Today in Toxic Masculinity

[Content Note: Violent entitlement; animal cruelty; misogyny. Video may autoplay at second link.]

Those tweets were posted in 2014, and they were not the first time I've written about this subject, because I have been writing about this for a long time.

And here I am, writing about it again.

Thankfully, the women about whom I'm writing today — women who said no to men who wouldn't take no for an answer — are alive, unlike many other women who were killed by men who couldn't bear to let live any woman who rejected them. Unfortunately, in one case, two dogs are dead.

Amy Lavalley at the Post-Tribune: Owner of 2 Pugs Who Were Beaten to Death Rebuffed Advances of Man Accused in Their Killings. "The woman who owned two pugs that were beaten to death last month in Porter Township reportedly rebuffed the advances of the man charged in the dogs' deaths, according to court documents. Anthony Priestas, 23...was arrested Tuesday on two felony counts of animal cruelty for allegedly killing the dogs Feb. 21 after removing them from the Winfield home of Brandy Ortiz, court documents said. Ortiz, who has said she received the dogs, Marley and Mugsy, as a Christmas present from her parents seven years ago, told police investigating the allegations that 'she remembered a male subject who has been trying to date her but she has stayed off his advances,' court documents said."

The description at the link of how Priestas murdered the dogs is very difficult to read. (Frankly, I don't advise it.) He was clearly full of uncontrollable rage, all because he felt entitled to Ortiz, who he didn't believe had the agency and right to tell him no.

WCCO Minnesota: Man Urinated in Co-Worker's Water After She Denied His Advances. "A 47-year-old Minneapolis man is accused of urinating into a co-worker's water bottle numerous times after she rejected his romantic advances. Conrrado Cruz Perez faces one misdemeanor and one gross misdemeanor charge of adulterate by bodily fluid in connection to the October 2017 incident. According to the complaint, a female worker at the Perkins Family Restaurant in Vadnais Heights reported noticing water in her water bottle tasting like urine for the past several months. She said it began happening after she told Perez that she only wanted to be friends with him. Since then, she said there were about 15 instances of urine-tasting water in her water bottle at work."

Stephanie Saul at the New York Times: Harvard Professor Resigns Amid Allegations of Sexual Harassment. "A prominent government professor at Harvard who has been accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by as many as 18 women over several decades resigned on Tuesday following a decision by the university to place him on leave. The professor, Jorge I. Domínguez, 72, was the subject of a Feb. 27 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education that reported that at least 10 women had accused him of sexual harassment. ...The Chronicle article told the story of Terry L. Karl, an assistant government professor at Harvard during the early 1980s, who said Dr. Domínguez...had made repeated attempts to kiss her, attempted to run his hand up her dress and, at another point, made a reference to raping her. As she rebuffed his advances, Dr. Karl said, Dr. Domínguez reminded her of how powerful he was."

These are just three stories from the past week. Women tell men no. Men respond by killing their dogs; peeing in their water; threatening their careers.

That women often "agree" to do things with men because they are afraid what will happen if they say no is something about which I've had occasion to write twice, lately: Once regarding Aziz Ansari and once regarding Louis CK.

And that's because "Why didn't she leave?" — or say no, or scream, or kick him in the balls, or violently hurt him, or any one of a number of escalating variations — is a ubiquitous bit of apologia deployed in response to every story of a woman being harmed by a man and living to tell the tale.

This is why. This is always why.

Because there are men who will do terrible things, worse things than they are already doing to us, if we say no.

And there's no way to tell whether a man is that kind of man until he shows us.

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