Because I was 15, spending a summer abroad to learn French, and I didn’t know who to talk to when you’d come to my bedside and grope me in the night. #WhyWomenDontReport
Like so many women, I don’t have adequate words to share in the spaces between these highlighted occurrences. They’re just a few among others buried in my subconscious, ingrained in the tactile memory of my cells every time someone touches me, even in moments of tenderness.
Because I was one of your guests, and I thought we were all enjoying a night swim in the Mediterranean. Yet the darkness hid your assault in broad moonlight. #WhyWomenDontReport
I’d posit that women are robbed of their own pleasure, for years, when their bodies become the unwitting object of another’s unwanted, yet continued, advances.
Because my job was to film you, but you’d kiss me on the mouth every morning and “slept” for hours in the car with your head in my “lap” while my boss looked on and smiled. #WhyWomenDontReport
When sexual predators are in positions of power, there’s a feeling of communal embarrassment that goes along with the knowledge that everyone saw what they did. Why report, if all are in the know anyhow and were unwilling to help stop the impropriety?
Because I never saw your stranger’s face hidden in your jacket as you jerked off while I sat by the river, writing in my journal. I ran home terrified you were following me. #WhyWomenDontReport
Every woman knows the terror of sensing they’re being followed by a stranger. And when it is someone who half-hides half-naked, it’s even more frightening since boundaries have lost all meaning.
Because I was your girlfriend and there was no safe space between virgin and whore in your mind. #WhyWomenDontReport
I hope, for my daughter and son, that they’ll both find representations of strong smart funny and admirable women front-and-center in their books, magazines, ipads, and laptops. I had no female role models in literature or on TV and neither did the boys and men I grew up with.
Because I was traveling alone, and didn’t speak the language there. #WhyWomenDontReport
A culture that prides itself on complimenting women is one thing, but grabbing onto our bodies to bring us in close and cop a kiss or a feel, without knowing us, is another. When it happens in public for all to see and validate, a woman feels humiliated and powerless.
Because after you yelled lewd comments out your truck window for all to hear as I was jogging, you crashed into the parked car ahead of you and I still felt shame. #WhyWomenDontReport
Maybe karma has a way of working things out in small but poetic ways.