I got up this morning. Read some blog posts. Ate some waffles. Felt pretty generally happy. Then.. then I went on Twitter and I saw this tweet from Annie-Marie McLemore. An author whose books I’ve desperately wanted to read for ages now and her tweet made my skin grow cold.

Her words.. that’s a reality for almost every girl out there. You talk to any girl and they have stories like this. Even me.

But, what really made me upset was not only her age, but the audacity of the teacher to tell her “Well what did you do to make him do that?” That made my blood boil. It’s an absolutely disgusting mentality to have. She was a child.. and your giving her that mentality that it’s her fault that a guy got the idea in his head to lay claim on her body. That it was ok. It makes me want to scream.

Victim shaming is the single most awful thing I have ever seen. Because sometimes.. sometimes the victim does start to believe it was their fault. When it isn’t. The answer to that awful question is always nothing. No girl ever asks to be touched like that. The only time that any sexual activity is ok is when there is mutual consent. That’s it. No touchy.. feely.. nothing unless it’s what both parties want. I don’t care if a girl decides that she wants to wear the shortest mini-skirt and just a bra to go out.. it does not give a guy permission to feel her up.

The whole “what did you do?” Mentality just gives men a free pass to do whatever the hell they want and not get punished for it. That shit is just that complete and utter bull shit and everyone needs to cut the crap. As much as the “what did you do” mentality suggests that men are animals… they are not. They have brains. They can have self-control. They are not controlled solely by the thing in their pants. They can keep their hands to themselves and show some respect. It’s all a stupid game. It’s this mentality that so many people wear as armor so that they can fool people into thinking that it wasn’t their fault. That they couldn’t help themselves. That they couldn’t register the girl saying no. That somehow the actions that they took with their own hands wasn’t their fault.

I thought I was done with the personal posts for a while, but as it turns out I’m just getting started.

I didn’t think I’d ever share this on here, but I’m fed up and these stories need to be shared.

I have a few stories actually.

The first wasn’t that long ago. Several months ago their was a boy that I worked with. We used to talk about music and whatever else and I saw him as a friend. He was one of those people who liked to give hugs and at first I didn’t think much of it. However, I started to notice that he’d give these side hugs where his arm would go around my chest and then one night I was bagging up food to go into the display and he was leaving and he thought it was a good idea to hug me from behind placing his hands by where my ovaries are. I immediately felt this rush of panic and anger. It didn’t matter that it was quick. It didn’t matter that we’d talked and were sort of friends. Touching me like that.. so intimately.. I was livid. Before he left I yelled at him, “That was the most uncomfortable hug I’ve ever had… don’t ever ever do that again I said… don’t ever think of doing that to any girl ever.. It’s not ok… I don’t know how you could have thought that that was ok.”

He had the sense to back off.. he apologized profusely, but I had my personal space violated. A hug like that is one I want from my boyfriend and from my boyfriend only. It’s a kind of hug that signifies trust and love and intimacy. None of which I had with that guy at my work.. not even close. It wasn’t just me though. He hugged the other girl we both worked with the same way. It’s not ok.

The other.. much longer.. story is this:

In high school there was a boy I was nice to. He wasn’t liked by very many people and when we would pass in the hallway I thought it was a grand idea to be nice and say hi. I would chat with him and treat him like a person and I didn’t realize that it would make him think I wanted anything other then friendship and I was wrong. During summer of sophomore year I took pre-cal at a university so that I could be ahead and take more advanced classes at school. Apparently, this was the same university where this guys sister was taking classes. One day, he showed up hours before pick up and found me where I was eating lunch. I didn’t think much of it at the time since it was simply a surprise to me and I didn’t have anything against him. I had thought of him as a friend. So when he asked me for my number I gave it to him. Except.. every single day after that he’d show up early hours before pick up trying to catch me on my break. So instead of confronting him like I should have I stayed in class to eat lunch. When he called asking to hang out I told him that my mom wouldn’t like it (I should have just told him I didn’t want to). For the next several weeks of an intensive pre-cal class I would eat inside.. run the fastest route to where my mom would wait for me in her car and I blocked the guys number. To this day I don’t understand how he didn’t get the hint. When we were at school again he’d ask me to give him a hug and I’d brush him off and go in a different direction. In truth.. the whole thing terrified me. I lived my life in school finding ways to always be absent from wherever he was. The thing is I was at work yesterday and I saw that very same guy pass by and it filled me with the same dread as I had in school. The thing is.. a lot of people weren’t nice to him, because everyone could tell that he was mentally off. But being me.. knowing what it felt like not to have any friends it was always important to be nice. I didn’t expect for it to end up getting me a stalker. To this day I get all in my head and even though I know I could defend myself if I absolutely had to.. it’s the wonder of not knowing what someone is capable of. I’m not in the business of underestimating someone because I could physically take them on… or because they look harmless.. in this world of knifes and guns and awful situations I can’t help but feel afraid sometimes. I hate that this guy can make me feel that way. That just one look at his face filled me with dread. It’s not even a violation of the sexual kind, but a violation on my ability to live my life freely.. of not feeling like I have to be afraid. Of wondering if someone’s going to do something.. of having spent a lot of time being scarce so that none of those things had even a remote chance of happening.

