to instill the importance of everyone's body is their own property and is not to be touched etc without your permission. And the importance of respecting other people and their bodies.
Jane Alvey Harris: Very well said, Lisa! I have wondered if a man thinks it's flattering to send a woman he doesn't know a picture of his erect penis, like "you are so hot I got a hard on" sort of thing. But if that's what they think, we need to change it. I don't object to receiving compliments from men. I'm not complaining about when a man politely asks someone out on-line or in person and then respects their answer. But to ask and then ignore the response? That's a problem. That is about power and intimidation.
Lisa Jones: Yes! And this is slightly off topic, but also let's celebrate that we are all sexual beings (at least once puberty hits) and that is normal and good, not shameful! There is no need to feel ashamed or sinful or something about sexuality and normal sexual feelings and arousal and engaging in consensual sexual activity with either oneself or others. I wonder if the whole taboo in some cultures of sexual activity of various kinds leads to some kind of shame, guilt, repression, etc that then comes out in weird ways like sexual assaulting people....(Emphasis added because what Lisa just said is SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT).
Jane Alvey Harris: SO MUCH THIS!! It isn't off topic AT ALL. The two have to be connected. Your son is lucky to have you. We can make a difference one child at a time <3