I was texting a guy when I realized I was a little uneasy with someone I should not have to be uneasy about at all. "Wanna chill?" were the words that were said. Now, I am certainly the kind to overthink and in a way, I think the world has kind of forced me to think like this as it has done to many women. We are forced to think a little harder, read in between the lines, and interpret words that could mean a thousand different things.
Every day, we are forced to speak a thousand different languages. I ask what chill means — if this means that he desires to spend time with me or if this means he is going to attempt to sleep with me only to cast me out if and when I say no.
I am forced to decipher this word and when I inquire what it means exactly and what his plans are I am faced with the same vague behavior that really offers no answers except for the ones I come up with myself. Again, I am forced to read words that just aren't there, words he has not yet given me. I am forced to de-code the phrases he gives me and hope that maybe they're something different this time, maybe he wants something more than that. Perhaps he desires to talk under the stars, read poetry, drink, laugh, and give me the things I covet on the movie screens.
I hate people who say they're all the same, who put men in a category and women in the other and say that if you don't like it, you must accept it because that's just the way it is. We are fluid and we are different and if we use our voices, assault and incidents such as the tragedy of Aziz Ansari can be avoided. "Want to come up to my apartment?" should not serve as a coded phrase for sex. Sex should not be coded or complicated.
We shouldn't have to go through a series of complicated phrases, deciphering and decoding each one if we are being asked to engage in it. Such behavior often can lead to confusion and court cases. If your desire is intercourse masking it by asking to "chill" or "hang out" is low and frightening. It sends off messages that you don't even desire to actually ask. If you don't have the courage to ask, then you shouldn't have the right to engage.
These phrases, this speaking in riddles, are all too much to me. It burdens me deeply and saddens me to know we so often don't say what we mean. If you say what you mean asking me for things I don't want, I will most assuredly turn you down. But the thing is: at least I'll know. I'll know what you desire of me and what I want from you and those things won't add up to the same thing so we will part our ways without awkwardness, I feel certain.
These riddles are sad, sick, and gross. This game is one of manipulation. Talking in riddles with twisted agenda is one of the many ways rape culture is fueled in this day and age. A perfect example will be the lackluster confusion of consent in the Aziz Ansari case. He never asked for sex, but rather demanded it and expected it. She was in his apartment and coming up to his place of residence had to mean consent, didn't it?
It was not.
Not in the slightest.
If words were verbalized to ask for intimacy instead of phrases of vague riddles, I am sure the circumstances could have been handled better.
I grow weary of the game. I grow weary of men claiming women are the crazy ones, the complicated ones, as they speak in their tongues in riddles. I also grow weary of the finger pointing, one person saying the other is the problem. I grow tired of the lack of communication and how words are strung together often to mask one's true meaning and true desire. I want the words you say to mean something.
Words are valuable and using them as a mask to manipulate is a cruelty like no other. All in all, I'm tired of the lies, the games, the phrases, the lines, the riddles, and saying what you don't even really mean to hide your agenda. "Come over," or "Let's chill," or "Wanna hang," are two words of the utmost riddance all offering secret meanings we are required to decipher. This is rape culture 2018.