As a woman, I've had it pretty good.
At least that's what I say. But then I catalog a few events.
- •When I was high school and woke at a party ...(yeah, I had a few drinks, even though I was underage). I was on my friend's guest bed, realizing a male "friend" was on top of me, pressing himself into places he didn't belong.
- •When I was a college freshman ...excited about a first date with a handsome athlete. We hadn't even left my dorm room—during authorized visiting hours—when he moved quickly, confidently, and aggressively. I said no. He called me an ice queen. I endured heckling from his teammates for weeks.
- •When I was commuting to a job with a major consultancy in Chicago ...headed home, dressed as required for women at my firm—jacket, blouse, skirt, hose, heels—I approached the train and raised my right foot to climb aboard. A hand grazed my thighs, gripped my crotch. Over my shoulder, lunatic smile. I screamed. He ran. Right past the stunned conductor.
- •When the police officer came to take my statement, later that night ...he said no one could catch the lunatic crotch grabber. Even during crowded rush hour? How could that be? Still, the officer wanted me to describe what happened. I said I was assaulted. No, he corrected me. You were abused. Assault requires penetration. Well then. What a relief.
- •That was more than 20 years ago.Are there other such events in my history? Probably. But I don't want to think about them or write about them. What I endured by age 23 was enough.
- •More than enough.