I’ve dealt with my wounding but I still suffer new wounds every day at the hands of men like you. At least from you, it’s just condesention — the day before a stranger sent me a dick pick for the purposes of aggression. There is a whole world that all women suffer everyday at the hands of men simply for being female. Telling your daughter that this will not happen to her if she is strong is exactly what I am talking about. You are setting yourself up for a situation where she will not confide in you when it happens, and it’s not an if, it’s a when. It typically starts at about age 10, so it may have already started for her, although as I said, younger women tend to have it a bit better and so maybe she’s been spared — so far.

Ask those strong women in your life to tell you some of their stories, because they all have them. The time they were groped by a stranger, the time they were followed on the street or got into an elevator with a man and were scared, the time an older man in their life showed them pornographic pictures, the time walking home from school that some guy exposed himself, etc., etc. The CDC says that 1 in 3 women (and 1 in 6 men) will suffer sexualized violence in their lives. Not all will be raped or assaulted; some of it will be the kind of thing I described above. But every single woman I’ve ever talked to about this over the age of about 20 has had multiple experiences with those kinds of things, and that includes women my mom’s age, Trump supporters (I have several in my close circle), friends and acquaintances from different geographic areas. It’s a universal issue.

And that’s just the overtly sexual stuff. Then there’s all of the guys who talk over women, treat them like they don’t know anything and then when they demonstrate their expertise, mock that as not actually being valid — sound familiar? How about you actually internalize some of that Brene Brown stuff and implement it in your life? Throughout this entire couple of days, you’ve demonstrated zero vulnerability and when I’ve shown any, you’ve pounced on it to try to use it against me. Patriarchy is a dominance hierarchy, so it’s not surprising that this is what you’d do because it’s deeply engrained, particularly for men. But it’s also not the way to actual healing or happiness or a society that functions well.

I do not have PTSD because I’ve done a lot of healing work on myself and continue to do so. And why is it that you presume you can armchair psychoanalyze me? You say to me, “You don’t know anything about me” when I’m not trying to tell you about your life in particular, but about societal dynamics, yet you have repeatedly told me what my motivations are and what my personal life is like. Why is that you are allowed that? How is it that you know everything and I know nothing — particularly about myself? 😏

I have a really great life with a happy marriage of 26 years, another male life partner and a sexy, loving girlfriend. I face significant challenges related to my son’s health issues, but everyone has things in their lives.

And there is no reason for people to be shitty to each other simply because they don’t want to hear how they might subconsciously or even overtly be doing so. And so I’m going to continue to speak about that because it’s making an impact in my sphere, and that is the way that I can contribute to the larger world — by impacting my little corner of it.

So don’t listen to me — it’s not like I really thought you would, but because I care about my world, I was willing to offer that. You are not teaching your daughter to be safe and resilient; you are teaching her how to be ashamed and alienated from you when this stuff starts taking place and it’s a big miss on your part.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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