Then there are the smaller stories.. guys asking me if I wanted a bite of the food they just bought at my work (that’s happened several times and it’s the weirdest thing ever). A guy who called me babe out of no where also while I was serving him food at work. I hate being called babe or baby anyway (my grandmother used to call me by them). Being called babe within a minute of someone looking at you feels so degrading. The guy that saw me walking to work and decided to walk next to me and complemented my eyes and when I finally was inside the safety of my work he stood there for a few seconds staring at me and said that he just wanted to stare at my eyes for a while. All this.. it makes me feel like I can’t be seen as a person. That all a guy can see is my face, my eyes, and take any smile as an invitation. It isn’t.

Sometimes I get it. Two people have to meet somehow, but there are boundaries. A lot of the time those boundaries are crossed. It’s why it’s so important to me that I’m liked as a person first before anything more. That I’m respected. That if I say no I’m respected. That I can trust the person I choose to love. That I feel safe with them. There have been far too many times where others have made me feel the opposite.

One of the most powerful words I’ve heard someone say went something like this “most of the women I know have stories like these.. most of the men I know are good men.. but for every time a pass is made in a dining room 5 of the women in that same room could raise their hand and say me too.” The men that end up thinking that they can touch a women as much as they want tend to be repeat offenders. Most men are good men, but for the ones that take things many steps too far they hurt more the just one women. They touch multiple lives. Taint multiple lives. That’s a big part of why that tweet made me so upset. That boy who touched Annie.. how many more girls would he grow up to touch? What would he escalate to? Especially when he was taught at such a young age that he wouldn’t be punished for it.

Our bodies are our own. They are not meant for anyone, but ourselves. To be shared only with whom we choose to share it with. Our bodies are not meant to be claimed like that’s all we are good for. What we choose to do with our bodies is our choice and our choice alone. To have that taken away from us is a violation of basic human rights.

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts down in the comments… I meant to put together my Most Anticipated post today, but this came about instead. I’m kinda glad though. It’s an important subject to me. I think we all should be able to speak up about these things.

-Till next time!

24 thoughts on “Let’s Rant: Our Bodies, Not Yours

  1. I’ve been catcalled before walking to the train station from school and just kept walking, and even that is uncomfortable. Our bodies belong to us and nobody else. I don’t get why this concept is so difficult to understand.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I like to think that the next generation will be raised better. Or at least with a stronger grasp on what it means to respect one another. Sometimes it is all a bit overwhelming. Especially when reading/hearing everyone’s stories. But I have hope.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m pretty sure I’ve had similar experiences in public transport when I was younger or even later at my first job, but I just never gave it a lot of thought because it was what it was. But now when I read these stories every day, it just makes me sad and angry and sometimes even helpless. I saw the tweet too and it was heartbreaking…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so stupidly normalized.. like of course guys act that way.. we don’t report it because it is what’s expected.. just another incident.. nothing out of the ordinary. It breaks my heart. God.. I didn’t even write about my short experience with public transport. It’s all so much weight. I just wish it would end.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know.. we are just conditioned to brush it all under the carpet and be quiet… It’s just getting overwhelming now, but it’s also probably good that everyone is raising their voice. It really does need to end…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, Tiana. I wasn’t expecting this post, but I agree that this needs to be talked about. I also have stories of my own with regards to this subject and I wish I didn’t. I remember being bullied in elementary school by boys who would be physically agressive like pulling my hair even after I’d tell them to stop and yet got in trouble when it got to the point where I eventually punched the one kid in the face who I told to leave me alone and my teacher didn’t do anything even when I told them this kid was bothering me. Then in middle school there were two boys who harassed me. The first boy would pucker his lips at me and make kissy noises at me. That eventually stopped, but then shortly after another boy told me he wanted to kiss me and said he knew I wanted to too even though I never said I was interested in him to begin with. He never actually tried to kiss me, but bothered me because I wasn’t interested in him at all.

    Then high school came and things didn’t really get any better. My freshman year of high school someone that I was once friends with introduced me to this senior guy at our high school. The day I was introduced to this guy I ran into him later on my way to history class, which I was already late to getting to. And I got stuck giving him a hug while I was trying to get to class and he fondled my butt. But that wasn’t the end of seeing him. He started showing up outside of my math class, asked for my phone number and when he’d call he wanted to talk about sex. He also wanted me to go with him alone somewhere private at school, which I never did because I was scared he was going to force himself on me. He eventually stopped calling me I think because he realized I wasn’t interested, but I actually found out more than I wanted to know about this guy once this ended. Like that I wasn’t the only one he was harassing in my year and that he and my best friend dated (me and my best friend weren’t close friends at the time they dated so I found this out a little while later). She even told me there were times after they broke up that she ran into him a couple times at the mall and while I haven’t asked for details about their relationship she’s just as freaked out by him as I am.

