It’s Not Okay.

It's Not Okay.

In ninth grade, a male friend of mine tackled me on a bed during a party and “pretended” to hump me. I laughed it off because I was embarrassed.

While interning with the Minnesota Twins, a pitcher from another team held two fingers to his mouth, wagging his tongue between them while two teammates spewed disgusting language at me in Spanish. I understood every word. At the time, I was escorting two 6-year-old children to the field. No bigs!

In college, a “friend” of mine figured out where I was going every weekend night, then creepily followed me home every evening. Once I got home, he’d call me four or five times throughout the night. It happened for a full semester, even after I asked him to stop.

When I was 23, a very large man approached me at a bar two blocks from my house. He asked if he could buy me a drink. I said I no thank you. He wouldn’t stop talking to me, bragging about his job and his Escalade. Eventually, I said I needed to leave. He offered to give me a ride home. I said no. He then got angry, and started shouting at me. A bouncer walked me home.

During the first Obama term, my friend was under consideration for a job at the White House. The FBI ran an extensive background check, which included interviewing me, her college roommate. After an hour-long meeting with a giant man from the FBI, he said some ‘flattering’ things to me and that he “really hoped we could go out sometime.” He’d already told me he was married. He knew my name, where I lived and worked, what I drove, and probably my social security number. I laughed uncomfortably.

A few years ago, I was working, alone, in my office. It was 4 in the afternoon and an acquaintance came in and sat down. He asked how things were going– about work, my life, my boyfriend (now husband). He then told me he and his wife hadn’t been intimate in a while and wondered if he should “look elsewhere for sex,” and winked. Again, I laughed uncomfortably.

And here’s the worst of the lot:

On the night of family birthday party, I went to bed early. I awoke to a 33-year-old man standing over my bed, drunk, looking at me. I immediately got up, and left my room. I wasn’t sure what to do. I was 16.

I didn’t want to “ruin” the party going on in our basement. So instead of telling my dad or one of my many uncles in our basement (which I should have done), I politely sat at the top of our stairs for twenty minutes, chatting with this creep who’d walked into a teenager’s room, uninvited.

He told me that if I’d come visit him in Minneapolis, he’d buy me and my friends alcohol. He also complimented me on how good my friends and I looked in our swimsuits the last time we’d hosted him at our cabin.

Eventually, he went to the bathroom. I grabbed a blanket and pillow, and slept behind my dad’s desk in his office.

Two years later, that same guy was serving an eight-year prison sentence for raping his 12-year-old niece.

* * *

I don’t have one female friend who doesn’t have a story like this.

Most have many. Personally, I’ve lost count. I’m fortunate that nothing turned physical. Many of my female friends have not been so lucky.

These guys are everywhere. They’re in our neighborhoods, at out places of work, in our homes. You might think “locker room” chat is harmless. It’s just guys being guys, right? But for some men, it’s not just chat. Want proof? Ask the woman you care about most. She’ll have a story like this and it will break your heart.

Women already do a lot to protect themselves.

We don’t walk alone after dark (which in Minnesota is over 12 hours of the day in winter). We think twice about footwear before going out– could I run away in these? We walk to our car with 911 already dialed into our phones, just in case.

As women, we learn to laugh off sexual harassment. We’re scared of what might happen if we don’t. We also learn early on that saying something usually results in a big, fat wad of nothing.

Oh, he’s harmless!
He’s just joking. Where’s your sense of humor?
You’re overreacting.
I’ll talk to him later. 
[never talks to him later].

Men, it’s your turn.

If you overhear your buddy objectifying women, don’t be his Billy Bush. Call him out. Laughing it off or ignoring it says this behavior is okay.

Tell your daughters, sisters, wives, female friends and coworkers that they need to speak up. When they do, take them seriously. Do something, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

Teach your sons about consent. That women don’t owe them anything, ever, no matter what.

As I write this, I’m sitting next to my perfect 13-week-old daughter, knowing it’s just a matter of time before she has stories like this of her own. It’s inevitable, unless we all collectively decide it’s not okay.

Because it’s not okay.

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Comments (319)

  • Kayleigh 4 years ago Reply

    Billy Bush and Trump talked about it. Bill Clinton Physically did it to women and his wife helped cover it up.

    poundheadhere 3 years ago Reply

    Actually Trump did it too. I’m not excusing Clinton, who I find utterly repulsive. But make no mistake, Trump and Billy Bush aren’t misunderstood or innocent bystanders.

  • Monica 4 years ago Reply

    Kayleigh: Even "just talking" about it is not okay. Laughing, joking about women as objects makes it "normal" in people’s minds. It’s not normal. And regardless of who has acted on it and who has not, the fact is that Trump is only in control of his own behaviour,and his own behaviour is still abhorrent. Pointing the finger and saying "hey, that person has done worse things" does make his own behaviour any less gross, or erase the things he has done himself. It just means that more than one person has done or said bad things. Not to mention that Trump certainly has accusers, whether it’s been proven (yet) or not.

    molly mogren katt 4 years ago Reply


  • Kyle Anderson 4 years ago Reply

    I’m not an American, I don’t care about your election, but the normalization of predatory sexual behaviour and abuse of power is toxic to civilized society. Trump did & said dehumanizing things, Bill Clinton did too. Just because you support one political party or the other doesn’t mean you have to turn off your ability to see they aren’t decent human beings.

    molly mogren katt 4 years ago Reply

    Could not have said it better myself. xo

  • A man 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you. It’s stories like yours that help me realize the full extent of the problem.

    molly mogren katt 4 years ago Reply

    I think a lot of good guys don’t understand how prevalent this is. Because WHY would you do any of these things to another person?

  • Pat Lowell Hammarback 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for sharing. Although you have probably started the dialogue with your childern from an early age, you might consider telling some of your stories and sharing what you now wished you knew enough to do at the time.
    Teaching our children how to proactively protect themselves is our responsibility as well.

    molly mogren katt 4 years ago Reply

    Yes, agree 100 percent.

  • Annie 4 years ago Reply

    Very well said. I also have many stories like this. College was a nightmare with "men" not knowing when to stop.
    But, the problem goes much deeper than simply blaming men. We women hold responsibility as well. We sexualize our fellow (especially young) women in fashion magazines, movies, etc. We may not be the ones who make the decision to put a 12 year old over-sexualized child on the cover of a magazine, but we women buy it. We become part of the problem of men seeing us as accessories or possessions because these magazines treat us that way. We must stop participating in the objectification of women or we are part of the problem. We must raise our boys to treat women with respect, but we have to behave like we are worthy of respect as well. Stop going to movies that portray women as whores, hags, or mistresses and demand more realistic positive portrayals of women in all media. We can change it if we stop buying into the trash out there.

  • Laura 4 years ago Reply

    You are so, so correct. I too have countless stories. I reported sexual harassment to my boss in the 1980s. At the time I worked as a Courtesy Clerk. A man who was over twice my age grabbed my breasts, pushed me into a wall and was licking my neck. There were other men present. They laughed. I was 17. When I was questioned by our boss about it and the big bosses came in from corporate they declared that I must have done something to provoke this "behavior". It was an attack, but they called it "misjudgment"! That is just one of many stories. It is wrong!!!

    molly mogren katt 4 years ago Reply

    Oh yes, this was totally YOUR fault. Ridiculous.

  • Ed Abraham 4 years ago Reply

    As the father of two beautiful daughters I have been very protective and involved in their lives and knowing their friends. I would never leave them alone in the same room with Bill Clinton!

    Another parent 4 years ago Reply

    Good thing Bill isn’t running for office and that Trump won’t get elected.

    Michelle 4 years ago Reply

    What about Trump?!? You completely missed/avoided the point if the article.

    Been There - Young and Old 4 years ago Reply

    The will likely never be in the same room as Bill Clinton…but also beware of your brothers being along with them, or your father, or your best friend, or their teacher, or…or….or… Continue to protect them all the time, everywhere. Because the predators are many and they are everywhere. Let them know they can call you for help NO MATTER THE HOUR, if they feel in danger…and you will not press for details. They will be free to share what they choose, if they still want to protect their "friends".

  • Just another survivor 4 years ago Reply

    for those who have dragged Bill clinton into this: If that is all you got from this article, I think you are the one with political blinders on. She talked about her real live everyday life. She wanted you to see that what Trumps says is what women live with everyday..She focus on a societal problem – that weird male toxic masculinity and said nothing about political parties. So, a) it is so funny you immediately identify Trump as the likely source by scurrying to accuse Clinton. b) it is so weird that you can’t focus on the issue the woman raises but must turn the conversation away from her reality. c) Rather than commit to changing the world that women and their daughters (and sometimes their male children) must walk in instead you use it as a political punch bag. Again, the message – what happened to you doesn’t matter; you don’t matter. for you Trump matters and Trumps everything. And all that there – that’s rape culture. The greatest irony for me, is women have complained, or hid, or diminished or forgot, or erased, or denied these things for decades. No-one believes you you see. No-one believed the 4 year old me. Now, the world has heard just one example of what women live with…just one…. out of myriad countless innumerable instances. and guess what – the greatest irony for me is that Trump is going to be the unlikely instigator of change that will eradicate what he enjoys – the abuse of sex as power.

    molly mogren katt 4 years ago Reply

    Exactly. I know the election has brought this front and center, but this all existed before the election. People are going to vote for whoever they’re going to vote for. What I’m asking is for everyone to step up in their real life. Acknowledge the problem and change it.

    I’m so sorry you had to endure such atrocities, and at such a young age. You’re not alone– which is both a comfort and heartbreakingly sad. xo

  • Hailey Erin Silver 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for writing this article and for sharing your story. As women, we’re all in this together.

  • Joy 4 years ago Reply

    Not okay and so totally a part of being a woman. I’m going to leave this here, and hope it’s buried and it unburdons me at the same time – because no matter what you didn’t do to deserve it, we push it down and shoulder the consequences. I was raped. I was drunk, but at home, clothed, asleep in my own bed. He was a guest in our home of girls. Sometimes a drunk girl is an open for business sign. #itsnotok But it was just a blip, just another time I was taken advantage by a predatory man. This stuff happens all.the.time.

    molly mogren katt 4 years ago Reply


    We’re not safe at work, or in our neighborhoods, or a bar, or apparently in OUR OWN BEDS. I am so sorry you had to endure this. Sadly, you are not alone. I have friends with a similar story. Nope, it’s not okay.


  • Cody Engstrom 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for being strong enough to share all of this. As a man, it’s hard to understand how often this happens. We are oblivious. We don’t pick up on it. It’s not okay. Just know, that there are some of us who are trying our best to understand, and to be there for you in any way that we can.

  • Thank you for being so open, for sharing something so vulnerable.

    To those who are lamenting about the talking versus the acting. Sexual harassment can be physical or verbal. I also don’t understand why someone’s husband’s choices are somehow their responsibility? It bothers me that Bill’s actions are somehow Hillary’s responsibility or fault? This mostly conservative Christian says no dice to that. They cannot be compared.

    What is especially sinister about all of this is that it has totally infiltrated our culture. So much so that like you noted, everyone has a story. I have many of them, too, I am often harassed by men attending NA at the church I work part time at. But here’s the thing, the only reason work changed our policy on when the office window is open is because someone else complained– a white, female co-worker of mine. I brought my complaints up for months and a policy wasn’t adopted until she started sharing, too. I’m all for these stories, but it pains me that the outrage wasn’t enough when Trump made comments about black people or Mexicans. It saddens me that it took his attack of white women to garner this much conversation. His actions and words are vile, but as a woc it’s frustrating.

    irene 4 years ago Reply

    Hillary also threatened and denigrated the women that Bill molested. She is responsible for her own actions and betrayal of women.

  • Barb Lynn 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for telling about your frightening experiences. Keep on telling. Encourage others to tell.This is the 4th women’s story I have read since the Trump video came out. All females need to learn how to handle advances and threats, etc. – if there is such a thing. Even more important is to understand why we must all be as cautious as possible. Even then bad things happen. Locker talk? Bull shi// Men are full of it. Women have been "used" FOREVER. The younger generations need to learn and understand. When the Cosby scandal hit, one young man asked me, "Why should anyone believe these women?" I said "Why shouldn’t they be believed?" He said, "But, Bill Cosby is America’s Dad" So, my point is, YOUNG people are in a blissful world until something real and terrible hits them. We must educate them, every chance we get and hope they pass it on. The older men? Pray! And be as prepared as possible. Don’t be embarrassed to tell others, loudly! That man doesn’t deserve to get away with it.

  • LRR 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for writing, in honesty, and calling out and challenging the accountability of the other side. It is time for this to stop.

  • Pgriff 4 years ago Reply

    Actually I’m a 50something year old, with 2 sisters and I have no stories like this and neither did my sisters. luck or expectation?- not sure. We all have flaws and we all have strengths-resist the urge to jump on the public band wagon of victim hood -celebrate your strengths!

    PSatts 4 years ago Reply

    The "public bandwagon of victimhood." Really? Try explaining that to the woman who was just brutally raped. Or how about the child who has been repeatedly sexually assaulted by her father, brother, uncle, grandfather, or step-dad. Whose mother knew it was happening but failed to protect. Whose mother takes the stand at trial, for the defendant, and calls her daughter a liar despite overwhelming physical evidence to the contrary – which, in an of itself, is rare in sex assault cases. How about instead of blaming people who have been physically, emotionally, and mentally harmed by the deliberate actions of another human being, we acknowledge their pain and all of the shitty stuff they’re dealing with in that moment? Doing so is not an encouragement to embrace this idea of "victimhood" but rather allowing them the space they need to feel and internalize and process their experience… make sense of it, in their own way, so they can heal. That is strength.

    However, the next time I’m prepping a victim of sexual assault for trial or I’m explaining to her what she’s likely to hear at an evidentiary or sentencing hearing, I’ll be sure to share your words of wisdom and encourage her to "resist the urge to jump on that victimhood bandwagon"… fact, why don’t you join me, tell her yourself, and see how well you "celebrate your strengths" message is received.

    Been There, Young and Old 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing from your experiences in representing sexual assault victims. This must be a heart-wrenching occupation, as you hear their stories, see how they are treated, or perhaps I should say mis-treated, in and out of the court room, because they had the courage to report the incidence/s. The verdicts and sentences given to those found guilty are often difficult to swallow…often just a slap on the hand for committing a crime that will impact other lives FOREVER and for generations to come. When will sexual assault be recognized for the major violation it is against an innocent party…no matter what they were wearing or doing at the time of the assault. I fear that until the judicial system changes its treatment of the VICTIMS that public opinion will never change, and neither will the number of reports. My recent question is, "Why is it that women bear the shame for the deeds that men do to them?" AND to all, be aware that even the "best" most "decent" men can be hiding behind a well-crafted facade, and in reality could be the perpetrators of such actions. Do NOT judge the book by it’s cover, is a very good quote to keep in mind…always!!

    BH 4 years ago Reply

    I imagine some women are so blinded by what our society tries to reinforce as "normal" and "acceptable" that they don’t even recognize it when it happens. Maybe they even think it’s flattering. And, actually, I think maybe that’s ok for them. But that doesn’t mean the experiences of others who feel devalued, threatened, violated, or worse aren’t valid. And they certainly aren’t indicative of any weakness on the women’s part. If anything, it takes huge amounts of strength to stand up to this, call it out, and try to change people’s expectations.

    A 4 years ago Reply

    1) Just because they never told YOU (or it didn’t happen to you) doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
    2) We need to create an environment that supports this sort of open dialogue, instead of victim blaming or telling women to ‘get over it’, so we can increase awareness.
    3) The sharing of these stories — whether 5 mins or 50 years later — does represent ‘strength’ and in my book, that should be celebrated and honored.

  • brezo11 4 years ago Reply

    I’m a woman and I don’t have any stories like this. I know there are scumbags but there are a lot of good, respectful men out there. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I just don’t think it’s fair to make blanket statements that "all women experience this". Because it’s simply not true.

    Pati Rolf 4 years ago Reply

    It really is for many women. Did you listen, really listen to her. The locations. The environment. It happens. All…the…time. Especially to women who are out in the world and living in it. As she said talk to other women. She’s right. Even if it’s only fifty percent. It’s to high. The facts state one in four women will be assulted /raped. Rare indeed is a woman like you. So she is asking women like you and men to be aware, understand it is happening right under your nose and you are missing it.

    Stella_Omega 4 years ago Reply

    You’ve just been lucky.

    I have too– I have had very few of these experiences, and, because of my personality, they rolled off my back and never affected me emotionally.

    But one of me, one of you, is a grain of sand on the beach, statistically speaking.

  • 40somethingfemale 4 years ago Reply

    I’m surprised the two women below are saying they don’t have any stories like these? None? It has happened to me many, many times. Too many to count. Maybe it’s because culturally we are discouraged from discussing such matters. It is embarrassing to wonder why that person felt they could say, do, or treat me that way.

  • Judy 4 years ago Reply

    When I was in college I had two experiences on crowded subways. One time a man behind me kept thrusting his pelvis against my buttocks. The other time a guy pinched my butt. That time, I was able to reach behind & bend his finger backwards. It’s been many years, but I still remember how icky those experiences made me feel.

  • B. C. 4 years ago Reply

    At 22 years of age I was told by a man in my office that he would like to make me a permanent fixture. I had no idea what he meant but was appalled and furious later when someone explained it to me.

  • Natalie 4 years ago Reply

    America is a big place so I do believe it is possible that many women never experience the creepy men.
    There are plenty of creepy men and we should empower our daughters to speak out against them. In the process we should try to remember and teach what a good man is and how to find them – they are out there.

  • Kerry Cashman 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for writing this. Like you I have been "lucky" lots of near misses so I thought I didn’t have a story to tell. Now I might be brace enough to tell my stories.

  • Lynne 4 years ago Reply

    I too have had these types of experiences, way back when I was young, pretty and slender. The beauty of age–men are no longer interested in me.

  • KP 4 years ago Reply

    I can completely relate to these stories. Sadly, it still happens to women, no matter the age. Don’t know if it’s maturity or luck but, at age 47, I’m much better at putting men in their place than I was at age 19.

  • SherKayM 4 years ago Reply

    It is so true, even small advances, especially when you are young, stick in your mind forever. Family members can also be this way, I was lucky, my Mom believed me and took care of the situation. Some children don’t tell…..teach them to tell……right away!!!

  • Emily 4 years ago Reply

    I’ve never told anyone this. I was a freshman in college and I had way too much to drink. My girlfriends had went back to campus and I was hanging out with a guy at his house. His friend called from a nearby hotel and said his car had broken down and needed help. I went. Because I was way too drunk to think to myself "a hotel with a guy I don’t know is a bad idea". when we got there, his friend noticed how drunk I was. He kept saying "hey sweetheart, wanna take a walk." I remember looking at the guy I went there with and he didn’t say anything. This guy kept repeatedly trying to grab my hand saying "let’s go for a walk". Luckily, something in me told me to leave and I went and got back in the car and we left a few minutes later.

    Thanks for this post. I’ve never told anyone my story because he didn’t touch me and I thought it was my fault because I was drunk and stupid.

  • Alexander 4 years ago Reply

    I do not have one single female friend or acquaintance who hasn’t been sexually assaulted. People wonder why I only have female friends and why I outright refuse to associate with most men (not all).
    It’s incredible the amount of people close to these women who totally shoot down any accusation even when it is absolutely, blatantly, abhorrently true and more than a simple accusation. It makes me sick and fearful of the future my 20 month old daughter faces. I will always listen to her and pay attention to what’s going on in her life. That’s what dads are supposed to do.

  • Kate 4 years ago Reply

    The fact that I’ve NEVER shared my story of sexual assault shows that there’s a problem. It shows that I’ve told myself for the past 12 years that what they did to me was okay, that "boys will be boys" and I probably did something to encourage them. I’ve told myself for 12 years that because I wasn’t actually raped it was "okay", that I shouldn’t be upset or hold onto something that may be seen as innocent to so many people. It would break my heart to hear about any other child going through what I went through. We need to teach our children about consent and the proper way to treat one another. Nobody else should grow up believing they’re just a sex object to those around them.

  • Yousra Jomha 4 years ago Reply

    Bravo! I have a saying- you were born from a woman- respect the women in your lives!!

