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Victoria Brownworth @VABVOX
, 20 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
I don't think men really understand how different it is to be a woman out in the world and how quickly things can turn dangerous.
When I was living in New Orleans, I was walking home from work one night. It was fall--dark early & foggy.
A man came out of the fog toward me.
1/
He said hi, I said hi.
As he started to pass me, he asked me if I had the time.
I looked at my watch, looked up, he had a gun pointed at me.
He hit me so fast I wasn't able to steel myself.
I fell to the ground.
He said, "I could rape you right now, but I don't have time."
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He wanted my money.
I had the grocery money for the entire house (I lived with 3 other people) in my purse.
He took it and disappeared into the fog.
The whole thing was maybe ten minutes, start to finish.
I was shaking so hard I could hardly get up.
My head was bleeding.
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I got home and one of my roommates came out of the kitchen with a beer and dropped it when she saw me bleeding all over.
The police actually said I was lucky.
"Could have been so much worse."
When these things happen, you still have to go out into the world the next day.
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A few years later I was living up North again and sharing an apartment with a friend from college. She'd been in a band for years and was selling one of her guitars on Craig's List. I had a wild work schedule and wasn't home that much. A guy came to see the guitar.
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He looked at it, played it. Everything seemed cool. They shared a cup of coffee. Then he pulled out a gun, put it to her head, told her she could give him the guitar & anything else he wanted or he could rape & shoot her. He looted our apartment & locked her in the closet.
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A year later I was teaching pregnant teens in North Philly. For three days after the Easter holiday one of my students didn't show up. When she did, she was obviously upset and asked to talk to me at lunch. We went into an empty classroom and she started crying--wailing.
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Her boyfriend had found her sitting with a male cousin on stoop near her house & had dragged her away by her hair, shoved her into his car & kept her at gunpoint for 3 days until he was convinced she didn't have sex with her cousin (her cousin!!). He had raped her repeatedly.
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She was 16yrs old and 6mos pregnant.
She said he would be waiting for her after class and could I help her.
We called police,but she was afraid he would hurt her more, so she gave the report, but wouldn't file a complaint.
She moved in with him.
The class ended 4wks later.
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I have so many stories like this. My own and those of my friends. The student in my advanced writing class who cornered me after class. The social worker friend whose client beat her up in her office after their session because he didn't like something she had asked him.
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I was having drinks with on the roof of another reporter's apartment building one gorgeous spring night in NYC and we were having a fantastic time until he tried to kiss me and I reminded him I was a lesbian and he said, "Maybe a little bi?" and I said no, not at all.
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I tried to joke with him because that is what we learn to do, but he got angry and he shoved me a little and I said, "don't be like that" and he threatened to throw me off the roof. I can still see how beautiful the view was and feel the air on my face and my heart pounding.
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He held me there, against the brick walled edge of the roof. Then he let me go with a little laugh and said he wasn't serious. And I had to be nice and go along with that until I could get off the roof and away from him.

And then I had to work with him for two more years.
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And this is how it is for us. A guy running up to me, grabbing my breasts on the street one night in London. A man grabbing an older friend in a department store. A guy grabbing a younger relative on the street of a different foreign city. Over & over the same story for us.
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I just want you to think about how it would be if other men came up to you and threatened you out of nowhere. If you were just having a pleasant after-work drink and it turned terrifying. If you thought the person you loved was gentle and then he tried to kill you.
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Only a tiny percentage of violence against women is perpetrated by other women. Miniscule, in fact. Men are the greatest threat to women. Which is why when you say #NotAllMen we say, "how do we know?"
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Trump says it's a scary time to be a boy/man--because a woman you sexually assaulted might decide she's lived with the memory long enough. But there has never been a time in history that HASN'T been scary for women and girls. Not one day without a rape or murder of females.
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Margaret Atwood wrote: "Men's greatest fear is that women will laugh at them. Women's greatest fear is that men will kill them."

That is the threat we live with every day.
And you dare to call us snowflakes.
We are the bravest people on earth.
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The things women learn to live with.

Like the President of the United States apologizing not to the 15yr old girl who was sexually assaulted who he mocked and led cheers against, but the man who sexually assaulted her who will now determine the lives of women for 30yrs.
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The president who was elected even after he admitted he "grabbed women by the p***y." Who's been accused of sexually assaulting a dozen women.

It's a scary time to be female, because the POTUS just declared it open season on women.

So please--#VOTE.
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