Now you might have read the title, and are already seething. That's okay. In all cases, of course, the person sexually assaulting someone is to blame. No, it is not okay to sexually assault someone based on the clothes they are wearing, or to say they gave consent while they were drunk. These people are pretty much the scum of the earth.
However, I recently found myself rescuing my friend as she was sexually assaulted by a man. Now lets break down the scenario:
He was a friend that came to visit her, whom she had not met in person before. To me, she had made it very clear that she did not want anything intimate or sexual with this man, but me, knowing my friend, was immediately concerned knowing her difficulty saying one very simple word: "no".
The first night he was here, he made multiple advances on her, and she stopped him and said no every time. I was very pleased to hear that she was standing up for herself.
The next day, I had the unfortunate privilege of spending a small amount of time with him, in which I almost immediately had that feeling that girls get (if you are a girl, you know what I am talking about), where I knew his intentions were not good, and that he could not be trusted. I expressed my concerns to my friend, and told her to be careful.
That night, she was with him late at the hotel he was staying at (because a stranger was obviously not going to stay in our apartment). I received a text from her with misspelled words that made little sense. This was a clear indicator to me that she was drunk. I called her instantly, confirming my original suspicion. I asked her if she wanted me to pick her up. She told me no.
I texted her about ten minutes later giving her a friendly reminder that you cannot give consent when you are drunk (also knowing she did not want to do anything sexual with him), and I got no reply. I called her again. No answer. I gave it five more minutes, and told her if she did not respond in the next five minutes, I was going to pick her up. No response until about ten minutes later.
By this time I was pulling into the hotel. I called her and told her I was there to pick her up. With no fighting, she told me okay and came down. This was the clear indicator that she had been wanting to come home.
Not a minute from our apartment, she tells me they had sex. She proceeded to cry for a few hours as we talked before she went to bed. I told her that it was sexual assault, and that it was not okay, and that we should be going to the police.
She proceeded to downplay the entire situation, saying she started it, and that they were both drunk.
Later he told her he was not drunk.
She hung out with him the next day, and still talks to him.
Is this man an absolute piece of shit? Yes. Without a doubt. She clearly told him no on multiple occasions when she was sober, so he turned to getting her drunk to get what he wanted.
Do I wish I could literally rip his testicles right off of his body? Yes, of course.
Will I protect my friend endlessly? Absolutely.
But is a part of me frustrated with her? Yes.
Here is why.
As a female in this world, you have to be a certain kind of aware. Aware of your surroundings, aware of the people you are surrounding yourself with, and you must pay attention to every detail of your environment and these people's actions.
Night one, he makes clear advances on multiple occasions, regardless of her saying no. That should be the first red flag. To then go the next night, and get drunk with him in his hotel room, alone (in which he of course purchased the wine as a gift, and she, of course, is a lightweight) should have been the farthest thing from the individual choice that she makes, as a female.
She put herself in a bad situation.
Then, after what had happened that night, she proceeds to hang out with him the next day because she "felt bad" that he came all the way here, and could not just leave him alone. And then to this day continues to talk to, and about him, as if he is a casual friend that did not sexually assault her.
Maybe it is a coping mechanism, and maybe people deflect to avoid how serious of a situation they may have found themselves in. But what frustrates me is the lack of respect women will have for themselves. To continue spending time with this man and to continue talking to him is to reinforce his fucked up mentality that allows him to think that what he did is okay.
Why do we do this?? Why do we always stand up for others so much more than we stand up for ourselves??
What do I say to my friend when she casually brings him up in conversation? How do I respond?
The world sucks. Men are terrifying. It is shit.
But it is the reality.
As a woman, please be strong enough to stand up for yourself, because the unfortunate truth is that in most cases, the man is going to have his personal interest in mind above yours. On top of this, some of them are so painfully stupid and oblivious that they do not realize how fucked they actually are to women. DO NOT BE SOMEONE WHO REINFORCES THEIR MISOGYNY. Shut that shit down.
Please and thank you.