My last blog touched on the topic of unwanted touching and open bathrobes, but there is something else I want to add for this go ‘round.
Current events provoke conversations. Even in this “awakening” I still hear women still doubting themselves; wondering whether they had imagined or exaggerated things when they were approached, leered at, groped.
I want to remind everyone of something basic and true. If something seems wrong, makes you uncomfortable, it’s wrong. If you indicate that that attention is not appreciated, and it continues, it is wrong. It doesn’t make you a bitch, or a prude.
Men (and/or women) don’t accidentally touch, brush, squeeze, grope body parts without a profound and sincere apology. There’s an acknowledgement, a sincere apology if it was not meant to be, because bumping into someone’s body accidentally is an uncomfortable mistake. Getting into someone’s space or stumbling into them is awkward. I bring that up because I hear women say, “I couldn’t tell if he meant to do that….”
Yes, he did mean to.
I teach Intuitive Self Defense. I call it Intuitive because the one muscle that will hands down tell you if something is not right is your Intuition. If you make a decision to pay attention to what your gut is saying, what your intuition is telling you, you will be in good stead. If something seems, feels, or appears wrong or off, or “in your space”, it is! Don’t wonder about the event, or turn it over in your head. Yes, it is real, it did happen. Believe it.
Why do I bring this up? I was remembering how this crap used to happen to me all the time; being grabbed, touched, leaned and pressed into on the subways, etc. Then I realized, it still happens, but I’ve brushed it off. In much the same way as I did when I was younger.
Most recently, it was a doctor, an oncologist. He was standing on the right side of my exam table, he asked me to slide down so he can examine me. I grabbed the edge of the table for leverage, and he leans his hips in, and presses his junk against the back of my hand, pinning it there.
I tried to pull it away, but he appeared to be completely focused, and kept his weight shifted forward on my hand. Now, I don’t own that equipment myself, I can’t be considered an authority on male genitalia. But I know the only thing between me and him was a thin bit of his scrub fabric, there didn’t appear to be any extra layering such as a tucked in shirt or underwear. I wondered if maybe he was so very absorbed in my exam that he fell into a trance and was unaware of everything else. But, I knew better. I could give him the benefit of the doubt, but why? I could tell he was somewhat aroused. Yeah, I know…yuck.
I was really mad, but doubted myself. I am supposed to know better. I knew in my gut that he knew what he was doing. I talk to other women and girls about just this type of thing.
If it’s not an accident, the other person wants you to wonder. As the recently fallen Louis CK said, when you prey on people in this way, it becomes the victim’s problem. They will always wonder if it was something that they did.
Just remember, if it quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. And if it grabs your ass without your permission, that duck is the one doing something wrong. Not you.