“He might have wanted to stop, but he didn’t have to, so he wasn’t going to.”

[Originally a post on Facebook, but I don’t want it buried there.]

Laurie Penny’s article “The Great Stink” reminded me how angry I am. It made me think about all the women who have stepped forward in the last year and said “I was raped” or “I was assaulted” or “I was abused”. Where are all the men who should say “I raped” or “I assaulted” or “I abused”?

I think about the men I know who are part of my life and the men who I have deliberately remove from my life. I think about the men who push boundaries, who don’t listen, who make a big deal of getting what they want. I think about the men who are not talking to their ex’s, who have a history of short relationships, who have few female friends. I think about the men who never seem to deal with women as equals, the men who seek out unbalanced relationships, whether that’s money or subcultural status or social power. I think about the men who get drunk and then blame the drink. I think about the men who always have an excuse, who work hard to avoid the consequences of their actions, or who seem to find it easy to blame their own actions on everyone else. I think about the men who don’t take responsibility for their own shit.

I don’t know how many of those men are rapists or abusers, but if you tell me the number is zero, I won’t believe you.

So how do we make sure that they have to stop, that they are going to stop? And if not, then how do we have a reckoning?