  • Donovan 4 years ago Reply

    Why on God’s green earth did you not say something to your Dad? Maybe that other person would not have been raped??? We all share responsibility and it’s for sure us guys that shoild patrol other guys and help but girls gotta stand up even if it’s tough even if it’s a risk that you might not be believed. It’s a slow ship but SOMEBODY has to be that one to start

    Stella_Omega 4 years ago Reply

    I bet, if you practice listening to women, you will realize that the answer to your question was right there in front of you all along.
    I don’t have the hugest expectations from my fellow men, but could you try to be less embarrassing next time?

    joe 4 years ago

    bandwagon mentality

    molly mogren katt 4 years ago Reply

    Donovan, I see where you were coming from. I was 16 at the time, I didn’t fully comprehend the situation I was in, and I wish I had acted differently.

    HOWEVER, the truly messed up thing is that at later event, an adult female friend of ours brought up his general inappropriate behavior to this guy’s sister. Her response? "He’s harmless." Precisely why a lot of women don’t even bother mention these things. It’s hard to get taken seriously.

  • Cathy 4 years ago Reply

    Shame on you, Donovan.

  • Cbz 4 years ago Reply

    @Donovan, that’s a pretty horrible, insensitive comment you made there.

  • Jane 4 years ago Reply

    I agree. Every one of my friends has stories like this.

  • Kim 4 years ago Reply

    I have stories like this as well, starting at age 8. It is sad that we live in a world where women have to be afraid every day of their lives.

  • Sue 4 years ago Reply

    Please take these things into consideration while having open, honest exchanges about the slow, but steady changes that are happening in our country regarding attitude towards women:
    1) it makes the fight against radical Islamist SO important…look at the difference for women’s rights in the past few decades in the Middle-East. Seriously, google search Iran/Iraq for pics in the 1960’s, you will be shocked
    2) when a women speaks out about assault, do other women blame her, and assassinate her character-that feels like DOUBLE betrayal-we need to stand up for each other even if it is unpopular with our male friends/co-workers
    3) women, think about what our daughters are watching and who they admire….Kardashians??? Why do we allow that to happen….really?
    4) be firm and be fast in stopping crude behavior-don’t let even the first few words go without you commenting on them. Best thing I ever learned when I was working as a cocktail waitress, how to let men know NO meant NO.

  • Billy 4 years ago Reply

    I’ve always wondered how prevalent this sort of stuff is. I’m truly sickened it’s this bad. I have a nine year old girl. I tell her all the time, as gently as i can, about our fellow humans. I will start to explain all this to her now. It saddens me deeply, she’s only nine for christs sake, but I’ll be damned if her only outlet to process this evil is in some internet chat room.

    Michele 4 years ago Reply

    I read the book "Off Limits: a Parent’s Guide…"It gives some great ways on how to frame this sort of conversation with kids in may’s they understand. I use much of it with my son and daughters because it gives ways to empower them with communication. Useful thoughts for teenagers and college kids too.

  • Rev Gil 4 years ago Reply

    This "stuff" is very prevalent and a large majority of women have been exposed to it sometime during their life in very unpleasant and disturbing ways. It is about time we put a stop to it by not being silent when it happens and making it known. Do not be embarrassed for it is the assailants who should be embarrassed and prosecuted but have been encouraged by our silence, fear and humiliation. Please help each other with the strength and support whenever it is needed.

    Ronda 4 years ago Reply

    Members of church need to be trained how to help victims of rape, molestation and sexual assault. Ibtold someone church and she was going to have the pastor kick me out. I have not been able to forget this.

  • Cj 4 years ago Reply

    You lost all credibility with me with one sentence: "The CIA ran an extensive background check, which included interviewing me, her college roommate. " CIA does not run background checks on people who are going to work at the White House the Office of Personnel Management or Department of Defense runs all background checks. So as far as I am concerned she has taken a very important topic and basically has written across it I am lying.

    molly mogren katt 4 years ago Reply

    Well, it was 8 years ago. It was someone with a badge from the government who knew everything about me (probably the FBI then), and then said a lot of inappropriate things to me.

    Thanks for calling me a liar though. You’re totally not part of the problem. #byefilepe

    Lucy 4 years ago Reply

    You’re an idiot that can’t read 3 letters correctly. She wrote "fbi," dumbo!

    advocatus leonibus 4 years ago Reply

    Why bother lying about this? Is there not enough evidence in the fact that there are literally thousands more women who could tell identical stories and just as many of them for each woman? I have been raped once, by an ex fiancee, flashed at and dry humped , groped and pinched and butt slapped by countless strangers starting at the tender age of 12 at latest, though I had been taught since the age of 5 how to defend against that eventuality. I am just ONE woman with at least 7 or 8 stories to tell of stuff like this.

    There is absolutely no reason to think any of it isn’t true., because if it wasn’t for her, it was true for someone else anyway. The point still stands. Men need to quit encouraging this kind of sexual aggression and start understanding that it WILL BE your daughter someday that has a collection of tales of her own to tell if our society continues to excuse, dismiss, minimize and deny this rape culture perpetuated by ]laying along with these toxic masculinity alpha male types instead of calling out the bullshit and wrongness of it and rejecting it from our societal norms.

  • TimK 4 years ago Reply

    CJ: #1 She said FBI not CIA. #2 Thats not the point. You actually think she’s lying?!?! If so, you have not been paying attention. Whoever interviewed her, she was treated inappropriately by the interviewer. If you are having trouble with this subject matter, begin asking your female friends about this.if your honest about your inquiries, you’ll begin your journey towards enligjtnment.

  • JayDubs 4 years ago Reply

    Cj: Why do you ASSUME (you know what that makes right?) the entire article is a total lie? People make innocent mistakes. I have no problem with you pointing this out. I do have a problem with you calling an entire article "lying" based on a single alleged mistake that is irrelevant to the point of the article. Even if the article was totally fictional, it makes strong points that seem to reflect reality well. Don’t be ignorant of the whole purpose of the article.

  • CT 4 years ago Reply

    It id NOT OK? Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Melanie 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and for doing your part in enlightening those whom you can reach. If your changed 10 minds today, or shifted even one perspective, you have done a phenomenal job. Don’t sweat the drama girl. You did a beautiful job here ❤️

    molly mogren katt 4 years ago Reply

    thank you! xo

  • Annie 4 years ago Reply

    Amen. Thank you. I have stories too, and three times I was not lucky. Three times.

  • Judith 4 years ago Reply

    I worked as a psychiatric nurse. Most of the female patients had stories to tell regarding abuse by men over the course of their lives contributing to their own mental illnesses.

  • mishmish 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for your honest and open post. I’ve re-posted, and added my own experiences to the list, to underscore that it happens. all. the. time. To all women.
    The support is pouring in, and I feel a big burden lifting.
    We are not alone.
    Thanks again. <3

  • kathleen 4 years ago Reply

    thank you for your honesty, but please don’t forget, talk behind closed doors is just that. ACTIONS are what we should be looking at. Your events were actions, not behind closed door talk. Bill ACTED on his male bravado, Trump did not. I do not believe this latest round of "women" coming forward, it will prove to not be true, but that won’t matter, hillary will have won another one, by lying Women who make up this crap should got to jail.

  • B Mack 4 years ago Reply

    You’re right, it’s not OK. Thoughts become words, and words become actions. Decent people will respect others of both sexes, whatever the setting. The rest will always look for an opening to get what they want. However the political events you are seeing right now are the result of hypocritical partisan outrage-on-demand. The same politician that is "sick to her stomach" because of such talk, gleefully takes her own teenage daughters to concerts by Jay-Zee and other rappers, who spew the same sexism, rape, abuse, and racism, all for money. These dregs get invitations to the White House, instead of the public floggings that their sentiments deserve. People of influence think that they can plant bad seeds, and then deny that the bad crop came from them. The media is their enabler. Until there is accountability at that level, our conversation is nothing more than mutually reassuring banter.

  • Rob 4 years ago Reply

    As a father to two daughters, I am left here to ask, "How do I prepare my daughters for this world?" How do I best equip them?

    I will set the best example I can and let them know they are loved beyond measure, with the hope that when they encounter this behavior in the world, they know it is not ok and that they have an advocate in me.

    Gina Brelsford 4 years ago Reply

    I believe the best way to raise daughters to deflect those kinds of things from happening to them for the most part is to raise them to carry themselves with dignity and authority. Raising them to know their value and to respect themselves and teaching them that under no uncertain terms is it okay for a boy or a man to act towards them in a raunchy manner.
    I understand that not all guys are going to act on their desires or their words, yes most guys think a lot about one thing and they talk about it with they’re buddies, that hasn’t changed and will never change as long as there is testosterone running through a male body.
    Teach them the usual stuff also, don’t let anybody get close enough to you to pull you into a car.
    I really don’t think the world is more dangerous as far as sexual innuendo and the potential for abuse. I just believe that sluts on the left, you know performers like Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, most the rappers have "normalized" sexual deviancy. We have to teach our daughters that that is not an acceptable or normal way to behave or have people behave towards you.
    And finally I don’t believe Trump is guilty of what that these women who are now coming forward are accusing. I believe they are just more of Hillary’s gang jumping in to throw the election, after all why did they wait 30 years to come forward and some of these women are just playing but ugly. A multi-millionaire can buy much prettier women than these for a one night stand, not saying that that’s okay either, just that they’re out there and he doesn’t need to assault a butt ugly woman to get his kicks.

    Rob 4 years ago

    Gina, I was with you for the first two sentences. Then, we….lost sync.

    May I ask, with respect, do you not see how you engaged in the very behavior we are talking about raising our daughters to defend against?

    You attacked these the physical appearance of these women as a defense of Donald Trump. As an important aside, you also cannot know what happened. Nor was my comment on this article political or advocating for either major party candidate.

  • Crazy 4 years ago Reply

    Liberals are ENTRENCHED in Hollywood and the Recording Industry celebrity and don’t say a word about the violence and sexual innuendo that is portrayed there yet they hear one recording of two men in a trailer where no women are present and their heads explode. Spare us the faux outrage when your party and ideology embraced PUBLICLY those who are ACTUALLY influencing young people that can and does result in the behavior explained in this article FAR more then a couple of guys bantering where no women can hear them. I know many mean who rarely by at times say stupid crap like that in boastful way, I have done it myself when I was quite a bit younger and dumber and NONE of them have ever acted on it that I became aware of.

    There are two choices in this race and both are flawed in this way. Hillary enabled a serial abuser of women and performed the attacks on them as a part of the process, and Trump proved he can and will speak with very vulgar undertones in regards to women. A wash in this man’s thinking opinion…

    In the end, this nation is not seeking nor does it need a Morals in Chief, it needs a Commander in Chief who is willing to fix the spending problem (The Federal government spends $12,500 per citizen in 2016 and it spent $4,400 per person in 1960 in 2016 dollars). We need someone who will reign in the corruption and pay to play nature of politics. We need someone to clean up the financial sector and to ensure the constitution is held to its writings, not alter the words via new interpretations. If you want things that are not there….PASS AN AMENDMENT….the founders thought of the need and provided for it. Both sides are rejecting it but one far more than the other and finally, we need the reestablishment of the separate branches of government and remove the executive order as an instrument the way it is now being used.

    Sorry folks…this idea that Trump is responsible for the sexual deviancy in this nation because he had a vulgar conversation that was taped without his knowledge where no woman was present is distracting us from the issues…and the side that is perpetuating this myth is also the side that DOES NOT WANT any change the real problems facing the nation. They want 8 more years of the same…and at that end…this nation DIES.

    Abby 4 years ago Reply

    There was a woman right next to him, dumb ass.

    JW 4 years ago

    There was no woman in the Access Hollywood van. Please don’t be rude.

    W 4 years ago Reply

    How many women have to come forward before you decide to believe it? The man says he sexually assaults women and women come forward and say he sexually assaulted them. He admitted it and they confirmed it. Trump is the scum of the earth. And so many of you fake, hateful Christians support this trash. Jesus would NEVER align himself with a man who steals from people, belittles people, mocks the injured, the disabled, the dead.
    Your hypocrisy is amazing.

    Your hate is showing. The devil won your soul.

    Another guy 4 years ago Reply

    The head explosion is a result of one of those men close to becoming ruler of the west. Had it been a regular dude nobody would’ve given much of a damn.

  • B 4 years ago Reply

    Victim myself over 30 years ago and haven’t told a soul. This is a Very Cruel World and getting worse. With 2017 coming, I really don’t see changes. Why so Low? Because I haven’t seen any changes in Any Work areas, Any State, and TV with Media makes shows and commercials that entice the emotions to keep it going.

    S 4 years ago Reply

    Hope you can eventually deal with your trauma. Took me 28 years, but was so worth it.

  • Viceroy 4 years ago Reply

    Reminds me of a recent news story about a 5-year old boy who was expelled for constantly trying to kiss a girl in his class. She didn’t like it and YeS it IS a big deal.

  • Janie 4 years ago Reply

    yep. Had scenarios like this happen many times. When I spoke up, I was ‘overreacting’ or had ‘totally misunderstood’ that the hand grabbing my buttock was accidental. Had a date totally lose it when I informed him that buying me dinner did not include having sex afterwards; he called me ‘prick tease’. Since I worked in the same store he did, I had to put up with hearing that repeated as I walked past him and his cronies. When I complained to my boss, he said ‘Well what did you lead him to expect?’
    Guys, every woman in your life has had to put up with similar shit at some point. Do you want your daughters to be sharing stories like this some day?

  • John 4 years ago Reply

    Why are we teaching our daughters to look and act like sluts? And why are we teaching our sons that to be a slut is normal? Or that they should measure their worth by notches on the bedpost? The Kardashians, Miley Cyrus, Lindsey Lohan and all those slut role models should be horsewhipped. And all those misogynist rappers should be drowned. Hollywood should be nuked. Fraternities and sororities should be burned down. Use of the "F" word should be socially unacceptable. And it’s possible–just look at what happened with smoking within one generation.

    Abby 4 years ago Reply

    What the actual fuck are you blabbing about?

    Bythegrove 4 years ago

    Really Abby? Maybe you like it. The rest of us don’t.

  • Colin H. 4 years ago Reply

    Great to hear you aren’t afraid of sharing your experiences. As a dad, I appreciate how our daughter is able and willing to call out anyone who says or does anything to try to hurt her. I pray for you and your daughter, that you can have the same experience.

  • Peter 4 years ago Reply

    When I was five years old and going to the bathroom in kindergarten, a couple of girls opened the door and stood there looking at my package. I WAS MORTIFIED AND IT RUINED MY LIFE! I have never been able to have a healthy relationship with a female since. And I spend all my free time on dominatrix websites.

    Laura 4 years ago Reply

    I’m sorry. That’s awful. Have you had therapy?

    Emily 4 years ago Reply

    It is pathetic that a human being can write a post like this, on the same blog where people are sharing their experience of being sodomized, raped and assaulted. I’d be ashamed to know you.

  • Canadian Sister 4 years ago Reply

    In Alberta, Canada we have started an organization called WomenTALK, and we host monthly events in several major centres to encourage Women from all walks of life to share their stories with other women and Inspire and Motivate other Women through their stories to be Strengthened and to help Strengthen their Communities as well. The reward for the one who has shared her story is Love, Acceptance and Support, and gives her the ability to walk forward from that day holding her head a little higher knowing that the other women around her now will also ‘have her back’.
    Women, we need to ‘Tribe Up’, in Gentleness, in Awareness, in Boldness, in Integrity, in Love, in Truth. We are the Nations Trainers !!! ~ " The Hand that Rocks The Cradle" – We Are the role models for our daughters, We Are the subconscious voice that will go everywhere our sons go. We must first of all, Be Healthy Ourselves, in our Minds, in our Emotions, in our Hearts, in our Thoughts, in our Actions. We cannot be door mats and tolerate abuse from the very ones who say they are our lovers, our spouses, our friends, even our parents. If it is toxic – get away from it!!!, If you can’t do it alone – get help!, First we heal, then we train, love and support others. But we Always Stand Up, We Always Speak Up and we Always Show Up. Yes Ladies, it does start with Us !!! No this does not excuse the men, for a Good Man will Honor, Love and Respect the Women in his Life, The one who gave him life and the one before her as well, and the one who will bare his legacy for he is unable to have a human legacy without her!!! Never Stop Sharing Your Stories ~ Never Stop Listening to These Stories ~ But Let’s Start Working Towards Recreating a more Nobler Society where the Healthier Thoughts will prevail among us, because all Actions begin as Thoughts. When someone vocalizes Negative and Destructive thoughts, then the same will be seen in their Actions. You Speak of wanting Freedom, Well start demanding it. I want to be free of listening to your negative and abusive talk among each other, and from our leaders, and from our entertainers. IT IS NOT OKAY……NONE OF IT. What happened to our pride?, why do we tolerate so much corruption?, Most don’t correct their children, their spouses, their relatives, their friends, their bosses, their leaders. We simply Accept, and then grumble between us that we really don’t like the way it is. We As Humans Must Demand More Of Ourselves and Of Our Country! We should All…… Pray that we become like a grain of sand, at least then, we would have a grain of purity within us!

  • A 4 years ago Reply

    I never shared my story because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to prove it and / or it would be considered my fault.
    I was 14, he was 16 and boy I had met at the start of summer. We had been ‘going out’ for about 4 weeks. He was a lifeguard and I wanted him to think I was cool, even though I was a virgin and had never done anything approaching sex with a guy (and he knew this). He always assured me that wasn’t why he liked me and he would never pressure me into doing anything. He was a gentleman who would open my car door and bring me a cold drink every time he went to the concession to get one for himself. I never heard him say a rude or vulgar thing about another girl at the pool. He was always kind to the little kids who looked up adoringly at him, like he was a golden god.
    One date night he took me to a bar at the lake known for turning the other way when it came to under-age drinking. His older sister bought me wine coolers and I didn’t want to seem a prude, so I drank them. I had also never drank before and didn’t know my limits — but it didn’t take much. I didn’t know how hard alcohol can hit when you haven’t eaten and are dehydrated. I think I only had two of them before I was unable to walk a straight line. He helped me into the car and as we drove off with the windows rolled down, the warm sweet summer night air blowing in after a day of being out in the sun… I passed out.
    I was aware I was in the backseat. I remember wondering how I got there and wondering why we were stopped. Was I home? I then felt him shove my skirt up (yes it was a mini-skirt, it was the 80’s FFS), remove my underwear and roll me over. I was confused by what was happening. Was I dreaming? I heard him unzip his jeans and felt him climb onto the seat. The next thing I felt was the searing pain. I remember my brain screaming to my body to do something. I tried to move, but my limbs wouldn’t cooperate. I tried to speak but my tongue was thick in my dry mouth. I think I finally managed to groan. I tried to lift my head up and I felt his hand on the back of my head, petting it and telling me "shhhh, this is just a dream". He sort of arranged my clothing back into place, got into the front seat, while I stayed still immobilized but ‘aware’ in the back seat. Next thing I knew he was pulling me out of the back seat, saying I was home now — he sat me down in the driveway and before he drove off he said "don’t worry, you’re still a virgin". I guess in his book, sodomy didn’t count?

  • Josh 4 years ago Reply


    I’d be delighted if Trump wen’t to prison for the rest of his life on the basis of compelling evidence. Meanwhile, it’s reasonable to assume that the allegations against him are mostly true, because that would be more consistent than inconsistent with his public acknowledgement that the pertinent recording is authentic. That is; his own actions already invite us to prefer to believe his public accusers. That said, articles like this one seem intended to steal media attention from one problem in order to persuade readers of another problem by means of similar anecdotes; the supposed other problem being that there’s some kind of broader pattern of women being victimized by men in modern era and in the west. The reason why it’s necessary to do this with anecdotes rather than with statistics is that statistics don’t support the core claim that women are generally victims and men are generally victimizers. But as weak as the basic argument quickly turns out to be under any kind of earnest evaluation, I understand that it’s still necessary to make in order to keep men distracted from what paternity fraud rates reveal about the true comparative moral character of men and women in the modern west. The tip of the statistical iceberg being simply that women are more likely to participate in paternity fraud than men are to become rapists. Rally there is hardly even one broad criticism of modern men in the west by modern women in the west that does not fall down under earnest scientifc scrutiny. While women are rightly bothered by lewd gestures and comments, 2/3 of rapes in the US occur as part of a mechanism to coerce prison labor out of population characterizable as young, black and male, in order to provide profits to financial groups with majority depositors fairly characterizable as over 50, white and (yes, really) female. The first question people should be asking about rape in the US is not what offensive behaviors by men against women might be contributing to the problem as they imagine the problem to be. The first question, looking at 2/3 of the rape (male victims in prisons) should be CUI BONO.

