I was standing in line at one of my favourite Caribbean restaurants to get food. There was a busy line ahead and around me as I waited oh-so-patiently for my plate of deliciousness. As I looked at the ice cream menu with the fondness a new mother looks at her child, I felt a firm hand squeeze my ass and attempt to grab my phone out of my pocket. The daydreaming in my food coma came abruptly to a halt. About 12 pairs of eyes darted quickly to me. My heart walloped almost out of my chest. “Did I give you permission to touch me?” I glared as thoughts of the new OITNB season galloped through my mind.
He stammered. “I thought you….” My eyes seared into him. “NO!” I mustered with all my might, as a kindergartener would when yelling they would not be sharing their toys.
I have been reluctant to write this post because. Well. Who doesn’t want attention or whatever post modern form of flattery post-#metoo movement we feminist will allow for. But. Butt. It happened. Not once. Not twice. Butt (see what I did there) three times. And so, after a barrage of comments, grabs, hints, winks, nudges in inappropriate places, tit squeezes, horn honks and the like, I have decided to post about it. Not because it’s flattering, or because I require that sense of external validation, but because of what Adele said.
It’s interesting to note that when having this conversation with men, they stated that when a woman who was unattractive touched them without asking, if they were defined subjectively attractive by said man, then it was acceptable in their eyes. If they are leaning towards heterosexuality, then they were often borderline disgusted when a man even looks at them sideways. (I said come half way Albert) Similarly, if the woman is unattractive, they are also seemingly disgusted.
On the flip side, when we as women have united and put on that dress, those heels, that bow-chicka-wow-WOW lipstick that makes the men quiver, we head to the bar in search of someone for the evening, the night, or possibly a good swipe right. If the one whom we have swiped right to “flatters” us enough to get a grab, a touch, a squeeze, a taste, without our request. What is that to us? I remember my first boyfriend. It was one of my first experiences. My shirt was off. I remember him just yanking down the front of my bra with the gusto any 17 year old boy can muster. I was shocked. I was appalled. He didn’t even…. ask… What was I, a not-so-shy, 16 year old church gyal supposed to do?
What was this dirty-thirty, ice cream craving beach bum also supposed to do? Exactly what YOU would do. Put on our big girl panties and DO the right thing. Not for him. Not for anyone else, but for us.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a classic ass squeeze like any girl. You know the one I’m talking about; the one in front of allllllllllllllllll your friends that lets them know and you know that he finds you sexy as hell. That he wants them to know he is taken. The one that makes your knees shake and panties melt. THAT one. But with consent.
Now, there have been times where I stumbled hard on this one. The feminist cringed in me circa me sending the tit pic to the baller. The time I let the linebacker squeeze the goodies, because. Well. He’s famous and I get a good story out of it……………………. right? Am I proud of those moments? With adequate lackluster, I can state I am proud of the steps in the journey, because they are steps. They are party of the process. If I didn’t allow myself to explore with 17 year old grabby tits, then I would’ve have realized I can explore my sexuality in a health and respectful way, ropes and all, but that’s for another time 😉
What does this mean for you? Men, stop whistling or honking at women as they are walking. Yes, yoga pants are awesome and make nice butts where no butts existed before *that’s why we wear them* Ladies, stop responding to the honks and whistles, unless of course, you find that extremely respectful and an epic start to your “how we met” story you can’t WAIT to tell Nana about.
And lastly. If something is uncomfortable, muster up a tiny bit of courage (or a lot if you need it) and SAY SOMETHING! Say no. Tell a friend. A kindergarten teacher (they tend to have snacks). Tell ya mama. Call a 24/7 crisis line. Someone.
Silence allows these instances to continue. And was what happened to me technically assault? Probably. Will I report it? Probably not. Instead, he gets to be ugly, which is Karma if you ask me, and I choose to use my platform to spread light in hopes that others can be brave enough to share their story. and begin their healing journey; To stop perpetrators mid-act, and to continue on.
You deserve this. You are worth not being silent.