On hating men (for what they've done to me) --------------------------------------------------------------------- I have often been accused of being a man hater. A man hating dyke. A feminazi. A feminist extremist. Let’s explore why. See, nothing and no one has taken as much energy from me, as men. My father, who beat my mother since before I was even born, My system flushed with her adrenaline as she took the hit. My grandfather, who abused his children in a routinely manner, destroying any support system I could’ve had, had the women in my family only felt stronger. And again, my father, who began to break me in a myriad of ways - my memories begin when I was just three years old - who touched and took and invaded what never belonged to him, making me long for death more than once over the course of my life. The man a block away from my elementary school who tried to lure me into his car with candy when I was six and on my way home. The swim class teacher in second grade, whom I developed an actual allergy, a skin rash, against, and who was transferred to another school because he was caught molesting little girls in class. The boys from school who yelled racist and sexist slurs at me and my Bolivian best friend in second and third grade, as we walked around the schoolyard holding hands. The boys on my street who killed animals for fun, burning ants with magnifying glasses and pouring salt on snails, breaking my Earthchild heart. The oldest and biggest boy, aged sixteen, in our street who beat me up when I wasn’t even half his age. My aunt’s husband, who slapped my ass and commented “how hot I was getting and to take care of that sexy ass!” when I was twelve. The doctor who operated a benign cancerous mole near my pubic area when I was twelve or thirteen, and who kept saying that this was gonna ruin my bikini appearance and how sorry he was about that. I was worried about skin cancer and I was a child. I gave zero fucks about my perfect bikini skin whatever the hell that is. The boy at school who grabbed my crotch in 6th grade. The boy who set my hair on fire in 7th grade. The history teacher who always ran his finger on the sidebreast of his female students while he loaded books on their – our – arms to give out to the other students. He, too, gave me the skin rash. The boys at my school who placed bets on whoever dared to assault me – bets on me were high because of how hard I bridled. The many boys who grabbed my ass and/or aimed for my breasts in 7th to 8th grade, after which I transferred to a mostly girls school. The math teacher in 9th grade who crossed a line with a friend of mine, and after me calling him out, felt entitled to ruin my math grades at a crucial point, which never allowed me to catch up, costing me my degree. The catholic priest who molested at least two of my best friends when they were kids and with whom I went on different religious school activities on the countryside, always making me feel uncomfortable and unsafe in his presence. The man who chased me when I was fourteen, on my way to school in a rural area, where I had no chance of escaping for a long stretch, then, luckily found shelter at my best friend’s parent’s house on the side of the road. My parent's friend who kissed me and tried to romance me when I was fourteen, while his wife and daughter lived with us in our house due to their being displaced. The boyfriend who violated my consent when I was 15 and did things I didn’t agree to, impregnating me in the process. The older boy who demanded I sleep with him for buying me an ice cream cone. The young soldier who deserted his unit to be close to me, lurking around my home, although I had vehemently rejected his advances, thus putting my family in grave danger by tying me to him by association, during Colombia’s armed conflict in the late 90’s. The police officers in El Carmen de Viboral, where I, at fourteen, went to report the sexual abuse my father committed against me for a period of at least 9 years, who laughed in my face and sent me home saying I should stop making up stories about my father just because I’m upset with him. The military soldiers camping in and around our house, laying on the ground, looking up under my school uniform skirt as I was forced to step over them to leave for school, every morning, making sexual remarks that made me very freaking afraid. The paramilitary men who murdered and raped some of my friends and many more strangers, and terrorized the region where I lived, keeping me in constant fear of rape, not only for me but my mother and sister, too. The boys at my school who placed mirrors on the floor to look under the skirts of our school uniforms. The brother of a dear family friend who drowned my dog in the river next to our house. The Colombian police chilling on the corner of their office in El Carmen, catcalling us female high school students, as we passed by after school. The Colombian border patrol officer who threatened to leave a stamp/note (?) in my passport and a warning in the computer to alert international authorities of my aggressive behavior (wtf?), for me not allowing him to pet name me and demanding he call me by my actual name. The boys at my new German school in 10th grade, who drew pictures of me on the chalkboard, blowing my teacher; who placed used condoms in my school bag; who made up I gave blowjobs to everyone; who threw stones on me for laying in the sun, trying to feel warm after fleeing Colombia; who hailed Hitler and mocked and belittled me constantly