pussygrabsback Since the all the brouhaha erupted over a certain presidential candidate and his boasting about sexual assault, I have been following the feminist response very closely. Between @feministfightclub, #pussygrabsback, and Kelly Oxford’s #notokay, there’s a lot happening where women are coming forward to say, yes, I was sexually assaulted. And frighteningly, they were often young girls when it happened.

If you are one of my three regular readers, you know that I had a couple of close calls this year of being precariously close to be assaulted or worse but manage to escape unscathed and untouched. Since then, I have become flinchy about certain things — mostly, walking around at night alone and wearing short skirts at night. It’s shitty that I have to think about this stuff. It’s shitty that I’ve lost a feeling of safety I had, and moreso bravado — something along the lines of “I dare anyone to fuck with me.” I’ve thought that if this is how I feel, as a middle-aged women, from just a few close calls, I can’t imagine how it feels to actually be sexually assaulted. I keep thinking, thank god it never happened to me.

Then I started thinking, if a million women wrote Kelly Oxford to say that they are sexually assaulted, how did I magically escape this happening to me? How was so lucky?

Then I remembered. I wasn’t so lucky. There was no magic. I’d been assaulted.

At first I remembered one time. Then I remembered another. Then I called my best friend E. And while telling her about this, I remember yet another.

All three times I was in public. Once I was walking up Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco when a man stuck his hand up my crotch and ran away. Another time a man masturbated against me on a crowded train. The third time, I was asleep on a bus and the man seated next to me threw his coat over my lap. He was creeping his hand up my thigh when I awoke.

All three times, I told no one. Until now.

I believe now that are no women who have not been sexually assaulted — just women who don’t remember.


2 Responses to “You don’t know until you know”

  1. E on October 24th, 2016 6:48 pm

    I kept thinking about this all day after we talked / it made me so sad that this happened to you. And makes me so mad too. I hate that men think they can terrorize vulnerable girls and women.
    Anyway now I am E?

  2. the nerger on October 25th, 2016 2:06 pm

    You’ve been E for quite a while…

    In any case, in the scheme of things what happened to me isn’t that bad. It’s really the scope of this behavior that is stunning to me and how it affects all of us whether we know it or not.

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