“I’ll be right back,” I told my friend, walking into the house. “I’m just going to use the restroom before we leave.”
What the f…?! Lights go out; door shuts. I hear the knob click, it’s locked.
Immediately realizing I’m not alone, my body goes into a sort of shock but at the same time I am having a conversation with myself. What did I do to bring this on? Hey says to me, “I haven’t had sex with my wife in 12 years. You are so attractive. I want you so bad I can’t stand it. Nobody needs to know, we can do this right now.” What the hell?! At what point during the last few hours of having just met me makes you think this is okay?
Other things were said but quite honestly are irrelevant. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that this was even happening. I am NOT that girl. Why did he think I was? What did I do? These are all questions that unfortunately MILLIONS of women ask themselves every day. Simply put, this is NOT okay.
No, asshole. I am not going to submit to your advances.
No, I am not “down with this.”
No, I don’t feel sympathy that your wife is repulsed by you.
No, this is NOT okay.
Question — If some stranger did this to you on the street, a person who hadn’t just been introduced to you by friends at a neighborhood party, if you hadn’t just been talking and socializing with this person, his wife and several friends, what would you do? Situations like this occur more often than anyone would like to admit. They get swept under the rug so as not to ruffle feathers. This type of abuse is not talked about because we, as females, have been conditioned to feel shame. Abuse is not limited to acts of obvious, angry physical occurrences. Abuse is about control. It is about having the upper hand. It is unwanted force upon another human being. Sadly, it is also common and often looked upon as normal.
How many times have you heard this? “Oh, he didn’t mean anything by it. He’s just being a guy.” For years, and especially now in this “alternative world” we find ourselves living in, where groping women at will and brushing it off as harmless is accepted, we have succumbed to a “rape culture,” in which the victim is blamed and/or questioned instead of the attacker. It is a mentality that makes it somehow okay or not that bad. A rape victim has to recount every horrible detail in front of strangers before accountability and punishment is given for such behavior, IF they decide to believe her. Women and young girls are asked about their attire and how short their hemlines were. What did WE do to entice him? You’ve all heard it. “Oh it’s not that big a deal. You should be flattered. Can he help it if he finds you attractive?” YES, he CAN. Or “well when you dress like that…” This one REALLY pisses me off! As females, we are already self‑conscious because of the unrealistic standards to which society holds us. Now on top of worrying about our waistline, we also must worry about how our clothes may be perceived by strangers? And it doesn’t stop there. I could be wearing a damn turtleneck, covered head to toe, showing no skin other than my face and STILL incur unwanted advances. Did I do something to make him think this was okay? Am I dressed too provocatively? Oh my god I did smile and laugh while we were talking; was it too much? Did I unknowingly give him the wrong idea? I HATE this conversation. I hate that I try to justify what happened. I hate that when I saw a bruise appear two days later from the grip he had on my arm I tried to justify it. I’m sure he didn’t mean to hurt me. I probably just bruise easily. I HATE that voice. And I know where it comes from…society. We must teach our children better. We must teach common decency and respect for everyone, no matter gender, race, whatever.
I am sharing my story because no one deserves to be unknowingly followed into the bathroom at a party. No one deserves to be backed into a corner, or in my case, a sink. No one deserves to sport bruises from being forcefully grabbed. And NO ONE deserves to feel like less of a person because someone took advantage of them. So in conclusion, men, these types of advances are NOT flattering. They are insulting, annoying and in some cases outright terrifying. The situation I found myself in, while extremely wrong, was a far cry from the types of abuse that goes unreported every single day. This behavior is UNACCEPTABLE.
I am also aware that some women reading this will perceive it as dramatic and overanalyzed. To those women, I say this: be grateful you have never been through such an ordeal. Be grateful you are lucky enough to have always been in control of your surroundings and have never once felt threatened or helpless. Be grateful you have never felt fear mixed with so much anger that your mind and body quite literally “shut down” for a few seconds, sometimes even minutes. Be grateful that you’ve never had to second-guess yourself because of someone else’s actions toward you. Be grateful you’ve never had this conversation with yourself — I shouldn’t have hugged him when we were introduced. Was I flirting? I didn’t mean to, I was just being myself. Oh my God what if I did? I’m a terrible person…
Be grateful. But please, do not judge. And please do not brush it off as guys being guys.
At the beginning of the evening, he asked, “have you met the pig,” referring to the one sprawled out on the grill and being served as the main entree. Little did I know, I WOULD have an encounter with a pig that evening, just not the one on the grill.