The Dick Pic

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The only thing that sets off my patriot-phobia [read: shame of being American] more than hearing Trump speak is the statistic that 49% of single American women have been on the receiving end of a penis photo they didn’t request.

From accidental penis tweets and unsolicited sexts to cyber-flashing random women on subway trains through AirDrop, an epic number of women today are finding themselves face to iPhone with the dreaded dick pic.

The thing that mystifies me is, WHY?

WHY THE DICK PIC?

What are men thinking?

I’ve done more research on this topic than I care to calculate – and have probably lost some brain cells in the process.

The research would have me conclude that the vast majority of men are well-intentioned good guys who assume that because they’d enjoy being on the receiving end of a naked pic from a woman – women would, therefore, enjoy being on the receiving end of their penis pic.

Justin Lehmille, a professor of psychology at Harvard University explains that men who send unsolicited dick pics, “are simply misperceiving women’s interest in receiving photos of their junk,” - which feels a little like that asshole who, upon being called out for making a racist remark, claims it wasn’t intended that way.

What lands more squarely with me is that it’s done in much the same way anyone perpetrates sexual harassment: To express hostility and leverage power by attempting to undermine a woman’s position in the social hierarchy. It takes us down a notch. Reminds us that at the end of the day, we can still have a dick imposed on us.

Whether done with conscious intent or ignorance, the result – like drunk driving – is the same.

This is how my Instagram followers feel about receiving 🍆 pics:

“I feel visually assaulted by these pictures.”
“It’s unwanted most, if not all of the time. You don’t have the option to not see it – so it’s not consensual, and a violation.”
“I feel disrespected. Men think it’s sexy or a turn on but it’s actually the opposite.”
“There’s no consent, they don’t ASK if you want it - they just send it.”
“Men who send them feel safe because they’re behind a screen.”
“They literally mean nothing. It shows insecurity and is far from manliness.”

Ultimately, adulthood requires each of us to remain curious and cognizant about the impact that our words and our actions have on those around us. It’s not my job as a woman to inform men that sending an unsolicited dick pic is a form of sexual harassment any more than it’s the job of my black friends to educate me on what constitutes racism. Everyone needs to wake the fuck up. Also known as becoming woke.