    Jeni 4 years ago Reply

    How could there be accurate statistics when most of us who’ve been victimized never report it?

    B 4 years ago Reply

    I can’t believe you are even writing this statement. You are claiming that more rapes happen to men in prison than women in general? Wow.

  • Rob 4 years ago Reply

    This is not ok.

    Any rationalization of sexually suggestive, demeaning, taunting or aggressive is tantamount to declaring that men have some inherent right to this speech.

  • Bev 4 years ago Reply

    Me too – several stories but the worst was when a "nice guy" gave me a ride home and raped me (16 years old). I fought hard and was surprised I couldn’t stop him. He left me on a country road and I walked home to our village. I walked PAST the police station knowing (in those days) they would laugh, say I deserved it, and don’t bother writing a report. That’s how it was for other girls in that town. Like one of the other comments below, it ruined my life as I felt like trash for many years.

    Thank you for writing this post and providing a space for us to comment. I have never really talked about it before. There were a few male neighbours who put their hands all over me or who flashed themselves at me. There was a family friend…. I can’t say anymore. Just know your girls are not safe and will probably not tell her parents what happened to them.

  • A Guy 4 years ago Reply

    Good post.
    Only thing I disagree with is
    "AS WOMEN, we LEARN to laugh off sexual harassment".
    What is this?? You guys have to spend more time developing yourselves, and your abilities to SHOUT at someone. Because if I KNEW in my HEART something was wrong, I would NOT simply laugh it off. This is outrageous to me! How about YOU "Do something, even if it makes you uncomfortable".
    The world is getting more beguiled, everything and everyone.
    And you admit that "We’re scared of what might happen if we don’t". That’s playing the submissive right there! We’re not going to change! So fight for yourselves and let your heart speak!
    This is done by facing your so-called Fear of not laughing at sexual harassment. Yeah, it’s going to be uncomfortable but are you going to let it slip and then right an article about it? Get uncomfortable. Comfort breeds weakness. Grip death, embrace the filth, it’s a dirty f*ckin world.
    Someone isn’t letting off on you at a bar? Well say "What the f*ck, man, look at this guy!". He ain’t no man! These guys prey on the weak and if they’re preying on you, then they think you’re weak! Get tough ladies. We all have to lose our naivety some time. And the sooner you do, the faster you’ll grow up and realize that you’re a damn person too and you got power. It starts with the self.
    So are you being proactive or reactive?? You dial 911 before a problem arises? Guess what – that’s reactive. Because you’re reacting to a problem that would have arisen if you were to hit dial. How about prevent a problem from occurring. "Could I run away in those" ??? You guys are in the wrong mindset!! Don’t think about running away – You’re going to let it come down to someone actually chasing you? Think – Actually, KNOW that that will never happen! Because you won’t let it! Will you?!????? Or will you, and then write some article about it!??? Because YOU WERE UNCOMFORTABLE AT THE TIME. SPEAK. YOU CAN SPEAK. You laughing it off is the same as when you said "If you overhear your buddy objectifying women, don’t be his Billy Bush. Call him out. Laughing it off or ignoring it says this behavior is okay."!! You’re saying this behaviour is okay – RIGHT to the guys face!! DIRECTLY! THAT’S why they’re talking about it in the locker rooms!
    So the lesson here is,
    Think of US when you give a response. Know thy enemy. We’re dumb. We’ll either get away with it by thinking that you find the harassment funny, or we’ll be stopped in our tracks when you retort defensively. We don’t like to be embarrassed, ESPECIALLY by women. So have at us. Unleash. Please, I want to see a woman standing up for herself.

    L 4 years ago Reply

    Dude, you are literally mansplaining what women should do instead of listening to them. Women are very clear on how to fight off men. It doesn’t always work, whether they are laughing to try to de-escalate a situation, or screaming and punching to fight off an attacker. Men and the culture at large are the ones who need to change, not women.

    A girl- it's happened to me too 4 years ago Reply

    I think it’s a little more difficult in some situations. Situation 1) stranger, someone with no power to harm you, and that you may not see again. fine – say no and try to explain. As long as you’re not in danger. Situation 2) stranger who could put you in immediate danger- I.e. You are alone or they are threatening to follow you home- the girls safety really is first before her civic duty to improve that person harrasing her. Situation 4) a stranger with a lot of power or knowledge-
    For her it was the FBI agent who knew all the things about her.
    For me it was the government agent approving my global entry status. He had all of my info and the power to deny my application. The risks of explaining to him how he was inappropriate were hi Situation 4) a "friend" or family member. There might not be physical or financial concerns, but ther could be a lot of social ramifications.
    In all of these- the point is- it is not the victims responsibility to fix the harasser and improve the harasser. When you are in the thick of a situation like this you have to think of your safety first and foremost.

    Jeni 4 years ago Reply

    Yeah, you’re part of the problem. I worked in restaurants for a decade, where sexual harassment was the norm. A witty retort wouldn’t work. I had one guy at the last restaurant I worked in harass me daily, telling me what he would do to me and how, and when I told him no, every day, he would then insult me, telling me I wasn’t good enough for him anyway.

    The thing you don’t understand is, how do you speak up when you’re grabbed at a party by a drunk in-law? And when you speak up later, you’re told to forgive and forget–he was just drunk? How do you speak up when it’s your boss sexually harassing you, and you can’t afford to lose your job? How do you speak up when you’re two years old, and you don’t have words for the things a man is doing to you daily?

    These are not hypotheticals. All of these happened to me, and happen to women and children every day.

  • A Survivor 4 years ago Reply

    Wow, "A Guy…" id say your attitude is part of the problem. "Were not going to change…" "everyone has to lose their nieivity at some point" You wanna know when I lost mine??? I was six. Six years old when my grandfather was grabbing my pussy (the first time), but that’s ok cuz it’s just locker room talk, and after all, no physical harm was done.

  • A father and husband 4 years ago Reply

    Yes, all my female friends have countless experiences like this and for some of them it includes rape, sometimes years of abuse. I do think though that in most of these cases they are not normal men (though alcohol may bring out some if these problems), they are men with mental problems of varying degrees or at the very least they are people extremely naive of the world or uneducated. Is Trump one of these men? Yes, I think he probably is. So I think normal men can do things to avoid unnecessarily alarming women. But I’m not sure what you do about the real creeps, some of them you can lock up, a handful could perhaps be educated, but what about the drinks, socially inept, mentally troubled, I hope there is a solution, but I’m not sure what. Still, I don’t think most men realise the scale of. harrasment and worse women suffer so hopefully wider awareness will help to some degree.

  • Concerned 4 years ago Reply

    You know it’s sad. Just today I realized that I have many male friends that I know and I believe I trust. Subconsciously, I will not leave my daughter alone with men. I’ve always wondered if that’s sexist on my part.
    After all, we know women aren’t saints. I just realized it’s because of "uncomfortable" situations that arose with friends that my parents knew and trusted when I was a child.

  • Truth NOT emotions 4 years ago Reply

    Billy Bush is the least of your problems!
    Its Hillary and her Rapist husband WHO ACTUALLY HAS ACTED ON HIS WORDS!

  • Silence Dogood 4 years ago Reply

    I was in the locker room the other day. Another guy asked me about my gym bag. We discussed his job, as a teacher. I asked him if students were intellectually curious. Never did we discuss the women at the fitness facility. We just had a normal conversation. I think I remember disrespectful conversations, but honestly, even in college, I don’t remember many. Most guys do not talk like this, or act like this. Clearly some do – I’m not doubting these stories. But most men are not jerks.

  • R 4 years ago Reply

    The only thing I disagree with is telling women they "need" to speak up. Encourage us to do so. Make sure we feel safe and comfortable to do so. But don’t say we have to. That’s our choice.

    R 4 years ago Reply

    Sorry, forgot to add: other than that, I love this and will be sharing it. Thank you!

  • Vajrahealer 4 years ago Reply

    At least one of the commenters below (I couldn’t read them all) suggested that the author was wrong for "laughing off" the inappropriate behavior of men that made her feel uncomfortable. Yeah, I know. From the outside looking in, that seems preposterous, right? And stupid. It feels like that from the inside, too. "If only I’d said no." "If only I hadn’t stood there, nervously laughing." "If only I’d just kicked him in the balls." "What the fuck was wrong with me? Why didn’t I do something? I deserved it."

    It’s hard to make someone understand why I "let" men violate me in one way or another from toddlerhood on, through my teens, twenties, thirties, forties… It’s hard to understand, myself. But it started with feeling powerless (because as a toddler, I was). That caused a "freeze" response in the brain and neuroendocrine system, over which I had no conscious control (like when a prey animal plays "dead" when it knows it can’t escape the predator). Somehow, this response gets triggered every time a similar thing happens. It’s not conscious. (PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder) It’s just a feeling that suggests I’d better just "be nice," and hopefully he’ll go away.

    It makes no sense, right? I know.

    And the thing is, women and girls have been preyed upon for centuries. Men who have been hurt, victimized, belittled, etc., in some way in their past have been inflicting their pain on women for countless generations. (Women who have been hurt inflict pain on others, too. But the sexual predator variety of inflicting hurt is usually perpetrated by men.) This history of having been prey to bigger, more powerful beings is embedded into our minds and bodies. (Look up epigenetics.)

    And then there’s the way our bodies are portrayed as commodities in advertising and entertainment media. How women are seen as "incomplete" without a man. How we’ve been underpaid and undervalued in the workforce… The cultural harm to women (and to the men who have wrought it) throughout history is far too long a story to recount here.

    Some of us grow up in families that nurture and care for us, teaching us that we deserve to be treated with love and respect, that this is our fundamental birthright. This goes a long way in countering the harmful messages that bombard us culturally and historically.

    And some of us grow up with caregivers who are sufficiently wounded as to be unable to provide adequate nurturing and care. So we internalize this insufficiency and come to believe, in our very bones, that love and respect are not our birthright, that we do not deserve to be treated well. And this makes us vulnerable to those whose style of dealing with their own pain is to inflict it on others.

    Healing individually and collectively is hard work. It begins with clearly seeing that we need to heal and with letting go of blame.

    Anonymous 4 years ago Reply

    > That caused a "freeze" response in the brain and neuroendocrine system, over which I had no conscious control (like when a prey animal plays "dead" when it knows it can’t escape the predator).

    Thank you for putting that feeling into words. If the assault was verbal, I’d usually just laugh it off or walk away. If it was physical, and saying no had no effect (as was typical), then I’d just freeze until it was over. I’ve always wondered why I would just take it and say nothing, but they were always either bigger than me, and I felt physically intimidated, or it was someone like my boss, uncle, cousin, etc. and I didn’t want to "stir shit."

  • Jim 4 years ago Reply

    I think men need to understand the potential threat we pose to a women. I’m a man and I have technically been assaulted and sexually harassed by women in the ways pointed out in this article. I’ve had women catcall me. I’ve had my crotch grabbed in bars several times by female strangers and female friends that I had no sexual relationship with. I’ve had women kiss me in a Donald Trump type of attack. I’ve had women try to drag me by the arm into bedrooms at parties. I’ve had women walk into my bedroom naked and say things like "is there room in there for me?"

    In some instances I welcomed the "assaults" – in others I resisted or ignored them. You know how it differed from what women experience? I never felt threatened. Excited, thankful, annoyed, embarrassed, frustrated – a whole range of feelings – but never did I feel threatened.

    I think men need to realize that women live in a far different world from the one we do. We need to make sure our behaviour doesn’t make women feel uncomfortable or scared. We also need to stand up to men who do act in ways that make women feel that way.

    tikuli tikuli 4 years ago Reply

    Great comment Jim, I just wanted to add the reason for our fear is that there is usually a physical imbalance of power, and or social. That is where the fear comes in, knowing that person can make you do what it is they want and you are powerless to stop it.

    Rape is an abuse of that power over someone. Be it male over female, female over male, either gender upon another … regardless of age, race or sexually identity or orientation.

    We all need to stand up and call people out when we see them abuse their power. I myself have way too many stories like these; some with very bad outcomes. And as much as those incident damaged me, the hardest part was that no one stands up and called them on their shit. Family members still talk to my rapist. Worse yet they talk about him in front of me … He only got a slap on his hand for what he did, two years probation. This was back in 84. But I became an outcast in my family like I was to blame for what he did … still over thirty years layer, there is this dark "secret cancer" in our family. And it’s the silence from no one saying the right thing … I wonder how many other children he has raped and molested over the years because everyone pretends it didn’t happen and he’s allowed around kids.

    Sorry that just kinda came out… but I really did like what you said the power imbalance just needed to be pointed out or some people wold be, … like ya, whats the big deal I get hit on all the time. Women need to grow a pair and continue to justify this type of behavior.

    Janet 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for recognizing that how a woman feels when victimized by a man is often different than how a man feels when the roles are reversed. Women should not have to feel threatened by a man’s behaviour, ever.

    fusette 4 years ago Reply

    Thanks for this.

    Autumn 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you.

  • Len 4 years ago Reply

    It doesnt really have to do anything with being a man or a woman. The first to sexually harass me was a girl. So please even if you are a fellow woman you need consent to do things. Rape and sexual harassment arent things only men do.

  • Hilary will kill you 4 years ago Reply

    what do you want me to do? fight all these guys?

    srsly 4 years ago Reply

    "If you overhear your buddy objectifying women, don’t be his Billy Bush. Call him out. Laughing it off or ignoring it says this behavior is okay.

    Tell your daughters, sisters, wives, female friends and coworkers that they need to speak up. When they do, take them seriously. Do something, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

    Teach your sons about consent. That women don’t owe them anything, ever, no matter what. "

    Right out of the article.

  • Melaina 4 years ago Reply

    ‘Not all men are like this’ is exactly the same as ‘white lives matter too’. It’s a classic refusal to take responsibility for something because it doesn’t affect you personally. Men cannot understand the fear and threat women live with on a daily basis because THEY’RE NOT WOMEN. I find it infuriatingly patronizing when some men justify theirs and other men’s behavior, and even deny that it IS the reality for women. How would they fucking know?

  • Brad 4 years ago Reply

    In college, someone I previously dated and recently broke up with sent me naked Polaroids in the mail. This, and they one time groped me in bed after we came home from the bar and I had said I was too tired to do anything that night. I was groped anyway.
    They were not a student at my college. I started noticing their car around campus, following me around. Then one day, a new friend I started dating had their car damaged and egged. It finally all stopped when I got campus and local authorities involved. I think the person sought counseling.

    I know none of this surprises many of you, but many of you might be uncomfortable to learn I am a male, and this was all done by a female. It’s not right in either case, but try not to make sexual predation a gender war. Stronger together? Why do they keep dividing us?

    omg 4 years ago Reply

    I’m sorry you had to experience that. Unfortunately, it doesn’t surprise me when women act this way, either. To answer your question: this is about men assaulting women because this piece was written in response to the repeated insistence on the part of GOP members to pass Trump’s recent admission of sexual assault off as "locker room talk," and, "just something men do." Try to keep up.

  • Abz 4 years ago Reply

    It is not ok to put up with that (insert expletive)!……What really urinates me off is that when "men" are blamed for that actions of one man…BUT when will "men" as a general rule learn not to force themselves to take what they want? Wow, I am respectful of Ladies,Women in my life and my daughter too. I don’t force myself…no means no. No, means time to use my hand.

    Colleen 4 years ago Reply

    Don’t be obtuse. Generalizations are a tool. No one thinks "men" means "every last man on the planet with no exceptions whatsoever."

  • Tired of the Bullshit 4 years ago Reply

    When I was 13 I babysat for a friend of my sister who was in a pinch. She needed to work that evening and her husband was staying late at work! I didn’t like most of my sisters friends and had regulars I babysat for! I agree as a one time to help out. She was going to be home at 10. Her husband wouldn’t be home before then! Well along about 9: 30 he shows up very drunk! He said some very flattering things to me which gave me the creeps! He then pinned me to a chair when I said I was goibg to go home! I didn’t care about the money now. I just wanted out of there! I kicked him in the crotch really hard and ran into the kitchen where the phone was! I baricaded the door and phoned my Dad to come get me! I phoned the woman at work and told her her drunk husband was home and I was leaving! I felt very embarrassed that I had let this happen! I didn’t tell my Dad until many years later. I never tild my sister. I never babysat for any of her friends again! Turns out the woman was having an affair with my ex brother in law! She just shrugged and tried to find another sitter!

  • Dodie Rising 4 years ago Reply

    Our friends have identical twin girls, now in their 30s. During school years they were very fit, very athletic. They have always been on the small size (now 5feet 1inch tall), but matured early-puberty age 10 and fully developed. They were very talented in both basketball and soccer. They were thrilled with the support they got from classmates at games, until they learned the boys came just to watch their breasts bounce as they ran on the court. The girls confronted these boys in a very mature way, expressing their disappointment at being objectified by people they thought were friends. From an early age these girls had been taught to respect themselves and to expect that from others. I believe because this was not a taboo topic in the home the girls were able to express themselves clearly and make it understood what behavior was acceptabke…and what was not. As adults we have a responsibility to be sure all children learn to respect themselves and others. They will not suddenly learn this as adults.

  • Stacy 4 years ago Reply

    Yes, we all have our stories and a lot of them don’t end so nicely. Girls and boys have to be taught that no is no. If someone is grabbing you or saying things of a sexual nature, let someone know. Don’t be a victim because you don’t want to be uncool. Believe me, it’s a lot more uncool to have been date raped or attacked.

  • 25castleson25clouds 4 years ago Reply

    It’s shocking how much this happened, I was talking to an old acquaintance on Friday night, he was the little brother of a friend of mine. Haven’t seen him in years, we were just chatting about how life has treated us, what’s going on, the fact that he is now married. Then totally out of the blue he starts talking about my breasts, and how he remembers them being at eye level when he was younger whereas now he has to look down on them. WTF! I was shocked, I admit I didn’t do anything but laugh it off, but seriously WTF? Then the night continued in that manner when I had a man have a go at me because he assumed there were loads of guys waiting to chat me up at the bar, and that I wanted to talk to them more than him. Which makes no sense as I am with someone and at the time I was on the dancefloor with a mate a million miles from the bar.

  • Concerned Woman 4 years ago Reply

    It’s sad how relatable your life experiences are to mine. I’ve spent time in the past weeks talking to my female mates about harassment I’ve faced from males. And we both have loads of stories. We’re only in our twenties. It’s also been an ongoing issues since I was a teen. I got my breasts early. And my curves. And (even though it doesn’t matter if I was ugly or a stick figure) this made me a target too. Recently I began a job in the security industry. And I was being stalked and harassed by an individual whom I believed was my friend. But I told him we couldn’t sleep together. And he turned so ugly. Stalking and harassment. My human resources department condoned his behavior despite my fear and complete change in my work and home behavior. This has been my absolute worst case. And I ended up seeking police help. He was let go. Finally. After eight months of terror. And now that its been six months since the last event, I’ve changed my behavior again. The men who harass me at work (and gosh there are so many of them) I tell them to back off. I do it safely, with someone present. As a witness. As a protector. And it’s greatly improved my life. Of course there’s a chance one of them will be like the individual I had to speak to the police about. However now that I’ve got my "sea legs" about harassment and inappropriate behavior I’m doing everything in my power to change the dialogue and the behavior and the standards by which I have to life. I’m sick of it. My life shouldn’t be about shouting "I’m not interested from my car" at a stoplight. And being ashamed to have beautiful breasts. I’m a woman. We’re women. The best thing on this earth. We deserve respect.

