Please Don't Grab Me By The Pussy
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Politics and Activism

Please Don't Grab Me By The Pussy

This is the story of when I was sexually assaulted and why I therefore became a feminist.

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Please Don't Grab Me By The Pussy
Omaha World-Herald

If you're reading this, don't be alarmed. I'm OK.

On Inauguration Day, I rushed back from class to catch the end of Donald Trump's--excuse me, President Trump's--remarks. Partly angered that I missed most of the event and partly attached given my love for all things government, I caught my eyes welling up with tears. Then I saw Barack and Michelle on the TV and nearly broke down. I watched Hillary sitting with Bill and felt so conflicted. As a registered Republican but socially-liberal activist (and declared Government major and aspiring President of the United States), this election was very challenging. When I watched Hillary fill out her ballot on Election Day, I cried in reaction to the significance of that moment. I cried when she lost because I was fully prepared for her to win. I was never pro-Hillary for a few reasons, but I was willing to put aside my selfish desires to be the first female POTUS if it meant that someone more compassionate would take office.

I tried to imagine how different the day would've felt had Hillary been inaugurated. I tried to imagine what it is like for Obama to try and un-adapt the mentality of Leader of the Free World and suddenly be a "normal" citizen again. I tried to wrap my head around all the discrepancies and lack of unity, the tension I feel, the ache in my heart, the confusion in mind, the hope and will to believe that our new President will set a good example for my generation. As days go by when I doubt if politics are really my passion, I look to Obama and see he's the reason why I want to be president one day. I believe he incited a desire to lead in me. I realize that I basically grew up only knowing Obama, and I think his constant compassion and love have influenced me. Despite what my parents or others told me about his policies, I believe Obama was a good role model for me. With great power comes great responsibility to lead, to inspire, to promote love and acceptance. I urge President Trump to remember this when he enters the Oval Office each morning.

Nevertheless, I was later working on my laptop outside when a friend joined me to give me a gift. I opened the package to find a shirt that reads: "A woman's place is in the house and the senate." Kickass, right? A cute tee that encourages more strong, capable women to run for office. Of course, that night I had to wear that shirt with my most flattering jeans, rockin', red suede boots, a choker, and a jean jacket. I wanted to feel edgy and bold--maybe even empowered by the 10 words on my shirt.

My friends and I made our way to a party off-campus. I ran into one of my guy friends who considers himself a feminist. He appreciated my shirt, but he wished it included the Oval Office, too. I reminded him that feminists don't need all-inclusive t-shirts to tell us where we really belong. In fact, we shouldn't need any article of clothing to do that, but I digress.

As my girlfriend and I were making our way through the crowd to the back room, we passed through a doorway. Standing by the doorway were two boys. These boys, as we walked by, grabbed us by the pussy. One even hit my backside. So incredibly stunned, I really didn't think to turn back and look for the perpetrator. I told that same feminist friend about what just had happened to us. He apologized, but there wasn't much else he could do without getting hurt himself. I later learned that the boys weren't even students at my school and definitely not members of the fraternity. I let it go.

My friend and I wanted to return to the main room shortly thereafter. We squeezed through the hallway that led to the doorway where the two boys still waited, preying on vulnerable young women. Thinking they'd already taken a shot at us, I approached the doorway but avoided eye contact. I was wrong. They wanted more.

The one grabbed me by the pussy again. He even grabbed at my waist a little. This time, I turned around faster than the speed of light. I looked both boys in the eyes and gave them a few choice words:

"Who the fuck do you think you are? What the fuck do you think you're doing? Who said it was okay for you to grab my ass like that? You're disgusting!"

The boys shrugged and gestured as if they didn't understand. Is this Mr. President's influence taking place, or just a reality of the rape culture that plagues my generation? I have lately read a handful of blogs by women who didn't march; they wish that the women's march didn't represent all women because those who marched obviously hate Trump (wrong) and "he hasn't even done anything yet". Okay, yeah, he hasn't been formally in office for even a week, but the man certainly has made a few headlines. And, no, you're not a disgrace to the female gender if you disagree with the march. However, quotes like the one below that I wish didn't relate to my own recent experiences are proof that inaugurated or not, Trump has already demonstrated influence and power. Hell, if he hasn't, how did he win the election?

