This is disturbing, so don’t read further if you will be triggered.
I was recently informed about a female whose eyes are literally out of the sockets because her partner hit her with a metal toe boot (she sneezed and the eyes popped out).
This isn’t an uncommon reality at all. Domestic violence, and violence against women generally, is so common I’m shocked that the world is still running. Consider the following.
– In the U.S., some 85% of domestic abuse victims (I don’t have an issue using the word “victim” – I think “survivor” is a far worse term) are women, some 15% are men.
– In the U.S., every. single. day. at least three women are killed by a current or former partner.
– In the U.S., every. single. day. 4,774,000 women experience physical violence by their partner. (And this doesn’t even include non-physical violence – like emotional, psychological, financial, and other.)
– In the U.S., in 2011: 1,509 women were murdered by men they knew – some 264 of which took place during an argument! (And they say women are “emotional”!)
And this is just in the U.S.! (It should be highlighted more because of the way that American activists looove to talk about women victims of other countries but ignore their own realities. It’s just more fancy and trendy to go and pretend to fix other people’s issues instead.) And this is only domestic violence. Realities like rape, other sexual assault, intimidation, threats, etc. aren’t even considered here. I’m not even going to go into that, but at least every other female (woman or girl) friend of mine has experienced blackmailing, threats, and other sorts of abuse that’s not necessarily physical.
This, Patriarchy, is why women are “picky” when it comes to marriages and relationships. This is why we’re “too picky” to marry easily. The above incident of the young woman with her eyes out of the socket because her partner decided he could do that to her, the stats on domestic abuse, the stories I know and hear of my own friends and colleagues and blog readers and others who are in marriages and relationships that are traumatizing. These are the reasons that should help explain why we are “picky.” The women I meet in hotels who are in wheelchairs because their former husbands attempted to murder them but instead ended up leaving them in wheelchairs – and who are now with equally abusive partners because of their disability and their need to rely on someone else for help. The friends who are married to monsters who are amazing to them in public/in front of their friends and families so that no one would believe them when these women say they’re actually being abused in the privacy of their homes.
We’re picky because, you see, Patriarchy, being with the wrong man can literally kill us. It’s a question of our lives; it’s not a game. No ifs and buts.
People need to understand that we know what we’re doing when we refuse to be with certain men. Sometimes we’re successful in filtering out the potentially violent ones, sometimes (most times) we’re unsuccessful. But the filtering, screening process is essential, even if we’re often unsuccessful in choosing the right partner to be with.
Of course, that’s not to say that it’s our fault when we end up in bad relationships and marriages because we didn’t do enough to detect signs of violence. It’s to say, when we are being what you see as “picky,” most of us see as an attempt to survive the patriarchy – literally just to have a companion we feel completely safe with, physically and sexually and emotionally and just generally.
Research claims that women are “picky” like this because they’re thinking of their babies, that they want to make sure that the sperm that enters them is worth entering them, that they don’t wanna carry just anyone’s babies. This isn’t totally inaccurate (I’m sure it’s not inaccurate at all – no one wants to carry badness inside them for ~9 months and then deal with it for the rest of their lives). But that’s not the whole truth. For some women, children aren’t even a thing that crosses their mind when they are choosing their partners. Not all women want to be mothers, and not all women can become mothers. But we’re “picky” about who we marry and date and spend time with because of the reality of the extremely high possibility of our being murdered by men. Sure, not all men (and if this crossed your mind, you’re a huge part of the problem for being so defensive), but yes every single woman is a potential victim of some sort of violence. Talk to any woman you know and ask her how safe she feels walking alone somewhere at night, even in a relatively safe neighborhood, when she hears someone walking behind her.
People hear these things, and some people still wonder why women are so “angry.” We have every right to be angry. I’m shocked that more people aren’t angry that this is the case. You realize this world cannot be safe for anyone if it’s so unsafe for an ENTIRE gender, for over half a population of the world. I’m amazed the world isn’t turning upside down given this too serious a crime against women. It’s like what Annabel Crabb says (image on the left): “I am a feminist because it bothers me that a woman gets killed by her male partner every single week [I’d correct that with “every single day”], and somehow that doesn’t qualify as a tools-down national crisis even though if a man got killed by a shark every week, we’d probably arrange to have the ocean drained.” I love, love it when women see what patriarchy is doing to them and call it out like this.