Protecting Men’s Ego is Not Our Responsibility: The Murder of Janese Jackson-Talton
Men love to tell women that we are just so damned complex with our emotions. They complain that we can never give them a straight answer.
“Why can’t you just be upfront with us?”
Well, Janese Jackson- Talton, is the exact proof that women aren’t playing some elusive game. When she was upfront about not wanting to date a man Jackson-Talton was shot and killed.
When women rebuff men’s advances before men can “plead their case” it’s like a natural form of self defense. Despite what men like to believe it’s not a woman’s responsibility to give every man who crosses her path a chance.
It is not our job to protect your ego from the pain of rejection and it’s not our job to lessen the blow. Kudos to the men who maybe step out of their comfort zone to politely approach a pretty girl, but that girl owes him nothing.
It seems like as the conversation of “no means no, not maybe” has grown over the years so has the bold nature of men and not in a good way. Men who catcall us on the streets have crossed physical boundaries, everything from trying to grab our hands as we walk away, right up to going as far as trying to literally hop in our cars.
It’s not an occasional occurrence, or a series of isolated incidents, this is an everyday thing. The hashtag #YouOkSis is a Twitter stream of daily examples of men taking harassment to new heights all in pursuit of “can I talk to you?”
Early Friday morning, 29-year-old Jackson-Talton was at a local Homewood area Pittsburgh bar when she was approached by 41-year-old, Charles McKinney. According to reports McKinney asked her for a date and Jackson-Talton refused. When the bar closed a few hours later, McKinney followed her outside and shot her in the chest.
McKinney is not the first man to decide murder is the answer to women not interested in him. In May of 2014 22-year-old, Elliot Rodger, went on a murderous spree in Santa Barbara where he killed half a dozen people and wounded 14 others before killing himself.
During police investigation they found his 137 page manifesto which detailed his “war against women.” Rodger blamed women for every problem in his life, but in particular for keeping him a 22-year old virgin by refusing to date or sleep with him.
Men will continue to blame women for not wanting to date them rather than examining where they’re at fault. Women are taught to be polite in their discomfort, to let men down easy, and of course we’re told to at the very least smile, as if we owe it to them.
The scariest part about Janese Jackson-Talton’s story is that, we can’t say there is anything she could have done differently. There’s no definitive answer for how to avoid the way a man responds, and she should have felt safe enough to say no; we are all entitled to the right to feel safe enough to say no.
Coddling men’s delicate sensibilities is not our responsibility. It’s our responsibility to protect ourselves and each other; to feel comfortable in our most casual environments.
It’s men’s responsibility to catch up with women’s progression and educate themselves on what women owe them.
Here’s a hint, nothing.
Get more information on harassment and protecting yourself at Stopstreetharassment.org