The author inverted an entire ecosystem to help men understand what it feels like to live in constant fear of being attacked.
Trigger warning: This story contains themes of sexual assault that some readers may find distressing.
In the eyes of men, violence against women has been largely normalized. They don't feel empathy or understand that every woman constantly lives under the fear of being sexually assaulted. A recent study showed that 86% of the women in the UK had been sexually harassed or assaulted in public spaces at some point in their lives. A majority of the men's first response in the case of attack is always to tell women what they should have done differently, as opposed to questioning the assaulters. "You should have dressed appropriately." "You shouldn't have taken that road." "You shouldn't be out late." These are some of the common statements that women get to hear after being assaulted. At no point are men held accountable for their actions.
Hi, guys. Imagine if one day you got kicked in the nuts, really hard, on purpose.— A.R. Vaxxin’ (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
You doubled over. Felt the pain. Nearly passed out. Nearly puked.
Then you got kicked again. And again.
Author A.R. Moxon drew a parallel to help men understand the deeply embedded toxic environment that women have to live through on a daily basis. Since most men couldn't really grasp the trauma that comes with being sexually assaulted, he presented it in a way that men could relate to — getting kicked in the nuts. While it may sound like an outrageous parallel, it makes sense as you go through the thread. Many women appeared to agree and tipped their hats to Moxon for the creative parallel.
Imagine it happened to you when you were 12.— A.R. Vaxxin’ (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Imagine it was an 38 year old woman who did it.
Imagine it was your mother’s friend and business partner.
The author said the core issue was the lack of empathy from men. “Speaking on the societally-macro level, empathy has been largely a one-way street when it comes to gender roles and dynamics,” Moxon told Bored Panda. “In my experience, women are empathetic toward men, while men tend not to be particularly empathetic toward women.” He also added that women are forced to gauge what men are thinking all the time because in many cases it's a matter of survival. Men, on the other hand, could remain ignorant of women's feelings and carry on with their life because they didn't feel threatened the way women did.
Imagine you told your parents and they didn’t believe you.— A.R. Vaxxin’ (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Imagine they never mentioned it again.
You learned to keep quiet about it.
You learned to be scared.
“When women tell their stories of living with danger and vulnerability in abusive relationships and of survival from assault, our first instinct appears to be to protect ourselves from personal culpability and accountability," said Moxon, which also explains why a majority of men's first reaction to any high-profile sexual assault case is to get the hashtag "#Notallmen" trending on social media platforms. Moxon said he's aware the analogy isn't in any way perfect but he just wanted something that men could relate to.
Imagine that later your father explained that women just wanted to kick men in the nuts, so as a boy you had to be careful.— A.R. Vaxxin’ (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Imagine he had very detailed practical advice on this.
Imagine you started spending your life planning on avoiding being kicked in the nuts.
"I chose nut-kicking because there isn’t a man alive that doesn’t understand exactly what a nut-shot is, and, with very few exceptions, none who would ever want it or seek it out or go out ‘asking’ for it,'” he said. “Most importantly, no man confuses getting kicked in the nuts with sex. It’s very clearly violence, even though it involves sex organs. The idea of growing up in a society where getting hoofed in the balls is normalized behaviour, systematically if tacitly allowed by a complicit society, and frequently confused with a pleasurable activity like sex, would rightfully be horrifying to any guy.” He added that the world has become so twisted that women were being targeted for even opening up about being sexually assaulted. “In such a society, the telling of wrong is itself seen as the wrong. It’s unutterably sad," he added.
Imagine you became aware that women, including much older women—even elderly women—were always looking at your nuts. Women on the street would follow you. They’d tell you what a nice package you have. They’d tell you you’d be hot if you just showed off your nuts a little more.— A.R. Vaxxin’ (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Imagine you started wearing clothes to hide them. You bought uncomfortable protective gear.— A.R. Vaxxin’ (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
All the posters and advertisements in all the magazines featured men’s crotches, though frequently not their heads.
Women’s feet were frequently featured in prominent juxtaposition.
Imagine most of your friends all told you about getting kicked in the nuts.— A.R. Vaxxin’ (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Imagine none of them had ever told anybody else.
Imagine all the older girls at school would make jokes about kicking you in the nuts.
Imagine all the laughter. The jokes are all so funny.
Imagine you went to church and were told that God made girls to want your body, so you should protect your nuts at all costs.— A.R. Vaxxin’ (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Imagine the minister said it was your responsibility as a maturing boy not to do anything that would make girls think about kicking you in the nuts.
Imagine you found a girlfriend, and you loved each other.— A.R. Vaxxin’ (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
One night, you were fooling around and she kicked you as hard as she could in the nuts, and it all came rushing back.
Imagine she acted like obviously you wanted to be kicked in the nuts,mocked you for getting emotional.
Imagine you told the police, and they asked you what you’d been wearing before she kicked you in the nuts. Asked if you’d had a drink. Asked what you might have been doing before. Had you been naked? Kissing?— A.R. Vaxxin’ (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Imagine there were laws that said that if a wife kicked her husband in the nuts it wasn’t assault.— A.R. Vaxxin’ (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Imagine you heard about men with ruptured testicles who had to pay for their own forensic reports
Imagine you saw statistics showing only 1% of kickings resulted in conviction.
Imagine a girl was caught kicking a boy repeatedly in the nuts while he was passed out drunk.— A.R. Moxon (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Imagine the judge let her off, because she was worried about the damage to the girl’s future prospects. She was a star swimmer with a scholarship.
Imagine this happened all the time.
Imagine if one day men all started talking about how almost all of them had, at one point or another, been kicked in the nuts.— A.R. Moxon (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Imagine if women’s main concern was what false accusation might do to their reputations, and whether this new honesty might ruin the mystery of sex.
He also drew parallels with former President Donald Trump and the Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump bragged about grabbing women's genitals.
Imagine a woman ran for President.— A.R. Moxon (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Imagine audio came out of her bragging about making it a regular practice to kick men in the nuts without even introducing herself.
Imagine she lost no support for this.
Imagine she claimed the men accusing her were lying.— A.R. Moxon (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Imagine she said they were too ugly to kick.
Imagine there had never been a male president.
Imagine she ran against the first major-party male candidate.
Imagine he had experience, and she had none.
Imagine she won anyway.
He wrapped up the thread by asking men to be more kind to women and to also call out men who were abusive and cruel to them.
I can't imagine women's rage today, but this exercise, while abstract, helped me get nearer to it than I'd been.— A.R. Moxon (@JuliusGoat) October 6, 2018
Be kind to women, guys. Today and every day.
If you see somebody being cruel to women, or abusive, or violent?
Kick 'em in the nuts.
If you are being subjected to sexual assault, or know of anyone who is, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673)