  • Ginger 4 years ago Reply

    I constantly tell my husband … he just doesn’t understand.. when I go out whether alone or with girls.. we have to pay attention. Men do not have to worry about being sexually abducted… well that’s not true either .. we have a sick world. But ladies… stop flirting your body! That’s not to say an Amish girl isn’t ever stalked.. but American girls are living on the edge .

  • Jess 4 years ago Reply

    Ginger, I was with you until the victim blaming at the end of your statement.

  • T. Eugene 4 years ago Reply

    Fav line is "…don’t be his Billy Bush." Will have to work that into a conversation one day soon.

  • Tomboy 4 years ago Reply

    The left wanted a Godless society and now we have one. It will not change until we as a nation turn back to God. In the meantime get a gun. There are Millions of Bill Clintons out there.

  • Britney 4 years ago Reply

    Ginger, that’s like saying you shouldn’t buy a nice house or car because you’re living on the edge and are asking to get robbed. Return to our old moral values of thriftiness and there won’t be any more robberies. This is the only crime where it’s consistently considered the victim’s fault.

  • Britney 4 years ago Reply

    Tomboy, so my worst sexual assaults happened by a very devout Christian. He truly believed he was justified. And I’m not even close alone in this. Just look at the number of preachers and priests convicted of sexual abuse. This is not something you can blame the left or the "Godless" on. This is a heart problem and a culture that encourages, or at the very least looks the other way and allows it to continue to happen. There’s no safer place for abuse than a church more often than not.

  • Liz 4 years ago Reply

    Molly, you are brave and incredible. I hate that these stories happened to you and I hate that you have to re-tell them, re-live them, for people to see what’s happening right in front of their faces. Thank you for sharing. It’s not OK. I hope it will be better for your sweet little girl.

  • Rebecca 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for posting this. You said it so clearly and in a way I can share with my daughters, so they never have to hide for fear of inconveniencing me or anyone else. We’ve all been there, and some in much, much worse situations. Thank you.

  • Barbara Churchill 4 years ago Reply

    It’s not only "not okay", it is WRONG. We need to call it what it is and stop using diminishing language around it. Thank you for having the courage to address this and shed a light on it for all women.

  • Autumn 4 years ago Reply

    I feel like through the horribleness of this election, at least it’s allowed us to come forward, even through a webpost, to say stuff like this. The first time I had my butt slapped by my boss was when I was working through a school co-op….I was 16 years old, he was around 40. I was told that it was a joke, harmless, and that if there was a problem I could just quit (and fail my class). At 17, my boss’s brother (different job) would come up to me and hug me from behind, pressing himself into me, telling me that I was just "so pretty, he couldn’t help himself, hahah". Again, I shrugged it off, laughed uncomfortably and went into work the next day like nothing happened. I was drugged and raped at 18, when I was finally convinced to leave my house a week later, I was told by the male cop in the ER that there wasn’t really such a thing as a date rape drug, and was I sure that I didn’t just party too hard that night? (WHAT?!!) I went home that night and was called a wh*re by my then-boyfriend, right before he threw me into a wall (I literally pulled myself out of the wall). I was too ashamed to tell anyone about any of it after that. There it was, I’d just been told by two people that it was my fault, I spent the next few years unable to even utter the word "rape" out loud. I’ve never been able to tell a boyfriend about it, still. At 20 my manager used to grab the girls by the hips to "squeeze by them", we laughed it off. By my mid-20s I was denied an office that should have rightfully been mine, because then who would greet and giggle with the clients when they came in. I’m now in my early 30s and was just recently asked to wear a short skirt and maybe come higher heels after being asked to present an award in front of our predominantly male clientele, the office would pay for it if I didn’t bring anything (I conveniently just never found the time, so sorry). These are just a few of MANY instances that have been playing through my head on repeat over the course of the last few months. No, it’s not ok. At least now I can say that I’m not alone in this, it’s not just me.

  • #mama 4 years ago Reply

    We not only need to speak out. We need to tell those involved that we will go to the police and report them if they continue harassing us. It’s hard but we need to not be embarrassed and confront the person. Tell them they’re offensive and in your space and get of it. I’m older than you and times have changed. But aggressively confronting sometimes works. At work go to your boss and tell them. It might not work in today’s world but these guys are bullies and they get away with it because women often don’t confront them and expose them. Above all we need to learn self defense and hurt them where it hurts.

    Mama G 4 years ago Reply

    I totally agree – we need to teach our sons not to do this and to respect all women – but we also need to teach our daughters how to defend themselves and to speak up and defend themselves. I have done both with my kids. Something my parents never did for me.

    Autumn 4 years ago Reply

    The problem is when you NEED to keep your job and it’s your boss that’s doing it, or when you DO go to the police and they shrug it off as you were probably partying and just forgot that you brought it on yourself…even when you explicitly say that you could barely remember anything but flashes for a solid 48 hours after that night. Even when you do all the things you’re supposed to do, sometimes it’s just not enough.

  • Melissa 4 years ago Reply

    This story started for me as a teenager and ended with being raped at 25. I did tell someone, my husband who called the police. I went thru all the degradation one goes thru at the hospital during a rape kit exam only to be told the day at the police station by an investigator that I was lying to cover up an affair. Was I drinking that night? Yep. So were the 2 guys that forced me into their truck. One drove around as the other raped me. I made the mistake of taking a bath when they came back and pushed me out of the truck for my friends to find. Oh and the investigator? It was a small town and well known that he had just gone thru a divorce because his wife cheated on him, and he was down on all women. So he was the one they let interview me. He told me he was a human lie detector. Fortunately, I had a victims advocate with me because he wouldn’t allow my husband in the room. I had a severe panic attack and passed out in the restroom. Did it surprise me the DA choose not to prosecute? Nope. They were best buddies.!!

  • Melissa Part 2 4 years ago Reply

    Oh and btw, I lived in Minnesota at the time. I had a 6 year old son and a breakdown afterwards. I couldn’t leave the basement for 2 weeks. I slept, ate, showered there. I didn’t answer the phone because the 2 guys and their friends kept calling and threatening me. Police wouldn’t do anything. Had to change my number. Didn’t leave my house for 2 months after which I finally sought counseling. I lost my job. The guys have no idea what the aftermath is like for the women they do this to. Nearly ruined my marriage. I had nightmares and couldn’t be intimate or sleep next to my husband for an entire year during therapy. It was the darkest year of my life. They have no idea what they stole from me. This is the first time I’ve ever publicly told my story, so please if you don’t have positive things to say, please don’t say them at all.

    Jennifer 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for telling this Michelle. I’m so sorry this happened to you, and the appalling lack of response there was. My husband just shared the article on facebook – one of the good men who are making more and more noise about the work men need to do to. Your story makes hers even stronger.

    Jen 4 years ago Reply

    Melissa. You are so brave and courageous for telling your story. I hate that you have lost so much because of this. I am praying for you hard. The lord will have his revenge and we don’t have to wish it. All of these guys will get what they deserve. It will happen. Thank you for sharing. Day by day. You can do this. You will be able to help someone or more work this story. Don’t let the men that did this steal anymore from you. You are brave. 💜💜💜 and so loved.

    Natalie Jane 4 years ago Reply

    Melissa, I’m so sorry. Words just can’t even express it. You’re very brave to tell your story. And it’s not your fault. Not at all. You’re worthy of love, and respect, and honor. Your story will touch someone else. You’re a warrior, Melissa. Just keep hanging on because there will always be some dark days, but you can do it. You’ve made it so far. Hold your head high, lovely. I’m so proud of you. And of your husband and son. Hold on to that love. You’re so much more than this. It won’t define you. So much love to you. <3

  • SlithyTove 4 years ago Reply

    A few years back, I (a male) was riding a bus across Seattle at the end of the work day. Sitting across from me was a young dozing woman. A teenaged male was sitting next to her and silently having a laugh with a friend of his sitting nearby. While the woman dozed, the began being a creep: putting his arm around her, looking down her shirt, having his friend take their picture.

    After a minute of this I told him to stop, that it wasn’t funny and he was being a creep. He began defending, saying he wasn’t doing anything, that I was wrong. Basically acting like an entitled teen who gets away with all sorts of shit at home and school because…I don’t know why actually…he was just an ass.

    This is when the guy sitting next to me pipes in, telling the kids his behavior is wrong. Saying how, if the woman had been his mother or his sister…. Entitled kid acts tough, says "You’d do what?" and in a heartbeat the guy next to me had launched across the bus and had the kid up in the air by the neck. I got in between them and the two kids were off the bus like a puff a smoke.

    I don’t condone violence, but man that felt good.

  • alp 4 years ago Reply

    Being a rape victim still in recovery even after 6 years…I can honestly tell you…I know what its like. No…I know more than some will ever know. I don’t wish it upon anyone. Its never easy, and even the smalleat amount of stress will throw me into a downward spiral that seems impossible to get out of. Even the men you know, trust, and love can hurt you. Making it hard to trust and love anyone. Isolation becomes your best friend. At least for me. People change when they find out….and some people blame the victim not the rapist. I have first, second, and third hand experience with this. I don’t drink anymore. Drinking to me isn’t an outlet…its a curse. Though I never "provoked" my rapist, I still hold myself responsible. I regret not reporting, but the justice system wouldn’t take the pain away anyway. Once a predator, always a predator. Even at my happiest moments today, the trigger is always there. There is a way to come back from it, but it could take many more years…and by then you’ve lost the person you were trying get back to the minute it was taken from you!

    Natalie Jane 4 years ago Reply

    I’m so sorry. You are NOT responsible. You’re not. It’s not your fault, and it never was.

    If you haven’t tried EMDR, you might look into it. I’ve done it for memories of sexual assaults, and it didn’t take them away but took away their power to trigger. It can be helpful for PTSD.

    Much love to you. You deserve it.

  • annonymous 4 years ago Reply

    A male gym teacher. He said he wanted to "hang out" with me, but he really just wanted a blow job. He was married. 🙁

  • Susan Macaulay 4 years ago Reply


    +me + every single one of my women friends, fans and followers who number in the hundreds of thousands.


  • inna 4 years ago Reply

    I am 8 month pregnant and crossing a street in NYC during a busy summer lunch time. A disgusting freak walking in a crowd toward me grabs by breast and laughs. He keeps walking, I am shocked, and speechless, and helpless.

  • Elvi 4 years ago Reply

    It is seriously not ok. It’s bad enough when we have our own stories, which I do, but it’s even more heartbreaking when our daughters have them. I road tripped this summer with my 19 year old daughter, and the BORDER GUARD added her on facebook. She reported him, so at least she’s ahead of me on that front.

  • Annie 4 years ago Reply

    A guy from school raped me at a party. I told my mum and dad when I got home, my father beat me for having sex. Stumbling home drunk one night a police officer felt he needed some relief. Even in therapy I tried to minimise it saying "it was only oral". My therapist just kept telling me that it was still rape.

  • Natalie 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you so much for this post! Amen.

  • JJ 4 years ago Reply

    Oh my god… exactly how I feel. Thank you for this post.

  • Nina 4 years ago Reply

    Before getting married, I thought that these things happen because I was a single. You know, they just heckle, especially those whom I know. But after getting married I am still in similar situations. How the wife was not having sex with him or he could make me want to have sex or he has a big penis etc. Just say "not interested" but it doesn’t seem to stop. Some of these people have daughters. How do they do it? I wish I could get angry but when everyone is there I just didn’t want to bother because somebody will say "Oh, he’s harmless! He’s just joking. Where’s your sense of humor? You’re overreacting." right?

  • Ingrid 4 years ago Reply

    Your story and experiences are so true, and so sadly universal. Thinking on this topic all last week, I pondered that the men I’ve known are one of three categories: predators (rare, but not rare enough); ambivalents – the men who say it’s none of their business, or there are two sides to every story, or I must have imagined it; and the protectors, who walk us home, stand up and speak out.
    It would be great raise awareness and shift some ambivalents to protectors.

  • Just another girl 4 years ago Reply

    I am 20 years old, still in college. I have been fortunate so far that I have not been harmed, but I live in fear of it every day. And I know that for the rest of my life, that fear will never go away. I recognize all too well the experiences you have described. The cat calls. The wandering hands of a stranger. The unwelcome attention and forced conversation as I wait for my to-go order of food. The uncomfortable remarks my boss made about my looks and other women. The response from everyone around me that I should just ignore it. That it’s harmless. That it’s just what men do. But isn’t harmless. I have known women who have been attacked: by strangers at parties, and by men they thought were friends in their own apartment.

    I’ve carried pepper spray since I was fourteen, after the first time a man whistled at me on the street. He was old enough to be my father, and then some. It is time for this to stop. The helplessness. The constant fear. The victim blaming. Because it isn’t our fault. No matter what we wear. No matter how we behave. These things keep happening.

    Thank you for this post. We are all with you. And thank you to all the men and women out there who stand by us and stand for up us. Who protect us and comfort us. I wish the whole world were like you.

  • Robyn 4 years ago Reply

    A few years ago I was sexually assaulted at a concert venue, standing at the bar. (Think Trump line). There was nothing I could do (or would have done?) because I had no idea who did it.

  • Rob 4 years ago Reply

    As the father of a nine year old son, how can I teach him to live a sexually healthy life. How can I teach him not to be a sexual creep/predator/aggressor? He is an innocent kid now, but when the testosterone and other hormones kick in… it is very confusing and the culture alternately glorifies male sexual prowess and aggression, and condemns it. How do I teach him that locker room talk (talking about sex with your friends) is OK, but that what Trump said wasn’t locker room talk at all. It was glorifying sexual assault. How do I teach my son that a woman’s sexiness has very little to do with what her body looks like, but rather what she chooses to do with it. As an active, fully consenting participant.

    This is not to excuse male sexual aggression as just "hormones" in any way. Just… to fix this massive problem we need to understand it. We need to recognize the backlash from men/Trump supporters, the "bad" guys, the "creeps", the misogynists. They are products of a culture, but on some level all of us men were born that way. We are often operating from some deep insecurities and fear, not a fear of women necessarily, but a fear of own own sex drive that drives irrational, violent, and pleasurable action.

    As a former biologist, I think women underestimate the biological realities of male vs. female sexuality. It is a 9 orders of magnitude difference, 400 eggs vs. 400 BILLION sperm in a human lifetime. I’d ask women to stop thinking of these men as deranged sub-humans who are to be feared and jailed, but rather as damaged people who need our help (while taking all the sensible precautions to protect yourself of course, for instance I definitely don’t hire male babysitters for my 5 year old daughter.)

    Mama G 4 years ago Reply

    I taught my sons – I told them to never pressure anyone into anything they dont want – and the way to know if they want it, is they will ask you. If a woman wants to kiss you, she will tell you or she will kiss you – I told them if they are kissing, dont place their hands on her breasts – if she wants them there – she will move them there or will ask you, I told them if her hands are on her breasts (after she asks), dont move them to her crotch – if she wants them there, she will move them there or she will ask – it goes on and on. My boys understood it. When the Trump stuff broke, my son who has played Lacrosse and Soccer since he was 4 looked at me and said – "Mom – that isnt locker room talk – that is just disgusting" He is 18 now. You can teach men respect for women and it doesnt ever take away from their manhood.

    Joanne 4 years ago Reply

    "damaged people who need our help"…. perhaps, but it is not up to the women that are being abused/harassed to help them. Let’s not put this on the women who are being targeted. We are not responsible for men’s behaviour.

    I have a son who is 31 years old. I know exactly who he is and he is not like this. He would never speak to a woman like this, speak about a woman like this or behave like that toward a woman. His biological reality is no different than that of any other male. Perhaps the fact that his father is a respectful man has everything to do with this. If you are concerned about your son, it is up to you to teach him.

    Rob 4 years ago

    Agreed. I wasn’t trying to suggest that it’s the role of a woman being abused or harassed to solve this problem.

    Mother to a boy & girl 4 years ago Reply

    Rob…talk to your son the same way and with the same words that you’d have for your daughter! We as a population are so patterned in our way of thinking that we don’t even realize that we are discriminating as parents……..Gender stereotyping shouldn’t start with "the talk". whatever you have to say to your child should be the same words regardless if your child is a girl or a boy. The talks we have with them should not differ depending on their gender. (IMHO)

    Kristi 4 years ago Reply


    Pray about how to teach him these things. Scripture is super useful to bing to life that sexual immorality is all over, that we aren’t on conform to it, and then there is much as well that speaks about sex as it should be and as a beautiful thing within that marriage relationship. I will say, even if you don’t know how to say it, trying is better than just not saying anything.
    I appreciate your response and hope that this might be helpful, I’m more than willing to give specifics if that would be helpful! Praying for you in your major task ahead!

    Sharon Kaufman Athanasiou 4 years ago

    Oh boy.

    Hershalina 4 years ago Reply

    My son learned at a young age how to treat women by watching the way his father treated me. My husband has always spoken to me respectfully, considers my input thoughtfully, and even when he disagrees with me, he does it nicely. We may raise our voices every once in awhile… but even then he’s never called me a name or belittled any of my ideas/opinions/viewpoints. My husband does not tell (or laugh at) dumb blond jokes or any other "funny" female bashing. We also talked clearly about the proper way to treat a women before he started dating. Your son will learn by watching your face and hearing your words. He will notice if you roll your eyes when a female is talking or smirk at a nasty remark or laugh at a sexist joke. He will understand what you tell him when he is hungry for tips on dating.

    Nina 4 years ago Reply

    Friends a man is also very important… Birds of a feather flock together. Other than showing him how to treat every human being with respect (gender doesn’t matter) everyday as a father, pay close attention to who he hangs out with. What I know as a wife is that my husband’s friends reflect part of his character, and they have helped shape him as a respectful and gentle human being. None of his friends acts with their testosterone or biological needs. He told me that he never heard of any of his close friends talking about women like Trump did. If his colleagues or people he met says stuff about women disrespectfully, he distances himself from these people, as it reflects their character, and those are not the people you want to be associate yourself with.

    Alyson 4 years ago Reply

    You do it by treating him the way you want him to treat people who are smaller and weaker than him in the future.

    Insist Aunt Eileen asks him if he wants a hug, rather than demanding he "give Auntie a kiss".

    Teach him from day one what body autonomy is. That his body is his body, and not for anyone to touch without permission. Teach him that all people are people, regardless of their gender or sex. Teach him that no means no, by accepting his "no" when he’s not in the mood for tickle-fights or wrestling.

    It’s an every day thing, not a conversation just before the first day of sixth grade.

    Sharon Kaufman Athanasiou 4 years ago Reply

    So we should have pity on them then?

  • C Gardner 4 years ago Reply

    Every woman you know and all that you don’t know can tell a true story like this. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. If she says she can’t she either lives in a bubble or in denial.

    Mindy 4 years ago Reply

    Wow, so every woman has to have a story like these or she is a lier or a hermit?

    Meghan 4 years ago Reply

    I don’t have a a single story like this. But I’ve also been trained in elf-defense, and tend to surround myself with decent people. This whole time I’ve been reading the comments and grasping, trying to think of a time in which I’d ever felt objectified or wronged, and I can’t, because it hasn’t happened to me. But to say I’m either in a bubble or in denial is nahting my experience as a female, which is utter bull crap.

    Sharon Kaufman Athanasiou 4 years ago

    Surround yourself with decent people? Really? As though these other people may not have?

    Kiki 4 years ago

    I’m glad you have no stories like this. You are extremely lucky. But it doesn’t come down to surrounding yourself with decent people or being trained in self defense. Notice how many of the stories on here are from when women were children. I was first raped when I was 6, my mom when she was 12. You have a lot less control at ages like that.
    I agree it’s wrong to generalize and say this happens to all women. I just hope you will be careful with your wording because it can make it sound like it’s the woman’s fault for not being surrounded by more decent people.
    Take care 🙂

    Grammar nazi 4 years ago

    And its rarely the elf that you need to defend yourself from….trolls perhaps.

