[Warning: Yet again, we’re gonna talk about sex/assault. (And I’m gonna use that word in the title without asterisks.)]
A week ago, a tape of Donald Trump came out where he talked about being able to do things to women because he’s a star. He said he “grabs them by the pussy.” Some people are dismissing this as “locker-room talk.” (Donald Trump himself is trying to call it “locker room talk.”)
Friday, June 5, 2015.
I wake up in the morning in the arms of the man I adore.
[Note: Yes, I feel SUPER weird talking about a relationship in the open and on the blog… In fact, I have a post about how weird it feels planned, coming up. But he is relevant to the story. And I am leaving him completely anonymous (and only saying nice things). So, hopefully, it should be fine – even if utterly weird to talk about him out loud in a public place, on this blog.]
So, I wake up in his arms. We have a very lovely morning. He kisses me goodbye, and I head to the subway – as I’m gonna go get my favorite donut from Universal Studios. (It’s National Donut Day, and I have a season pass.)
As I’m walking along the street, this random stranger guy starts walking beside me. I feel a little off about it, so I’m not wildly responsive. But I’m also trying not to be rude…
Then he starts asking if he can have my number/take me out.
“Oh, no thank you,” I politely reply.
He pushes. I continue to be polite. He starts to push a little harder. “Please, stop. I have a boyfriend.” I figure that should make him listen (as most women know, that’s what often (though not always) works – it’s not enough if we don’t want to give our numbers, it has to be because he’d respect another man…). He continues anyway.
I slow down; so does he. I speed up; so does he. At this point, I can see the subway. We’re close. I can’t go a different route. There is no other route.
After all, he’s just being kind of rude, just ignoring my repeated requests for him to stop talking to me. This is a normal daily encounter on the streets of a big city. If I took time out of my day every time I felt uneasy about a man on the street yelling at me or hitting on me, I’d never go anywhere or get anything done.
So, I try to ignore him as best I can. As soon as we get to the subway, I see the entrance he’s going into, and I go as far as I can to the steps on the other side.
Then I walk down to my platform. As I do, I don’t see him. I figure he must be going to another train or something.
I’m wearing my favorite white skirt. I love it. (It’s also one of the favorites of that man I adore – that’s partially why I wore it. So, he’d think I was all cute when I left his apartment.)
When I think the coast is clear, and everything is fine, and that dude was just yet another rude dude and nothing to write home about – I feel a hand reach very quickly, sharply, and strongly up my skirt. He reached in behind me, thrusted his hand up and forward, and he grabbed me where Donald Trump thinks it’s okay to grab.
As he did it, he whispered something in my ear I don’t remember verbatim – something somewhat innocuous on it’s own (like “Have a nice day,” I think). But in the moment it felt so gross (because of what he was doing, and his inflection when he said it).
I whipped around with fury. And he was already running away. He turned his head back though, so I could see him smile and laugh as he ran.
It wasn’t funny.
Billy Bush and Donald Trump laughed on tape about how funny it is to get to grab women there. But it’s not.
I was a little upset on the subway. And I kind of admonished myself for being upset. After all, “I’m fine.” “He only grabbed me. Who doesn’t get grabbed on the subway? He didn’t injure me.” “I’m strong.” “I can’t be too ‘dramatic.’ It’s just a grab. Who cares?”
And on and on and on.
I grew up in a culture that thinks this “locker room talk” is okay (and that permeated in how I thought I was supposed to think/react).
I had a man reach in under my clothes and really grab me in a very strong, startling, scary way… And yet I worried I might be being “dramatic” if that upset me…
And this is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.