In 1973, when I was still a young wife and new mom, I had a very unpleasant experience that qualifies as sexual assault even though it was not nearly as invasive as others have suffered. With that said, it has still affected me emotionally and psychologically for over 40 years, and that just isn’t fair. I’d be willing to bet that the man who perpetrated this act forgot about it completely probably within five years.
Our still under warranty vehicle was having an issue so my husband asked me to take it in to the dealership and have them look at it. I did as he asked and the dealership decided it needed to stay in the shop for a bit so they had the head guy of the Service Department take me home. Because they weren’t certain what was going on with the vehicle, he drove my car while I rode passenger so that I could point out what was happening while we drove.
The car made the noise we were concerned about and he got to hear it. He said he thought he knew exactly what the problem was and that the repair wouldn’t take long once they had the right parts in. I was relieved but still a little nervous about being alone in the car with a strange man who was taking me home-to my house. When I’m nervous I tend to talk a lot. Heaven forbid there should be a moment of quiet time when I’m nervous. (Insert eye-roll here.)
We were in town now and I was directing him turn-by-turn. We turned onto my street and headed toward my building. Suddenly he reached over and grabbed my breast! I gasped and pushed his hand away only to have him return it and grin at me! My first thought then was to jump out of the car but we were going about 25 m.p.h. and my sleeping baby was in the back seat. I couldn’t abandon my child. So I knocked his hand away again and said, “How dare you! Don’t touch me again!” He looked somewhat shocked and said he’d thought I’d wanted it. Wanted it?! Really??? What on earth would have made him come to that conclusion? His own desire! Nothing else!
Granted I was chattering but I was chattering about my car and how much I liked it when it was working the way it was supposed to and how hot the weather had been and what the likelihood for rain was and whatever was in the news recently. There was nothing that was in the least sexual. I never asked him to grab my breast, I never said, “Gee, you know, it’s been too long since some random guy has grabbed my breast and given it a squeeze.” I never said, “Hey, mister, how about grabbing a handful of breast over here?” What on earth would have given him the idea I wanted that kind of attention?
Men are raised by moms, aren’t they? Don’t moms tell their sons not to do those things? Why would they think it’s okay to do that?
So, hey, guys…it’s not okay to do that.
It’s not okay to touch a woman you barely know in any sexual way unless you are paying her to do so…yeah, like as in a “prostitute”. Not the woman you just bought dinner for, not the girl who sold you a new shirt, not even the woman you’ve bought dinner, a movie ticket and a drink or three for. Seriously, if you don’t know what the signs are when a woman would welcome that kind of attention, then for Pete’s sake, ASK her. Don’t just make stupid assumptions and grab a random breast, boob, titty, knocker, or whatever you choose to call it! And most certainly never…NEVER grab south of there without knowing the attention will be very welcome!
The woman you are thinking about grabbing…or worse…is someone’s daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, niece, or mom…don’t treat them like a piece of meat. They are not yours for the taking. You don’t have ANY right to touch another person unless they are receptive to that touch. And…if you don’t know how to read body language then use your mouth, that ‘s why you have words, use them, ask what kind of physical attention would be welcome.
Don’t treat women or girls as if they don’t matter and they are just there for your pleasure. You wouldn’t like it if we did it to you, so don’t do it to us. On behalf of women everywhere…thank you.