Schrödinger’s Dick Pic and My Quest for Legal Justice

One morning last August I woke up and checked my phone to find an email with a picture attached. It was a picture of a penis. Not how I wanted to start my Sunday. 

Infuriatingly, many women know this exact sensation. Some of you are even desensitized to it. Somehow I made it past 30 without getting an unsolicited dick pic. Until this one. I won’t describe the dick (it was nothing special) but I will describe how I felt 

First, disgusted. Second, confused and immediately after, sad. I tried to laugh it off as pathetic, but that quickly devolved into rage. Someone had the notion to text me a picture of their dick in the small hours of the morning and followed through on that impulse, and now because of this disgusting person, a dick is permanently burned into my memory. I couldn’t imagine the absolute audacity of someone feeling like they have a right to do this to me. I still can’t.

My husband was supportive. My friends were supportive. But I was still so sad and enraged about it that I could barely breathe. Even typing this, my pulse is climbing. So I called the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673) and they put me in touch with someone local who volunteers to listen to whatever anyone dealing with any type of sexual assault might need to talk about.

In addition to telling me I didn’t cause this, and I had a right to be upset even though this incident was fairly minor, which I knew but appreciated hearing, she told me that this was actually a crime. Like, not just a moral injustice, but an actual, theoretically punishable, crime.

I am probably not the first person this guy ever sent a dick pic. I am, disappointingly, probably not the last. I thought maybe I could use my white privilege as a righteous weapon and make this disgusting, troubled individual face some consequences for this dick pic instead of just shouldering them all on my own. I am so tired of living in a world where women have to endure the cost of men’s actions, you know?

So I went to the police station. I had never been to a police station before. I’ve never even been pulled over. I nervously approached the counter like I was ordering at a new restaurant where I didn’t know the rules for building my sandwich, cleared my throat and said I would like to report a crime, please. 

The woman at the desk arched her eyebrow when I told her the crime. She was waiting for me to finish. Someone sent you a dick pic and…? This crime doesn’t get reported a lot, I guess. The two women behind the glass had a giggle about it while they entered it into the computer. You have to fill out a form. They asked for my social security number, which honestly just seems like a trap to catch undocumented immigrants, or at least discourage them further from reporting crimes. Although I felt gross and uncomfortable, I felt slightly buoyed by the idea that I was standing up for women more vulnerable than myself. Women with more to lose by walking into a police station. I didn’t want this person to ever do this again, so I slogged through my own humiliation to put justice in motion. 

A few days later a detective called me on the phone and told me this wasn’t actually a crime, and I fought back a nervous lump in my throat to read him the exact statute that had been violated. He hadn’t heard of it. If I hadn’t had this information I would have been rebuffed. 

I had to go back to the police station and give a statement. The detective has admittedly probably seen unspeakable horrors and was not at all phased by my little story, and he showed that plainly enough on his face. I felt a little stupid, like I was wasting everyone’s time, including my own. But I held tight to the knowledge that I was a victim of a crime. If they could just find this guy, I reasoned, I would press all of the charges. He would think about me and feel gross and sad, the way I do when I think about him. 

The picture landed in my email, but it was actually texted to my Google Voice account from another Google Voice account. I got one to make campaign calls because it’s an anonymous black hole you can make phone calls from without people knowing who you really are. Which also makes it a great way for people to anonymously send pictures of their genitals to unconsenting strangers. The detective said he would get a warrant but braced me for the fact that they probably wouldn’t find anything. I should be used to managing my expectations on things like this, and yet somehow I find myself constantly disappointed. 

Google came through with the warrant and they found him. Sort of. 

The detective said the phone number belonged to an older man who most likely texted me the picture by accident. The man, the detective continued, was a little senile. He had recently lost his wife and was possibly grief stricken. He sounded very sorry, I’m told, and the detective decided to leave it alone. I didn’t feel like that was his call to make. 

I know I said I wouldn’t describe the dick in the photo, but I think I do have to describe it a little, I’m sorry. It’s relevant, I swear. It wasn’t really an old person dick that landed in my inbox. I’m not a detective, but that seems like a clue. And if he was so senile that he sent me a dick in a fit of grief induced hysteria, how does he work a google voice account? Maybe someone who wasn’t the owner of the phone plan sent me a dick. He could have Nancy Drew-ed this a little. But he didn’t ask. 

