do you know what it’s like
to be a woman
and have your body groped
without your permission

because i can tell you
statistically 1 in 5 women do
and not just groped
they have been r____

so think of the 5 women
closest to you
and imagine one of them
being penetrated against her will
and then hearing that the man
that might run her country
thinks it’s funny to grab
someone’s p____

because i can tell you
as a woman
who has had this happen
it is terrifying

i was a freshman in college
when i went to my first
and only frat party
i love dancing
so i was doing just that
when a boy came up behind me
hot and fast
i felt his legs on mine
and then his hand on my hip
as he pulled me into him

now i have had this happen before
as many a girl
who goes dancing in the dark
but this time the energy was different
and so i pulled away
and as i did
i heard him
hiss under his breath
“b____”

i didn’t dare look back
to see his face

i went to the other side of the room
and kept dancing
a little shaken
but i thought to myself
you’re a grown up now
you’re at college
you can’t be scared of everything
keep dancing, emily,
keep dancing

a guy came over
smiling
and started dancing playfully
in front of me
he was cute
and dressed super preppy
after all, this was brown university

the song ended and i turned to go
when he grabbed my arm
and said,
“one more song?”

i laughed and said,
“okay”
as i began to sway
looking around the room
to see if i could see my friend
i was feeling ready to leave

“who are you looking for,”
he said with a sneer
and that was all i needed
to know
it was him

“i have to go,”
i said
and turned quickly
running into the guy behind me
stumbling as my body hit his
and i looked back just in time
to catch his eye
as i felt a sharp pain
between my legs

he literally punched me
in the p_____

i didn’t make a noise
i was in such shock
and he pushed me
against the wall

“b____, maybe next time
you’ll dance with me,”
he spit at me
his saliva hitting the back of my neck

i counted to fifteen
stayed staring at the wall
catching my breath
trying to keep myself
from fainting

when i turned around
he was gone
and i ran home
literally ran
out the door
down the the hill
up the stairs
into my dorm room
under the sheets

i stopped dancing
at parties
that night
for 2 years

because every time
i went to move my hips
i felt fear

so perhaps instead of arguing
about whether or not
men talk like this
behind closed doors
and was anyone truly hurt here
we get real about the fact that
having your body grabbed
against your will
is always unacceptable

and for those who have experienced it
perhaps just maybe
the idea of having the person
running our country
talk with such glee
about abusing power
and how he can do what he pleases
because he’s a celebrity
is just plain scary

so while this may be
“just some recording
of men joking around”
it isn’t funny
it isn’t cool
it’s damaging

i am stunned
by the sheer amount of defending
of this way of talking
i am seeing across media
really?

you’re totally cool
with someone talking about
your mom, sister, wife, daughter that way?

if so, let me tell you
plain and simple,
this sheit
effs people up

and it’s the root of r___ culture
where forcing oneself on another
is normalized
if not rewarded

and if you think i am being extreme
i can assure you
i am not
because actions
are always born out of beliefs

and believing this is a totally “normal”
way of talking
shows me how disconnected
from each other
we have become

so maybe instead of telling me
“that this is just the way guys talk
when alone”
we change the conversation
because as a woman
i can tell you
it’s alarming
to hear men giggling
about about how they can do anything
to a woman’s body
including grab
her
p____

❤️ emily joy rosen

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