North Carolina — href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.youthradio.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/16151201/MeToo.png">I, along with millions of other women, have been a victim of unwanted sexual advances from a guy who didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. In my case, the boy was someone I considered a friend and he had a girlfriend. We were just hanging out when all of a sudden he laid me down and said the words, “Let me do it.”
Let you do what? Cheat on your girlfriend? Take advantage of me? I was so scared. He was way bigger and stronger than me. I put my feet up against his chest to hold him off of me. In the moments where he kept saying, “Let me do it” and I kept saying “no,” I honestly didn’t know if I was going to be able to escape him. Luckily, I held my ground and he backed off.
This happened a while ago, but I think about this quite often. I bet he hasn’t thought twice about it though. I bet I’m not the only girl he’s tried that with. I’m so lucky to have been able to get out of that situation, but not all women get to say that.
I always think about what would’ve happened if I couldn’t have kept him off of me. Would he have actually taken advantage of me? How would I be able to trust another man after him? How could I walk by him every day and overcome the shame I would feel after what happened?
As the #MeToo movement grows, more and more men have been accused of using their power or authority to force women into unwanted sexual situations. It’s not just rape we’re talking about here, but unwanted jokes or men touching you in places you don’t want to be touched. Anything a man does to make a woman feel uncomfortable counts. I’m glad these men are finally going to understand how wrong it is to objectify a woman, especially if the woman repeatedly says no or makes it known she is not okay with the man’s behavior.
In my own case, he would have been the one to force me into something I didn’t want to do, and I would have been the one messed up from it. I would have been too embarrassed and ashamed to tell my parents or friends. He would have gotten away with it.
This is why the #MeToo movement is so important. My “what if” scenario actually happens to women all the time. Women get a tap on their butt by a co-worker, inappropriate jokes made about their body by their classmates, or are forced into sex by their boss who claims they will be fired if they don’t comply.
Whatever the story, it is never the victim’s fault. Don’t be afraid to speak up any longer. You have been given a voice, use it. You are not alone. Me too.
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