For the first time as a woman, I feared for my physical well being around a man tonight. Not to be dramatic, I thought I might get raped tonight.
Unfortunately, no matter how little we have in common or dislike one another, every woman has had a moment of fear, a hyper awareness of the parking lot she is walking in, keys death gripped in preparation of an attack. There will always be that back-of-the-mind fear (unless they are some black belt Chun Li).
Fear of a parking lot stranger or alley way attacker is something I was “ready” for…not watching a movie with a seemingly normal guy.
One movie. Less than two hours and he made moves to kiss me and put his hands down my shirt. Agressively. After I’d told him to cool it. Why didn’t I leave? I felt the crazy just behind his fake gentleman routine. Pushing wine on me, not letting go of my face when I tried to laughingly turn away. So I sat through a movie constantly planning my move to leave without angering this hulking army vet. Mostly I didn’t leave because instinctively, I felt that something was off with him…that I would have to play it the right way to keep him from getting more aggressive than he already was. I knew I couldn’t just get up and go. I was scared.
Putting on my shoes made him mad. He tried to pull me into him…trying to stay smiling, I told him no and tried to pull away. He didn’t let go right away. I felt helpless. I knew I couldn’t leave if he didn’t want me to.
He started grumbling about how he hated people and throwing the blanket on the couch and angrily straightening up. I literally fumbled with the lock on the door like in the movies…I ran out the door. I ran to my car. I heard him open the front door after I’d slammed it shut but I didn’t look back, I didn’t look up until I was in my car. I didn’t see him.
I didn’t break down until I got down the street. Drove to my friends and cried hysterically in his shoulder. He noticed the holes in my sweater from fingers being ripped through.
I’ve never been scared for my body before. Literally never.
I guess I’m posting this because it doesn’t make sense. I dont know how to feel right now.That the obvious fear in a woman, the ‘no’s, the pulling away, isn’t always enough. There is always going to be a need for women to be scared. There is always going to be a need to teach girls to yell “fire” and not “rape”, to hold our keys like weapons, to be less vulnerable.
I literally brag about my friends, the guys, to other women. I jokingly say, “you could pass out naked and they would cover you up and make fun of you in the morning.” Those are the men I’m used to. The men I expect to be in my life. Good, kind, moral men. So when my world got rattled tonight for the first time in 27 years of sexual safety, I feel like a stupid little girl.
I hate this for women. I hate that others aren’t so lucky. That the fear I felt is something I can consider “lucky” instead of sickening and fucked up.
It’s so fucked up.