Why Men Feel As If They Own Women's Space And How To Take It Back

Why Men Feel As If They Own Women's Space And How To Take It Back

You can't always blame the man because it's been conditioned into them.
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Men these days don't see the power they have over women. I'm going to tell y'all a story about, let's call him Cam, and how he felt he had more rights to my space that I did.

I was sitting in class and Cam was sitting on the complete opposite side. I heard rumors about him being very pushy and forward, but hadn't experienced it myself, so I kept a pretty neutral opinion of him, until my professors assigned us partners to work with. I got assigned to work with Cam for the rest of the class. So I looked to see if he was going to come to me (I had space next to me) but he didn't move, so I got up to got to him (nbd). I sit next to him and begin to start on our assignment, to which he barely participates in. And honestly, that worked for me because I am an independent worker anyways.

So, there I am sitting there doing the assignment when he moves his arm onto my desk. I was perplexed, but studies show men feel entitled to more space than women so I brushed it off. His arm wasn't really bothering me...except it was. Why are you on my desk, in my space? I thought it to be very rude and scooched my desk over, trying to be subtle. Nope, it did nothing. Then he begins to stare at me, odd behavior yes, but not a crime. I brush my hair (which luckily is super thick and long) over my shoulder to hide my face. He then has the audacity to move my hair out of my face. He touched my hair without permission. He was on my desk without permission. He begins hitting on me, even with all my fuck off signals. When he touched my hair I told him not to touch me. He was like, "but you're so pretty, I just wanted to see you."

Here's the problem, my teachers also saw him doing all this stuff...and did nothing to help me. They did nothing but stare. I was on the very edge of my seat, leaning away and they made me sit by him for the rest of the class. I even complained to a friend, after class in front of them. They still did nothing.

And what can I do? Nothing. Because men feel as if they have more rights over space and your own body than you do.

Men feel as though they have more rights over my space (a woman's space) than I do. It's crazy. You can't even always blame the man because it's been conditioned into them. I have to tell my boyfriend ALL the time that he's being domineering. He gets so upset and apologizes. He doesn't even realize it until I point it out though. Cam wouldn't care if I pointed it out. My boyfriend does because he says it helps him grow and learn as a person and as a man, but not all men care about learning and women's experience.

And I know what guys are going to say...not all men do what you are describing, but here's a new fun fact for you.

It's all women.

Every single one of us had or will have an experience like this, where men try to dominate you. They try to make you passive. And sadly, I fell into it with Cam. I didn't make a scene. or correct him like I did with my boyfriend. Even the next day, when Cam ran to catch up with me and talk to me, I just walked slightly ahead, silent. I wish I would've told him that he was walking too close, that he was invading my personal space. But I didn't.

So here's my thesis or point of this whole story...act against this kind of behavior. I promise you when I see him next and he's getting in my space, I'll tell him and explain why it's wrong. I won't be passive, I'll be active and I'll stand up for myself, taking my space and body back.

No man will ever make me feel small, choice-less, and less than him again. It already happened with a boy a few years ago, I won't continue to let Cam make me feel like that.

And neither should you, because women are equal and deserve just as much as men, and that includes space.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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An Open Letter To The Boy I Never Dated

Thanks for the memories.
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Dear Boy I Never Dated,

You know who you are. I just want to get a couple things off my chest.

First, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being my friend, my ally, and at one point an important part of my life. Despite the fact that our relationship never went past the friend stage, I will never regret the time I spent with you or the memories we made. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so we were meant to be in each other's lives. Sure, I could go on and say that you missed out, how I'm an awesome person and all that stuff but that wouldn't do anything. We're both awesome people. Us never being a couple could never take away from that.

Honestly, I still consider us to be friends no matter where life takes us. I'm only one text or Snapchat away.

I do want to make one thing clear: I've moved on. I don't care what you've thought in the past or what you've been told, I'm seriously over it. I've been over it, despite what you think. I'm over everything; the pointless drama, the rumors, the over-thinking, and the self-doubt. I no longer care that you weren't interested in me in "that way." Honestly, this all went down so long ago that I don't even remember everything that happened.

I've met new people, had new experiences, and grew as a person. You've even noticed that I've changed. I'm the not the same girl that pined for you all those years ago. I care about you, obviously, but I know where we stand. Neither one of us needs to deal with the what-ifs or maybe-some-days. We both deserve loving committed relationships where the person you're with is 100% invested in you and vice versa. So maybe I am a text away, but that doesn't mean I'm available anymore.

If there's one thing about people that can get you down is that we're always disappointing. Either we're disappointing other people or disappointing ourselves. It is way too easy to break your own heart. I was guilty of that I think. I got too optimistic and thought we were on some path to greatest when in reality we were just two young kids that enjoyed spending time together. When things didn't go in my favor, I probably placed the blame on you because I was upset.

It took time for me to reflect and finally accept that I wasn't perfect, either. Now, I don't think anyone was at fault. Whether it was bad timing, lack of compatibility, or maybe lack of maturity neither one of one did anything wrong. At the time, it seemed so horrible that we never even tried but when I look back it's not a big deal.

To be completely honest, I'm now glad we never dated. There is no more resentment, bitterness, or pettiness. I don't think there was any to begin with, but I apologize if there was. Our lives may be going toward separate paths, but they're both paths of greatest. I'm completely, absolutely happy with where I am in life and all I can say is that I wish the same for you. When our paths do cross again someday, I'll be more than happy to see you.

With (platonic) love,

The Girl You Never Dated


Cover Image Credit: freestocks.org

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When Did My Independence Become An Issue?

Since when did being my own person make me less of one?

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Towards the end of my freshman year of college, I had a friend tell me how much she admired how independent I am. It was one of the best compliments I had ever received. For someone else to recognize my independence, and admire me for it, was this insanely incredible thing.

For someone to recognize something that I was proud of was a nice thing. It was not something I needed, but it was something that made me feel appreciated.

Fast forward six months or so and another friend was trying to "set me up" with someone another friend knew. He told her how I was "different, she just does her own thing" and he couldn't think of somebody like that. Another friend chimed in about how I'm just so independent, she doesn't need anybody. Something about that stung me. The words I was so proud of only six months ago, now felt like a cut on the tip of my tongue. My independence, in a matter of moments, was no longer this thing I felt proud of. I was confused. Was that an insult? A backhanded compliment? What the hell does that mean in that context?

When did being independent become a bad thing? When did knowing my worth exclude me from being "normal"? When did being able to go and do things on my own make me not a part of the club?

I'm not sure what shifted in those few months, or if it was always skewed and I failed to see it.

It doesn't matter though.

I am independent. If there is one thing my mother has taught me it is to be able to hold my own. I can grocery shop by myself. I can spend a Saturday afternoon with nothing but my own company and not be miserable. I can check my own oil and change a taillight in a car. I don't need anyone to validate my own worth. I know all these things.

That does not exclude me from wanting to share those things with other people, whether they be friends or a boyfriend. I am an independent, and if being otherwise is what it takes to become more appealing to boys and other friends, then count me out. I refuse to be the damsel in distress in yet another narrative. Looking for the constant approval of others is exhausting.

Sitting at home and crying over some boy is not in my agenda. Having to constantly be invited to things so that I know my friends "love" me is a no go. Not being able to function by myself is a hell no.

So for those of you who might see my independence, or anyone else's as an issue, see your self to the door and please let it hit you on the way out.

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