To you men who joke about assaulting women.

Every time you make a remark about assaulting women, and then defend it by saying “it was just a joke”, I think I know what you mean.  It’s not just a joke, really.  It’s not just a joke to the women, or to those who care about them; and, what’s more, it’s not just a joke to you.  It’s really important to you.  You’re saying, under the mask of laughter, something that you genuinely mean.

Don’t get angry at this fact.  You’re angry enough already.  You’re angry that you even have to disguise your intentions.  Because you know there was once a time when you could openly boast absolutely anywhere about the women you assaulted or were about to, and it would go unpunished.  Now, though, you’ve got to be a bit more careful.  Now you have to use jokes, and you hate this.

It’s obvious that you hate this, because when someone says that you are being offensive, you become furious.  Not immediately – at first, you try to patronise them, or laugh them off.  But if they persist with their accusation just once more, you skip past irritation to rage.  You might even start threatening them.  And this is why you’re pissed off – because you’re fed up with the whole fucking pretence, aren’t you? Hate having to bite your fucking tongue.  You wish this fucking bitch would just shut up like the other fucking bitch who had that smack coming.  Fucking hell.  You can’t fucking talk about anything these days, can you?

This is how it feels, isn’t it.  Your blood is up.  Fuck.  What you really want to do is say what you think anywhere anytime.  But you can’t.  Your hatred is like your cock – you want to fuck the world with it, unprotected.  But you can’t: you have to clothe it, so the joke is your condom.

And you hate having to use that condom, but it’s the only way you’re going to get any action.  Because if you hang out with your mates, and tell them straight-faced about the woman you took home who was too drunk to stand, there won’t be so many of those mates any more.  This way, if you joke about it, you can all sit in that pub and you can laugh and the cowards can cower into their pints and you can carry on.  That’s why you hate it when we call you out on your jokes.  Because what you’re really saying is Bitch don’t fucking make me take this seriously.  Because deep down you know it’s not funny and you try to think about that truth as little as possible.

It’s OK, I’m done now.  Go back to your beer and your banter, which is where you feel better.  Just don’t think that we don’t know, and that we don’t see you.  Because we see you just as clearly, when the beer clears and there’s nothing left but the bathroom mirror, as you see yourself.


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