    Natalie 4 years ago

    You know, when I tweeted a #NOTokay tweet last week, I remembered three assaults. Then I remembered another. Then another. When a guy from my choir grabbed my breasts from behind in a stairwell. When my boss at a lighting store used to wait until I was at a spot in the back where he had to squeeze past me and rub his crotch against my buttocks. Those are sexual assaults. Not accidents. Maybe no one has ever grabbed your ass, your breasts, rubbed against you inappropriately. I hope not. But those are sexual assaults. And I thought my boss was "decent people." I was sexually assaulted on a date with a church choir director that was well-respected. He seemed like very "decent people." I probably should have told someone but I figured they wouldn’t believe me. He seemed too decent. And as a woman in her forties working in an optometry clinic I certainly didn’t expect a well-dressed male customer in his fifties to ask me loudly if he got a discount if I gave him a blow job? That would definitely be objectified and wronged. And it was in a professional office at noon, in a mall. Not a bar or a club, or a party. Self-defense training wouldn’t really have helped there, since I was at work behind a counter. And do you use self-defense on your boss, when you really need the job?

    I guess I’m wondering if you’ve brushed off some things as "guys just do that" when really it was inappropriate sexual behavior. I used to do that, but not any more. No one is allowed to touch my body unless I let them. Otherwise it’s #NOTokay. If you really have never been touched by a male (or female) in an inappropriate way, or had sexual jokes or propositions made at your expense or to you, that’s great. I wish more women had your story. You might be a unicorn. 🙂

  • Jan 4 years ago Reply

    Sometimes, even 43 years later, you still can’t talk about it with anyone. The guy was supposed to be a friend of my then boyfriend……..when he died a few years later in a helicopter crash, I felt nothing.

  • Nicole 4 years ago Reply

    On this day five years ago I was raped in my own home. I was 19. I told no one and acted like it was no big deal since he w as soon my boyfriend and we were friends before we began dating. I blamed myself for about a year before I realized what he did wasn’t okay. He was charged in 2012 for possession of child pornography and I had no idea until long after we broke up.

  • Lynne 4 years ago Reply

    Lots happened before this, but at 16 I applied to the police to be a cadet (we leave school at 16 here). I was called in to be measured officially to the city HQ – I had to be at least 5’4". The officer was older, he called in a female officer as witness. He measured my height, bust, waist and hips. He lingered over my bust for a time and made a comment, smiling. The female turned her head. I was confused – weren’t they the ones to trust? I’m still angry at myself for being so naieve; I should’ve slapped his face. And the female officer, shame on her.

  • Porter 4 years ago Reply

    Wow. I did not realize how big of a problem this is. I will always stop my friends from objectifying women! Thank you for sharing your story.

    Natalie 4 years ago Reply

    Porter, that’s awesome. 🙂 My teenage son feels the same way, and it gives me hope.

  • YG 4 years ago Reply

    I was outside a bar about a week ago and a drunk, obnoxious man approached my friend and I and asked if we wanted "our pussies licked". I had no idea how to reply, I was so shocked. Another guy we had met inside the bar about an hour before turned to him and lost it. "You don’t speak to women like that, get out of my face" he said. Raise your sons to be like this man.

  • Rose 4 years ago Reply

    Two young men raped my mother when she was eight years old. She hadn’t shared that with a single soul until long after her 40th birthday. She then found out her sister had been raped by the same two individuals, and hadn’t told a single person either.

  • Kelly 4 years ago Reply

    My second semester of college I had just transferred to a new school and hadn’t made any friends. I’ve always been shy and a bit of a nerd, so I just kind of kept to myself. One day a guy came up to me and invited me to hang out with him and his friends in the gaming lounge, because my t-shirt had a video game printed on it. I agreed, and I started hanging out in the lounge with him, a couple other guys, and a couple girls. At first they seemed nice and friendly, but after a while a couple of the guys would start asking me sexual questions and always "jokingly" chasing me around to get me to hug them or to start tickling me. Eventually, these two guys started competing with each other to get my attention by pulling me on to their laps and refusing to let me up. The last straw was when they wouldn’t let me leave without giving them a hug and they unclasped my bra through my shirt. I know way worse things happen to women and I’m lucky this is all it was, but it still alarmed me. About a year later, I decided to give a guy who I was friends with a chance romantically. The night I agreed to go out with him, we had been drinking some wine, and even though I had only had one glass I became blackout drunk, and he had sex with me. He apologized the next day, and I still don’t know if I should be upset about it. But I later told an ex of mine what happened when we were thinking about getting back together, and he began yelling at me saying that I was a terrible person because of what happened. I was angry at myself for telling and thought I was stupid for not keeping it a secret.

  • Sarah 4 years ago Reply

    I just ignore men I don’t know. I’ve never given any stranger my time. I know I come off as a "bitch" but I don’t have any stories like this.

    Even with my cold approach to strangers I am happily married, have a son and have managed to surround myself by good people.

    I’m sorry all of these stories are yours. Very unfortunate.

    Becca 4 years ago Reply

    I am the exact same way – I even find myself answering almost harshly when a stranger says something to me out in public, even though it’s usually something harmless.

    Natalie 4 years ago Reply

    Interestingly, I’m friendly to strangers, and it’s never been strangers that have groped or assaulted me. Bosses, a date, a male "friend," a customer (sort of a stranger but not the first time we had met), a high school classmate… I’m happy for you that you don’t have these experiences, though. And I don’t think you come off as a "bitch" because of it. I was disgustingly propositioned by a customer recently, though, and been groped as well, and I’m in my forties. I was shocked, thinking it wouldn’t keep happening since I’m a professional woman and not a young girl. And the sexual assault on the date (not the first date, either) was by a respected choir director of a large church. So sometimes we think we’re surrounding ourselves with "good people" (or we work someplace safe like an optometry clinic) and it happens anyway.

    Here’s hoping you aren’t unpleasantly surprised in the future.

  • Steph D 4 years ago Reply

    I have way to many of theses stories tho mine end in sexual assault and sadly my now ex husband was one of those guys. Protect your self and let it be known that we are not a sexual object to be talked down to in such horrible words but we are women worth the respect of men just like we as women should respect men we need to all treat one another as we would like to be teated.

  • Debbie 4 years ago Reply

    At age 11, I was fondled by an older male relative. I have never told anyone in my family about it. I never will.

    9th grade. A boy who say behind me in graphic arts class leaned forward and one day and told me that he wanted to "f- " me. I was so shocked that I said nothing. The next day he said it again, and started describing, in detail, exactly how he would rape me if he ever got the chance. Then one day, he grabbed my breast. I slapped him, but he and the boys around him just laughed. The next day he grabbed at my crotch. I fled to the back of the classroom, where the the teachers work area was located.

    That’s the two worst incidents. There have been others.

    FactMan 4 years ago Reply

    you just told people when you said you will never tell… just saying’

    Natalie 4 years ago

    She said that she will never tell her family about it. Telling family is harder than telling strangers. Just sayin’

  • Kelsey 4 years ago Reply

    I’ve been sexually assaulted by 5 different males. My ex, my best friend, my sister’s best friend, my ex-fiance (whom I was engaged to at the time), and my adopted dad. None have gone to jail. I was also told that there must be something wrong with ME if so many men wanted to sexually attack me. My own family has made excuses for them. "He didn’t mean to cross any boundaries" when I was 12 and my sister’s best friend decided to touch my breasts and vagina while I was trying to fall asleep. "He just loved you too much" when my adopted dad was arrested for forcing himself on one of my friends. He only got 2 years out of, what was originally supposed to be, a 55-year sentence, because they refused to prosecute him for anything he’d done to me. "Maybe if you didn’t dress so slutty" when I finally told my mother at 14 that I’d been raped at gunpoint when I was 9. And we can’t forget "He’s your fiance, so it’s not really sexual assault".

  • Gia 4 years ago Reply

    We tell our kids over & over…. Just TELL me…I won’t be mad at you. Then WHY did I let an old man fondle me when I was 10? I was afraid to tell my Dad because I thought he would be mad at me? The man was the brother of the common law wife of my grandfather. Why did my best friend’s father try to french kiss me and hug me at OUR Sweet 16 birthday party? I didn’t tell my father. I didn’t want to ruin THEIR relationship. What is WRONG with people????

  • mendel 4 years ago Reply

    Seriously, almost any woman could recount experiences like these, and worse. It’s bizarre how so many men don’t recognize harassment, disrespect and assault of women as the rampant epidemic it is. Men, please don’t turn a blind eye to this kind of behavior when you see it – call other men out on it, including your good buddies. Don’t say, "Aw, he’s a good guy; he doesn’t mean anything by it." Realize that for women, lewd disrespectful behavior is threatening and sadly, most of us have been forced to deal with it since we were girls. It should not be like this!

    Elise Joyce 4 years ago Reply

    Just look at the reaction in these comments. Blaming women for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Then we ask why women don’t come forward. It is truly a shame.

  • haroldburbank 4 years ago Reply

    years ago at a U Connecticut fraternity my son defended college women being verbally and probably physically assaulted. the women appeared at this renowned ‘animal house’ for a ‘party’. most knew what went on there. my son had followed female friends, in part out of concern for their safety. for his efforts he was beaten almost unconscious in plain sight of all attending and hospitalized by host predators. the women, so far as i know, said nothing ever in my son’s defense, nor called police or an ambulance. state police investigated and charged the perps. the prosecutor dropped charges saying my son ‘raised his fist’ first (probably true). UCONN closed the frat. my son, held to the ground by the criminals, outnumbered many to 1, could have been killed or brain injured. no one – not the state, UCONN, the women, or anyone else ever apologized to my son. the ONLY people who did right were the state cops, who knew this frat’s rep for years, warned UCONN about it many times, and nothing happened. the problem of sexual predation is much bigger than anyone on this blog realizes. even when dads raise their heroic sons to do right, the list of culpables does begin and end with men. where are the mothers teaching women to avoid sex driven college parties? where are the college girls defending men who defend them? why don’t state legislatures make any of these matters among the most serious felonies and hire staff to fully investigate and prosecute them? i am an attorney. but for CT state police, i was ashamed of and furious at CT’s criminal justice system in my son’s case and remain so. sexual predation is everyone’s problem; one very few individuals, let alone governments, want to own, as my son did. he nearly paid for that fact with his life.

    Natalie 4 years ago Reply

    Wow. I’m proud of your son, and so sorry about the situation. Sexual assault on campus is a terrible problem. Like the writer of the article, I have been sexually assaulted, groped, propositioned, etc. Twice on my university campus. One of those times by a guy who said he would drive me back to my dorm because it would be "safer" than walking across campus late a night. Not so much. I have a 21 y.o. daughter and a 17 y.o. son. My daughter and I have talked very frankly about safety. And my son would defend and protect his female friends and family, much like yours. He knows young women who have been victimized and it makes him angry. But it’s disheartening to see how little progress has been made in the big picture. Most universities (and particularly University police and staff) are more worried about their reputations than helping victims and making campuses safer. Even if there is an arrest, we have judges like Brock Turner’s, or the Alberta, Canada, judge who told the victim she should have "kept her legs closed." I still have hope, though, because men like your son and mine are rising up to do the right thing. All the best to you. I hope your son recovers from his injuries.

    And just so everyone knows, it isn’t just sex-driven parties where this happens. I’ve been groped at work, in the dark room at high school (the first scary time), sexually assaulted on a date with a guy who was a church choir director, in a stairwell by a male "friend," and most recently was this disgusting proposition. I was working as an optical assistant in an optometry clinic in a mall, modestly dressed. A man around his mid-fifties, with a grown son, was waiting for his glasses to be finished, and asked me loudly if he would get a discount on his glasses if I gave him a blow job. What do you say to that? Years of deflecting comments of that sort made me just retreat to the back room and refuse to come back out and help him any more. Of course that meant one of the other ladies had to help. I wish now that I told him what I really thought about the disgusting, degrading comment. Or called security. But I didn’t. Instead I retreated to safety and hid. If women were to try to avoid all the situations where these things occurred, we literally would have to stay home forever. This was lunchtime at a mall, in an optometry clinic. No excuses. #notokay

  • Sam 4 years ago Reply

    Maybe the country should have made the President of the United States accountable for his actions all those many years ago? Why didn’t we stand up and say it’s not ok then?

  • Weston Van Smoot 4 years ago Reply

    Locker room talk vs actual creeps doing horrible things to you are two very separate issues. I agree creeps need to be weeded out and punished horribly. I’m about over this locker room talk nonsense though. You ever consider what you and your female friends say in private. Women can and do say some absolutely vile things about each other and men. Horrible things that should never be said publicly and you know what, that is absolutely fine. It blows off steam and gives us a chance to voice our frustrations/issues with our friends and family. Acting out on these evil thoughts though should be condemned, but speaking in this manner is natural for some and therapeutic. People just need to deal with some people speaking a little more vile for their tastes.

    K 4 years ago Reply

    So it is okay for someone to speak to you in an insulting and inappropriate way but YOU should tough up? I’m calling BS. Let me know when your daughters, sisters, mothers, heck any female in your life has to go through this and your response is to tell them to toughen up. Sexual harassment or assault is not something women need to toughen up over.

    hi 4 years ago

    I don’t think you understood the point of his post. what you gave an example of would be what he termed, "actual creeps doing horrible things". approaching women and saying insulting and inappropriate things is not ok, and for the vast majority of men, obviously not ok.

    JeremyP 4 years ago Reply

    I’m calling BS on the "blowing off steam" thing. We have to think bigger picture. That joke or aside may be harmless, but it keeps a culture alive that continues to justify/excuse its worst extremes. Some people are responsible with guns, but sacrifices have to be made for greater progress/safety. If being PC and censoring myself (especially when it comes to language that is even jokingly misogynistic) can be a small step towards eliminating rape culture, then it’s worth that minimal effort.

    Elise Joyce 4 years ago Reply

    But his ‘locker room talk’ was about making such unwarranted advances against women. That is the issue. Sure my girlfriends and I have maybe had unsavory language at times, but I can safely say never have any of us described how we have pushed ourselves on a man or discussed leaping over personal boundaries just because ‘we can’.

  • T. Rigger 4 years ago Reply

    Hugh Mungus wot?

  • LT 4 years ago Reply

    I know that it is mostly men who perpetrate sexual harassment, but my own experience has been sexual harassment from women who think men want it anyways. I’ve been grabbed, pinched and even kissed by girls that I wasn’t on a date with or going out with. Most of the time it came as a shock, but I didn’t ever feel in danger. I did always feel uncomfortable and I’ve had many girls tell me that since I didn’t feel threatened, it’s not as big of a deal. I always felt that was unfair.

    Michael 4 years ago Reply

    Just stop….

    LT 4 years ago

    Brilliant response. Everything I wrote is true though. Would you say that to a woman complaining of harassment?

    Jules 4 years ago

    I’m sorry, but a man never feeling "in danger" because a girl kissed them without consent? If a man is raped by a woman, they will most likely be left generally unharmed, not torn and bleeding, afraid they’ll become pregnant from the assault.
    I’m glad you’ve never felt "in danger", but a man could never know what that really means to a woman.

    strangeangel24601 4 years ago Reply

    That’s awful, I’m sorry that happened to you. Why is it so hard for otherwise normally-functioning adults to understand that you DO NOT touch another person without their permission? That goes for both genders.

    LT 4 years ago

    Thanks for that 🙂

  • Jerry Mander 4 years ago Reply

    There’s been a lot of focus on negative experiences. Why is there no contrast with positive experiences? Is it because positive sexual experiences are still too taboo? Is there some faulty reasoning about placing positive experiences in a more private realm than negative? Both are on the same level of privacy.

    The point I’m attempting to make is, if we want to leave a record for the future, if we want to educate teenage boys who will eventually become men, then I think just focusing on the negative doesn’t illuminate this issue as brightly as it would otherwise. There needs to be more articles that discuss both the positive & negative sides of sexuality as it relates to consent.

    romanticskeptic 4 years ago Reply

    According to Hollywood and HBO, yes, women enjoying sex is still too taboo. There is, of course, erotica that you can read and I think Cosmo used to have pieces where women shared their best sexual experiences. However, because of sexual assault/abuse and rape, many women have issues with enjoying sex because it now reminds them of violence they experienced. So, this topic actually directly affects the topic you’d rather discuss.

    Also, I think teenage boys already know about enjoying sex…are you suggesting that we teach them how to be better at sex so that their partner enjoys it? I could actually get behind that, if someone else does the teaching. Though, I think the best thing to teach men about making sex enjoyable for women is to ask her how she feels often from consent to clean-up.

    So Fed Up 4 years ago Reply

    Talking about positive sexual experiences to contrast this topic would be a false comparison. Rape is not sex, it is violence. It is not about attraction, it’s about dominance and control. Let’s not teach our young men (or women or anyone!) that rape or assault is one kind of sexual experience, let’s teach them that it is a crime.

  • NOMORE 4 years ago Reply

    Men experience all this as well from women and women do this just as much as men. The world is not obligated to defend you or spare your feelings. If you don’t like it then stay at home. When men complain about this happening to them, you know what you ladies all say? You laugh at men and then tell them to man up etc. So here is a word of advice. Feminism killed chivalry. Feminism taught us that we are not obligated to help you, protect you, or defend you. Feminism taught us that women are all equal and in that equality they wanted to be able to go out and party and have fun like men. And they knew what you described would happen and accepted that as a part of being free to equal to men. You are equal. And that comes with baggage. YOU have to deal with the assholes of the world. YOU are responsible for your safety. YOU are responsible for your actions and as such YOU have to deal with it. And if you go out to a bar, you will meet assholes. That is the risk.

    You don’t walk alone at night? Well guess what buttercup. Your safer walking alone at night than men are. Stats show that men are more likely to be attacked at night by others than a woman. In fact studies have shown that people are more likely to come to the aid of a woman than a man. And men are the bigger victims of all violent crimes except rape. Murder, Assault, Robbery, etc. You lady are safer walking alone at night in the middle of worst neighborhood than we men are.

    And no men, it’s not our turn. We had our turn for a millennia protecting women. Since the dawn of time we protected women. Women are the most protected, the most privileged in western society. They are so privileged that they think they can write articles like this one demanding men protect them.

    Chivalry is dead. You are on your own lady.

    Jess Massie 4 years ago Reply

    I have so much to say about your comment! I agree with the first sentence, that it is a two way street and especially in the media, there’s an unfair balance on the way men can be portrayed as well as with women.

    However, that’s the only part I agree with. You have completely missed the point of what Feminism is – it means that chivalry should exist both ways. Women should be holding doors open for men too, and all that jazz. Again, it’s not about the fact that us women want to be left alone by men for the rest of time, it’s the idea that we protect each other, men and women alike. And just your insinuation that feminism exists so that we can ‘party like men’ is ridiculous.

    This is slightly besides the point though, the main thing I wanted call you up on was how you call sexual assault and coercion ‘baggage.’ That’s disgusting. Instead of saying that ‘you’ (a woman) have to deal with it, why not focus on teaching people not to sexually harass and coerce in the first place? Victim blaming is a huge part of the rape culture problem and comments like this do not fix it.
    Your use of statistics is good, but irrelevant. We are talking about rape and sexual harassment and you have said "men are the bigger victims of all violent crimes except rape."

    And women are definitely not the most privileged in Western Society, for reasons you highlight by saying "they think they can write articles like this one demanding men protect them." If you actually read the article no where does she say that she needs or wants protecting, she, like most of the world, just wants rape culture to stop.

    Annie 4 years ago Reply

    I was 6 the first time I was sexually abused. Are you saying that I didn’t deserve to be protected? Haven’t read how many other comments involve young girls? All girls and boy, children and adults deserve to feel safe. I don’t understand why you would want to have everyone live in such a horrible world rather than working towards a better world for all.

    L 4 years ago Reply

    Not Okay.
    Listen before you speak/comment. Your comment has made it abundantly, and infinitely clear (to everyone) that you personally feel attacked by this article. Which means on some level you identify with the men described? No? Then why are you getting defensive on an article NOT WRITTEN ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS.
    Get one thing straight: no one cares about your personal feelings. People care about the truth. The truth here is that every single woman has a story like this. Every single one. Whether or not she is able to recognize it or acknowledge it.
    Whoever you are, you need to check your privilege. There mere fact that you wrote this comment tells me that you are blind, and have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. We are not equal. You’re lashing out because your feelings are hurt, and you can be better than that. Stop being sensitive and listen to the point that every woman is trying to tell you, for your own and everyone’s sake.
    This article is not telling you to protect women, it has absolutely nothing to do with chivalry…it’s telling you to be a decent human being. Not so hard. Society has ingrained sexist, racist, and any other isms you can think of, in our daily life. They’re hard to notice sometimes. I get it. But when someone (in this case the majority of women in general) tells you they are harmed by recurring behaviour – YOU do not get to tell them otherwise. Because you have no idea, you are not influenced by the same behaviour.
    Understand that. For the love of god. You have no idea.
    As a society we have to work together to change things.
    You may not be a bad person, but not listening to this article and the plea of women everywhere means you’re participating in behaviour that directly oppresses an entire gender.
    Help out. This is for the well being of every person on this planet.