I don’t care whether it was an accident or a regrettable mistake. This dude should be more careful with keeping his dick out of the wrong hands, so to speak. But if it was an accident, why the sob story about losing his wife? Another detail about the dick pic will make this clear: it was a white dick. Or at least a white passing one. He was granted the benefit of a doubt for not committing a crime, and simultaneously forgiven for the crime itself. Schrödinger’s Dick Pic.

I knew this but hoped it wouldn’t be true this time: White people can straight up just commit crimes and get away with it.  But I allowed myself to hope that with such a clear violation of a very specific law, with my evidence, and my willingness to come forward, that the owner of this dick would suffer a small fraction of the pain he had inflicted on me. But in a battle of white privilege vs white privilege, male privilege usually breaks the tie. It was apparently naive of me to expect law enforcement to, I don’t know, enforce their own laws. I appealed to a pro bono lawyer who said he would look into it, but it’s been almost a year and I don’t think anything is going to happen. 

So why am I dredging up this gross nonsense now? Tell me you’re starting to connect some of these dick dots. 

For one, with growing calls to defund the police, I’m getting a lot of whining and self righteous finger wagging from folks who say we need to think of rape victims. “Who are they supposed to call?” Google how many rape kits are rotting in storage lockers in your state. Here in South Carolina, as of February, there were “1,258 sexual assault kits in line for testing, the oldest of which was submitted in 2016.” These people don’t chime in with support for rape victims on any other topics. I felt humiliated just talking about a dick in my inbox. I can’t imagine the guts it would take to describe a rape in detail, over and over again, only to have it reach the same conclusion as my story. And statistically, that’s what would happen.

Cops aren’t doing a good job of preventing these crimes, and our criminal justice system does an appalling job at punishing them. I’m sure there are people out there who’ve had positive experiences with law enforcement in the wake of an assault, but that doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of perpetrators won’t see a day in jail, or the fact that reporting a crime like this was, in my and others’ experiences, almost as bad as the incident itself. I want to believe there is a better way to hold people responsible for crimes than the way we’re doing it now, and I don’t want conversations about defunding the police to be derailed in the name of people who are harmed by the status quo. 

Speaking of which. Do you ever get brave and read the comments on news articles about the murder of a Black person by the police? I try not to, but sometimes I can’t help myself. Inevitably, a white person will chime in and say that if the person in question had only followed the law, they would still be alive. In a “free” country, a lot of people take it as a given that, violating the law, any law, justifies murder. Except, obviously, for white people.

Every time I read a comment like that, I flash back to the piece of paper in my little police report folder where I wrote the law that had been violated. I don’t want the owner of the dick to slowly suffocate face down on the pavement under a cop’s knee. But I didn’t even get so much as a weak apology. 

I don’t feel protected or served, and if you’re eager to assume someone murdered by police must have done something to deserve it, something tells me you don’t either. 

That dick is still in my inbox. I can’t bring myself to delete it, because part of me hopes that the sender may yet face consequences and I don’t want to get rid of the evidence. 

But then I remember that Brock Turner only served three months in jail for rape. That dick is probably here to stay. 

Hits and Shits

 

The Shits

Anthony Weiner

SHUT IT DOWN. Just quit it, dude. You’re done. Because here’s the thing: DO WHAT YOU WILL WITH YOUR DONG, but I do not need to or want to know about it and I officially know too much, Anthony. WE DON’T NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR SO UN-SEXY SEXY TIMES, but you’ve unwittingly forced them upon us with your sheer and utter stupidity and for whatever reason NO ONE is making you pay for it. You just keep on truckin’ and I really haven’t the faintest idea as to why or how because you don’t deserve to keep on truckin’, buddy. You deserve a swift kick in the nuts and some serious sex addict help because you’ve gone too far and you still think you’re capable of holding office. YOU AREN’T, YOU SEX CRAZED PREDATOR. You’re not trustworthy or noble or even smart because the smart thing to do would be to give the fuck up. We no longer hold any respect for you. You’ve trapped your wife (who needs to just GTFO) and yourself in a k-hole of sleazy tabloid scandal and no good will come of it if you continue on your merry way. SO STOP. Get some real help and get out of my face.