    I feel like I could go on, because these aren’t my only stories. Like I don’t even feel comfortable going walking in my own neighborhood because someone who made me feel uncomfortable lives in my neighborhood and my Mom still associates herself with him so whenever he’s around I hide in my room if I’m home until he’s gone. But like you I’m so damn tired of this happening, of hearing these women’s stories and nobody wants to believe us. I just hope one day things will change for the better and we won’t have to deal with this anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s the thing isn’t it.. when we choose to speak about this openly we realize that so so many of us have these stories. The ones I shared aren’t even all of them, but I could myself lucky that I never had my butt grabbed or touched anywhere else. I count myself lucky that I was never kissed or was forced on me anything incredibly major. It’s so so sucky that I’d feel lucky with the stories i do have. It makes me so angry. And your story.. the fact that your friend convinced herself that she was fine dating a guy like that even for a little while. That makes my stomach turn. What’s worse is me wondering where that guy is now and how many other girls he’s made feel that way. God and the hair pulling.. I had super long hair as a kid. The hair pulling started for me in kindergarten.. apparently I punched the boy that did it too (I don’t remember it) my mom told me I gave him a bloody nose.. served him right. I hate that sometimes we have to feel like we’re the ones in the wrong when we don’t return someone’s interest. Or how some guys are so full of themselves that they can’t believe it when you reject them. It’s messed up. It all makes me so mad. If I didn’t end up falling for the guy I did I might’ve sworn off romance all together. There’s too much that’s expected and when you don’t stand there and take it they call you a prude.. but if you give in your a slut.. so many awful and terrible words people give to women. It makes me feel so sick.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, wow, that’s exactly what happened with the boy I punched in the face. And I agree that even with the stories I do have I still feel lucky that I haven’t experienced worse yet. I don’t think my friend at the time knew how he was. It wasn’t until she broke up with him (because her parents were uncomfortable with her dating a senior) that she realized his behavior. I also didn’t realize until later after all of that happened that one of my friends had actually warned me about him. I think my friend knew I was his type or something and warned me, but I completely forgot about the warning until later. And yeah, I wonder about that too with him. He and I actually have a friend in common on Facebook, which makes me wonder if he harassed the friend of mine we have in common. Or currently is right now. It’s just so scary to think about all the women who have similar experiences with him like mine. I also agree with regards to rejecting guys too because I’ve been given crap before to guys I’ve turned down. One of the guys I turned down going out with called me a racist (something of which I’ve never heard too many women being called when turning down a guy) because I guess he thought I was rejecting him because of his skin color when it had more to do with me barely knowing him and not wanting to date someone who I know nothing about. Because I actually want to get to know a guy and see if there’s actually a connection before agreeing to going on a date. But I agree, I’m so sick and tired of dealing with all of this crap.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. That’s the thing with me too… I’m pretty sure I’m demi-sexual/ Demi-romantic meaning I have to form an emotional connection with someone before wanting anything with them. It’s something I don’t really discuss, but it makes so much sense to me now. I never was one to call guys hot and it made me uncomfortable if girls would talk around me and say stuff like that. It just never was a thing I thought. I mean I had attraction and I know when a guy is goodlooking, but that’s as far as it would go. It was always important to me to have a friendship first and any superficial attraction would come and go like water. The guy that I liked for the longest time in high school is a good example.. I only really wanted to hold his hand.. I didn’t even particularly want to kiss him, but I did care about him a lot. He never felt the same for me, but we were friends and there was a connection in some capacity, but it was never meant to be. It’s a totally different story with the guy I’m in love with now. I never expected it. Anyway, all that is to say I tended to be pretty friendly to everyone (still am) it makes it weird when I don’t even think about attraction that much and so people take my niceness as interest.. because why else would I be nice to them? *sigh* it’s very troubling for me.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. This is a great post. So many people need to know that they’re not alone, and that this is not okay. And it’s so true? So many boys are brought up believing that they have some “right” whereas girls don’t? It’s the most degrading, horrifying thing to think about. Thank you for sharing this, I know it’ll help a lot of people!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s disgusting how men get a free pass in all this because it’s just “boys being boys”. I’m glad you made this post because it helped me (and a whole bunch of other females) realize that we’re not alone in this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s one of the phrases that makes me feel like I’m exploding with all my fury. It’s that mentality that makes men grow up to think that they can do whatever they want without issue.. I hate it so much. I’m sure that I’m not done experiencing the effect of that mentality. That I’d walk on with more to tell one day. It’s awful and I hate the reality of it. But it is a comfort to feel like there are so many women willing to stand side by side in this fight.. that there too might be men willing to learn.. men willing to be upstanding human beings. You nor I will probably never see the end of it, but we can try and a least do something in the hopes that we at least have people to stand with.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Words cannot express my rage right now. I cannot believe you were treated in this manner, and not just you but women everywhere. Even those who have shared their stories here in the comments. There is no excuse for this behaviour. Its sick. Its vile. I’d even say depraved. I am truly sorry to hear you went through this. No woman deserves this treatment, least of all you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It makes me angry too. It happens too often and my stories aren’t even as bad as they get. I probably would’ve never talked about it if it weren’t for that tweet. I really don’t have the words to say about how it feels to be treated like an object so often as a woman. I hate that so many of us have these stories, but it’s just the reality of it. Even if it shouldn’t ever have to be that way.

      Liked by 1 person

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