My girl, oh my feisty awesome girl, got sexually assaulted last year.
What do you say?
“I’ve been there, I love you, be brave, you got this.”
It’s almost a rote response at this point.
One in four one in four one in four.
Seems like more than one in four.
Seems like my answers and condolences are automated. “Welcome to the club sounds” awful.
But it’s astute.
There are so many of us and no one seems to know how to stop it.
I can tell you what you don’t do, for all the men out there.
What a male friend of hers did when she opened up about what happened a few days later.
He sent her full frontal nudes and dick pics.
She is still reeling and dealing. The betrayal of the supposed friend worse than the assault by the other.
I get it.
She did something decidedly brave in my opinion, she called him out. Not the first but the second, the shitty full frontal friend. Called him by name.
There is fallout, there always is.
She popped her head into my inbox last night, so I stopped what I was doing and said the things I have been programmed to say. The things I wanted to hear after I was assaulted, after dick pics, after men behaved badly.
I had posted yesterday that maybe we should start naming them, these men who do these things to us. The ones we called friends or lovers who don’t understand the words hurt or no.
These aren’t strange perverts in alleyways and parking garages waiting to victimize women, these are men we know. Men we felt safe with until we didn’t.
For every serial killer there is a chorus of neighbors saying ‘we didn’t know, he seemed like such a nice guy.’
Whisperings of abusive and perverted men passed around like dirty currency in the dark where they won’t make a scene ~ J.U.
I am wondering if we should all stand together as women and start naming names.
Not scratching them into the backs of bathroom stalls and hoping someone will heed our warning, but actually naming names.
I tried to call someone out, on that very status, that sparked a war. And I couldn’t.
Me, the girl who speaks her mind, who doesn’t lie, who found her voice and screams from the treetops. Good bad ugly…I am the one to say it. But I can’t.
I can’t say that 2 years ago I had too much to eat at a dinner he bought for me. We went back to his house, like we always did. He wanted to fuck like we always did, but I didn’t. I was feeling tired and sick and stressed and all I wanted to do was lay down for a minute and muster the energy to drive home. But instead I got fucked, rather roughly and unceremoniously while I was mentally disconnected from my body just waiting for it to be over. And that it might have been okay except for the text the next day that said something like “the sex last night was amazing”.
Was it now? Because to me it felt like you were using my body like you would a doll, just something to get you off in a pinch. Using my body like my soul wasn’t in there, that I didn’t matter. Not noticing that I didn’t make a sound or much movement at all, not noticing I was dry as a bone.
I never went back.
He still tries to talk to me and I say hi back politely, curtly or ignore it if I feel like I can get away with it.
Therein lies the problem.
I’m still scared.
A few months later I was lying in bed with Biker Body Pillow. We never fucked, just spooned when we were both broken up about someone else. He got hard in the middle of the night. I was the little spoon so I noticed.
I ignored it, braced for impact in the morning.
I have already written about this. About how a 6’5” heavily tattooed biker stood in my kitchen almost in tears when I explained how I had been programmed to deal with unwanted sexual advances from male friends. When he asked how many times and I couldn’t count. When he asked why and I explained because saying no is sometimes a dangerous thing to do. Which basically boils down to ‘blow them if you have to, it’s safer that way.’
Safer than saying no, safer than trying to leave. Diffusing bombs with your mouth and tongue, but not by talking yourself out of it. Because at some point you already know, they stopped listening.
I have saved a handful of women and girls by drilling into my son’s head, that “even if she stops right in the god damned middle, you stop. Cover her up and wait. Go if she tells you to go, stay if she tells you to stay.” It happened to him, with a girl and he told me he was grateful that he knew what to do.
This is what we need all men to do.
Stop. Cover. Wait and fucking listen.
But what do we tell women and girls?
Fight back, name names and in the morning, we rally.