Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbia MO, Des Moines, Fredericksburgh VA, Jacksonville NC, Los Angeles, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Palo Alto, Portland ME, Richmond VA, Rutgers University, San Francisco
I got ass-slapped (hard) at a good friend of mine’s house party on Saturday. I turned around and asked who’d done it and after some hesitation the guy owned up. As it turns out he was a friend of a friend of mine. The friend immediately poured forth excuses and praise ‘i know that was a shitty thing to do but he’s a nice guy really, he’s a good guy, don’t freak out’. Apparently he’d been doing it to loads of girls that night and he was just messing about. I sat down with the dude and had an (admittedly, slightly drunken) chat with him in an attempt to make him see what he’d done was out of line. I was trying really hard to keep my cool, and be reasonable with who was obviously an intelligent, normal young guy, who actually had a lot of positive opinions on feminism and equality, but was just a bit childish and ignorant. He failed to see the bigger picture though, and claimed, in the end that in the apparently sexualized environment of a house party where girls (me) wore tight skirts, it was simply to be expected. When i put to him that he doesn’t know anything about the girl he’s harassing, what if i had been a rape victim? How did he think he would have made me feel? He responded that if i had been he didn’t think i would go out dressed in tight skirts. That says it all, really.
I was really bummed out, because as i said, this guy wasn’t your stereotypical creepy gross weird old dude, he was a young smart guy, who clearly thought what he was doing was not unacceptable, and if i can’t change the opinions of men like that, what chance do i have with the rest of them? Its difficult because its hard for some people to see what they’ve done-a cheeky slap, a ‘complimentary’ comment, a little pinch-is really fucking annoying, at best, for us girls, and at worst; scary, intimidating and totally demeaning. Its exhausting, when he has been the fourth, fifth, sixth, tenth guy that day to take it upon himself to piss me off because of the way i look or dress, and because i’m a woman, and its just how things are. I know if i’d had had a boyfriend, i know know know it, then that guy would have apologized to that boyfriend, straight up.
Maybe the worst thing about it was that, in my frustration i ended up slapping the one guy who does have a right to be intimate with me round the face later on that night for touching my bum. Mental.