NOTE: “Thwop,” the verb I created, did not go viral when I first wrote this essay for my book Beauty Bites Beast in the early to mid-90s. Now it’s 2019 and … Plus les choses changent, plus elles restent la même. (The more things change, the more they stay the same.)
The mechanisms for internet contagion were not yet in place in the 90s, and I don’t know if this would have become Net Ubiquitous if it had. I’ve made a documentary about ending violence against women, also called Beauty Bites Beast, and didn’t even use the word “thwop” in it. I won’t say anything further about the word, and I invite you to help me make thwop a word that everyone knows and — when the need arises — to actually use it.
IF MEN GOT THWOPPED
There is no word in the English language that means “a hit or kick to the groin.” For the sake of this conversation, I’ll coin a word for it. “Thwop” is good. It sounds like a good solid hit to soft tissue, and it’s a terrific opportunity to use onomatopoeia in real life.
Let’s play “switcheroo” for a while, shall we?
What would happen if a young man with a muscular body, skimpy t-shirt and tight jeans scratched his nether parts, muttered, “Nice tits” and a young woman saw and heard him. Let’s say her reaction was to walk over to him and thwop him? Could she say, “He was asking for it?”
Or let’s say that a sorority had over the years developed a tradition of getting a freshman boy sloppy drunk and taking turns thwopping him in a dark room. Could he prove who thwopped him? Why was he there in the first place? Why was he drinking with a lot of young women around?
Could he, in fact, prove that he had been thwopped? Perhaps he had fallen on a bicycle as he rode over a speed bump? Why wasn’t he wearing a strap or cup? We shouldn’t jump to conclusions and ruin young women’s careers over the word of a slutty jock. And you know how them males really are, “They all want it, really. Otherwise, why would they act the way they do?” We heard that some freshman boy had yelled, “Thwop!” in high school and gotten the Homecoming Queen unfairly suspended.
Or what would the Senate do if they heard testimony that 78 men are thwopped per hour every day, without fail, in this country? That 84 percent of those thwops go unreported because the victim is too ashamed to tell anyone?
We’ve been trying to educate men to not be ashamed of thwop and to report it, but it’s difficult. Thwop victims feel humiliated and are afraid of being made fun of, or of feeling like they could have prevented it.
Thwop prevention has to start in grade school. Little girls have to be taught that it’s not OK to hurt little boys even though the boys give ambiguous messages. You know how boys are. They wear tight pants, loose pants, no shirts, loose shorts, bathing trunks, clothes in general because they want to be attractive. But they don’t want to be kicked, even though they act like they’d like to be kicked. Some males actually do fantasize about being thwopped but you’ve got to be gentle in fantasy thwopping. But if you get too rough, that’s OK, because they really want it.
Imagine the headline, “Palm Beach Florida Man Charges Woman With Date Thwop.” Date or acquaintance thwopping is on the rise but it’s very difficult to prove. Some guys are interested in making out, some get into petting, but when it comes to “going all the way,” well, they’d like to stop but once a woman gets too worked up she just can’t be held accountable for what happens next. Thwop.
Some states don’t recognize marital thwop. Some women feel that if they’ve married someone they should be able to have sex any time or just force their husband when he’s holding back. Thwop.
Gang thwop is probably the most horrible of crimes and is on the rise because of various societal factors. When the economy gets bad, men tend to become scapegoats, and the incidents of sexual violence against them goes up, including multiple thwops. Sloppy, thwoppy seconds are a real turn-on in a female-bonding ritual sense.
We must be wary of false accusations of thwop. You know, these guys, they think they can get some attention and get a woman in trouble just because the date went badly. Or just because the sex that night wasn’t good, he yells “Thwop.” What’s a gal going to do with these wily boys? You know, these guys really do deserve whatever they get; and, besides, they really do want it.
Don’t despair though because there’s some good work being done. There are thwop crisis hot-lines where recovering thwop victims can counsel those who’ve been thwopped. It’s important that those who’ve been thwopped have someone to share with, talk about their concerns of impotence, infertility, attractiveness after thwop. Unfortunately, funding thwop hot-lines is difficult because it’s not perceived as being as important as other philanthwopic concerns.
It’s truly a shame that most of the men who have been thwopped find it hard to trust women again. Every female becomes a potential thwoppist in his eyes and the thwop survivor unconsciously bends forward and covers his crotch whenever a woman makes an unpredictable move. It’s hell going through life mistrusting 50 percent of the population and involuntarily bowing before them even though you don’t even like them.
Fortunately, with gentleness and understanding, the women who relate to thwop victims can eventually regain their confidence. Tragically, there’s no guarantee that he may not be thwopped again because as we all know, “It’s a jungle out there” — one wrong move and you can be thwopped.
Experts recommend many solutions: that men restrict their clothing to modest styles and incorporate thick padding in the crotch; stay indoors at night and make sure they don’t send double messages to women; that men should stay attractive, (although that makes some women want to kick them) but not too attractive (which makes other women want to kick them).
Men should also become highly sensitive to what women are thinking and doing and then be responsible for whatever consequences there are. The latter is the best approach because that way women won’t have to change, which makes it easier on everyone. It’s also advised that if a man is being thwopped, he not fight back because that just might make the thwoppist angrier. Who knows? She might kick him in the head and kill him. If he’s getting thwopped, a man might as well relax and enjoy it. Better thwopped than dead.
OK, OK, I’ve made my point. I’m not suggesting that women begin thwopping and pillaging. I’m not advocating squads of gonad-kicking bitches from hell or wanton soprano-makers.
I am suggesting that we tell the good men to get the clueless men clued in now — and let the “bad” beware. Criminally assaultive behavior will be dealt a hard thwop by trained women who are taking their safety into their own hands — and feet. Maybe if more first-time rapists were greeted with a sound thwop, there would be no second or third or twelfth time.