I, too, have a list.
The most recent?
A life-long male friend, in front of a group of people, put his arm across my neck while I stood in front of him. While he pinned me to him, he put his hand down the front of my dress and grabbed my bare breast. No one said anything or even reacted.
Before that? My husband had unprotected sex with another woman, multiple times, without my knowledge. He then would have sex with me, also unprotected, potentially endangering my health with zero concern. I consider this to be a form of sexual violence.
Another time? I awoke at a party at my own home to a guy I hardly knew with his hands down my pants.
Same home, different party, different guy. I was just getting into bed at the end of the evening when he opened my bedroom door, got into bed with me and lay on top of me. He was strong and started kissing me and groping me. I managed to get free and ran into my roommate’s room who was out of town and locked the door. He yelled a lot but eventually left. We all laughed about it the next day but really, is there anything funny about that?
Yet another time, I was walking home after work and a man grabbed my behind. I had my camera with me and I tried to take his picture before he ran off. This is all I got: see attached.
When I was thirteen, a guy in his early twenties tried to force me to give him oral sex. He pushed my head down near his penis coaxing me to “suck it like a lollipop.”
When I was fourteen, I was raped by my cousin’s friend outside while we were all drinking in a field.
When I was a child, I was molested by a male family member for many years.
I have so many female friends with lists like this. So many friends that, when we discussed these moments in our lives, almost always had brushed them off at the time.
As if we deserved it.
As if it was to be expected from men.
As if it was normal behavior.
As if it was ok.
It wasn’t and it isn’t.
Petey, 39, St. John’s, NL