Maybe it's not my turn to grapple with this anymore

20 years ago, I was grappling with the concept of purity. Whether the worth of myself as a human woman was determined by what happened between my legs.

15 years ago, I was grappling with the concept of adult platonic friendships. Whether these kinds of things could exist and if it was my fault I could only be thought of as a sexual object, someone only worth getting to know if there was a chance I’d be their girlfriend.

10 years ago, I was grappling with the concept of what consent looks like. Whether doing certain things like being in certain rooms or letting someone foot a bill or getting drunk or making out with someone automatically meant I wanted/deserved whatever happened next.

Just these past five years, I’ve been grappling with how much support I owe men. Whether I should still play nice when they make a sexist joke/say something dismissive to the female experience, because at least this one is one of the “good” ones. It’s one of the gentlemen who Don’t Go Around Grabbing Asses. Goodness knows, if I challenge them, what if that’s the push they needed to cross over into REAL misogyny? Wouldn't I be at fault for not gently guiding them to become feminists?

And even now - when I tell myself that I’m fine being out there, playing the field, with a bunch of great guy friends, all of whom know that No Means No and actually listen to me when I occasionally get into Feminist Lecture mode - sometimes a bad swerve will pile-drive me into self-doubt and force me to grapple with all of those positions again.

So I get why some of you are having trouble with this new thing to grapple with.

But you know what?

I really look forward to the day when all the guys I meet, at the baseline, know that “slut” is a misogynist social construct, that we can become good friends even if we’re both heterosexual, that a woman has the right to deny sex at any point in a courtship, that if they go all Red Pill when I call them out it’s on them…

…and that they ought to learn (and, more importantly, care) what “non-verbal cues” look like.