based on my ethnicity. The principal who ignored my complaints and call for help. The Neo-na*is in Weißenhorn yelling sexualized slurs at me and my friend. The geriatric man on the bus who placed his ice cold hand on the inside of my thigh, next to my crotch, while I sat next to him, staring out the window; I was a teenager, and he was probably some 70 years older than me. The man at my city’s main train station who exposed himself to me when I was seventeen. The group of men who raided my first love’s 18th birthday party, by the shore of a river, and sexually threatened us, robbed and insulted us at knife point. The boys at the school I transferred to, who made – not only this kind, but often – homophobic rape jokes at my expense, when I was almost eighteen and had been out as a lesbian for half a year. The man who chased me and my girlfriend when we were nineteen and twenty, on our way home from a party and whom we luckily escaped by running into a basement. The two men who beat us up so badly we had to go to the hospital, when I was 22 – it was an August the 8th, a remarkable date – on a street, in public, in plain daylight, people passing by. The three men in Ulm who cornered me against the wall of the bus stop and harassed me until my bus came. The two men at the club who threatened to “corrective rape” me after seeing me on the dancefloor with my girlfriend. The gay man at a gay club who grabbed my left breast out of the blue, and squeezed it, stating \"he had always wanted to touch a tit". The man at the train station trying to sexually assault two drunken underage girls, on a saturday night, between two rows of lockers, and whom I managed to intimidate enough for him to leave the girls and me alone. The customer at my first workplace (a high end five star hotel spa) who pulled my hand towards his genitals while he was receiving a massage treatment. The customer who urged me aggressively to give him the massage up in his room. The very old customer at my second job as a cosmetologist, who kept trying to get me to go out with him, and disgustingly stroked my hand as I gave him a manicure, while his wife was also my client and sitting in the other room. The gay man at a German beer festival who grabbed my ass during Gay-Night, yelling “It’s not like I want to fuck you!” at me, when I confronted him. The many men who grabbed my ass at some party. The many men who tried to kiss or touch me during or after a friendly dance. The man who ripped out some of my eyelashes in his attempt to take off my "fake eyelashes", at a club, effectively pulling my eyelid off of the eyeball with an audible smack, since I was not wearing false lashes. The countless men at my job working at bars and clubs at night, so I could study by day (look at me victimblaming myself, trying to justify why I would chose a nightjob, when it’s obvious what kind of encounter awaits) who grabbed my body in a sexual manner or pulled my arms, hair, eyelashes, legs, clothes or stuff I was carrying with me. The father of my girlfriend who softly slapped my butt when we were saying goodbye. He knew that I had been sexually abused by my father. The man in Egypt who was seriously trying to buy/trade me from our tour guide. Our tour guide who had been like a father figure to me during the whole trip, and who then tried to get into my pants, despite knowing of me being married to a woman, and despite me just having met his very young wife. The doctor in Neu-Ulm who demanded I undress completely, whithout the presence of a nurse, in order to “weigh me”. The two men in Barcelona who chased me and my girlfriend at night after a party, for several minutes, while we were trying to get to our hotel. The man in Ulm who followed me around the city an entire afternoon while I was running errands, to get my number. The member of Lila Down’s band who kept inviting my underage sister to his hotel room after the concert at the Ulmer Zelt, where we spent time together backstage. The friend of my then ex girlfriend who suddenly started sending me creepy sleazy emails out of nowhere, shortly after I had opened up to him about my experiences with unwanted advances and sexual abuse. The male friend who lost his shit when I reinforced the boundaries he was overstepping by constantly exaggeratedly complimenting me and giving me inappropriate presents. He responded by insulting and attacking me verbally. The men in Milano who encircled me and gawked at me and my girlfriend in the metro and the ones that followed us down the street, until we arrived at our couchsurfing host’s apartment. The couchsurfing host in Milano who lied about having a wife, and who would peek through the window of the bathroom while we showered, and look at us with lust when we left the bathroom. The customer at yet another spa who without invitation told me about his erections as I deep cleansed his pimples. The customer at the same place who would not stop asking me out, calling at my workplace, sending emails, giving me unsolicited photographs of him and other “tokens of appreciation”, showing up late at night, just before closing, demanding to speak to me, and not my boss to make appointments. The men trying to invite themselves into my bed when they realize I’m gay, thinking all I’ve been waiting for is threesome with them. The man at the shared car ride of merely 5 hours, explaining in great detail what kind of lesbian was acceptable in his book and what type of homosexuality was ok with him. You guessed it. Two feminine women were