    Niknakpaddywak 4 years ago Reply

    This is a case of "mansplaining" if i’ve ever seen one. Are you so delusional that you genuinely think women don’t understand this? The whole point of article is to show how women face this bullshit EVERY DAY. Not just walking home in the dark. I work in retail and just once I would like to go a day without a gross guy saying i’m pretty and starting a conversation. I appreciate the compliment, but i’m working. i shouldn’t have to say i have a boyfriend 32 times before a guy gets the goddamn hint.

    L.w. 4 years ago Reply

    You are wrong in saying equal means we want to be able to have fun like men. We are women, we want to be able to have fun our own way. We do not want to be the same.
    Men can go to bars, sports events and even ride the bus without being accosted. Why can’t we do that without being cautious of who we are seated beside or standing next to in a crowded situation. Yes we are responsible for our own safety but why does it require more of us than it does of men?

    Jeff 4 years ago Reply

    To NOMORE –

    Come on, Man. These women are talking about being raped, assaulted. You’re saying that’s okay? You keep going on about "chivalry." This has nothing to do with chivalry. It’s about not harming women. And you’re saying that the women should just deal with being harmed? What the hell is wrong with you.

  • Has A Name 4 years ago Reply

    NOMORE, it’s heartbreaking to hear the hopelessness barely disguised in your writing.

    Being constantly vigilant of our personal safety Dealing with assholes in bars. Getting attacked at night. Is this the world you actually wish for men?

    I ask because, on the one hand, it sounds like you’re complaining about the situation men have to deal with – but then, on the other, you’ve clearly accepted it as an inenitable part of life, and therefore feel no shame in dragging the whole of womankind down to that despairing outer circle of hell you’re seemingly happy to habituate.

    Do me a favour. Imagine what a better world for men would look like, and then ask yourself if you wouldn’t want that for your daughters also.

    L 4 years ago Reply

    I’m sorry but this does not make any sense. You didn’t understand the article.

    RF 4 years ago

    I believe this was in response to NOMORE’s post not in response to the article.

  • NotMyDaughters 4 years ago Reply

    I’ve been victimized by men since the age of five. I’ve been raped, assaulted, groped, insulted, propositioned…you name a form of sexual abuse, and I’ve lived through it. I live in terror that my daughters will experience the same things that I have. It has affected my entire life, how I interact with others both personally and professionally, and even my marriage. I don’t think women are asking men to protect them, but rather to simply stop raping them. At the very least, don’t make light of sexual assault. I don’t believe all men are to blame, either. But those who say "men deal with it too" are just as much part of the problem as are the men who commit these acts. It’s like saying #alllivesmatter in response to the #blacklivesmatter movement; making a defensive comment in response to a real problem is disingenuous at best and hypocritical at worst.

    I refuse to let my daughters become a statistic like I have. And any man who can’t understand that is part of the problem.

  • NotAStat 4 years ago Reply

    As the victim of 2 sexual assaults myself in my youth, I can say that it comes from the most unlikely of places. That sweet friend of your older brother who is always so charming and was the first one to be at your side when your brother accidentally hit you in the mouth with a football throw. Or that guy down the street who was always so cool around you and your parents. And for months hung out alone with you in his bedroom never making any uninvited moves, comments or gestures. Just hanging out and chatting and playing board games.
    But both of them sexually assaulted me. One violently.

    I forgot to mention that I am not someone’s daughter…I am someone’s son.
    So when my middle daughter (I have 3) was sexually assaulted by her step father, it was everything I could do not to rend this "man" to pieces with my bare hands.

    My own father is a bigot and a sexist. And I chose long ago not to ignore the "boy’s club" mentality. Going so far as pulling him by the arm out of my house when he made some crude comments about a woman on TV and telling him to never come back until he could control those derogatory comments around my daughters.

  • Kath 4 years ago Reply

    Nomore needs to be called Moron

  • Amy 4 years ago Reply

    I am heartbroken. I join all of in your pain. I am so sorry for your hurt. I am so sorry for the deep canyon of hurt, anger, Shame and guilt that is still. I am sorry for the consequences of it in all areas of your life. It lingers. Each comment as I read it I hear it. Can we each hear each other. Can we all be for each other. Can we each respond to an injustice in each of our days differently than yesterday. I believe if we each stop and speak against an injustice that comes from our own mouthes hands or thoughts then and only then can we actually change any of this!
    And please May we each be true in our response. if someone is doing something you don’t like no matter male or female that is unacceptable and inappropriate let’s not be polite and awkward. Be fierce and appropriate… Say it! Scream it!!! Tell others!! Don’t let their sin become your shame!!! No more polite southern manners in regards to a harmful grotesque act!! Whether it is directed towards you or someone else!! This is a loving response!!! No more hiding. No more accepting it. You can not change the aggressor but our response to it has to change!!!
    I hope and pray each of you recurve healing and freedom!

  • Unkle/Grandpa 4 years ago Reply

    I guess everyone missed the point and base their comments on their own experiences. My view on the subject is simple and I tried to impress this on the people who worked for and with me.

    Each person we come in contact with will be treated with respect, until they have done something sufficiently disrespectful to loose our respect. Then we take the appropriate action to resolve the problem that has arisen.

    I also made sure we checked all the facts to insure the story we were given was truthful. Over the past 50 ++++ years, I have heard hundreds of allegations. One of my first but one I really found most satisfying was from an owner of a restaurant in quiet midwestern town during the mid the 1960’s. He wanted a latino couple and an african american couple removed from his restaurant because they were disorderly. There in the corner sat the four persons who were alleged to "being disorderly." I walked to the "disorderly group" and asked what the problem was?

    The White group sitting next to them said they were seated after the alleged "disorderly group" and they pointed out several other white groups, some of whom were eating their salads, who had been seated after the "disorderly group". I took everyones name, address, DOB, home and work telephone numbers (cell phones where a thing of the future).

    I went to talk to the owner and told him what I had learned from my Inquiry. At this point, he placed his right index finger forcefully into my chest as he quoted the following" your boss (chief of patrol) is a friend of mine and I want theses N and S out of here now. He, much to his painful disappointment, found himself kneeling, as he described to my boss in terrible pain after which he was thrown forcefully to the floor and handcuffed for assaulting a police officer. The remaining restaurant staff immediately served the "disorderly group" and later that evening two wait staff called me to give their names and information for my case. (they quit their jobs at the restaurant)

    The Moral of this story is I didn’t just accept at face value what the person in authority said happened. I am not suggesting anyone is not being truthful in this article. I do have the Opinion that just because someone says it happened I want to check to determine the truth. So should each of you. Who is the uncle (full Name) and any other identifying information. Where was he convicted and when? Ask questions.

    I recall, less than 100 tears ago, seeing a news story of televised testimony of a woman who appeared in front of congress telling how she watched a baby being killed by Saddam Hussain’s soldiers. It was later revealed the young woman had not been out of the US during the time frame in which this incident, had allegedly occurred.

    American Military personnel where then sent to fight and die. Why because of one lie. No. But what was the truth?

    I will say it again Check your information before you react. Do the same before you vote. Now I know this article was about sexual abuse not politics but is everything valid. In just Three weeks we go to the polls. Notice I am not talking about people from Poland. CHECK YOUR FACTS. I am totally disappointed in the low, low, low quality of our candidates. I will be told this article has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with sexual assault.

    Why now and be aware, I am not voting for Trump or Clinton. I think they are sleaze balls. Just check your facts. Are they true. There are more than two candidates for president. Vote your conscience.

  • NO, NOMORE 4 years ago Reply

    All my life things like that have happened to me, from family friends actually taking action on me to gross guys sitting on my bus on the way home from school asking if they could take my virginity… MULTIPLE TIMES. It is NOT okay.
    I realize things happen to men aswell, but no, NOMORE, you have not spent centuries "protecting women". Men for CENTURIES have made women cover their faces, walk ten steps behind them, feel bad when we don’t feel like having sex, objectified us in locker rooms, online, and straight to our faces, They have raped, murdered, and brutalized women til we are afraid to live our lives. AND TO THAT YOU SAY "dont like it? stay inside" ?!?! yes, thank you. because men have made us so afraid we should NEVER LEAVE OUR HOUSES?! cause its our fault, yeah?

    You are no better than the men these stories are about.

  • Royfact 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for an eloquent comeuppance. Every once in a while you just need to hear what should be obvious.

  • Kate Firebaugh 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you thank you thank you !!!

  • L. Hammock 4 years ago Reply

    I completely understand all you’ve written about and most of us (including me) have been in similar circumstances. I hope you realize that there are and have always been FEMALES who are complicit in the lies and cover up because they are a party to what their husbands or boyfriends do to other females! I won’t go further, because I think you’ll figure out just exactly what I mean by this "complicit" remark. People, male and female, who are in positions of authority (or power) and who could take action, sit by and do nothing!!

    Gigi 4 years ago Reply

    Sorry, are you talking about human females? The correct term for those is "women." It’s 2016; we no longer use "female" as a noun to refer to a woman or a girl, because the implication of this language is that women and girls are members of a subhuman species that does not deserve the same basic respect and courtesy as men. Please make a note of it.

    maribeau 4 years ago

    Actually, most military and police forces refer to people as males and females. My niece who is in the navy does this as do the others she serves with.

  • S 4 years ago Reply

    I’m 24 and I’ve never experienced a story remotely like this. The most I’ve gotten was a whistle. And I’m not sheltered – I work in a big city for heaven’s sake. I’m not overweight, and I dress nicely. I guess I must be really ugly.

    Tk 4 years ago Reply

    ignorance is considerably ugly

    Jules 4 years ago Reply

    I’m not saying that I don’t believe you, but I do want to say that you’ve either been incredibly lucky or you’ve been very good to avoid very much contact with men in one-on-one conversation.
    My most memorable encounter at age 28… I was at work, and needed to head out to get my 3-year-old from daycare. Two men, my boss and a handyman, were still in the building and even though both men had met my husband, the handyman said, "Sure. We all know you’re really hitting the pole," and mimicked dancing on a pole. My boss laughed and I simply said ‘nope’ and left.
    With several more remarks like that and my unwillingness to engage in those conversations, I was demoted from a computer tech to doing extra things like folding t-shirts and shredding old files in the shop.
    I talked to the HR lady and she shrugged it off as shop talk and said I’d never win a sexual harassment case as a way to be able collect unemployment unless I had something in an email or other document. I didn’t even ask about that.
    Needless to say, I quit very shortly after. I live in a growing area, not a city, but I’ve seen it in both.
    Hopefully, your luck will remain, but don’t ever take for granted that it could happen, and don’t let down your guard!

  • Paul 4 years ago Reply

    So being a male I call out the numerous degrading lyrics present in any number of hip/hop and rap objectifying and degrading women.

    romanticskeptic 4 years ago Reply

    Are you be sarcastic? Because that’s actually a really good place to start a conversation with your peers about consent and respect. If you’re articulate enough to explain why the lyrics are degrading and objectify women and why degrading and objectifying women is inherently bad, you could create a great dialog that might inspire your peers to be better people. (Though, I honestly think you were being sarcastic and possibly racist, though I don’t know your race, but this really feels like you’re trying to point your finger at another demographic to get your own off the hook. If you are indeed white, please take a look at the disgusting things Trump has to say about women. White men aren’t off the hook.)

  • It's Real. 4 years ago Reply

    I once got let go from work early because four drunk men were throwing cash at me, as well as making many inexcusable comments. I can take it, but I shouldn’t have to. No one should.

  • Janna 4 years ago Reply

    Thank you for this. The saddest part, to me, is the double-standard. If I behave innocent in a situation while being objectified, I’m still not considered the innocent party. I either have to object not just with a "that’s not ok" but I have felt the need to explain myself, my rights as a human. I’ve always dressed professionally, never provocative, and have never welcomed "locker room talk" in or around my office of a "man’s world" environment, but I’m the one who has to "get used to it." Respect comes in many forms, and few choose to practice it, male and female. Just have some respect. A little self control goes a long way.

  • Miah 4 years ago Reply

    Paul: Country music these days is not much better… And the videos definitely aren’t typically what I want to be watching with younger children – or worst, t/weens! (The lyrics and the videos have become much more explicit over the last 5 yrs imho.)

  • Ryry 4 years ago Reply

    I agree. As a man and as a mold that we collectively have to break. Instead of teaching young women how not to "lead on" men or be "too provocative" or how to avoid getting sexually assaulted. We should be teaching to young men and boys that respecting women is part of what makes a man a man. That NO means NO and there is NO variance in this proposition. That if they see sexual harassment that they should speak up. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be allowed to talk up the opposite sex or the same sex for that matter. That’s part of it but there’s a line and we all know what crosses it. When that happens don’t be quiet.

  • ali 4 years ago Reply

    I have told my friends many times not to refer to having sex with a woman as "banging" her. It is not some object you are hammering. Girls should stop using "fuck" so easily in their parlance btw. It is hard to tell men it is not appropriate when girls themselves use it.

  • Jipclore 4 years ago Reply

    I also have MANY "stories" like this, I’m remembering it all now after suppressing it, it’s all coming back…
    I now also see it’s pervasive (thot it wasn’t just me, that I was doing sumthing wrong 2 be treated this way, well I was NOT!) but it is so b/c girls/women (even boys/men) are afraid 2 tell & or report b/c we know no1 wld believe us or do anything even if they did & if we report it we’d be put thru hell, so we stay silent, well NO more, this HAS 2 stop I have nieces that I do NOT want this 2 hppn 2, nor ANY girl/woman-boy/man ever again!!!

    The last part is on spot, do SUMTHING when sum1 tells u sumthing hppn 2 them, esp. if it’s a child!!!

    Step 1, do NOT vote 4 dumpf*ck orange hitler the RAPIST (& denounce ALL he’s said & done, tell your kids this talk & behavior is NOT ok!!!) if u do vote him u are telling your boys it’s ok 2 act this way & your girls that’s it’s ok 2 be treated this way & u are thus a BAD parent PERIOD!!!

  • Katie 4 years ago Reply

    I would bet every woman in the world has suffered because of abuse by a male at some time in their life. I have many stories myself, I worked in downtown Minneapolis for 10 years and owned a small hair salon on Hennepin ave for 4 years. I heard it all! One day while waiting with about 20 other people for a bus to go home, I drunk man came right up to ME, no one else, wanting a kiss cause it was his birthday. I kept saying no and moving away from the man. He continued to harass me until finally he spit in my face😢 Not one of those people waiting did anything to help me.

  • Artemis 4 years ago Reply

    I gotta say, there ARE women out there who haven’t been exposed to this crap. At least in Australia. I’m one of them. There’s enough men out there that aren’t scum to give us hope.

    Upset at Complicity 4 years ago Reply

    Australia. Sure. No misogyny there.

    Not Complacent 4 years ago

    Hey ‘Upset at Complicity’ – what a asshole dismissal of a valid life experience. Perhaps the mention of Australia could have been clearer, but SHE was the topic of the comment, not Australia.

  • Caitlin 4 years ago Reply

    I’m sure there are lots of good men out there, and I have been quite fortunate to meet a few of them and even marry one exceptionally good one. But for every decent guy I know, I know 2 assholes. I don’t know any woman without at least 5 stories. I have live in NY, FL, CO, CA, and Guam. Being a military spouse I have met wonderful people from all over the country and the phillipines and we all have these stories. They may affect us differently but the awkward laugh is always present because we just don’t know how to react and are always hoping that someone else will see what’s happening and end the situation and distract the harasser from continuing their bad behavior. I keep a taser and pepper spray with me at all times and have had to threaten people with it just to get safely to my car a couple of times. While I don’t support hillary either, Trumps locker room talk is dissapointing at best from a man on a world stage and looking to be president of the United states. We should be able to look to our president as an example of class and respect for others. We should not be worrying that our country’s leader may be perpetuating sexual harassment, discrimination, and anger.

  • Robert Griffin IV 4 years ago Reply

    As a man I understand and agree with your points that men don’t have the right to do these things and that men need to step up and say something when their friends/coworkers/family are doing anything like this. The part I don’t understand about this article, and many of the others that I read like this, is that people are putting it off on the men to speak up and act out on this behavior, but yet women aren’t speaking up for themselves in the situation. I feel articles like this try and transfer the blame to men, the ones that aren’t doing these heinous things, but yet the women involved are the first line of defense.

    Kassandra 4 years ago Reply

    Clearly you haven’t been paying attention: We’re called liars, told we’re being emotional, overreacting. Told we should be smarter about situations we put ourselves in (Heaven forbid you walk to your car a block away after work at 5pm). We’re called bitchy, told we’re dressing slutty, must have given him the wrong impression (But hey better smile or you’re bitchy. Or maybe you’re a lesbian for not responding to his advances). Those are a few very real reasons why women being "the first line of defense" doesn’t always work. Until recently, most of these things were in the dark. Victim shaming was all that occurred. Did you a hear about the teenage girl, who happened to be a virgin, who was raped, and she did speak up? Have you heard of the line of questioning she was given? Such as "have you given a blow job before though?" As if the answer to that somehow discredits whether or not her consent could or could not be given to be sexually violated. "Well she’s had a dick in her mouth so she couldn’t have possibly been raped"
    …I’d say that’s probably why it’s hard for women to be that first line of defense.

    romanticskeptic 4 years ago Reply

    In addition to what Kassandra said about the slutshaming and society justifying the sexual violence against women, situations often get worse for women when the act as their own first line of defense. For example, in a situation where you’re in public, like a bar or party or work event, and a man is has saddled up beside you and is blatantly flirting, moving closer, offering to buy you drinks, overall making it difficult for you to leave politely, it’s often better to allow them to carry on until some one else comes along to your aide. Because men who act like this already feel entitled to your space and body and can lash out if denied what they think is theirs. One time a man put a date rape drug in my drink in this very situation. I was lucky because my friends noticed that I was nearly falling asleep after one drink while a man pawed at me. They got me home just before I started violently vomiting the drug out of my system. Another man, after being politely rejected, followed my friend around the bar loudly shouting that she was stuck up and not pretty enough to act that way. In situations like these, if you just play along until someone helps you, especially a man pretending to be your boyfriend, there’s rarely any backlash. In non-public situations, we’re much less lucky. There isn’t much we can do if a man is bigger, stronger and wants something we don’t want to give. This is why so many women travel in packs, and carry pepper spray or knives. I have a friend who would have been raped if she hadn’t happened to have her box cutter from work in her pocket. She stabbed her attempted rapist in the leg. I also stopped my own attempted rape by being more sober than my attacker and blessed with incredibly strong legs and a right cross. It’s not like we just lay back and take it. We do protect ourselves when we can. The problem is that there is not enough rhetoric among men condemning this behavior. We’ve got apologists left and right (mostly right) claiming that what Trump said 11 years ago was no big deal and just the way men talk to each other. If a good man hears another man talking like this, as if sexual assault is ok, the good man should let him know that acting like that is not acceptable and joking about sexual assault is not funny or ok. Men need to stand up before assault is even attempted. This is something that has to come from their peers, not women so that they can explain away their validity.

    caesura 4 years ago Reply

    Kassandra has hit many many reasons why women aren’t the first line of defense.

    There’s another very important one:

    Defending ourselves from "mild" verbal or physical harassment and assault often puts our lives in danger.

    The goons that treat women this way don’t hang their heads in shame when a woman yells at them to stop catcalling her, to stop following her home, or to stop massaging their shoulder when they are at their desk.

    Those men get angry. They are OFFENDED that a woman has the gall to say something about it, and they use will every ounce of force they think is necessary to shut you up and make your comply with what they want from you. If that person is your boss, expect it to affect your career.

