I tip-toed around this for longer than I would have liked...
I gave it some time to mull and truthfully, I felt nothing. It's 822am and the tears finally hit me (along with my knee-jerk aversion to crying: a proclamation of "not today, Satan!").
I'm not upset. Upset does no justice.
Take it back two weeks.
It's around 7pm. I get a messenger call from a Facebook friend that admittedly, I don't know well at all: I've seen her maybe three times in real life ever.
I could tell you what happened next.
I could tell you the story she told me, of going out to a club and getting groped by a male acquaintance. I could tell you how he apologized because he had been drinking. I could tell you that after apologizing and going to his home to get her belongings, he again assaulted her.
I could tell you all this, but none of this is a new story to me, or to any woman I know, or any woman you know.
If I told you all this, I would also have to tell you that this strong-ass woman, like many other women, feels fear to talk about it.
In a world where it is easy to connect and disconnect as we see fit -
I FUCKING DARE YOU TO TALK. I fucking dare you to ENGAGE in a real manner.
Use your voice. Not just your Facebook personality, but your real one.
WOMEN: TERRIFY humans around you by talking about CONSENT. Talk about your expectations of a healthy sexual relationship with all of your partners. Talk about the nonexistence of a sexual relationship with hopefuls. Set boundaries. Make people fucking respect them.
MEN: TALK TO EACH OTHER ABOUT WOMEN. That "no" means "no." That women are not here to satisfy your every sexual need. That her body is hers. Hold each other accountable.
Everyone: Talk about rape. Talk about responsibility.
TALK WITH YOUR VOICES.
I pinky-fucking-promise you that BEING RAPED IS FAR MORE UNCOMFORTABLE THAN ANY CONVERSATION YOU WILL EVER HAVE.
And when you are done talking, take action:
There are so, so many resources to support you.
My sincerest of apologies to the very much loved, intelligent, and brave woman who decided to call me of all people.
I am so, so sorry to have taken this long to tell your story.
I look forward to helping you tell others using your own voice.