At the end of March, President Obama made April 2014 National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
Sexual assault: Unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling.
I’ve survived this. I’ve never said it in this way before, but I have survived this. Twice.
Those times weren’t traumatic. They weren’t violent. I knew both the guys. (Many survivors know their assailant!) I didn’t like it and I felt icky afterward; I still feel icky to think about it. Despite this, I never thought of it as sexual assault. I’ve always thought: You know, we were both drinking the first time, and he said he was really ashamed about it afterward. And the second time, well, I was “sewing my oats” that summer and that was just part of it. You got burned. I never considered it assault.
But it was.
I am harassed on the regular – leered at, photographed and videotaped, catcalled and threatened when I don’t respond the way the catcaller wants. I think to myself: Ignore it. Just get yourself somewhere safe. Walk with someone when you go out. No big deal.
I hate it.
Just yesterday, I was threatened to be “donkey konged.” (Donkey Kong: To do a girl from behind until the point of climax, then promptly smash a barrel on her back.) I’ve thought: Okay. The guy was probably drunk and mentally ill to boot. My supervisor says: Think about how sick he is. People are jerks sometimes.
It’s still a threat. My stomach drops in fear and my heart pounds at the memory of it. I’m questioning my every move right now, threatened by every man who walks past me, every male client I have.
While I think the label “War on Women” is inflammatory, I agree with the sentiment behind it – outrage at the automatic privilege/benefit/respect/support that is given to men over women. (And by men I mean all persons assigned the male gender at birth, though I know transgender men and women have another layer of challenge placed upon them.)
I am sick and tired of reminding myself of the stock reasons it’s ‘not a big deal,’ because even I deny it inside myself. I am really fucking sick and tired of making excuses for other people doing wrong. I am pissed that I have been brainwashed to *automatically* judge a woman’s behavior and excuse a man’s. I hate every little bit of this.
This never has nor never will be on like Donkey Kong.