It’s a shame that being a woman, living and moving in the world, can be a dangerous endeavor. Paris Sashay, a 23-year-old comedienne, was out with her friends late last Saturday night when she was brutally attacked by a group of men.
The men called out to Sashay and her friends and when she rejected their advances, the interaction turned violent. Sashay was walking to her parked car when the men pushed her to the ground. She blacked out but later woke up in the hospital with a broken nose, chipped teeth, a swollen lip and bruises.
She told a Washington NBC affiliate, “Guys make it where you don’t have a right to say no anymore. But as a woman, you should be able to say no,” Sashay said. “Just say no. You’re just not interested.”
When Sashay woke up in the hospital she was worried less about her appearance but more about whether or not she’d be able to perform at the DC Improv comedy club. She had decided that the men who hurt her weren’t going to silence her.
“No matter how much it takes, I’ll just go out, perform and do whatever it takes to make the people laugh. I won’t let the people down.”
As you might assume, with medical and dental procedures needed, Sashay’s healing will not be cheap. As a result a Go Fund Me page was set up to assist with the costs of her recovery. The original goal was $2,000. In three days time, supporters donated $4,038.
True to her word, Sashay did indeed take the stage yesterday, less than a week after her assault.
She posted this message of gratitude to those who supported her.
As outrageous as it seems, Sashay’s story is not unique. There have been far too many stories of women being attacked and even killed by men who took a woman’s “no” as an excuse for violence.
Around this same time last year, Mary Spears, a mother of three in Detroit, was repeatedly harassed and eventually killed her after she told a man she couldn’t give him her name and number because she was engaged. Several of Spears’ relatives were also injured by gunfire.
A woman in Tampa was beaten and bloodied after she refused a man’s sexual advances.
A woman in Chicago was followed and brutally attacked by a man on the L train after she rejected his pickup lines.
One man bashed at least four Asian women in the head with a bag containing a heavy object. He later killed himself; but before he did so, he wrote a note entitled, “Why I decided to leave earth.”, explaining why he attacked these women.
“In less than 350 days, I talked to nearly 1500 Asian women and none of them took time out of their day to say hello. I became furious. I never agreed with violence, but I knew the only way I could overcome that sense of rejection-would start by assaulting the Women that carelessly rejected me.”
And these are just the examples I was able to dig up in a five minute Google search. It’s a problem.
Again, #MasculinitySoFragile a woman not wanting to speak to or date you warrants heinous crimes in retaliation.
There are crazy people in the world. And our mothers and fathers have prepared us for them. Travel in groups, carry pepper spray, park in a well lit area etc.
But many of the women in the incidents I’ve just listed were following at least one of these rules and they were still attacked.
Women know the rules.
It’s time parents, friends, older dudes on the corner start teaching boys, young men and grown men that a bruised ego doesn’t mean he has the right to insult, attack or kill a woman.