    After being confronted, there’s a good chance the large (now very angry) man following you down a deserted street is now calling you foul names and instead of describing graphic sexual things they want to do to your body, they are describing graphic tortures and how they want to maim and kill you. If he can catch you, there’s a decent chance you will up dead in the trunk of a car or that someone will find your bloated corpse stuffed into a dumpster. Not before he’s done the maiming and the raping though.

    That’s why it’s important for other men to speak up. You have the privilege of calling out another man on his bad behavior without him threatening you or acting on threats to murder you. You have the privilege of being believed and respected by other men. You have the privilege to shame these jerks and actually change their behavior. Please use your privilege for good. Because we are fighting as hard as we can on our own, With the support of allies, with the help of good men we will be a lot safer.

    I have been raped. More than once. I’ve also been thrown down a flight of metal and concrete stairs for stopping unwanted advances from a man and left to die with my head split open and bleeding. I’ve been beaten unconscious by my ex husband, because I stood up to him when he threatened to kill my dogs. The one man I should have been able to trust completely.

    Yet, I believe the vast majority of men are good men. Rapes appear to be committed by serial rapists who have many many victims over the course of their lives. If they were just held accountable before that started, if there was an expectation from other men that they treat women with respect and people understood that they are not entitled to access someone else’s body whenever they want, there would be so much less suffering.

    Dee 4 years ago

    Caesura, that was SO well said. I’m sorry for your experiences and am blown away by your miraculous perspective. You’re amazing. Truly.

    Jeff 4 years ago

    Wow. Just wow. I’m glad I’m reading all of this. As much as I hate to hear it. Many of us men are way too blind to this. We have to make the world safer.

    Tmacay 4 years ago

    I agree with everything written in the original piece and many of the comments. I would love to help more than I have been able to. I raised my children in such a way that I would be stunned if they ever did anything like this, and I teach respect for women (and children, minorities, etc.) as a matter of course. The main problem I have in not being more helpful is that the vast majority of men who I know are not like this, and I can’t remember the last time I heard "locker room talk". All the points above are well-written and well-considered, but my perception is that this is a problem that often happens in more hidden social as well as physical locations. Still, we must all do our best to make strong statements wherever and whenever we can.

    Dee 4 years ago Reply

    I hear this a lot and your question about why women don’t speak up is a very understandable one. I think that first, you have to understand that you don’t understand…that you have no idea what it’s like to be female, the same what I don’t understand what it’s like to be male. And I think you have to ask questions, which in some way you’re doing here. The first time I was sexually abused I was 16. I was sleeping over with about 15 of my friends at my summer cottage one weekend when my parents were out of town. I woke on the couch to a guy friend that I’d had for years on top of me with his hand pressing over my mouth and his other hand down my pants. When I started to struggle he pushed back with his face an inch away from mine with wild, panicked eyes. I started to scream. He jumped off of me and when someone else in the room scrambled and turned the lights on he pretended that he was sleep walking. He even had his arms lazily stretched out in front of him. The alpha in our group mobilized on behalf of my guy ‘friend’ and by morning had everyone convinced of his innocence even though I’d spoken up and said otherwise. I had no proof that he wasn’t sleeping. It was his word against mine. This group of my dearest friends decided the next day that it would be best for everyone if I went home. I was making everyone uncomfortable and they wanted to have a good weekend. I left my own cabin and cried for days. To say that that experience was traumatic is an understatement. We all know how hard high school is. Eventually everything went back to normal and the event was removed from our little group and tucked back away somewhere out of sight. A few years later I was having a sleep over at a couple’s house in the city whom I had known my whole life. They made me a bed on the pull out couch and went into their room for the night. 10 minutes later there was a knock on their door. One of the man’s co-workers had gotten too drunk to drive home back to the country and was wondering if it was okay for him to crash there. I voiced my concern and was quickly dismissed. This guy was "a great friend and was completely harmless". When I pushed back they laughingly brushed me off saying that I was overreacting. If I’d have had my own car I’d have driven the two hours home without another thought. But I didn’t. So I convinced myself that maybe I should just trust them and would most likely be fine. I even felt guilty for being a nuisance and embarrassed for having so much ‘baggage’. I went to bed. I woke up 30 minutes later with this man on top of me. I lost it instantly and fought him off. He cried and apologized. I sat stunned with my blanket wrapped around me on the other side of the room. I listened to him go from being sorry, to making excuses for why he’d done it. I didn’t respond to him and the longer I sat there in silence the angrier he got. Eventually he threatened me and said that if I said anything that he’d say I’d brought it on myself and that it was my fault. He knew my boyfriend and my brother and said that he’d ruin my reputation. I believed that he could. Can you blame me? Remember how my dearest friends were so quick to believe the guy the last time? How in a matter of hours that that night at my cabin had become my fault? That I was the bad guy making everyone uncomfortable with my girly accusations? So I never said a thing. To anyone. Ever. And that, Robert Griffin IV, is why woman don’t speak up.

    Stina 4 years ago Reply

    Because when we women speak up we are mocked, ridiculed, accused of lying, accused of ‘leading the man on/asking for it’ or, worst case scenario, the situation then escalates as the male perpetrator decides to ‘put us in our place/show us who’s boss/take what he’s owed’ and we are battered/raped/murdered.

    Jeff 4 years ago Reply

    Robert I think I understand what you’re saying, so here’s my take on it. It’s like you’re talking to a big guy who is beating up a smaller guy. And you’re saying, "Why put the blame on the bigger guy? Why can’t the smaller guy be the first line of defense?"

    The reason the bigger guy is to blame: The bigger guy has more power. This fight is unfair from the start. And, the smaller guy shouldn’t be the first line of defense in a fight that isn’t fair. That’s wrong.

    So for men harassing women, the same principle applies. Even if the woman kicks him in the balls, beats him up, and "wins" the fight, the man STILL had the power to not harass her in the first place.

    Just like a bigger guy has the power to choose to not beat the crap out of a smaller guy. Why play unfair?

  • Peter Parker 4 years ago Reply

    Your website is garbage. Why do I have to enter an email every time I move my mouse to any edge?? Enough is enough.

    Jeff 4 years ago Reply

    Shut up, Peter.

    Tmacay 4 years ago Reply

    I don’t have that problem. Maybe it is not the website that is garbage.

    jb 4 years ago Reply

    I´ve read that happens when you visit pornographic websites. That´s why none of us have that problem. Judging by your tone, you really identify with the perps

  • Katherine 4 years ago Reply

    I share a lot of these experiences. I never told my dad, he would never do anything about it. I do conceal to carry. If I EVER see anyone in distress, I will assist. I know what it is like to be totally at the mercy of a man. So don’t call me a bitch because I am ready and able to defend myself.

  • Leila 4 years ago Reply

    I am so sorry you had all of these terrible experiences, I wish someone had been there to help you.
    I feel very lucky not to have had any experiences like yours. One comes to mind when I was a receptionist at a Bank in Chicago. I was about 19 years old and one day one of the Bank officers got to close to me and I punched him in the stomach…I was transferred to another department because I wouldn’t flirt with the clients. I should have reported the bank at that time, but I didn’t because I was planning on being there temporarily…
    If I had had a daughter I would tell her not to let anyone disrespect her in anyway form. Teach her to walk with confidence and take her to learn how to fight and defend herself. Now I am 58 years old, and I will be taking classes in Jui jitsu and some other form of defense. I like jui jitsu because this form of defense teaches how defend yourself in spite of your opponents size, and you can get away from the crazy attacker even if he is on top of you!
    I wish you peace.

  • My words often get me into trouble 4 years ago Reply

    I’m a man, a husband and a dad of 2 girls and stepdad of one teen girl.
    I see how harassment is many times very clear and others very subtle. And it is in the subtley that I find most of the trouble. The more I think about the less I can think of a solution. I just hope my girls don’t get to feel sexually harassed ever by anyone. But I’ll tell them that men desire women and unfortunately not all of us know or even want to show it in a civilized way which is why they need to be careful and I’ll tell them to the best of my knowledge how to.

  • Calnexin 4 years ago Reply

    Change comes from our children.

    If we behave in the appropriate way, they will pick up those behaviors. If we teach them, they will learn. But we have to change. Adults need to provide the example.

    My son is a perfect little gentleman, and I encourage him to be courteous and respectful.
    My daughter is beautiful and talented. I’m thinking about getting her a gun.

    The world’s an ugly place.

  • Jesse 4 years ago Reply

    Somebody should forward this to that guy running for president

  • Patti Church 4 years ago Reply

    Just yesterday I asked a friend if she had #beentrumped. All the lude, crude and inappropriate behaviours you’ve shared are what being trumped is to me. He exemplifies these behaviours to me. I bet almost all women have #beentrumped. That’s such a horrible thought. It has to end. And putting him into the white house is fuel to a fire that needs to be extinguished.

    Kate 4 years ago Reply

    So what do you think about Hillary supporting her rapist husband? No thought on that one? Trumps a douche, duh. But I’m guessing youre very pro Hillary? What do you think about her husband making a young intern give him a blow job in the Oval Office? What about when she defamed all of his accusers? Why do other women give Hillary a pass on that? Because she’s a woman? Can any of you even see the hypocrisy!?

  • Christina Strache 4 years ago Reply

    Reading this makes my heart hurt…We have way too much in common. Thank you for putting into words exactly what we as women have had to endure…young and old! Very well written xoxo

  • Janet 4 years ago Reply

    When the joke about sex… They aren’t joking…

  • Leigh 4 years ago Reply

    An amazing story, and one that hits very close to home. I have stories that I don’t allow myself to think about, because they scare me so. I will forward this and pray that everyone who receives it reads it, heeds it, and sends it on.

  • Tina Gatt 4 years ago Reply

    Should also forward it to the other idiot who is standing, you know, the one who is horrified by ‘locker room’ talk but allowed her husband to cheat on her and plays down that he has a son from a prostitute and who has been accused of Rape more than once. 😡

    Jess J 4 years ago Reply

    "Allowed her husband to cheat on her." Wow. Wow. Because men can’t cheat without their wife’s permission, right? Because women have complete power over their husbands? She is not her husband and his actions are not her responsibility just like all these women who have been subject to physical or verbal abuse are not at fault for what has happened to them. Men are not entitled to have anything they want from women and we sure as hell don’t "allow" them to do these things. Get the hell out with your victim blaming shit.

  • Harry 4 years ago Reply

    I read your story and it seems to me that quite a lot of things happened to you when the setting involved alcohol, such as you living near the bar and many other party occasions at home with your family or at your friends house. I am male but if I were you, I would have tried my best to avoid any types involving alcohols since there are obviously guys who are being idiots after being drunk and showing how tough and dominant they were. But I guess that would have obviously been a hard thing. Things gotta stop for sure. Either the men should try to control themselves and women try their best to avoid at the same time.

    Jules 4 years ago Reply

    What Harry!? Is she supposed to avoid all situations where alcohol might be? Like leave her own family home as a 16 year old if her parents are having a party? And go where? Or never be in a bar? Like ever? Of the 7 incidents she mentions, only 2 involve alcohol, and one of them was a grown man talking about it to a child. What’s wrong with you? Stop blaming the victim.

    Anna 4 years ago Reply

    Yep, I noticed the same thing and I’m a woman. I have NEVER had something like this happen EVER. Not once. But guess what? I’ve never put myself in a situation where it could. When I had a bad breakup and I was working at a restaurant that closed at 2 in the morning, I asked one of our cooks to walk me out to my car…just in case. Never been to a bar by myself (that seems a little desperate). My parents never had so many people at their house that they wouldn’t notice a man missing for quite some time (really? How much partying did these people do??). I am sooo flipping tired of the victim complex and women complaining because they have to be smart. Seriously? If you’re going to the beach and you don’t want to get burned, do you just hope for the best or take precaution? If you’re going to have a test and want to well, do you study or prepare? Why is this so hard???

    HC 4 years ago

    Oh, good for you, Anna! Another card carrying member of the I Have Never squad. Does your arm hurt from all the patting yourself on the back you do?
    Please promise me you will work just a little on that self righteous stance you are taking, lest you sometime in the future have a daughter who needs your support. The last thing a person who has been put in that position needs is some judgemental snip.

    Aunnie 4 years ago

    Seriously? This is victim blaming at its best. Good on you for taking precautions, but people shouldn’t HAVE to plan to be at risk of being attacked. This is where the issue in our culture lies. And if a woman wants to go out and have a drink alone or go out to dinner alone, good for her for having the confidence to do so AND she shouldn’t have to worry about safely getting to her car when she’s done.

    J 4 years ago

    You really just compared sexual assault to a sunburn or passing a test?? Seriously.

    As I said to Harry above…
    I’ve been catcalled walking to work in broad daylight when I was 15/16. I had a man ask me if I "wanted to go for a ride" at 7am while walking to work when I was 20. I had an older man demand to another cashier that I wait on him (I was on break). I had a jeep full of 4 males made crude noises and gestures while I was walking to my home while living in a different country, only to pass by my house after I ran home and shakily fumbled to unlock my door to try to avoid them. I’ve also had something happen within my own home as a teenager that I can’t talk about under a publication ban. Based on your logic, I should stop going outside? Live by myself? Prevent these situations by becoming a recluse?

    J 4 years ago Reply

    I’ve been catcalled walking to work in broad daylight when I was 15/16. I had a man ask me if I "wanted to go for a ride" at 7am while walking to work when I was 20. I had an older man demand to another cashier that I wait on him (I was on break). I had a jeep full of 4 males made crude noises and gestures while I was walking to my home while living in a different country, only to pass by my house after I ran home and shakily fumbled to unlock my door to try to avoid them. I’ve also had something happen within my own home as a teenager that I can’t talk about under a publication ban. Based on your logic, I should stop going outside? Live by myself? None of these situations involved alcohol. All of them involved lack of respect and consent.

  • sterling 4 years ago Reply

    Hey Harry,
    You should teach a 101 class on victim blaming because you’re awfully good at it. A woman has a right to be near alcohol. She shouldn’t have to steer clear of having fun and living a normal life because men act this way. This article was written for the purpose of educating fools like you. #manup

  • Dianne 4 years ago Reply

    Oh boy, it certainly is NOT okay. I, as have many women, have had to endure many creepy encounters with many creepy males, young and old. It’s scary and at times extremely frightening. I’d just like to share one incident that happened to me when I was maybe 16. I worked for this very nice Italian family assembling clocks. The entire family worked at their little factory, the mother, father, 2 brothers and sister and while the wage wasn’t too great the atmosphere was quite pleasant until one day after work. A Toronto thunderstorm with all the bells and whistles exploded. Of course the bus was nowhere to be seen while I waited shelterless, umbrellaless and drenched at the stop. My boss’s oldest son, about 25 years old, pulled up, rolled down the window and asked me if I needed a ride to the subway station, yes I did and I was happy to accept. This guy had never spoken a word to me other then ‘good morning’ or ‘goodbye’ at work before this day. I really didn’t feel any sort of vibe from him and thought he was actually being nice. I accepted his offer of a ride to the subway. I lived about 2 hours away by transit and didn’t want to hang out in the storm for who knows how long and so I got in his car. It probably took him less than one minute to turn into a complete predator. We’re in traffic and suddenly he asks me if I fuck and if I’ll fuck him. Tells me he wants a blow job. His language was pretty foul and after about a minute of this attack and the initial shock wore off I declined and told him to pull over so I could get out to which he refused demanding a blow job while he drove as payment for his kindness in driving me to the station. I was feeling very uncomfortable and afraid and after about 10 minutes of telling him ‘No’ and demanding that he pull over and let me out the pig finally did. I jumped out of his car and into the storm and was so relieved to be out of his car and away from him. He burned rubber when he took off, I guess that was to let me know he was pissed off at me, oh please. Now I’ll tell you the good part of this story. I went in to work the next morning. The dad and mom were always the first people there. I went to speak with the dad in private. I told him what his son had done to me the day before and I was very upset about it and I could tell the dad wasn’t happy either. The creep came in to work at the usual time and his dad called him over to the center of the little factory. Oh, this is so great! His dad flipped out on him, completely freaked out! He was cursing at him in English and Italian. He went up one side of him and down the other. And then…he backhanded his son so friggin’ hard that the prick cried in front of everyone! He was silent but the tears were coming down his face. I couldn’t believe it. It was so well deserved and I got to see it and the pig got to see me see it. Bless his father…retribution never felt so good.

  • Victoria Weinrich 4 years ago Reply

    Mine was when I was 13. it was just before my second oldest sister’s wedding. I was sitting in my parent’s kitchen (my home at the time) with my brother in law and soon to be brother in law. The soon to be said to the BIL "Hey ever notice big boobs? Anything other than a mouth full is a waste!" The he laughed and reached over and poked me in the breast. They both laughed and I wanted to die. I never told anyone because I was a girl and a child with a vivid imagination. I would have been accused of trying to stop my sister’s marriage. I wish I could have. This was 34 years ago and it haunts me everyday. Do you think it has shaped who I am?

  • Maia 4 years ago Reply

    Where to begin… the boys who bullied me in school but acted like they were entitled to my attention when we were alone? The boyfriend when I was 15 who made me get him off and broke up with me a second after he came? (He went on to rape a friend of mine.) My best friend that I was in love with, but who liked someone else, so I moved on, and who 3 years later demanded I choose between him and my boyfriend? The stranger who sat next to me on the bus and kept putting my hand on his thigh? Yet another male friend who called me a slut in so many words because I had a few casual partners and who ended our friendship because I wouldn’t prioritise him (who lived in a different country) over every other person in my life, including my own health? The list goes on…

  • Tom Thompson 4 years ago Reply

    Many times, I am ashamed of being part of the male species.
    I was brought up by a single mother in addition to 5 sisters whom I have loved dearly my entire life. My mother and 4 of my sisters are now deceased.
    I believe that I have always treated females with respect and dignity that everybody human being deserves. I also regret many moments that I wish I could take back because of words or deeds carelessly spoken or done.
    We live in a sexually titilating culture that uses sex in nearly all aspects of our lives, whether it be to sell products, or to measure a person’s manhood or a woman’s worth. Yet, very rarely, does our culture put any reasonable and intelligent discussion on the table about sexuality, human value, intimacy, and love.
    I know that research shows that 1 of every 3 females in the US will be subject to some form of sexual assault before the age of 18. 1 of every 5 males will also be victims as well. All of us needs to do our part to make every human being feel safe, respected, and nurtured in safe environments and communities. Awareness of these issues is the first step in creating a safer society for all.

  • Angie 4 years ago Reply

    I worked at my dream job. One day, a "higher up" man came up behind me, pressed his erection into my back, and asked if I was as eager to f*** him as I was my boyfriend, who was his colleague. I was afraid to say anything, as I didn’t want to lose my job or upset my bf. I was 21. The "man" was 50.

  • Emily-Jane 4 years ago Reply

    When I was in sixth form there was a boy who was always being too friendly, it started with little compliments, which was fine, but it kept progressing until it was, your breasts look great in that top, seeing women in boots makes me want to fuck them (whilst I was wearing boots) you remind me of a pornstar I like, then describing the things he had seen done to that pornstar. I laughed it off until he started grabbing my ass as he walked past whispering things like, I want to f**k you up the ass with my f**king c**k, and making lewd comments about my family. So then I told him it wasn’t okay and he needed to stop. And he got angry, following me around school whenever he could and threatening me, saying he was going to get me. Taking my phone from my bag in the common room and trying to text my boyfriend to break up with him. So I went to the head of year and complained and she said she would talk to him, but, and I quote, "it’s only a few months till the end of the year anyway, it’s not worth dealing with him, next year he won’t be your problem." He went on to university the next year to study law. It’s not just men who have the wrong attitudes towards this. It’s some women too. And it’s not okay.

