I’m two-thirds in reading Joyce Carol Oates’ Two or three things I forgot to tell you, and I can’t help but notice how pushy the (high school) boys are about sex. They would text the girls, many girls, in a very threatening way, asking for “favors”.  The girls then would try to ignore it, but they are scared and humiliated, as anyone would be.

I have never been subject for such things in real life (strangers on kik is an entirely different thing, that can’t be taken seriously). I go to a small school (around 200 students, ages 6-16) where such things are unthinkable. For the boy, how humiliating wouldn’t it be to see those girls in school the next day? How afraid wouldn’t they be of the girl telling someone?

I know such things happen though, and I really can’t understand what the boys are thinking. Trying to make someone to give them what they want isn’t so weird, I guess. We all do sometimes, only not such things (I mean, have you ever asked someone to get you a glass of water, when you could very well have done it yourself?). But forcing someone to have sex? Scaring them into send nudes? That is NOT normal behavior. Especially not someone they know for real, when there would be a large risk of getting caught. Do the they actually expect to get something back? No girl would want to give them anything, at least not if they knew how many other girls the guy asked. Of course, there would be some sort of blackmailing involved. The poor girl would have to do it. She couldn’t tell anyone, because it would be too humiliating, or it would seem too mild.

Even so, granted that they actually could take advantage of the girl, that still doesn’t explain why they would want to do it in such ways. In my experience, most people don’t really like being yelled at and made fun of, to feel guilty, do something they know is wrong and cruel in every way and then see that person the next day and pretend nothing happened. It doesn’t explain why they can’t act like sane human beings and be grateful towards the girl. It doesn’t explain why harassments are allowed to go on, when everyone know it’s for real.

On a side note, it feels quite sexist of me to assume it’s only boys pressuring girls, and not the other way around, but honestly, it is.


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