I heavily debated posting this. In fact, I've gone back and forth since Monday (it's Thursday evening), thinking to myself, "I'm one of the lucky ones."
"It's not nearly as bad as the things that have happened to some of my closest friends."
"People will think I'm looking for sympathy."
If I'm honest with myself, it's the last one that has truly prevented me from posting. Because the last thing I want is sympathy. What I want is for things to change. What I want is to not see that NEARLY EVERY FEMALE I know has posted about this. What I want is to not live in a society where some men think they are entitled to a woman's body, simply because they feel like it. As if it's there to take if they please.
So here goes:
I'm 18 years old, a freshman in college, and suddenly I am very drunk. I'm at a Military base in the south (USA). I won't go into details about which branch of the military because it's not important. One of my college roommates had been talking to an old flame of hers who was in the military and she wanted to go visit him. She asked me if I was up for it, and I thought to myself, why not? I could use the weekend trip, and I had a feeling it would be a great time. We booked cheap flights, hopped on the plane and landed in a nondescript town where he met us.
When we got to the base, we were both super excited. Hot guys in the military! Drinking! Yay! Upon arriving I passed a guy in a hallway, and the look he gave me is forever engrained in my memory. He looked at me the way an animal looks at its prey. He looked at me like he was entitled to me; as if he could have me if he wanted. Like it was his decision to make.
I tried to shake it off, but I made a comment about it to my friend and the guy we were there visiting. After a bit, I felt like maybe I was overreacting and we brushed past the whole thing. We met one of his friends who was really nice, and then we all proceeded to get drunk. Very drunk.
My memory from that night is hazy in part from the alcohol, but also because I've tried so hard to erase it from my mind. My friend and her guy crashed early, and the guy I had been talking to said he had to go meet his friends quickly but would be back soon. So I sat on the couch and waited. I fell asleep, and when I woke up, there he was. The guy that gave me that look. The one that had made me feel uneasy, and for the first time in my adult life, fearful.
I woke up to him inside of me, and in sheer panic. To him telling me this is what he'd been thinking about all day since he saw me. His hand over my mouth and all of his weight on top of me, making it impossible to move. I honestly can't even remember if I tried to. The only thing I remember thinking was that it would be over soon. That if I just laid there and took it, it would be over quickly.
What makes me SO F*CKING ANGRY is that it isn't nearly as bad as some of the stories my girlfriends have shared with me. That I've been drugged in a nightclub THREE TIMES, and lucky enough to be with people who found me before it was too late. That somehow, there are women out there who have dealt with something a thousand times worse. Simply because they are female.
We live in scary times where politics are whack, racism is flourishing out in the open, and women in the United States are losing access to vital things like birth control and resources like Planned Parenthood. But despite all of this, I'm hopeful. Campaigns like this are created, women around the world share their story, and attention is brought to such a GLARING CRISIS.
I didn't post this to gain sympathy or anything of the sort, but to share my story so hopefully, a fellow woman out there knows she isn't alone. So that you know that a man taking what isn't his, is not your fault. So that people don't belittle an issue that so many of us have clearly lived through.
Me too, babe. Me too.