To The Guy Who Thought Sexual Harassment Was OK

To The Guy Who Thought Sexual Harassment Was OK, #NotOnMyCampus

College is all fun and games, until you have to go home because you don't feel comfortable out with your friends.

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To the guy who thought sexual harassment was OK,

You said you needed help calling your roommate. I said I could help. Please notice I did not give you permission to grab me in any kind of way.

But you did.

You were drunk.

I understand that you lose social cues and body control at a certain point, but you were not at the point yet. You tried to put your finger in my back pocket, but I immediately removed it. You asked if that was too much. You knew it was, but you asked anyway. I told you it was too much.

You shot your shot, and I turned it down... But that did not stop you from progressing. Instead, you grabbed me by the waist and leaned into my ear. I thought you were just about to tell me what to say if your roommate answers the phone. That was not your intention. Instead, you told me how beautiful and feminine I was, and then tried to kiss me. My face was completely to the side trying to avoid your lips, but you still did not stop. You kept trying to lure me in and even kissed my cheek with your tongue. You asked for my Snapchat, but I said I did not know you. You snapped back with a clever "I didn't ask for your number." I pushed away with nervous laughter.

I took a big step towards my friends, but you did not like the distance between us.

So you fixed that, by grabbing my back belt loop and pulling me by your side.

You were making it very clear what you wanted, but so was I. You continued to put your whole hand in my back pocket and feeling up my butt cheek. I told you earlier that a finger was too much, what made you think caressing my butt was OK? You even tried to take my jeans out of the equation, but I grabbed your hand and held it by my side before you had a chance to touch my skin. You got upset. You called me "baby," and you were mad that I was shutting you down.

During this whole interaction, I could not stop with nervous laughter.

What do you do in these kinds of situations?

Where is the line of "too far?"

As soon as my friends noticed I was mouthing "HELP," they used the excuse of a girl's trip to the bathroom. We lied, and instead of taking a right to the bathroom, we ran to the left to find an exit. We sped walked all the way home. I was too scared to turn around to check if you and your friend were following us home. The whole walk home, we wondered if you even had me calling your roommate, or if it was a ploy to get my number. No matter if it was your roommate, I blocked the unknown number. I did not want you having a way to contact me.

Why did you try so hard?

What about that whole interaction made you think I would want to go home with you?

I did not see you the whole party. I was not flirting across the courtyard. I was not wearing anything scandalous. I did nothing. So why must you ruin the fun for us girls? What happened was not even bad. But that is the worst part, isn't it? That a girl getting felt up by a stranger, and that is not even bad. What a sad and rapey culture college is nowadays. It is not cute. It does not make you more of a man. It only makes you an a**hole. Have we forgotten how to politely have an interaction with someone of your preferred sexuality?

College is all fun and games until you have to go home because you do not feel comfortable out with your friends. Let's be the generation who stands up to people who think it is okay to take advantage of someone.

#NotOnMyCampus

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"I Believe You" By Fletcher Is A Song Everyone Needs To Hear

Are you losing your mind thinking "What would it take?" to make somebody listen to you?
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It's still April which means it's still Sexual Assault Awareness Month! I was talking with my friends last week and one of them mentioned the song "I Believe You" by Fletcher. I had never heard it so I decided to listen to it later while doing homework- and my life was changed. I mean changed. This song is IMPORTANT and everyone needs to listen to it. Below are the lyrics courtesy of AZ Lyrics. I highly, HIGHLY recommend listening to the song while reading the lyrics.

It's the sick-to-your-stomach feeling with a smile on your face.

Too often victims are forced to keep a smile on their face out of fear. They feel like they can't speak up or act like anything is different because of retaliation.

It's the memory you ignore but you can't erase.

The memories of assault or times of harassment are always in the back of their minds.

It's the text in the middle of the night you didn't ask for.

You didn't ask for it.

It could help your career but at what cost.

Trading promotions for sexual favors. Disgusting.

Are you holding back something that you're dying to say?

Are you?

Me too.

Girl, I believe you.

I believe you. I promise someone believes you.

Are you losing your mind thinking "What would it take?" to make somebody listen to you

Me too.

It's the room full of rumors and everybody's staring.

It feels like all eyes are on you. People have their own versions of every story but it's none of their business. Ignore them, it's easier said than done but I promise they don't matter.

Did they tell you "You were asking for it by what you were wearing."

Your outfit does not mean consent!!! A short skirt is not an invitation to be groped. A low cut top is not asking for inappropriate comments.