the only kind of gay he deemed acceptable, even fuckable, everything else, gross. The men in public spaces coming up to me and my girlfriend, objectifying and commodifying our sexuality in their distorted porn-inspired fantasy, informing us repeatedly of how hot they think we were together and demanding we kiss for them. The man in the sauna holding his dick in my face. The men in the sauna who stared and snickered and then audible ranked me and my female friends in order of fuckability as we left the pool. The naked man jerking off, standing just a few feet behind me in the park, the two of us alone, while I lay on my back looking the other way, eyes closed, taking the sun in. I remember thinking how peaceful and beautiful everything felt seconds before, and how I felt like “this moment belongs to me only”. The old man standing next to me at Leipzig’s central station, jerking off, then following me around until I got on a random tram, fleeing from him. The train station employee who didn’t give a fuck, shrugged and suggested I get a cab, when I begged for help, obviously distressed and upset. The men who regularly come up to me uninvited, interrupting my peace and quiet and invading my space when I’m trying to relax in the park, minding my business. Even when I demonstrate my lack of interest by overtly looking the other way, turning my back towards them, etc. One of them even stepped onto the blanket I was sitting on. Speaking of relaxing: The yoga teacher who ran his hands along my hips and buttocks without consent and while I was in an asana that did NOT require adjustment. The online yoga guru I learned from, who turned out to be a serial rapist of his disciples. The “friends” who after years, once even two decades of “friendship”, during which I was obviously still irrevocably gay and married, suddenly drop me, \"tired of waiting\", speaking of friendzones and whatnot, as if my friendship was worth nothing, when it’s one of the most precious things I have to give. The men in every bus, train, plane, or other public transportation who try to spread their legs unto my seat. Or take up several seats right away, even while people are standing. The neighbor in Leipzig, a teacher of a 9th grade, telling me how he thinks his female students, mostly aged 15 or 16, are extremely sexy and he can’t help himself and stop looking at their instagram feeds, which “they are obviously asking for, because why would they have those revealing pictures on a public account”. The same neighbor telling me to come kiss him when I wore red lipstick. The other neighbor in the house ordering me to smile when I was taking out the trash. The two “friends” at a party in my home whom I found leering dirtily over a bodypositivity photography tome dedicated to empowering women to love themselves despite the endless injuries and insecurities caused by the oppression of women. Oh the irony. The men who cornered me at a bus station two years ago, glass wall behind me, while they looked me up and down and snickered in a language I don’t understand. The construction worker who left the site to stand in my way on the street and catcall me as I rode my bike, blocking my path, putting my life in danger due to the traffic coming from the the other side of the road. The man who tried to grab my breast as I was on my bike, on the way to the park, causing me to almost trip because I had to avoid him by driving off the path onto the meadow. The man in the pub in Leipzig who slapped my ass with a spoon. The man at the fair in Stuttgart who grabbed my butt by reaching under my skirt while I was strolling around with my mother, arms linked. The two inebriated and very aggressive neo-n*is in the tram last year, insulting me and my Colombian friend, calling us dirty leftist foreigner cunts, threatening us with physical violence. The uninvited male at my lesbian hand-fasting ceremony, a friend of the (hired and paid) DJane; who hit on me, the bride, several times during my own wedding party until he had to be removed. Not even my fucking wedding day is sacred. The wedding photographer I intended to hire to document one of the most important and magical, most intimate days of my life, who behaved in a sexually inaproppriate manner verbally, so he had to be canceled. The four men who hunted me at a party in early 2018, harassing me all night long until, defeated, I had to go home, only to be harrassed severely on my way home by more groups of men, which ended with me having to physically defend myself by punching a very tall man in the face at 5 am. The man at the sauna, who similarly to the man in the park, just held his hand out in front of me at the level of my breast, forcing me to stop in my tracks to avoid his touch, blocking my path while he was at it. The old man at the same place who, in an otherwise entirely empty sauna, chose to sit right in front of me, face turned towards me, staring at me. The two male paramedics in my room, my sacred space, who unabashedly mocked me and the things related to my craft and my beliefs, while I was passed out, seminaked, and being connected to the electrocardiogram by a third paramedic, during a grief-related medical emergency. Each of them an attack. Each of them something I need to wash off, carry myself through, cleanse and recover from. Nightmares, flashbacks, dissociation, pain, anger – so much anger. Are you overwhelmed already? Those were only my personal encounters. What about the impersonal? The men who raped, beat, abused, molested the women and