In truth, the boys who touched me didn't understand. They didn't understand how inappropriate it was, how disrespectful they were acting, how silly they were to mess with a girl feeling really empowered by some vinyl letters on a cotton shirt.

Earlier that night, I was in a friend's room enjoying some birthday cake. On the mini-fridge, the boy had a magnet from our school with all emergency sexual assault numbers. I joked to the one friend who was also going to the off-campus party that she should carry around the magnet "just in case" something happened. True or not, we laughed.

There's something wrong about making light of a rather serious issue. I realized it's really shameful that, as girls, we joke about our own susceptibilities and misfortunes. We laughed and ate more cake because the idea of sexual assault is so desensitized in our heads that we don't treat it seriously anymore.

To continue a day of overwhelmingly ironic situations--given Trump's inauguration, the shirt, watching Hillary attend the inauguration and wondering what thoughts were going through her head, the boys who molested me--I then returned to campus with my girlfriend and met up with other friends at an apartment. We stayed and had a great time. I was tired by 2:30 AM or so, and I decided to go back to my room. Most of us were ready to go back, so one of my friends walked with me.

We made it to my room and he waited in the doorway for me to say, "You can come in if you'd like. I'm just going to finish this movie anyways." We sat separately on the futon, but I grew sleepy and rested my head on his shoulder. Suddenly I found my lips on his, and we kissed a little until my thoughts cleared up. I realized I didn't want to be kissing him, so I started to pull back. Fear welled in my chest as I searched for the words in my head to stop the kissing from continuing. I was worried he'd be mad, or that I'd disappoint him in case he was expecting more for walking me back.

I mustered enough strength and said it was time for him to go to bed, to leave. He frowned a little, but he respectfully said "OK." He hugged me goodnight and left. I realized in that moment that there are boys like the ones at the party, but we can't neglect to be grateful for the gentleman like the one who walked me home.

Even still, I sat on the futon ashamed of myself. Just two hours ago, I felt empowered enough to stand up for myself and all the girls who were being grabbed at when they just wanted to walk through a doorway without being made objects of no respect. There on my futon, I didn't even have the respect for myself to just say no when I felt a change of heart. Yes, at first I gave my consent. But to everyone reading this, if you suddenly don't want to drink any more tea, you don't have to keep sipping. Put the cup down. Why this was so hard for me to wrap my head around sitting there on the futon, I am not sure, but I am proud to say that I didn't give the guy a reason for asking him to leave. I didn't owe him anything besides a thank you for walking me back safely--certainly not an explanation. The only thing he needed to know was that I wanted to stop.

I wasn't raped while at the off-campus party. I'd say I wasn't even harmed, but then I wonder if I've been so bombarded with everything in the media that I'm just being strong because I'm scared as a girl I will be told that I was asking for it, knowing I wore the jeans that I knew showed off my body best. I don't know what constitutes sexual assault, either. Maybe that the boy's hands were between my legs and I didn't want them there is enough? The boy I kissed certainly didn't do anything wrong. I know I was flirting with him, I wanted him to notice me. I permitted him to walk me back to my dorm. I permitted him to watch the rest of the movie with me. I even initiated the kiss. He left very nicely when I asked him to leave, too. However, this series of events has led me to an important revelation.The day after, I woke up to a beautiful, inspiring collection of Instagrams, tweets, and posts from marches across the globe. Men and women everywhere united to express their voices and bring to light a cause that has been a cause for too long. I'm not here to deny that some protests might've turned violent; I really didn't look into that because I didn't want such an incredible day of self-expression to be tainted in my mind by negativity. I personally knew men and women, old and young, liberal and conservative, who attended marches locally and nationally. Given the previous night's events, I like to believe the universe is calling me to full-heartedly embrace the feminist in me--the stron, independent, deep-thinking, passionate young women I have always been. Trump hasn't suddenly made me a misandrist. I'm not declaring myself a feminist just to spite Trump. I won't be like the way feminists are portrayed in the media; I like that gentleman insist on holding the door for me and don't let me walk back alone. I appreciate that they like to treat me like a lady because I also know I make my own strength and independence just as clear as my ladylike ways. I'm here to tell you--and the boys in the doorway at the party--that one day I'll be the one to break the glass ceiling. Watch me.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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