Monday, May 26, 2014

#YesAllWomen and My Assault

Over the weekend, my twitter has been filled with the #YesAllWomen hashtag. I read about the awful things that happened to other women and the precautions others took in order to keep themselves safe. It gave me a lot to think about, as a women and the mother of a daughter.

It was reading Twitter the other night that made me remember that I was assaulted in high school. All because I was a quiet, geeky girl.

Assault seems like a harsh word for what happened, but that's really what it was. I was in the hallway between classes and there was a whole group of guys harassing me. One actually grabbed me and forced me to kiss him. I got away after that, but I was shaken and embarrassed.

I had a lot of issues with being bullied, but I just tried to ignore the taunts. I had been physically bullied by a girl, but my parents ended up going to the principal. The physical bullying stopped but the emotional bullying went on until I graduated from high school.

I don't remember if I told my parents about the assault. I do remember being very, very embarrassed about it. Technically it was also my first kiss - what should have been a wonderful moment was taken away from me in an act of violence. All because I was a girl.

It has been years since I thought about it but it makes me angry thinking about it as an adult. I never did anything to anyone who bullied me but I was targeted because I was quiet, shy and a girl. I'm sure quiet, shy boys get bullied too, but in most cases an assault like this wouldn't have taken place.

I'm sure the guy who assaulted me didn't think he did anything wrong and that's a huge part of the problem. There are a ton of great guys out there, I know I married one. But while there is one guy out there who thinks of women as lesser, as property, as someone not a person but someone who should do as they want her to do, then we women will still have that fear in the back of our minds.

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