I have seen a number of my friends post this article, and I don’t know if it’s because of my age or my height or my general temperament, but I don’t do the behavior the article references. I mean, some of these things I have done in the past – walking with my keys between my fingers, for instance, and in college, lying and saying I had a boyfriend when I did not – but even the latter I eventually stopped. When men would ask me to dance and I didn’t want to, I’d just say no. In one case, a man continued to ask why until I finally said, “Because I’m not attracted do you. I do not find you attractive.” At that point, he walked away.
Once, before I was married (the first time), I was walking down a park path in Monterey, CA. I was listening to my Walkman (yes! That long ago!) and a – I won’t even call him a man – a loser, a waste of space, came up behind me on a bicycle and grabbed my ass. It wasn’t just a cheek, though – it was basically a goose. He slipped his hand nearly between my legs and pulled what I guess you could now call a Donald Trump. He then biked very quickly off.
I was IRATE. To the point that I basically jogged after him, asking everyone I passed if they had seen him, and which way he went. I knew exactly what I would say, and do – and it was possible he’d be going to the hospital after I found him. Luckily for him (and maybe for my criminal record) I didn’t. It still makes me angry to think about. And it wasn’t the only time I have stood up for myself or another woman – in college I once got a guy thrown out of a club for running his hand up my thigh as he walked past me. I once helped pull two drunken jerks off a girl who whispered, “Help me,” to me at a bar. What the article says is true – this nonsense happens every single day. And maybe I don’t minimize, but I also shouldn’t have to be prepared for a fight any time I go out with a dress on.
This article saddens me because so many of my friends have posted and reposted it. I wish I could go after every guy that has made you feel this way. I’m so sorry. I am sad and angry and promise there will be no minimizing if you’re out with me. I will not be quiet. We will roar together.