Dear Fearful Men,
I understand your concerns.
You only want to have a conversation. You just want to ask a question. You simply want to make a point. Yet you know that, as soon as you do, you'll be attacked, piled on, ganged up on, by those terrible, mean, aggressive, violent, abusive women.
So you preface your comment with something like, "I know that I'm going to get hit for saying this, but." Or you end your comment with, "*ducks*."
And when you see another man say something you know those violent feminists will be upset with him for, you offer him an airlift out, for his own safety.
It's reasonable. After all, with those violent bands of women roaming the streets, no man is safe these days. I can't even tell you how awful it is for men to go out in public anymore, with all of the threats, the cat-calling, the street harassment. Women are so aggressive, so violent, so likely to attack. And when you men are assaulted, you get blamed for it! You're told that you should have behaved differently, that women can't help themselves, that it's in their nature to be so aggressive and it's up to you to soothe their savage instincts.
And when you men do manage to speak up about the issue, when you get together to discuss the prevalence of woman-on-man violence, when you share the story of your assault, there those women are again, butting in aggressively, putting their two cents in and adding, "Now, don't gang up on me for saying this, but..."
What do they even mean by that? Don't they get it? Don't they know that, statistically and in your personal experience, you're more in danger from them than they are from you? That they're more likely to assault you than you are to assault them? What's the point of making a comment like that in the first place? It's to put you in your place, isn't it? To remind you to be nice, to be polite, to be sweet, to placate them. You don't want to make them angry, after all. You don't want to rile the beast. You'd better play nice, and smile, and offer them cookies for showing up to the conversation at all. After all, it's generous of them to try to join in the discussion, to try to help out, when you're the ones with the problem, you're the ones getting hurt, you're the ones who need help.
It's awful, isn't it? It's ridiculous, when the victims of violence and rape and assault are treated as if they're violent, they're aggressive, they're abusive. It's entirely backwards. It's an insult to reality.
If women really wanted to help, after all, if they really wanted to contribute to the conversation, they'd just do it. They'd approach the conversation with genuine openness. They wouldn't assume a hostile audience. They'd understand why they might face a hostile audience, and they'd watch their step accordingly. They'd do more listening than demanding. They would acknowledge that, according to the statistics and to your lived experiences, women are much more likely to assault men than men are to assault women, so even joking comments about ducking after saying something that might be received poorly is in bad taste, especially given the topic of conversation.
I guess they're not interested in respectful, sincere dialogue, though. It's easier for them to accuse you of creating a hostile environment, of blaming you for their lack of participation, of setting up the situation so that you're at fault if they don't want to continue the conversation.
It's a terrible situation. I hope that they realize what they're doing, someday, and stop it.