I was sexually assaulted twice in college, once by a guy I was on a date with, once by a childhood friend a year later.
I was briefly fondled by somebody’s dad at Lake Lanier when I was 12.
Twice I’ve been badgered and accosted by drunk guys at clubs to the point of having to call security, outright leave, or beg a stranger to escort me to my car after being threatened.
I had a dude — a stranger I’d just met and spoken 4 words to — literally out of nowhere put his hand down my top and pinch my nipple in some type of courtship move.
While dancing, I’ve had a dude run his hand up my shirt, into my bra and grab my breasts.
While dancing, I’ve had a dude jam his hands down the front of my skirt into my panties.
I was alerted after the fact that I had a guy taking upshort shots of my thighs on the 2 train from lower Manhattan to Flatbush (and was chastised by the woman who watched him do this the entire time for wearing shorts in the first place.)
I’ve been belligerently, unconscionably drunk.
I’ve been astronomically, insanely high.
I’ve been both those things at the same time, in public.
I’m braless 50-80% of the time between the months of April and September.
I’ve worn shorts short enough for asscheek to show.
I’ve skinny dipped and wandered around naked in public places.
I’ve been out in the bare world in sheer tops, nipples and rings popping everywhere.
I’ve spent nights alone in rooms cuddled up with a dude I *knew* wanted sex.
I’ve thotted the entire hell out and wantonly pushed up on dudes in clubs, parties and festive settings, and been hella nasty (granted, they were dudes I was ~in things~ with, but still.)
Funny thing is, none of these overlapped.
Wearing the longest shorts I own didn’t stop that dude from taking the pictures. If he’d asked, I’d have given him a link to me twerking at a music festival the day before.
Deciding not to drink and wearing full-length, not-that-tight jeans didn’t stop someone from forcing them down and off of me.
Minding my business entirely and not giving a guy any energy or attention didn’t stop them from grabbing on and accosting me.
I’m pretty sure the most revealing I was dressed for any of those incidents was the swimsuit I had on at Lake Lanier.
So unless I’ve been tagged with the mark of the slut by White Jesus, and exude whoreishness everywhere I go, I’m failing to find the connect. It seems like there’s no real common thread between these incidences of sexual violence toward my person and the way I’ve been acting or dressed or “presenting myself.” Really the only commonality has been being in the presence of a man. Yet I’ve been in the presence of men, dancing far more lasciviously, being far more inebriated, dressed far more revealingly (or not at all) and… nothing.
So it seems like the difference is in the character of the men I happened to be around when those incidents happened, and their intent toward doing me harm. Not my vulnerability. Not my powers of arousal. Not my behavior. Not my appearance.
THAT is why I have very little interest in policing and critiquing women’s behavior and bodies into submission. THAT is why I could give a fuck about your respectability and mores and dress codes and moral high roads. THAT is why I don’t care a whole lot about covering up and “being a lady” and trying to prove to anyone that I deserve to be respected as a human being by wearing knee length skirts and turtlenecks.
Because I know from experience that there are people to whom that will never be proven, ever.
I am so much more interested in policing and critiquing them.