My experience took place when I was seven. I’m not going to go into detail, partly because over the years I’ve pushed a lot of them out of my mind. It almost feels like a weird nightmare at this point, 20 years later. Also, I take trigger warnings seriously and wouldn’t want anyone to be affected by the violent details I do remember. What I will say is that it involves being locked in a closet with two younger brothers while the older brother played video games with his back against the door. All of the perpetrators were under 15. And because of something some people familiar with fundamental religions call “the two witness rule” no one was ever charged. My attackers grew up and moved away unscathed. No one ever knew.
You’re a rapist but I’m stupid and weak so it’s my fault. You raped me [says name].
The other day I had a nasty encounter with a man in the street. In order to get to my point quicker I’ll keep this part short, but he was incredibly vile. He followed and verbally harassed me in a sexual manner whilst grabbing and rubbing his penis from the outside of his shorts. I said the only thing I could think to say in the moment which was, “You’re a c*nt!”, and tried to move on.
“Why did you stay silent for so many years?” is my favourite question among all the others I often receive.
If you have not heard of Kegel exercises, you will surely hear at least hearing the use of Chinese balls to strengthen the pelvic floor. Kegel exercises are a serie of actions developed by Dr. Arnold Kegel in the 1940s for patients with urinary incontinence. Yes, it was a man who created that women strengthen our vagina today.
I would never be the "popular" girl in school, and I would never be the girl that the "Popular" girls would want in their circle. I was different; maybe I came off a little weird. I was "soiled" and was embarrassed and confused by being exposed and having my sexuality awakened as a little girl by the man who was supposed to be my protector. Could my peers those Popular girls I observed from the sidelines who I was enamored with by the beauty that their confidence brought out of them could they see the dirty secrets I was forced to carry inside of me? Was I the weirdo that at times was the topic of unkind conversation and laughter in their exclusive group? It would take a lot of living life and many experiences well into adulthood that I would recognize that I was more than my sexuality and more than that little girl with shameful secrets.
I am 21 years old woman and it is just the perspective of my, young woman, who are not against all men, view.
How can a mind carry a painful memory that haunts every night of your life? Where silence is your only choice to hold on to. Why can the innocence of a child be so pure yet at risk to be in danger? The thought of even remembering that night can be so hard to the point confusion takes over and creates the worst anxiety attack. Never intended to seek help because of how scary the response of assuring you that the worst moment of your life has been exposed. Such a fragile heart to even feel remorse for what she has done. The reality is we both were too young to ever understand how the situation escalated. It was a night like any other, she was just visiting. I can still remember what she was wearing, light brown shorts, white tank top, and her favorite gray glitter sandals. She was fourteen at the time. I was only eight years old. We sat in the living room just watching cartoons like any other kids. My grandma came up to us and asked her if she could babysit me while she went to church for like an hour and a half with pay and with no hesitation she said yes. I was just a kid, of course, I was not going to notice any odd behavior; she is my cousin. The moment my grandma headed to church she stood up and closed the front door and all the windows. I did not think anything wrong with it. It was getting dark and cold outside. Afterward, she told me to accompany her to the bathroom. Grandma said to follow her rules until she came back and so I did. I went to the bathroom with her and she immediately closed the door. She told me to sit on the floor and just to remind you, I was only eight. In my head, there was no malice or any ill will. As she was taking her sandals off to sit in front of me I can remember her words loud and clear saying; “Promise me that you won’t say anything about what we are going to do or else we won’t play together ever again.” Innocently my response was “I promise.” Now, I was wearing my pajama dress and she told me to take off my panties to make it easier for her. While I was doing that, she was taking her clothes off too. Up until this day, I can still feel the confusion going through my head at that moment. We sat on the floor again and she told me to open my legs and I can still remember her face being so scared telling me to not cry. She grabbed my hand and told me to do exactly what she was going to do to me. I asked plenty of times why were we doing this. Her response was to trust and to make us both feel good. She kept trying to convince me it was okay to do such things because she loves me, and I love her back. I was too ignorant to even understand what was going on. After repeatedly telling me to trust her and to promise to not say anything she began to touch me. I did not know what to do so she forcefully grabbed my hand again and made me do the same to her. At that age, no child knows what being raped even meant or anything that has to do with sexual practices. My grandma was not gone any longer than 30 minutes and that felt like an eternity for me. The only fear I had was that she was not going to play with me anymore. It is repulsive the thought of it being real. She started asking me how I felt and got mad at me for not knowing. I stopped and pushed her away. She grabbed me from my dress and told me to not dare say anything about what just happened, I began to cry. Suddenly, we hear the front door opening and she stood up and got dressed immediately. She pushed me out of the bathroom, told me to stop crying, and to remember the promise we made, or I would see the consequences. Luckily, my grandma had returned earlier from church and I could hear her calling my name. My cousin went up to her and just said she had to leave because her mom needed her. As soon as she is heading out the door my grandma looks at me and asked if everything was okay; I was just a child and seeing her behind my grandma waiting to see if I would say something only made me scared even more and so I kept the secret.
For most, the ideology that catcalling is not flattery of any sort, is pretty clear. But it’s for those who don’t see catcalling as problematic that we must shine light to such a curable annoyance. Now, catcalling can be binary, but it’s an alarming amount of men that don’t see any harm in objectifying women. It is more annoying than anything else being one step away from physical harrasment,yet, guys have been getting a bit more creative during Covid-19. It took a pandemic to finally bring relief to Westernized women. Yes!, finally, we can protect ourselves not only from germs, but predators as well. The masks that are tirelessly stressed and emphasized by the FdA and the CDC are now a requirement for any social activity. They cover roughly 50% of face, aren't very cute nor comfortable but very practical. Now, I wear sunglasses on the norm so that typically - yea you get the gist. 100% face-covered. Ladies, our faces are literally hidden from the outside world. Shut out. Blinders. Yet, somehow, an ultra pesty, persistent prowling man will still manage to holla'. It is beyond me. A study from the Stop Street Harassment organization, showed that 99% of women have experienced some form of street harassment.