Viral Twitter thread exposes how men regularly make women feel unsafe

Movements like #MeToo shine a light into survivors’ experiences with sexual harassment and assault, but some women stress that misogyny and male entitlement affect women every single day. Now, a Twitter thread is going viral for showing how men regularly scare, trigger, and traumatize women by acting in ways that can make women feel threatened.

On Sunday, Twitter user tragedythyme discussed her experience with a creepy man who sexually harassed her when he offered to buy her dryer. In the thread, tragedythyme explains how the buyer arrived at her house after her husband left for work, even though she told him to show up earlier, and begged her to help him carry the dryer up from the basement. While making her help lift the heavy device, he started sexually harassing her, leaving tragedythyme feeling angry, scared, and trapped.

He later showed up again at 10pm while drunk, and she called the police for protection as a result.

“The point—other than my being pissed and wanting to tell people—is that events like this, even when we come out ok, take an emotional toll. I was scared,” tragedythyme tweeted. “So men, if you want to be allies, then recognizing that assault is bad is just the minimum. For every sexual assault, there are thousands of events that don’t lead to violence but which scare the shit out of us, especially after our ‘assessment’ turns out to have been wrong.”

Tragedythyme’s story rings true for many women because it shows how men’s behavior puts women on guard. When women are alone with men, it’s constantly unclear whether a man could lash out, act physically abusive, make demeaning comments, or commit sexual assault. And even when women try to protect themselves by putting up boundaries, some men won’t take them seriously and will pressure women into getting what they want.

Women across Twitter commented on tragedythyme’s thread and opened up about their own stories with men’s threatening behavior.

READ MORE

Tragedythyme isn’t the only Twitter user asking men to think about their sense of entitlement and privilege. In a viral Twitter thread from activist Danielle Muscato, women opened about what they would do if men had a 9pm curfew. Responses were oddly depressing, as many posters said they would have more time to spend at night without worrying about being sexually harassed or assaulted.

“A number of people really seemed genuinely shocked at the kinds of mental exhaustion women have to endure every day just navigating our lives, in ways that cis men simply can’t understand because it doesn’t exist in their world,” Muscato told the Daily Dot.

Ana Valens

Ana Valens

Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.