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September 20, 2021

We are all Gabby Petito and it’s a mindf*ck

Her body has just been found and she could be any one of us. That’s the thing about being a woman: you could be in love, you could be on a road trip with “your person”, you could be pregnant with your husband’s second child. You could be any godd*mn place—feeling safe, loved, supported—and then the man in your life (allegedly) kills you.

There doesn’t have to be a history of domestic violence or even a dark side of your partner. It can happen to any one and it does. Who’s to say you’re not next, or your sister, or your close friend who just got married? As long as we are intimately involved with men, we run that risk.

I once took a tour of an exotic cat rescue—a place that housed and cared for bobcats and lynxes when their ignorant owners could no longer take care of them. One volunteer told our tour group that a lynx had been found in a garage, where the owner would throw food, unable to actually step inside for fear of getting attacked.

Is that where we are with men—at one time finding them titillating, but eventually needing to cut off all meaningful contact in order to preserve our safety? 

How does any woman go forth in the world with this information in her head—that if she is going to die by the hands of another, it will most likely be her significant other? Men’s ultimate currency is violence—the last trump card they have when their chips are down.

If she is going to leave you, expose you, take too much of your money, cheat on you, or humiliate you, there is always another play. Why, in 2021, is this still an option in men’s minds? We must now teach cops not to shoot black people. Do we need to explicitly teach men not to murder women? Is this the new equity conversation that we should be having with boys as they grow up?

Yes? Ok, then. Here’s the talk: Men, keep your f*cking hands off of women.

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