Rebelgirlelectric’s Story: “No longer would I let my harassers slip away into silence”
I am a small girl, with a rather large bottom, which since the age of 13 has garnered me lots of unwanted attention. Middle aged men ogling me in grocery stores, people shouting at me while jogging, ect. The most annoying and frustrating is the unwanted touches I have endured. People pinching my bottom, smacking it, grabbing it, all of the above! I always just assumed that this is what happens when you are young, and cute, and female, and that the best way to deal with it, is ignore it. After reading many feminist publications, and Hollaback, I decided that it was important, not just for myself, but for other women, that we stand up against this harassment. I decided: NO MORE. No longer would I let my harassers slip away into silence. They SHALL and WILL be called out!!!!!
I was dancing with my boyfriend at his house party. There were lots of people there that I didn’t know, and he didn’t even know. (This happens with college parties, people just walk on in!) We are dancing, face to face, and all of the sudden, I feel someone grope my ass from behind me (my boyfriend, with expressed and enthusiastic consent had his hands on my butt at times throughout the night, but I KNOW how my boyfriend touches me….this was NOT him.). This has happened to me A LOT at crowded clubs and bars. Someone touches you from behind when you aren’t paying attention, so you’ll never really know WHO did it. But like I said, I had decided: NO MORE. So I feel the grope, and my radar is on! Two men emerge from behind, and are walking toward the door. In my anger, I back-handed one of the guys on his shoulder. When he turned around, I shouted “DID YOU JUST TOUCH ME?!?!” He glared. Didn’t say a word, just glared. “DID. YOU. TOUCH. ME.?????” Still glaring. By then, his friend turned around to join in the glare-party. “WAS IT YOU THEN??? WHO DID IT??? WHO TOUCHED ME???” At this point I had gained some attention from the people who had been dancing around me, and neither man was fessing up to the act. (You would think that if someone started yelling at you, you would say something a long the lines of “Woah woah woah! It wasn’t me, I didn’t touch you!” But these guys just GLARED at me.) So with everyone’s attention, I turned in a 360 circle and just yelled “WHOEVER it was that touched me, it is NOT ok!”
It was a weird moment. On one hand, I felt SO proud that I had actually stood up for myself. I had confront a harasser for the first time in my life, and in that moment, I was totally unafraid. I was THE BOSS, and I was taking care of business! haha. On the other hand, it was slightly shameful, because I HIT a guy, and I wasn’t positive if it was him. I felt ashamed because I had resorted to violence. (I didn’t hit him THAT hard…it wasn’t like a punched him in the face…just a back hand to the back of his shoulder). What a weird mix of emotions! Pride and Shame in one swoop! Reflecting on this situation, I would have done the exact same thing, minus the back-hand. I would have done a not so polite tap on the shoulder!