I’ve said it many times before. Share your stories, make others aware of the prevalence of the many liberties taken with women without their consent. The first step in changing the rape culture in our society.
Now there is a social media trend asking women (and even men!) to make their statuses say “Me Too” to indicate they too have been subject to some form of sexual assault. “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” It’s been all over my Facebook feed, people sharing their stories or simply the #metoo. Even causing a Swedish priest friend of mine swearing about the “Jävla skit-patriarkat” (expletives patriarchy) due to the sheer amount of #metoo statuses that were on her feed.
Naturally I have joined in. I have re-shared some of my old posts on FB regarding my stories. I have realized, however, that it may have more of an impact if I list everything I can remember in one central place. So, hold on effers, here we go:
- Getting my ass grabbed and slapped without so much as an introduction – two different times at the same bar. I was 32/33.
- That time “Zack” aggressively flirted with me even after finding out I had a boyfriend. Asserted that he would like to “control me” and pull my hair during sex. Didn’t back off even after being told repeatedly to leave me alone. Ew. I was 19.
- The taxi driver that stroked my leg and refused to take me to my hotel, instead hoping to get me to go get drinks with him. I was 15.
- Being called a “slut” by a group of guys yelling from their truck – in a dark deserted parking lot. I was 33.
- Followed by a guy wanting my attentions until I ducked into a store to hide. I was 14.
- That time a guy grabbed my crotch, and attempted to remove my clothing (i.e he was attempting to rape me) after pushing me to a dark corner and having his friend pin me to the wall. I was 18.
- I’ve been catcalled a few times I recall at least.
- I don’t think I can even count the amount of times I’ve been called Whore/Slut during an argument with a man.
- Pretty much every story I’ve written about David. Aggressively pursued me, putting his hands down my pants before gaining any sort of consent, as well as his repeated drunk calls after the fact – and his overall aggressive and threatening behavior after all that was said and done. I was 25.
- Most of my relationship with Wyatt – sexually controlling and abusing for 2 years. Too much to list here. I was 13-15.
- Getting aggressively “educated” (all up in my face) by a drunk guy as to why he was so nice and how women are too uptight nowadays etc etc. Being nice and passive didn’t help – he demanded agreement, and then ended up puking on my purse. Didn’t get away until I feigned going to the bathroom and left. I was 33.
- Patrik setting me up with a guy that wanted sexual favors, without my prior knowledge. The entitlement they felt… having exchanged money without my knowledge… I was 17 or 18.
- Being informed frankly, by a drunk attorney I worked for, that that very day another one of the attorneys was commenting in awe about my sizeable cleavage. I was 24.
- Being threatened with rape during an argument in 7th grade. I was 13.
- Also in 7th grade: bra straps being snapped repeatedly. Another boy putting his arm around me and calling me sexy when during 7th grade orientation.
- I suppose we can also count when a male friend conned me into posing in my underwear while he “sketched” me for an art project. He only pretended to sketch… I was 15.
That is all I can recall at the moment. I think that is the majority of it, but as I realized when I came across the Zack story earlier today; I am prone to forget certain instances. I only vaguely recall it because I had written it in my journal at the time. Based off of the size of my list, there are likely several more instances that seemed so “every day” that they didn’t make a big enough impact on my memory.
God, that’s so sad. …and it’s so sad how I kept thinking I was done with my list right before having another instance pop into my head. It’s even sadder that there are millions of other women that have had worse experiences than me.
I know several men that seem to ‘get’ it as far as how different women have to think and act on the daily. How we consciously assess our safety and take precautions at every moment.
Oh Geez. I just remembered another instance while I was writing that.
- The man that kept rubbing up against me, wanting to snuggle or …something… ugh… on the overnight train to Malmö. I was so uncomfortable… and had nowhere to go… so I stayed awake all night to avoid giving him the opportunity to take liberties I didn’t want him to take. I was 18.
Now, back on topic. On the other hand, I know several men that – while they are good guys, and have the best intentions – just don’t quite understand the difference in how we live our lives compared to them and the fears/anxieties we have and precautions we take for very real reasons. It’s somewhat satisfying, I must say, when I explain to a guy that doesn’t get it – I tell him just a handful of these stories – and see the light of recognition turn on.
So here’s hoping this #metoo campaign brings the conversation more to the forefront. Maybe some more of those that didn’t quite understand before, will become more aware/more cognizant of the issues women face in our everyday lives.