Room 39.4: Toxic Masculinities

The toxic masculinity that is hardest to name is “not rape”. Probably because it’s illusive, existing within that space we are told isn’t real. It’s never feeling pleasure from sex until your mid-20’s because no one told you about your clit and, inevitably, no one had told him either. It’s letting him slither his hands slowly, slowly, slowly downward just after offering, “as long and you’re not an Indian,” referencing your racial ambiguity. It’s every boy I’ve ever kissed who, when I pulled away, pulled me closer and said, “C’mon baby.” It’s every parent who told their daughters, “When he hits you that means he likes you, sweety,” and their sons, “If she doesn’t warm up to you at first, just keep trying! You’re a nice guy….”

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