I'm late to this thread but I've started browsing and saw this post.
Don't be fooled, folks - this is still a deeply patriarchal society with a woefully unbalanced power structure which favors wealthy men (especially straight men of European descent). Don't let alt-right and "anti-SJW" goons tell you otherwise - this is a problem not to be taken lightly. I don't know what the male-to-female ratio is on this board but I encourage everyone (especially cis-men) around these parts to do something we haven't been doing much of: listening to survivors of sexual violence. This is happening to about one in three women around the globe as well as about one in six men. The actual rate is probably much higher than this.
Most of the women in my life are survivors - though some of them have been reluctant to admit that what happened to them was wrong
"Oh, my boss just make a pass at me. It's not that big a deal."
"He just groped me a little bit - he was just drunk."
"Yeah, I mean, he grabbed my ass but it was a different time."
"He was young - he didn't completely understand that kissing me like that wasn't okay. Hormones, you know?"
What's even more incredible is witnessing survivors talk about their trauma among themselves - swapping stories and laughing about things that, as an outsider, made me sick to my stomach and furious. I mean it ****ed them up and they're still dealing with some serious trauma (they probably always will) but they're still pushing forward despite it all - despite the events themselves (and yeah, these usually come in bunches) and the backlash they received because of it - from cops, from friends, from family, from schools, from churches, from everyone it seems.
And you can I've contributed to this atmosphere which makes women feel unsafe. I was one of those "nice guys" who communicated in a manipulative way when I was a teenager and through my early-to-mid 20s. I'm not that far removed from having some pretty awful thoughts about people on the other end of the gender spectrum on a regular basis, despite knowing it was wrong and putting up a fight (albeit a weak one). It wasn't until the UC Santa Barbara shootings in 2014 that I finally saw the light about male privilege and the impact patriarchy has on everyone - myself (and other men) included. Watching Elliot Rodger's video sent ice water down my veins because I had said and thought some of the things he said verbatim.
That could have been me. I could have killed those people - and all because I thought I was owed intimacy because I was a "nice guy."
I've been doing a lot of thinking and reconsidering over the years about a lot of things (politics, religion, sexuality, gender identity, obligations to myself, my loved ones, and society and I've even been thinking a lot this football team that I've loved my whole life - though I won't go into that right now because I don't want to derail the thread). The person I was when I joined this forum seems like someone else entirely but I still recognize him and I don't like a lot of things about him. His words, even if he usually kept them to himself, contributed to this atmosphere. It contributed to those ghastly statistics I referenced above. And all I'm left asking is