“A recent study has shown just how common it is for teen boys to coerce or threaten girls into sending nude pictures: an analysis of 500 accounts from 12- to 18-year-old girls about negative experiences sexting found that two-thirds of them had been asked to provide explicit images — and that the requests often progressed from promises of affection to “anger displays, harassment and threats.” In an article about the study for The New York Times, psychologist Lisa Damour writes, “Teenagers are drafted into a sexual culture that rests on a harmful premise: on the heterosexual field, boys typically play offense and girls play defense… Most schools and many parents already tell teenagers not to send sexualized selfies. But why don’t we also tell adolescents to stop asking for nude photos from one another?”
While I was ending school, personal mobile phones were becoming common and home video cameras were still a luxury for some but gaining a place in society slowly.
As the use of technology grew, so did the pressure from men. Sometimes this would be for sending explicit pictures, sometimes to do video chats in skimpy clothing and other times just sex chat with explicit language.
I always had reservations and never, ever gave in to such pressure simply because I am a shy person and never felt that the pressure and threats from the man in question were a reason enough for me to withdraw my personal boundaries. In fact, I blew off several guys who were pretending to be ‘friends’ but turned out were just perverts that today we call ‘fuck boys’.
Years passed and now I am in my early 30s.
But guess what?
The pressure from men has not gone down.
Recently, I was catching up after 10 years with a guy friend who I had never met but had text and Skype conversations with at times. This guy had revealed his liking for me in the past and asked if I would consider marrying him.
Considering that I am still single and have no plans to tie the knot, you can imagine how ridiculous the idea of marriage was to me back then.
Anyway, he got married and now has 2 young daughters about 6 and below, the pictures of whom he often shares on his timeline.
Catching up with him after 10 years on FB Messenger was a delight. I thought it would be good to know how life has treated him and exchange some grown-up talks on a lazy evening.
Unfortunately, he had different ideas.
For him, the conversation was about how awful his wife was despite working as a teacher and looking after the household chores entirely alone. And then it came down to turning the video camera on and posing.
I agreed to talk on a WhatsApp call after a ton of please..please and begging.
And while we talked he was worried that if he wanted to talk the next day, would I still take his call. Actually, his wife was visiting her parents for a few days and he wanted to make the most of his time by flirting with women.
The next day when he called, I was in the bathtub and when he began pushing for the camera, I told him I cannot and knowing about the bathtub his pervert inner self just jumped out of his balls and he began pushing madly to turn the camera on.
The guy is blocked till eternity so that was the end of that. But did it really have to go like that?
Why do men feel it is OK to bluntly ask women to send nudes or sext or come on video and worse, why do they handle the rejection so bad?
The article I talked about in the beginning was about teenagers but even as grown-ups, that entitlement from men does not stop, does it?
And I have no words for the manipulation they try to trap you in when you say NO.
They will appear all sad and try to make you feel sorry and pity for them.
Then they will try anger and the ‘I won’t talk to you either’ threats.
And ultimately when they go out of patience, they even abuse and say all sorts of curses because they did not get their way.
We are talking about teenage men but grown-up men, father of two young daughters… when they have no respect for boundaries and exploit every second the wife is away to flirt and fuck with other women, what can we expect them to teach the younger generation of men?