To preface this- this post was inspired by this picture I saw floating around Facebook.
I’m saying this to those who need to hear it. I know people get annoyed with the amount of “aggressive feminist” rants but as a girl who’s been groped, cat called, and more, I can tell you this anger is justified and it’s intention is to catch people’s attention and encompass the absurdity of this issue.
Don’t touch me.
You ask people before you touch their babies, dogs, cars, what have you, so why would you think it’s okay to grope someone without permission?
“But you were wearing such a short skirt”
“But you were laughing at all his jokes”
“But you were wearing a revealing shirt”
But you were…
I don’t give a sh*t if I’m walking around almost naked, I’m not verbally asking you to touch me. If you want to wear a baggy sweater and sweatpants, rock it. If you want to wear that cute bodycon dress you got on sale, rock that too. If you prefer to dress modest, own it. If you prefer to dress to express your sexuality or body, own it. Do what you want, when you want. It’s your world.
If you want to touch that girl because she’s wearing a skin tight dress, ask her. If you want to take her back to your place, ask her. If you want to have sex with her, ASK HER. Stop relying on all of this “Well she implied…” bullsh*t. It never hurts to have CLEAR communication. It doesn’t matter who’s been drinking what. Three martinis are not the non verbal equivalent of “I wanna bang”. If she’s had too many drinks then she’s most likely not in the state of mind to consent. If you’ve had too many drinks then maybe you’re not in the state of mind to make sure she’s consenting. For the love of whatever you believe in, it’s not the end of the world if you go home alone. Men, the price of getting your d*ck wet isn’t equivalent to violating a woman’s human rights. Keep it in your pants.
I can say from experience, nay, too much experience that this grey area of “did they consent?” is way too prevalent in college culture and millennial culture in general. I can’t count on only two hands how many times I’ve been cat called. I can’t count on only two hands how many times I’ve been started at 10 seconds too long. I can’t count on only two hands how many times someones grabbed my ass in a dark and loud room. I thankfully can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been roofied or groped beyond someone grabbing my ass, but those times are yet too many. I can count on no hands the times I’ve been raped but so many other girls are not as fortunate.
I know I chose to drink. I know I chose to wear that skirt. I know I chose to talk to that guy. I know I kissed back but I sure as hell didn’t ask him to put his hands down my pants. I know alcohol doesn’t mix as well with decisions as it does with cranberry juice. I know we shouldn’t drink as much as we do. I know we all face this peer pressure to go all out because all we want is to impress each other. I know people say this sets us up for sexual assault but I know even better that there is absolutely no excuse.
Yes, I have and will still make bad decisions. If you think you won’t, then you’re wrong. We’re human, we f*ck up then we try to learn from it. What point I’m making is that regardless of how many shots that girl took, what she’s wearing, how great of a guy he is sober, or how drunk he is, we need to stop justifying sexual assault. If he raped her, he raped her and that’s not excusable. I understand party culture has created some blurred lines of what is crossing from consenting to assault but when it comes down to it we need to stop focusing on what she was wearing. Women and men should feel comfortable and free to dress how they’d like. Be proud of your body and respect everyone else’s. Treat people like you would like to be treated.
There is also an issue of males being sexually assaulted and I wanted to acknowledge that I’m not dismissing it and obviously don’t condone assault of any matter, gender, race, etc. I’m writing this from a perspective of a woman because that’s what I can provide and I urge anyone to feel safe sharing their story.
So many people have yet to share their stories because they’re scared about the response it will get. I can personally say I will gladly stand by anyone willing to share their story and am grateful for those who have. We can’t fix a problem if we aren’t willing to talk about it. I hope one day we can ask “What happened?” instead of “What were you wearing?” Until then, I and so many others are here to speak on the issue.
Image: MommyAndMemes Etsy