Here in Boston, our minds and hearts are with the family of Jassy Correia, a 23 year old mother who was first reported missing after getting separated from her friends at a local club, then tragically her body was found in the trunk of a car of the suspect in Delaware. This coming just over a month after another woman, Olivia Ambrose was reported missing after getting separated from her friends at a local bar. (Thankfully, she was found alive several days later, and tragically she had been taken and held against her will). In both cases, I couldn’t help but be taken aback by the immediate reaction of “so where the fuck were her friends?” I’m sure people reading this right now had the same reaction. I’m not even going to say that it’s wrong, just misdirected. The only person responsible for Jassy Correia’s death is her killer. Not her, not her friends, not her babysitter, not the club. It’s the reality of rape culture, in a perfect world women wouldn’t have to be taught to travel in packs, never take your eyes off a drink, send locations to friends…but this world is far from perfect and if Jassy had not been separated from friends, she could’ve got taken in a uber, just snatched walking down the street, attacked in her home by someone she trusted. We’re surrounded by monsters.
It’s a fear I don’t have as a man. I’m far enough removed from the life I used to live that I don’t even think about other hoods. If my boy leaves the party with a random woman, I don’t fear for his safety. Hell, I tell a nigga be safe he might get offended (when you think about it, it is ridiculous that we get defensive about that but hey, fragile masculinity or whatever). Our monsters are the ones who are supposed to protect and serve but that’s a topic for another day. I think about how I had the same curfew as my older sisters, the reaction to me dating in comparison to theirs and how women are raised to survive rape culture more than men are raised to fight it. Even as someone who likes to consider himself as being raised with some got damn sense.
Jassy should be home with her daughter right now. Olivia is going to have to deal with those horrifying 3 days for the rest of her life. Women across the world constantly having to deal with living among the monsters. As a man, I’ve had to accept that while I’m not a monster I fit the description of one. While I’m in the party with good vibes and intentions, to her I’m still a stranger and possible monster. I think about how men talk about the cockblocking homegirl, the girl with the RBF who ain’t trying to talk to anybody, the girl who is only there to dance with her friends and the mild inconvenience of not being able to get a shot off pales in comparison to her overall safety and comfort. Screaming #NotAllMen to the heavens don’t erase the reality that there’s still men who are. (Probably the main ones screaming #notallmen). The energy used to show you aren’t a monster can be used to hold accountable the ones who are, and being aware and vigilant. You don’t have to be a hero, but you have to be decent. If not, we’re coming for you too.