 

Babies

ALRIGHT. BRACE YOURSELVES BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO SPIT SOME TRUTH. BABIES AREN’T SPECIAL. There it is. There. I said it. I just don’t care about babies. Sure, they’re cute and they smell nice (sometimes) and you can cuddle them, but like I can also spray my teddy bear with some perfume and I’m golden. It’s not that I am raining on your baby’s parade (Kate and William), it’s just that the obsession with any one singular baby is beyond me (EVEN THO I DEMAND PHOTOS OF NORTH, YE, I NEED THEM). Babies are babies. Women give birth to babies thousands and thousands of times over on again given day and we don’t see any of those new mamas getting the attention that all these celebrity mamas are getting. AND YES, they are celebrities, but it’s also like… It’s a baby. It can’t even talk or add any value to modern day society. Like… it’s not even a real ass human, you guys. It’s just an adorable tiny version of the shitty human it will grow up to be. (Everyone is shitty. Get over it.) SO WHY MAKE THE RUCKUS? I’m only gonna care about babies if they start paying my rent and that is probz never going to happen so STOP, WORLD. GIVE IT UP. Babies are just babies and if it’s not my baby, I don’t care. (FYI, NEVER HAVING BABIES, JUST SAYIN’.)


Financing College/Student Loans/Broke Ass College Students

(oh, look another baby photo)

It’s that time of year again. Student loans. What in the hell is this world coming to? I just don’t get it, you guys. Why is our education so expensive? Why do I have to shell out more money than I can even think about in order to “better myself” and “get ahead in life”? Why am I selling my soul to the banks that are “struggling” in order to get myself a piece of paper that says I did good on learning!? WHY!? IT’S FUCKED UP AND I AM SO SICK OF IT. AND YOU SHOULD BE TOO because the amount of debt that the American college system is dumping onto any given student is terrifying. And for a lot of us, insurmountable. Education is the core of our future, but if we can’t afford education, why bother? It’s shocking to me the amount of money that schools are asking for and I just can’t even. Like I wanna cry. I get anxious and sweaty and miserable. And ugh. What even. I can’t even articulate right now. My world is ending. UGH.

Remember: I am not Buzzfeed. I AM ONLY HUMAN.

 The Hits

England (kind of)

(also the Spice Girls)

OH SHIT. ARE WE GONNA HAVE SOME CONTRADICTIONS UP IN HERE? No. I mean… Congratz on the new spawn, Great Britain, but that’s not why you’re one of the hits of this week. You’re one of the tops this week because I dig that you’re nixing Charles Darwin from your currency and stamping the beauteous bust of our lady Jane Austen. YEAH THAT’S RIGHT. That nice lady that wrote those love stories that I pretended to read is gonna be all up on the pounds which is super cool. ALSO, Her Majesty Q E 2 totez gave the thumbs up on gay marriage and I am ALL ABOUT THAT. Thanks, ladybird, you’re the best. ALSO, Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock. YES, I AM SORRY, I JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT IT, but it’s soooooo good so England gets mad cred for that, too. I’m lovin’ it!

Beyonce’s Weave


While Beyonce is always on the top of my list, ALWAYS, her weave gets mad props for surviving an almost death by fan. Yeah, that’s right. Beyonce’s weave got stuck in a fan and SURVIVED. Queen B’s weave became entangled in a stage fan during one of her recent performances and HER WEAVE WAS FINE and so was she because she just kept singing because B and her weave are fierce as fuck and just keep on keepin’ on.

Cher


Because.

Help us find hits and shits! Hit us up on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what belongs on this list!

XOXO
Gossssssip GRRRL

The Virginity Disease

I’m celebrating my 22nd birthday on July 23rd and I still haven’t achieved a major checkpoint in my adulthood: losing my virginity. I have not yet bow-chicka-wow-wowed because before this point in my life, I’ve overhyped my hymen. I’ve come to realize that it’s just sex. So, who cares if you value it or not? We’re constantly told that our first love usually isn’t our last, ya know? So, who cares? (Who cares if you value it or not, I mean.)

Being 21 and still virginal means dating is a little harder than just Tinder-ing for that special someone. Despite my new-found who-gives-a-shit-if-I’m-a-slut attitude and 21+-year-old people’s undying desire to cum, straight cis-gendered men usually don’t want to be the “first” to fuck-the-“thing”. When they’ve just reached the drinking age, men prefer to be a woman’s fourth or fifth.  Later in life, men are fixated on a woman’s “number” not being too high. You either want me sexually active or totally untouched! MAKE UP YOUR MIND, BOYS! Except, it shouldn’t matter at all. Their opinions shouldn’t be the main factor in whether or not they get introduced to my lady parts.