It's the stains from your makeup and tears on your pillow.

Your pillow knows your every thought and feeling. It's a constant reminder.

It's a piece of yourself that you let go.

Something was stolen from the victims. Something that no one had the right to take and they had to let it go.

Do you want to scream but just can't find the air?

Sometimes you feel you're going to suffocate.

Me too.

Girl, I believe you

Are you losing your mind thinking "What would it take?" to make somebody listen to you?

All they want is to be believed. This society is so messed up and blames the victim instead of listening to them. Just please listen to them.

Me too.

They say step up and sit down, shut up and back down.

So what's up yeah, what's up with that.

What the hell is up with that? Telling the victims to keep their mouths shut so they don't ruin another person's life? What about their life? Why don't people care about the victims' lives?

So we dress up, get felt up, get shot down, don't speak up.

Yeah, what's up, yeah, what's up with that.

I don't think it's too much to ask to not feel AFRAID to dress up and go out but apparently, it is. I would just get blamed for my outfit.

Are you holding back something that you've just been dying to say?

Say it. Say it loud.

Me too.

Girl, I believe you.

Do you know every battle that you've had to face is making you bulletproof.

You. Are. So. Strong.

Me too, me too

Girl, I believe you

Do you know every battle that you've had to face is making you bulletproof

Me too.

Girl, I believe you.

Me too. I believe you.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/art-awareness-campaign-concrete-622135/

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I Faced My Fear Of Dressing 'Provocatively' Because What I Really Feared Was Sexual Assault

Getting dressed in the morning shouldn't be something any girl is convinced will be a nightmare.

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As a girl, I was always told to "cover up." Shirts should have sleeves, cleavage shouldn't peak out, dresses should reach the knees, and makeup shouldn't be "too much." If my clothes fit me a certain way, I would be inviting people to basically attack me and anything that happens would be my fault. Because "boys will be boys," and that means it's in their DNA to gawk at pretty girls.

And even with me being called "chubby," or "thick," or "closed off," and "unapproachable," that still applied to me. I was a "pretty girl" and therefore a target if my shoulders were out. When you're twelve or fifteen, it feels like a protocol. It's the way it is and covering up is for your own good.

And all through high school, I followed the rules. I didn't dress even remotely provocatively out of fear. I was comfortable with being more reserved. I had confidence without being prudish, and I felt secure. But in time, I realized that even though my loved ones may have been just trying to keep me safe, they were victim blaming. People were telling me that if something bad happened to me, it would be my fault for dressing a certain way. But they weren't preparing me for the real fear: sexual assault

I finally realized I would never be at fault for being assaulted, God forbid it'd ever happen. It's completely out of my hands. The fear of showing my shoulders of thighs wasn't something to fear at all. Predators don't walk around with a checklist with requirements we need to meet in order to be a target.

And no one was going to tell me "you can't wear that," or deceive me by telling me I was "asking for it." So I bought a dress that was more revealing than anything I'd ever worn. It wasn't like the cute sundresses I always wore before. It was lowcut and short and when I clicked the "submit order" button, I felt like I'd done something bad. I felt all the words of assistant principals and aunts and grandmothers and my dad. It hung in my closet for months and collected dust with all the shorts I decided I was too tall to wear and tops that showed too much skin.

Then I decided to wear it on my 19th birthday. I knew I'd be with people I was comfortable around and just their presence would make me feel safe. The way I dressed would never matter, but especially not on my night. And it felt so good. I was a new kind of confident and I loved my body in a way I hadn't before. Because in all honesty, I didn't love it much. And the last thing I needed was another reason not to love my body. I was convinced it wasn't good for much more than tempting pervy men. Not to mention, I wasn't really worried about making myself look good as much as I was staying on guard.

I regained so much confidence. The kind of confidence you have when you're five and dress yourself for the first time and you feel fabulous with the plethora of patterns and colors you've chosen. No one was holding me back. I just broke the fear that people would be watching. Because they're not, they're too worried about themselves.

If it's hot, I wear less. If I'm feeling good about the way I look, I'll wear less. If I'm in a mood where wearing too much is going to annoy me, I'll wear less. And if anyone thinks my clothes, or my lack thereof, have to do with anything other than that, that's their problem.

Getting dressed in the morning shouldn't be something any girl is convinced will be a nightmare. Or clothes aren't supposed to be the monsters in our closets we were afraid of.

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