Monday, May 26, 2014

Day 294 of 365: Yes, All Women

Last Friday, a Santa Barbara college student murdered 7 people before taking his own life. He sent a 140+ page manifesto to his parents, detailing why he was killing. It all boiled down to one thing: the women he wanted didn't want to sleep with him. So he went down the, "If I can't have it, no one can," mentality and killed not only women, but "the men these women are attracted to."

In the wake of this event, Twitter has come alive with #yesallwomen. All you have to do is take a look at this hashtag to realize that this horrific tragedy is only an exaggerated version of what women go through every day. From facing aggressive backlash over "friendzoning" (a term I absolutely hate but that's for another time) to sexual assault. From pointing out a society that singles out rape as the one crime that somehow -- even in the eyes of the court -- can be the victim's fault to pointing out the outcry for this "poor virgin" who dealt with rejection with murder.

I've been there. Done that. Bought the T-shirt. Realized it was the wrong size and couldn't return it. Everything from being called a bitch because I had the audacity to not return a friend's feelings to getting my ass grabbed because I had the audacity to wear tight jeans at a nightclub.

My modeling career has been riddled with situations that could fill up anyone's Twitter feed. And the kicker is that my situations were tame in comparison to what other models have been through. The industry is a breeding ground for perpetrators. It only takes a quick Google search to find out what some of the most well-known photographers have pulled. And the same way that the modeling world is amplified version of what women go through on a day-to-day basis, the reaction to it is amplified as well: "Well, what did you expect, being in that profession?" "They're surrounded by beautiful woman; of course they'll act that way!" "Who wouldn't do that with a half-naked chick in front of them?" "Maybe you should just take it as a compliment."

I remember hearing about one particular model coming out against Terry Richardson. She isn't the only model -- by any stretch of the imagination is she not the only model -- to come out against Terry Richardson's behavior. And I remember people responding back -- not to call that model a liar, but to tell her that she should've expected that, working with Terry.

I've ranted forever on this blog about the inherent shittiness of humans (thanks in much part to natural selection). I've ranted forever about how easily we are all influenced by the most subtle of behaviors. It's easy to dismiss mass murder as the workings of a man men. But we need to take that step back and examine what it means when a guy can do this and people respond with sympathy ("If only those women gave him the sex he deserved!").

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