children in my life, in my absence, without my knowing, even? What about my mother’s predators, and my aunt’s and cousin’s and sister’s and friend’s? What about my neighbor’s and grandma’s and girlfriend’s abusers? What about the victims and survivors I’ll never know? What about the women who still have not even legal rights over their bodies? And then there’s everything I take in, just by navigating daily life. Every ad, every book, every movie and every show in which we are but an object to be used and consumed. The men who write books, screenplays, stories, songs and narratives that lie about who they are, who we are, objectifying us, ridiculing us, trivializing us, making us disappear, silencing us. The countless men who mansplain the world to me. Even my very own experience. Even what it means to be a woman. Who will do a voiceover on everything we say. The men who tear open Mother Earth to exploit her and her children, while trying to rip our ancient knowledge from our hands to commodify it for their profit. The men who persecuted and raped and tortured and hanged and burned and drowned my wise women ancestors. The men who write and enforce laws that violate my freedom and wellbeing as a woman, as a lesbian. None of us is free until every single last of us is. The men who will be offended if I don’t trust them by default. The men who stand by, in silence. THE MEN WHO STAND BY, IN SILENCE. The men who, when confronted with this, will whimper “not all men.” Now you know what I mean when I say that nothing and no one has taken as much energy from me, as men. I am tired. I. am. so. fucking. tired. Literally. My adrenals are exhausted. I’m running out of patience. 34 years on this earth and not one single year has passed in which I haven’t experienced a direct and personal violation of my boundaries, a threat to my physical and sexual safety, an injury to my mental health, a destabilization of my emotional and spiritual body at the hands and the intent of random and sometimes not so random men. Did you know that survivors of complex trauma are much more likely to suffer from chronic illness? You have no idea what I went through at the hands of men. What my body went through. What they took from me. What my soul is still learning to mend from. And you dare to still expect me to smile and be quiet? If these were dogs biting people, they would have been put down a million times. And if someone told you they’ve been bitten and chased by rabid dogs for most of their life, you would be SO understanding if they can’t bear the presence or proximity of a dog. You’d feel empathy. Instead, you dare to tell me I’m a man hater, when it’s been just the other way around. When men have hated me so much for not getting what they want from me, that they will try and steal it from me with violence, at the cost of my health, my safety, my joie de vivre, my very life if need be. You dare to expect me to differ, when men have given me ZERO reasons to trust them AT ALL. I don’t hate men. Hate is an emotion too passionate, too close to love. In fact, how I truly feel about men, in my heart and in my mind and in my soul, that’s my business and my business only. Whatever it is that I feel towards men, I am entitled to feeling. Even if it were hate, disgust, despise, disregard, indifference or whatever else, my feelings towards men are not something that men are allowed to instrumentalize and to weaponize against me. My feelings are mere consequences of their actions against me. What actually is of men’s concern, is my boundaries. That means nothing more and nothing less than that I wish men to be at a safe distance from me, at all times. I have the right to protect myself from a predatory species. It’s really quite simple. All I ask is to be left alone. To be left in peace. To not be talked to in public spaces unless it is necessary, for instance, respectfully and genuinely asking for directions or other help, something they’d approach another man, or any random person on the street for. Not a problem. I’m still willing to be helpful towards men, when approached with an air of respect, decency and politeness and in an unimposing, non threatening manner. This is palpable from across the room. Is it too much to ask for basic human decency? To not be violated. To not be harrassed. To not be catcalled, molested, assaulted, threatened, persecuted or raped. Asking for that, you call that HATE? What is it that men are doing to us, then? You’d think that their horrible attempts at stealing and extinguishing our innate light, our untameable beauty and intuitive wisdom is proof enough of how much they actually recognize our worth and value, and how little they can stand the idea that we’re not under their control, that they can't possess what and who we are. I will never apologize for the default place I give men in my life. If you are a man who loves a girlfriend of mine, or a male friend of my spouse, you’ll need to earn my trust. You’ll need to prove yourself, consistently. And even then, I’ll remain cautious. Believe me, nothing you do escapes my keen eyes. I remember every single transgression and make a quick mental note of it, for my own safety, because your behavior is not unique. It's very common. It follows a pattern. It has a modus operandi. That shit stinks from afar. And that’s no one’s but your own fault. Stop blaming me. Stop mocking me. Stop ridiculing my pain. Stop violating my space and my boundaries. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Just stop – .