Sexual Intimidation

Hey guys! If you’ve been missing me, I’ve been running a daily update blog at Stefani Daily (Kinda). I realized I was having a habit of poppin in every couple of weeks, updating on my life, and missing the point of this blog entirely, so I just made a different place to rant and have non-related thoughts. I’d prefer this blog have quality to quantity.

I was eighteen years old. I had stopped by my campus on a weekend to work on something, but I found I had gotten there before stuff opened. So I was walking around, and I ran into a guy in my friends group. Note that I am not saying, “a friend of mine.” He was a guy I knew to be weird, to be a liar. I also knew he raped my guy at the time’s ex, a girl I genuinely liked. However, I was too nice for my own good, mixed with a bit of “it could never happen to me” and so I sat and talked with him.

He flirted with me, but I discounted it lazily with comments about my boyfriend. But none-the-less, he felt the need to pin me down on the grassy hill we sat on and hold his face within inches of mine.

Despite the fact that he never kissed me, despite the fact that it took some simple lies to get him to let me up, he was six feet tall and ex-military. I felt intimidated and violated, and I didn’t talk to him for a long time. The only reason I ever did again was because the group around me essentially pressured me to forgive him.

-/-/-/-/-

A friend of mine, who I’ll call Tamuril, texted me the other day with (what I feel is) a rather disturbing story. A guy in her group of friends made a comment about biting her. She said, “no, that would hurt,” and changed her body language to cover her neck and self. He made some comments about how if it hurt, the other people were doing it wrong. He could show her the right way.

He dropped it, but brought it back up after a few minutes. So I can bite you, right? You said no, but you never actually asked me not to. “Okay,” my friend says, “please do not bite me.” Some things were said after this, but he eventually dropped it.

The next day, he brings it up again. He says he notices her discomfort and then proceeds to explain why he is into biting her. His explanation, cut down from the six minute version he gave, is “it makes you uncomfortable and I like that”. Then, later in the day, he says that he tends to over analyze, but he thinks his description just made her even more uncomfortable.

This is when I ask who the guy is, because now I’m going to be super feminist and get involved.

This man is at least ten to fifteen years her senior. He is ex-military, a black belt, and bigger than her; and, he is very good friends with her ex of two and a half years, basically being his free (untrained) relationship counselor. So, he also has the knowledge of her emotional and sexual weaknesses to play off of.

-/-/-/-/-

I spent last night at Women Take Back the Night in Sacramento. Side note, this may be the only cool thing about Sacramento, they’ve had their TBtN annually for 32 years, the longest consecutively running TBtN in the country. So, in the morning after, I find myself thinking about consent issues, especially since my friend’s issue is very recent. I know, in some difficult to explain way, that I need to be involved. As much as I adore Tam, she’s not very good at being assertive in situations of her comfort, and I feel like in this situation, she shouldn’t have to. In fact, I think the responsibility for this issue lies on her ex, but he’s “not one to burn bridges,” to the point that I know better than to even ask this of him.

I feel like if somebody doesn’t get in this grown man’s face and tell him how to behave, that my friend’s safety is in question. But what exactly do you threaten an ex-military blackbelt with?

And what is this, anyway?

I think the term would likely be sexual intimidation, but I just want to call it social rape. After my incident with the “friend” years ago, I think I have some level of understanding of how off-putting it is. Your safety comes into question, especially with the person. When your friends don’t back you up, your sanity comes into question. When you’re trying to find some words with mutual cultural understanding, and anything you come up with feels extreme (even if it may, on some level, describe the emotions after) even to the most supportive people, you feel … invisible. You’re aware of a spectrum between safe, innocent and violated, raped; and the world around you acts like it’s an A or B bubble question.

So how do you handle a situation that nobody acknowledges?

This question is two sided: one, how do you handle it in the moment (or aftermath) in relation to your safety; and two, how do you handle it in the cultural sense, making people understand that treating women this way condones rape in a slippery-slope sense? When inch by inch your personal boundaries are pushed and peer pressure makes you respect it every inch of the way?

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~ by Stefani Vonne on 10/09/2011.

One Response to “Sexual Intimidation”

  1. 1. Fuck that guy.
    2. I will back her. If she needs a big man to help out, i will gladly do so. not that i am saying she cant handle herself (not trying to piss off any feminists) but I will back her up.
    3.
    4. Profit.

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