Because I am sick of giving men fake phone numbers, or telling them I have a boyfriend, because I know how easily and violently “I’m not interested” can be ignored.
Because during the year I spent working at the student union, there was a period where I was receiving regular rape and death threats because of my organization’s political position.
Because I was advised against speaking about that experience by other student activists because talking about it might have “derailed” the public conversation about education.
Because I couldn’t go to the police for support because they were too busy arresting, assaulting, and terrorizing students in the street—women, people of colour, and other marginalized groups disproportionately among them.
Because obnoxious, loud, “progressive” white guys are getting what seems like infinitely more airtime talking about violence against women this week than women are. And because white women are getting infinitely more airtime than women of colour or trans women, who are affected to an even greater extent by sexual violence and abuse.
Because I can already imagine the trivializing, derailing, bigoted and threatening text messages and tweets we will receive if I talk about this issue on tomorrow night’s radio show.
Because I was harassed by a man who went so far as to move on to the same street as me, forced to change my route home, screen my emails, avoid campus, and eventually move—but despite fearing for my safety I never spoke publicly because I was worried people would think I was overreacting.
Because I have to worry that expressing earnest rage about any of these things openly will, at best, result in being politely sidelined (“that’s not very constructive”), and at worst professional repercussions, more threats, more violence, and more fear.
Because I am sick of being so fucking scared all the time.