Like many women like myself, we are approached by men for our telephone numbers, dinner dates and even sex. Some men are able to walk away unbothered, while others become aggressive and belligerent. I’ve been called a bitch and followed around the mall numerous times simply because a man with too much ego couldn’t accept the fact that I didn’t want to give him my telephone number or go out with him.
Though a lot of men don’t care most of the time, I’ve been guilty of saying I’m a lesbian to show that I’m completely not interested. I have sported a ring on my wedding finger to appear MORE off limits since a simple “no” is never enough. I’ve said that I’m in a relationship even though I’m 100% single; and I always feel the need to watch my back when I tell a guy I’m not interested in social situations. Tiarah Poyau’s murder honestly could have been me or anyone of my girlfriends and her story reminds us that male fragility is alive and well….
Tiarah Poyau was a 22 year old graduate student at St. John’s University and wanted to pursue a career as an accountant. On 09/05/16, Tiarah decided to have some fun and attend Brooklyn’s West Indian J’Ouvert festival. At approximately 4:00 a.m, Tiarah was approached by Reginald Moise while she was walking with her friends and he proceeded to grind on her without consent. Naturally Tiarah told him to, “get off me”, where consequently Reginald pulled out a gun and shot her close range through the eye.
It’s a sad reality that in 2016, women are still not able to decline a man’s advances without fearing for their lives or without stroking a man’s screwed up ego to lessen the blow of rejection. Yes, statistically there’s a disproportionate amount of African American women being killed by African American males compared to other groups. Despite those statistics, I don’t want to make this post about race. It’s about women of all races and ethnic backgrounds being afraid to tell a man “no” when they aren’t interested or even if they want to end a relationship. When we see women continuously being shot in the street and stabbed in bars, it makes you wonder what exactly is being done to educate younger generations and men. Misogynistic expectations and the entitlement of men will continue to put women at risk.Though ongoing awareness is brought to the forefront through the media, there needs to be more dialogue regarding this issue. Catcalling is not a compliment and a woman is not obligated to give a man her time or telephone number if she doesn’t want to. Male fragility affects the daily lives of women everywhere. It’s seen everyday when men confuse “no” with “yes” and refuse to let a woman reject them.