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I was recently rejected via text message. This kindly gentleman that rejected me used Hemingway’s infamous 6-word-poem, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” It was this man’s way of informing me that since I was a virgin, (“baby shoes, never worn” referring to my unentered vagina) he was no longer interested. In this context, my virginity was a part of the potential relationship that I was selling, and he wasn’t willing to put in a bid for something that he’d have to break in himself. “Not sure I can make it any more plain than what I’ve written,” were his last words to me before ending our conversation for good.

I’m pretty sure that the concept of virginity was made up by some guy who thought he was so important that he could change my identity just by jabbing my body with his penis. Being a virgin passed the age of 18 is like being put under the glass ceiling of sexual activity. I can literally receive all the dick pics in the world, but because I’ve never gone “all the way”, I’ll never go “all the way”. As one man once said to me, “You’ll turn into a clinger, like all the other virgins.” It seems, what most hetero-cis-men really want is a girl who has only had enough sex to “get over” being a virgin, but not enough so that they’re “ruined”.

Men don’t want to carry the burden of having to commit to the girl they are sleeping with. NEWS FLASH: These days, young adult females usually aren’t looking to commit, either. Speaking on a personal level: I’m not really looking to commit. I barely know what profession I’m going to land in, and that’s a hell of a lot more important to me right now than what human I’m going to end up dying with. Before any dating prospect has even sent me a message on OKCupid or come up to me at a bar, they’ve already pinned me with the diagnosis of being a girl. As most movies about mental illness try to teach us, these men can be convinced that “love conquers all”, including my girl syndrome.

Being a virgin is a much less visible disease. I’ve been trained to believe that any date must be “warned”, so they know up front that I have not yet been a completed conquest. These potential dates are left to wonder “How come she’s 21 and no one has fucked her?” And there we have it: my worth is directly connected to how men are attracted to me, and how successful those men have been in their attempts at sleeping with me. With no previous sexual partners under my belt, at an age where I’m expected to have an adult paying job, I appear worthless in the dating scene. There must be something wrong with me, because in most eyes, there is no reason a person would have chosen to be a 21 year old virgin.

Although the past few prospects in my life have rejected me solely based on an unexplored part of my anatomy, I realize that not all men are jerks. Just these, and the ones who act like them. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many wonderful men. I have men in my life that would defend my honor, listen to me whine, dance with me at parties, and who didn’t flinch when they found out I was queer. These men in my life have offered to be my wingmen at bars because they want me to have the same fun as everyone else and who have complimented me on my wonderful virginity. These men laughed along side me when I told them my last rejection was from a man who said “Sorry… I’ve lived a bit longer, beyond petty idealism. You go rant about males. I’m perfectly fine fighting in the opposite direction. So long.” Now, to only convince one of these gorgeous man friends to date me, so the pressure changes from needing to lose my v-card to wanting to get down and dirrrrtay.

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Dick Pics

I woke up this morning to a text that simply said, “I’m jerking off to the thought of you.”  While most people may cringe, or possibly gag on last night’s dinner, I have realized I have grown increasingly desensitized to the morning habits of the male creature (or female, but that is another story for another day, kiddos). Bored, yawning, and with dried drool on my face, I can’t help but send a text back that says, “Really?”

Though the element of surprise is always there – simply because of the amount of gall it takes to send such a random text – the intrigue of seeing what’s more to come will always outweigh any sense of astonishment. What comes next after this text; what was he thinking about? I want to know what I did, or more importantly, what prompted him. However, all I know is that simple and very random text lead to my good-morning-dick-pic, and I had opened the floodgates for dirty texts  with a young teacher — who did not have to get out of bed because he “has a snow day”. (Oh, and he wanted me to join him. Being twenty-two gives you these quirky little perks.)

Dick pictures to me are just as wonderful as pictures of cute kittens. Here’s why: they’re always different. No matter what angle, if he uses a strange object he left on his desk as a reference for comparison, or whether or not cum is in the picture; each grainy cell phone photograph has its own personal story. Whether we were “sexting” or not, dick pictures always get a little giggle out of me, and it’s not necessarily because I’m turned on. It’s mostly just because I like the way dicks look.