  • NYGirl 4 years ago Reply

    When I was 18 my Boyfriend we take me to his best buds Italian house. Mr and Mrs were right off the boat and they were a lovely family and old and sometimes lonely. I being raised right would stop in to bring flowers, say hello, stay for Sunday dinner. Mrs asked me to go out on the boat with her hubby one day, keep him company. Didn’t think too much of it until we were in the middle of the lake and he started telling me he would make love to me like no other man. He was an old man and I was scared, I finally shamed him enough to go back to shore. I left immediately and I am convinced his wife knew. He on his death bed felt guilt but it changed me forever. At my country club where I bring my 4 small children to swim and play golf, a board member while in the 19th hole made crude comments about wanting to bend me over to other members. Evidently, it was so funny that it was repeated later that night at the actual board meeting in front of club staff, the golf pro and other members. No one said a word, including a close friend of ours, who later said he was appalled but didn’t tell me or my husband. 2 months later when someone let it slip and we raised as much hell as we could the member faced a 30 day suspension in Jan when the club was closed. No one male including the board president resigned, although I was shamed and didn’t go back to the club for a year. It too was dismissed as "locker room talk" only they were never in the locker room and I was a 40 yr old mom of 4 and this was my social club. At 52 it continues only now it’s MILF comments to me directly or high school boys making the comments to my sons. They have asked me not to come to school award events. Things need to change.

  • justmyexperience 4 years ago Reply

    At 32 I feel extremely luck that I can not recall a time where I have felt verbally attacked, or physically threatened by a man. I will admit though that I have been very thoughtful about my actions since I was a freshman in college. There were several rapes on campus my first semester so I started carrying a knife. When no one was around I would practice my draw speed so that it would be an instinct to draw, open, and stab someone if they grabbed me. When I walk I am never on my phone so that my head is up and my eye are alert to any dangers around me. I take my dog with me pretty much everywhere I go if I am by myself (even if I can’t take him in the grocery store just having him there makes me feel safer). I have even gone so far as to keep my hair cut short so that if someone does try to attack me there is less of it there for them to potentially grab. And these are just the things that I am conscience that I do.

    Unfortunately giving the way our society is behaving by excusing the way people disrespectfully talk about women I am guessing that my luck will run out someday. It is a dark place to live knowing that one day I will not be a random outlier anymore. I still carry my knife and practice my draw speed though because I will be damned that if/when that day comes that someone tries to attack at me physically that I will not defend myself.

  • Corrine Egan 4 years ago Reply

    It is not okay and happens way to often to girls and women of any age.

  • P 4 years ago Reply

    Then you get guys like me with a "not that guy" syndrome (I just made that up). For reasons too old to recall I did not always want to associate myself with masculinity, so I’ve over compensated to the extreme where I would not hold the hand of a girl I like because I did not want to force my will on her. Sure, there were probably other reasons for withdrawing from potential relationships, but that was one of my thoughts. It makes no sense, I know.

  • M 4 years ago Reply

    When I was in art school, I worked in the admissions office giving tours, working the desk, making calls, etc. The man who worked in the mailroom (was probably 40 or 50 yrs old) started being really friendly with me. At first I thought he was just being nice, but things escalated really quickly – he gave me pet names like "his little marshmallow." I was feeling pretty uncomfortable at this point, but I didn’t say anything to anyone. He followed me after work one day and instead of walking home I went to a bakery and stayed there until I didn’t see his car anymore. The next day I took a box of mailers to the office and he was there alone. The office sat a little back from the main hallway so its not in plain view – he grabbed my wrist and got really close to my face and said he wanted us to run away together. At first I thought he was just joking but he wasn’t. Luckily the other guy who worked in the office came in and he dropped my wrist and started sputtering about how he shouldn’t have done that because I was a student and told me to get out. The only person I ever told was the receptionist and I told her not to tell anyone because I didn’t want him to get in trouble and lose his job. She made sure I didn’t have to go to office anymore and I never talked to him again.

  • LIz 4 years ago Reply

    I was working at a department store as a shop girl, in the men’s clothing department a man asked me to help him pick out some sweatpants because he was "really big down there" and. normal pants didn’t work for him. At this job we were always warned to be polite to customers no matter what horrible stuff happened to us (retail is absolutely awful and I will forever have the deepest respect for those workers…) so I smiled uncomfortably and tried to be helpful, showing him some different pants to try out. He goes into the dressing room and a few minutes later comes out to find me. He looks around to make sure no one is around and then asks me if I think they look alright. He then touches himself and holds his penis through the pants, staring at me. I shrug awkwardly and just walk away, feeling confused and disgusted. I blamed myself for letting it get that far.

  • Elli Hook 4 years ago Reply

    Like many others, I have similar stories. When I experienced sexual harassment at work and took it to HR, my rep, a man, essentially said I needed to toughen up and boys will be boys. I have been lucky enough not to have any problems since. I don’t know what I would do as stepping up and being mansplained to that I’m too sensitive just made it worse.

  • Mari 4 years ago Reply

    This is so true. As a sexual assault response coordinator, I taught gave numerous sexual assault classes to thousands of people. Don’t politicize this serious issue… People shouldn’t be a Billy Bush ( by egging people on) or a Hillary Clinton (by enabling rapists and blaming victims).
    As a society, we need to change the way that people view this widespread problem. I was approached by almost EVERY woman in the class to tell me their stories. I got to the point where I couldn’t tell people what I did because the stories kept coming…every time I met a woman. It was overwhelming. This problem is more widespread… It’s an epidemic. That’s when I started using my classes to ask people what the Rules" were for not getting raped. The answers were just as stated above. Don’t go here, don’t do that, don’t dress like that. Then I asked what the rules were for men… You could hear a pin drop and see lots of shrugs. I then asked how men described sex..answers ranged from scoring, going all the way, etc. I then asked what boys were being taught by hearing these terms. They unfortunately have been taught that it’s all a big game and competition to get "some". I encouraged folks to talk to their children and encourage to respect not only other people but to also respect themselves. And to see that other person as someone’s child, friend, loved one. How would they want their parent, sister, aunt, friend or grandmas to be treated ?

  • M 4 years ago Reply

    We need to start a movement against the media and the companies out that that use sex and objectification of women to sell their products. We need to boycott these companies and tell that it is NOT ok to do that! Our society is overrun with this constant barrage of sex.
    I already posted that we need to continue (or start to ) educate people on what sexual assault is. You would be amazed at how many people have no clue about this CRIME. Unfortunately, It really is one of those crimes where victims are blamed for being assaulted. We wouldn’t dare blame a person who was robbed or question their judgment. … "Why did you wear that expensive jewelry or drive that nice car?? You were asking for it?" No, people say things like that but when someone robs your virginity, your piece of mind, your self worth or your free will when they sexually assault you, that’s exactly what people do!
    I remember crying and not being able to breathe when I watched the lady Gaga song "til it happens to you". She’s right.. Until it happens to you, people don’t know how it feels.
    Ladies and gentlemen that have been a survivor of this crime, it’s not your fault! I’m sorry that this happened to you. Some days will be dark, but have faith. At the end of the darkest nights, the dawn will break it with light. I KNOW how it feels….

  • LMR 4 years ago Reply

    A few years ago, and twice this year. My husband best friend called me and another of his buddies asked how things were going– about my job hunt, and things, my husband). They then told me he and his wife hadn’t been intimate in a while and wondered if he should "look elsewhere for sex," and winked. Again, I laughed uncomfortably. But to have two diffent me to say similar things. I told my husband and he said the same thing as in the article.
    "Oh, he’s harmless!"
    "He’s just joking. Where’s your sense of humor?
    "You’re overreacting."

  • Leslie 4 years ago Reply

    I’m sorry for your experiences. As I’ve read the comments, I’m actually shocked that some women have NOT had bad experiences. (I’m happy for them, but I also wonder if some define "bad experiences" differently.) I was date-raped by my first boyfriend (I continued to date him because I felt–stupidly–as though I had somehow lost some "value" by losing my virginity. I know), and I’ve had my ass grabbed in crowds so many times that I can’t even count. I used to turn around and see a wall of people, none of them looking directly at me, and I didn’t want to cause a scene–but now, twenty years later, I’m realizing I should have raised a hell of a fuss. I once had my crotch grabbed by a stranger. I had a guy follow me out of a party in high school and LITERALLY pick me up, but I managed to talk my way out of the situation. I’ve had guys be relentless in bars, actually laying hands on me. (I will teach my daughter to get teh bouncer to intervene or to call the cops if need be.) Years later, I found out he had, weeks earlier, had raped my unconscious 15-year-old friend when she drank for the first time ever and had too much. She lost her virginity that way. ALL my close friends have similar stories. I’m in my 40s, and I was raised to think that you just needed to deal with this. I’m FINALLY starting to realize that it’s not on women to just deal with it. Society needs to deal with it and change things.

  • AS 4 years ago Reply

    I have had several situations where I was caught off guard by the physical behavior and verbal assault of males that I thought I knew and considered a friend in my 40+ years on this earth. Just to be clear, these were not situations where alcohol was involved. It more so involved men taking advantage of the friendship, pushing their weight around trying to intimidate and overpower me when they felt I was most vulnerable, defenseless and without a witness of their inexcusable behavior. I am still stunned by a two physical struggles I encountered in my younger years. I was able to fight with everything ounce of strength and determination to get out of them. I felt empowered to do so because of my Mother. A woman who found her voice in an era when women were raised to keep their mouth shut. Her life changed when friend of her then husband, was giving her and her infant son a ride home from the market. This "friend" decided to suddenly pull off the road driving far enough to be out of sight. He shut the car off and told her that he could do anything he wanted to her and nobody would hear or see a thing. He didn’t take her rejection to his advances seriously and viciously attempted to rape her with infant son in the car. She punched, kicked, scratched, pulled, twisted, yanked and tried to rip off every body part that came within her reach. His private parts where in so much pain that he had to stop his attack. My Mother survived that attack and kept the awareness with her for the rest of her life. Sadly enough, she knew all too well that there was a good chance that her two daughters would be put in this dangerous and uninvited situation at sometime during their lives. Because of this, she taught both of us at a young age to own our feelings, trust our instincts and don’t feel bad or put our uncomfortableness on the back burner to avoid hurting the other persons feelings. To be direct with recognizing that what they are doing. To acknowledge the behavior is wrong and that we will not tolerate it. To fight back with everything we have if we ever found ourselves in a physical attack. She empowered me and saved me from two very bad situations. As a mother of three daughters myself, I have raised their awareness and given the same empowerment my mother gave me. Yes, it IS sad that we must have these discussions with our daughters. But until the mindset changes, it’s what we must do to protect ourselves from a negative outcome. I think we have come a long way from the era my mother was raised in, but feel we have a long way to go. I encourage all of you to empower your daughters, granddaughters and nieces to trust their instinct and have zero tolerance for being spoken to and/or treated in uninvited sexual manner. Let them know you believe in them and understand the struggle. Share your experiences, and how it made you feel. Tell them what you’ve learned and what you would have done differently if you knew then what you know now. I think fathers should have these conversations with their daughters and let them know they have their back if they encounter a situation, regardless of who the person is. I don’t think all men are bad or view them pigs. I don’t think that all men will do something out of line just because they can. I do know that there are enough of them out there that are ignorant to their short comings or feel empowered to disregard women. Because if this I will continue to empower the women in my life to take a stand to be fearless in the eye of those predators.

  • Cindi French 4 years ago Reply

    “We walk to our car with 911 already dialed into our phones, just in case." ….sigh.. All the time. Thank you for the great words. It’s NOT ok

  • Mike Ackermann 4 years ago Reply

    Women, you need to demand CCW, and then you need to practice it every day.

    No amount of social programming will ever make predatory males disappear. No amount of wishing it were otherwise will ever make it otherwise.

    Only you, personally, are responsible for and capable of your own self defence.

    The perpetrator gets to choose the time, manner and place of the assault and will do so in such a way as to maximize his advantage and minimizing yours.

    All you can do is be ready to stop a violent assault with the one defensive tool that places you on an equal or greater footing with your assailant: the concealed carry hand gun.

    Your assailant will not willingly grant to time to call for heal or to wait for it to arrive.

    Wake up to this reality and stop asking your government for protection it cannot hope to provide.

    Instead start telling the government that your days of living in fear are over.

    Helen H 4 years ago Reply

    To the point….
    Mike, you are deluded.
    Nowhere in this article or comments do we ask the government to protect us. We are asking Men to teach other men and boys that this treatment is not o.k – ever!
    As for carrying a concealed weapon as a defence, many assailants will wrest away a gun and end up raping a woman (or man) at gunpoint…it is never a solution, just another complication to add to an already loaded situation. Worse still, you shoot the guy, go to prison and get bottle raped by another inmate…no solution there either.
    So, please, YOU wake up to this reality we are all too familiar with and keep your "right to guns" crap off here.
    Predators are everywhere, but so are passive bystanders. When do you finally say "no more"??

  • Darrell 4 years ago Reply

    I have a deep respect for women. My wife and daughter are the girls in my life and it’s not a choice in our home if they are or are not treated with respect. We live in a sick world. NONE OF THIS IS OK, NONE OF IT IS RIGHT! It amazes me how often it happens and how forward creeps can be. You can be darn sure no man is going to do any of these things when I’m around. It’s just too bad we can’t be around enough. Men just need to be taught to BE men. That little kid with the gestures needed to be taken by his ear to his parents and the. The parents need to step up and teach their kids how to be responsible around women.

  • CPE. 4 years ago Reply

    Things haven’t changed. My mom whose been dead since 1987 would be 100 next july 4 told me during the ‘birds and the bees’ talk that while she was dating she was on a first date and the guy just pulled out his member and asked her "Do you want it with or without a raincoat". She told me she said she told him "if he didn’t put that thing into his pants and drive her straight home he was going to loose it".

    My Aunt used to work for Corps of Engineers during the early 1970 on till her retirement. She was very attractive and stacked. She said she was in an elevator with a General Officer and his aide. Soon as the door closed the Gen pinched her but and lightening fast she swung her good hand up and back slapped him in his face. His aide almost blew a gasket trying not to laugh at his boss getting belted., When she got to her floor, she straightened her skirt and walked out the elevator head held high and nobody was the wiser."

  • Kate 4 years ago Reply

    Agreed! Great post.

  • Teacher 4 years ago Reply

    Don’t forget employers who sit really close as an intimidation technique. I had one who made sure that new hires were mostly single women and then he’d rip their work apart though it was at least as good if not better than their colleagues’ work. He would write reports on my work that were negative and I objected, I was labeled difficult or aggressive. This sort of thing did not happen to male colleagues. Being fired or given bad reviews as a teacher means never being hired again. And, there is almost nothing that can be done about it. He was a misogynist and this was a school. It is part of the pink collar ghetto and it is not ok.
    Don’t forget employers who only treat male employees with respect. This goes all the way to being told what footwear is allowed for women. Men can wear sneakers, but women have to get special permission from a union or physician (even when it is a medical necessity,) to wear orthopedic shoes or dressy sneakers. To do that is to risk being seen as weak or difficult. Both equal career suicide so women often quietly quit and have to start over in a new career.
    This extends to academia as well. I had a friend who wouldn’t sleep with her graduate advisor and he refused to put her PhD thesis through unless she did. She only got her degree when he died and her work was groundbreaking. She waited 15 years.
    I had a student physically threaten me multiple times and I was scared to report it because my employer said to report student problems was a weakness. When I did report it, nothing happened and my principal said it was my fault . He then read me observed frequently, humiliating me in friint of my coworkers. My coworkers, union rep, and students stated that my work was exemplary. These things are subtle, but a patriarchal system that allows the bullying of employees is another component of misogyny.

  • Painfulmemories 4 years ago Reply

    My first encounter started as an 8 year old getting fondled/fingered by a stepfather. I assume I was too horrified to say anything to anyone and kept it to myself until 45 years later when the memory resurfaced during an emotional breakdown. I don’t remember very much detail from early childhood so I’m assuming it’s repressed also. I looked 18 when I was 12 so I have gotten or heard remarks about my body for my entire life, even in 5th grade when asked if I stuffed my bra to Jr high boys thinking a girl with a body like that must me "easy"….this was in 60-70’s. My boss at 16 made very sexy comments to me at work. Once on a 3.5 hour flight at night I was sitting next to a man who started flirting as soon as we took off. He was Latino and was bilingual so he would say "kiss me" and "I love you" in Spanish. I couldn’t move to another seat as plane was full so I told him I was tired and taking a nap. Of course, I just sat with my eyes closed hoping for peace. Knowing we were starting to descend, I cracked open an eye and he was watching me & immediately picked back up where he left off. Then he wanted to give me a ride home from the airport. Said he never checked a bag so he could get a car quickly. I tried to just be polite telling him no thanks but he persisted. Even telling me I should come to his house and that his wife would enjoy meeting me!! I was pretty close to front of plane so as soon as that door opened I took off to baggage claim where Thank God the guy I was dating was waiting for me(yes, I did tell the man my boyfriend was picking me up). While waiting for the luggage, someone tapped me on my shoulder, turned around to see the man from the plane! Obviously he didn’t believe me about my ride and he had told me he never checked a bag so I’m sure it would have turned out no so well. I again said no thank you, my boyfriend is right here to take me home and my 6ft 5in boyfriend turned around to him and told him that yes, I had a ride and would appreciate him leaving his girlfriend alone. The man back pedaled just a bit saying ok he was just checking on me…..following me…. I normally just took a car from airport to my apartment and sometimes even took the subways so I was never so glad to have someone pick me up as that night. I had been so stoked that I had a non-stop flight until that night I had to endure unwanted advances for 3 hours. I don’t mind a layover so much anymore after that! It took me into my mid 30’s before I was even comfortable enough to wear tight fitting or low cut clothes after being teased since childhood. I wore tee shirts a size too big and always loose fitting clothes to not show off my body. People don’t realize how much words cut and hurt. Once said, they are never forgotten and it affected my life into adulthood. Now that I’m okay with my body, my repressed memories decide to make an appearance….guess I’ll just be in therapy forever!

  • Angela Mariano 4 years ago Reply





    While she is 100ft away.

    Yet everyone else wants to talk about some women being groped in an airplane 30 years ago.

    Arianne Zucker IS and WAS NOT a hypothetical woman in the story.
    I felt like crap for her. When that came out, I was like how horrible for her to be put in that situation by Donald Trump, Billy Bush AND NBC the television network she has worked for 20 years of her life. They used her for political gain, even if they did it with her consent.

    It’s like when Kate wrote Nicole the check for $5 Million Dollars to break up Sami and Lucas. If she (Arianne) did indeed "consent" to it. They still used her. Arianne Zucker plays Nicole Walker on Days of Lives.

    Nancy O’Dell is an anchor on Access Hollywood. Think about how embarrassing this was for her after eleven having putting in the past. What if she just blew it off and didn’t tell her husband because she didn’t want to start anything or whatever? Then her husband hears this shit about his wife on national TV.


    Put yourself in Ms. Zucker’s and Ms. O’ Dell’s place when this shit hit the fan. UGH makes my skin crawl and it is NBC THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IT., just as much Donald Trump and Billy Bush. Think to yourself, WHY did they release it? Think about the timing, after having on the shelves for 11 years. ALL THREE ENTITIES ARE SCUMBAGS, but I would say NBC is the biggest of the three.









    As I said they either did it with or without consent their consent. They practically raped both of them one way, and the other way they treated them like whores. If they came to them and said, were going to use this to discredit Donald Trump. What are they going to say? No? and risk losing their jobs?

    A WHORE/HOOKER/PROSTITUTE gives consent but MOST would rather not be doing if they could help it. They are there because MEN are pigs, sex sells, and they need the money quickly. It’s the same damn thing with drug dealers. They sell drugs. Risking going to jail, or being shot by a rival drug dealer. JUST TO MAKE A DOLLAR BECAUSE COMPANIES ARE TOO CHEAP TO PAY A DECENT WAGE.


  • j b 4 years ago Reply

    I am truly sorry you, the commenters and women around the world had and still have to endure this kind of treatment, I apologize as a man. I’m sorry. I really appreciate the bravery of sharing your hard and traumatic experiences, to open my eyes even more, I hope I can educate my son well and give my daughter the tools to fight for herself. I hope we all, together, can change this horrible reality, by doing this, educating, teaching compassion, and being brave to speak up and stand together when needed. I think with proper education since early age we can make a possitive change. To me, women have always been the real heroes.

  • Victoria 4 years ago Reply

    One of the best things I’ve done in my life is give my daughter tai kwon do and mma lessons; She will elbow, knee or kick any jackass that gets near her, and she is lightning fast. She knows I will back her up no matter place or time, or WHO it is. she has already used it in Middle School and HS.

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