Fear and Loathing: My male entitlement and sexual harassment experience

WARNING: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN TRIGGERING MATERIAL

The upcoming post by my excellent friend Epiphora made me begin to think about my own previous masculine entitlement experiences.  I never believed I had run into any harassment from males before reading her post and was quite grateful for it, but after reading, I realized that I had repressed some previous incidents or even erased whole sections of them to paint a prettier image.  Therefore, I decided that I required to talk for myself and other females who experienced the same thing about these acts.

Event #1: Asshole Concert-Going Guy

I was with a small group of friends around this time of year at a show in 2004 (I was 15 at the time).  We were let in soon because the safety man had been dated by one of my colleagues.  It was a comparatively tiny place as it had a maximum capacity of only 400 individuals, so we pressed ourselves against the stage waiting for the waves of individuals that would ultimately crush us.  I end up in front of a man that seemed nice somehow –not too good looking, but he looked “normal” and was with a few buddies.  I quickly discovered, though, that he was drunk.  However, this guy wasn’t just your average fumbling drunk, he certainly had a routine he had previously practiced.

As the show began, the crowd pushed forward, so he stood behind me in what I thought was a good gesture at first, planting on the stage to prevent people from crushing me completely, making it difficult to breathe (which I soon found out was something I preferred this asshole a lot).  He wrapped the other free arm around my waist after a few minutes (the left, yes, I still remember).  I believed, “Okay, anything, just to prevent me from falling over.” Soon I heard his friend laughing and mumbling something I later discovered out was a bet to get me to have sex with him by the end of the night.  The next 45 minutes to an hour were packed with this not-so-subtle man attempting to get my shirt and my trousers up with his fingers.  I’m not sure what he believed this would do because we were in a room complete of 400 individuals.

Fortunately, I finally received my friend Christie’s attention and she went over and pulled me out.

I was frightened shitless while it was going on.  This was my first encounter with harassment, and to be honest, until recently I thought about it and wrote this, I didn’t even understand how big a deal it was.  I’ve been a victim.  Just because he never had to rape me (as I’m sure he’d have) doesn’t imply I was any less objectivized and abused.  I understand this now, and for it I’m better.

Event #2: Mr. “All females should bow to me”

While this case is not close to the first one I’ve submitted here, I still believe it’s important to the article.  In 2006, I went to Mexico to study overseas for two months.  It was absolutely fabulous, but what wasn’t fabulous was the sense of entitlement of a certain guy and his idea that all American women are “sluts.” He was a good friend of my host brother whom I met a few times, and oddly enough I don’t have any tough emotions against him though I should.  José Pablo was likely not a bad guy, but they had to give every Mexican boy at birth through a machismo injection, he believed he was the gift we all required for females.  One day when my host parents weren’t home my host brother brought him over and we chatted for a while, but something was strange–do you understand those smiles people have on their face when they scan you up and down like a meat piece?  Yeah, he’s got one.  But I was so used to building employees shouting to me on the streets obscene stuff in bad English that I overlooked it.

I knew little that my host brother was “commanded” to play matchmaker.  Not so much a matchmaker–he seemed to be more of a pimp than anything else.  I got into the vehicle with them against the regulations of my program and drove around.  The moment I began to get nervous was when I realized that we were going up into the very sparsely populated hills with totally nothing in them–why were they taking me there?

We got out of the car, José Pablo attempted to get me to smoke, I said no thanks, and he called me “fresa” automatically, which is high-class, stuck-up in a nutshell, not giving up anything to any man.  Yeah, we’ve been off to a poor beginning already.  After that, he pushed me up against a wall and began to kiss me. Honestly, I wasn’t in it too, but I thought it would be simpler to go along with it than to tell him no –besides, it was just kissing, right?

Well, my host brother quickly received the keys thrown to the vehicle of the guy and was told that he could drive away for a while.  Keep in mind that in the conversation none of this was done with me–I was standing right there, but they were acting as if I were some sort of property.  I was afraid soon.  In this secluded location, I was alone, against a wall with a man I hardly knew who clearly wanted more than I did.  Fortunately, for the time, he did not do more than kiss me.  We came home and I was prepared to go out with friends.

I was out for lunch with my colleagues later that night and he went and handed a phone to me without stating anything.  In my head, the first believed, “Oh fuck.  He then called me and asked me to come out–I discovered him there with my host brother on the sidewalk asking me to get into the vehicle.  I tried to stand up for myself this time and say I didn’t want to go with him.  I came in and completed the night.  I went to my host grandmother’s house when I was finished waiting for my mom to pick me up, but the thing is, my host brother had called my mom and told me to pick me up in the house of José Pablo an hour ago.

He ended up getting me on the couch and repeatedly trying to get my underwear off (I was wearing a skirt) even though I was saying no. He couldn’t believe I at least didn’t want to give him a blowjob at that time.  My mother showed up to get me a few minutes later, I would never have been more happy to see her.

Finally

I am lucky enough to be in a stable, loving connection with a man who sees me as more than just a piece of meat at the moment.  I’m also lucky that in those situations the worst didn’t happen and that I wasn’t raped.  But I definitely thought the fear was genuine.

If something comparable has ever happened to you, kindly talk up and write about it.  This happens more than we care to believe and it won’t stop until females begin to voice what has occurred.