I had totally planned to publish something else today, something funny. Something silly. Something shitty. But then the me too movement began and I find entirely too important to not speak up.
And please, to all my readers who do not feel comfortable speaking up…..I applaud you. Your experiences are most likely far worse than I could ever imagine, and even if they aren’t, YOU SURVIVED. And you never have to re-live it.
I honestly would be shocked to hear of a woman who has NOT been sexually harassed, abused, embarrassed or scared in their life. We have all had some type of sexual harassment, and whether big or little it is all very effective. Sadly, I have had several run-ins. Today I will share a few.
The first time was in my early twenties. I had been on a date with this guy a couple times. I was not very sexually experienced and he didn’t seem like he was in any rush. We had great talks, great outings, just started having a great time. I was very open that I didn’t want to have sex right away. And again, he was totally cool about it. One night we went to a party a mutual friend was having. We ended back at his house listening to music. Then somehow in his room. After some making out, he got up, locked the door, rushed over to me and pushed my head to his crotch demanding oral sex. Of course I freaked. My heart was beating so fast (it is still right now as I write this.) I managed to get out of his grasped. He began yelling at me, telling me I was a cunt if I didn’t do this. Told me he would tell everyone I was bad in bed. Told me all sorts of horrible things as I tried to get out. I pushed him off of me, unlocked the door and ran to my house. Literally RAN…no car, no uber, just an insane amount of adrenaline that was carrying me to safety. I told only a few close friends, one of which told me it was no big deal. Guys expect certain things when dating. I for real thought I had fucked up. I was young, vunrable and influenced by the outside world too much. I flet unsafe and I though I had fucked up.
Years later I was at a bar with some friends. This is a basic story probably all females (sadly) have encountered. We are out, dressed cute, having drinks….so we are asking for it right?! I was dancing and the next thing you know some man is all over me, hands everywhere they shouldn’t and when I screamed for help, he screams that I’m a slut. Why am I dressed in a mini skirt if I don’t want hands up it. That I was asking for it being out dancing. Thank god for an audience and my girls for being my safety net. He walked away unscathed. I walked into the bathroom, tried to pull my mini down as far as I could, threw on a jacket and apologized for disrupting the fun. Because that is what normally happens when a woman is harassed…..she apologizes.
A couple of months ago I joined my husband, his brother and two of his males cousins for a night out in Nashville. We were meeting up with a group of guys I had never met. We all met at an Airbnb for drinks then out for the night. It was me and about 10 dudes……literally, a sausage fest. We were having a great time. We ended up at this bar that was playing some great dance music. Of course I made my way onto the dance floor. Suddenly, this wasted man has me cornered. He was one of the guys we were out with. I reminded him that he was out with me and my husband and that he needed to back off. He just got closer and closer. His hands were pulling me into him when Matt’s cousin spotted what was happening. A slew of O’Shaughnessy men came running over getting dude out of my space. All 4 of these grown men, getting one dude away from a girl. He was just staring at me in this drunked, gross, violating gaze. We ended up leaving the bar, and I did not sleep at the AirBnb that night. I don’t know what happen to that dude that night. I did hear how drunk he was and that he didn’t know what was going on. I blew it off…..I felt like I had too. One because my husband probably would have ended up in jail and because I didn’t want to feel like a nuisance to all these guys and ruin their night.
Yep, I said it. I am a 38 year old woman who was scared of an overpowering drunk man who had me cornered and I felt like a nuisance. Doesn’t seem right, huh.
This is the norm.
We apologize. We hide. We lie. We don’t speak up. We feel like it is our fault. We are used to this behavior being normal.
It is not.
So….. me too. And my scenarios weren’t even that bad…..which is so sad. That there is even a scale on what is bad and what is horrible. They all are awful and should not be the norm. If you have never felt violated, or victimized, or unsafe you are truly one of a female kind.
If you have felt violated, victimized or unsafe, YOU ARE NOT ALONE and YOU NEVER EVER NEED TO APOLOGIZE.
I will start apologizing only to myself for not allowing myself time to process these events, because these events are not normal. And thankfully I have had a million more beautiful, sweet, kind and respectful experiences than these horrible few.
But in the end….
The Shitty Housewife