Archive for January, 2018

#me too lit a lot of fires in this country. I admit that I don’t know a single woman who has not been groped, pinched, fondled, molested or raped. That is one hell of a statement. Yet I hear and read statements from women who claim to have never been touched against their will. These same women claim they can make all the money they want, do as they will, and have no restrictions on them. They fail to see what the big deal is and why we march.

I want to inform these incredibly fortunate women that no everyone is as lucky as they have been. We march because we are tired of being beaten, murdered by our lovers and husbands, told what we can and cannot do with our bodies, raped, talked down tooo, and treated as if we did not have brains of our own.

I was fondled by a janitor at my school when I was 11. He touched my not quite breasts and promised to touch me in other places as well. I managed to get out of the bathroom and away from him. I never told anyone. I was so ashamed and horrified and scared. But he didn’t hurt me or rape me. I was more fortunate than many girls.

In high school, I was what they called “developed” which meant I had big breasts.  Lots of boys wanted to date me because of them. I wasn’t hard to look at either so again, I had many dates. One night on a double date, my date decided we were going to have sex whether I wanted to or not. I didn’t. I was wearing a dress, which gave him easy access or so he thought. A wrestling match ensued. He pinned me on the back seat, but I had enough strength to flip him over and on to the floorboard. At that point I put one high-heeled foot over his family jewels and one over his heart. I warned him that if he so much as wiggled, I would simply stand up. Then I demanded that the driver, who had not lifted a finger to help me, take me home first. I was not raped. I was more fortunate than a lot of girls.

Later in high school, I had a date with a football player. He was taller and outweighed me by quite a bit, and I was no little girl. He took me to a local “lover’s lane” and told me we were going to have sex. Isn’t it funny if a man decides you are going to have sex with him, even if you don’t want to do so, it is still sex. No one ever says, ‘I’m going to rape you.’ No one calls it rape. Again I was not down for the planned activity. There was a lot of wrestling and even punching but I couldn’t seem to really hurt him. Every time I tried to get out of the car, he would reach around me and relock the door. Finally I figured I was had and so I started to cry. I worked up to huge, heaving. LOUD sobs with lots of tears and plenty of snot. The snot distressed him. I told him I was going to puke. He unlocked the door for that, since it was his mother’s car and he didn’t want me to defile it. By the time I was done puking and blowing snot everywhere, he decided I wasn’t worth it and he took me home. Did I mention, I took theater. Again I was not raped. I was more fortunate than many girls.

I married and had babies, and through the years of my first marriage, men made advances on me. None of them ever scared me and I was able to brush them off. There was even the occasional boss who made offers of a sexual nature. I was never fearful of these men, annoyed or aggravated or disgusted, but never afraid, I was not raped. I didn’t lose my job. I was more fortunate than many women.

In the years after my divorce, men groped me on more than one occasion. I slapped, punched and gut punched my way out of those situations. One guy was so stupid as to walk up behind me in a kitchen as I was chopping carrots and grab my ass in both hands. I spun around and put the point of the knife at this throat. Funny how the idea of being gutted like a carp will take the wind out of a man’s sails. So to speak.

In none of these instances did I indicate in any way, shape or form, that I wanted to have sex with the man in question. I sure as hell did not imply that I wanted to be raped. It didn’t matter what I was doing, or what I was wearing or how I was acting. I did not deserve to be treated in such a manner. Why in the hell do people think they can get away with such behavior?

But I was lucky, I have never been raped. Only one man has ever raised a hand to me and he paid dearly for that bit of stupidity. I was lucky. I am an only child. My father did not raise me any different than if I had been a boy. He taught me how to box. He explained the importance of weight distribution, he showed me how to put all of my pounds into the punch. In his words. ‘when you hit a son-of-a-bitch, you wanted him to know he had been hit’.He showed me how to make a fist which would do the most damage to the other guy, and none to me. We played baseball in the backyard. We watched cop shows, and cowboy shows, and the Friday night fights. He told me to never believe people who told me I couldn’t do a thing because I was a girl, he explained that was a lie. He taught me I had value. I was fortunate.

I grew up with 9 first cousins, who were boys and all close in age. I had to fight for what I wanted and what was mine.  I was outnumber, but I knew how to hurt them. That made me tough. I was more fortunate than many girls.

Not all women are so fortunate. Frequently, girls are taught to sit down, shut up, don’t talk to loud, don’t laugh too loud, don’t cause trouble. This has come to include don’t tell when a male hits you, gropes you, or rapes you. Just shut up and take it. And we have for centuries, we have taken it.

But I believe those days are over. Women are speaking out. For every person who says, ‘why did they wait so long’, let me say because we were afraid and ashamed. If you have never felt that hot wash of shame as it courses through your body, then you can’t speak to this issue. And by the way, aren’t you lucky. Now we are starting to realize that we aren’t the ones who should be ashamed. It’s the people who hurt us. That gives us power.

There will be, already have been, false accusations for what ever reason. The false accusations hurt all of us, and those who make them need to feel ashamed. I’m sure there will be more, and I hate that. But people are sometimes assholes.

We who have been victims, are reclaiming our time, reclaiming our lives, reclaiming out bodies. No one has a right to any of these things unless we consent to it.

Maybe, just maybe, we can at least put the brakes on this terrible issue. If you have never been groped or grabbed or molested or rape, good on you, you are lucky. But for Christ sakes, don’t get in the way of those of us who are trying to fix the damn problem.

By the way, if you have been victimizede, please consider therapy. Don’t go it alone. That is one of the problems of sexual assault, the victims always think they are the only one. You are not alone.

By the way, I know men get grabbed, groped, molested and raped as well as girls and women. I grew up in the Catholic Church, so I know it happens. You are not alone either.

Together we rise.


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