But when I received my first dick picture, I was nineteen and a freshman in college. My jaw dropped

It was nothing amazing or mesmerizing. The picture was nothing more than this guy gripping his dick so hard, I felt bad for it. Of course, the caption was something along the lines of, “Hey, baby, how do you like it?” and I can only imagine that if he were whispering that in my ear, it would be a mix between Bruce Wayne and William Shatner. (Careful girls, don’t let your pussies quiver too much) I only replied with a tentative, “Yes,” because I did not want to be rude. I figured this was dick etiquette; I had to be nice to the guy showing me his dick, right? And to be perfectly honest, I was terrified of that picture. I was a virgin who had yet to make out with a guy, and I was receiving a picture of a full-grown man who was choking the fuck out of his penis. In reality, I should have replied, “Ease up a little bit, it’s turning purple.” But that would have been rude, and my mother taught me manners.

This gentleman was also a teacher and was one of my few quick flings throughout college years. In fact, my college years should be more accurately named, “Four Years of Awkward Sexting and Dick Pic Montages with some Marxist Studies Sprinkled In.” While I think college is more about education with only books, I think I did a lot of growing in concern with my adult relationships. I’d credit dick pictures with this, and also the cell phone. While technology is usually critiqued as some monster-like entity that is destroying personal relations, it also gives us the opportunity to get to know people in ways we may not have before – perhaps on a much more personal level. Either way, texts have become the modern letter. We wait for them, grow anxious over them, and maybe we cry a little bit because of them.

But back to dick business

The next man to show me a dick pic was a guy I had a short “thing” with, and the first picture of his dick he showed me was actually in something called a “Flesh Light”. For anyone who does not know what that is, it is a sex toy designed to replicate a cis woman’s vagina in which a penis is inserted and masturbated into. Now, before you think I’m mocking him, I am not. As far as I am concerned, they’re the same as a dildo and/or vibrator for women; sometimes your hand just does not cut it. It’s masturbation: it’s healthy, it’s safe, and it relieves stress.  Get over it. Moving forward, I was in absolute shock but not repulsed by this picture. I was oddly intrigued, and thus, he continued sending more throughout the time we spent together. Of course, he would fish for compliments about how large his penis was, how much I liked it, and if I had seen any better. I sympathized because while the male ego is considered one of the most important things in the patriarchal order, it is somehow one of the most fragile. So I tried my best to be polite. Maybe there really is dick etiquette?

Over the next couple years, most of the pictures I received were pure mistake. Or they were just guys who really felt this urge to show me their penises without my consent, which is not acceptable. Like this one guy who sent me a picture of his erect penis with my name written vertically on it in permanent marker. When I simply asked, “Why?” he said, “I don’t know, I thought it was funny lol.” It was not funny because (1) I did not ask for it, (2) I was eating dinner with my father when I received it, and (3) You’re an idiot for writing my name, a girl who has told you she is not interested several times, on your penis in permanent marker. Actions like this, however funny they may be, are not okay. Showing a disinterested woman your penis will not make her interested in you. Stop that.

While I appreciate the male anatomy, sometimes a girl wants to sit on her ass with a big bowl of whatever junk food and watch reruns of something on Netflix without your dick invading her personal time. In fact, sometimes we don’t want to see a dick at all. So even if you ask, and I don’t reply, just consider this a silent, “No.” It does not mean go on and send them, and that, gentlemen, is dick etiquette. And who said chivalry was dead? Who needs flowers when I can just get a picture of your dick in really awful lighting? I mean, c’mon.

I will never hate on dick pictures – I find an incredibly indescribable charm in men sending me pictures of their penises (when I consent to it, of course). Plus, if you’re sexually attracted to someone and the feelings are mutual, that secret (or maybe not so secret) exchange of nude pictures is definitely exciting. It’s kind of like an oddball agreement and precursor to something possibly way more fun, if you choose. Because, as much as we forget to mention it, bodies are really beautiful in all senses of the word, and, just like women’s bodies, men’s bodies are all different. It is these differences and the surprises – all the scars, freckles, marks, and more – that make each one beautiful.

So throughout my four years of college, I have received a lot of questionable pictures, some better than others. I have gotten them aggressively pushed up against a Pepsi can, a water bottle, and, my favorite, a remote control. All had carefully thought out but still awkward captions at the end of them, that I can’t help but go along with because that’s the fun of being sexual. Engaging in sexual relations with any person of any gender should be exciting and silly. As long as there is mutual respect, receiving a dick picture where it is violently choked into oblivion or pressed against a roll of paper towels is all in good fun. And plus, it is your body so enjoy it.