An elevator speech for sexual assault

BroadBlogs:

The best way to handle the moment when you feel threatened – or have just been attacked – is to have your reaction prepared in advance, says Jennie Saia.

Originally posted on Tip of My Tongue:

A few weekends ago, I was out with a group of friends. We were chatting in a circle, in a busy public place, when one of them got a funny look. Creasing his brow, he announced, “I think that man tried to touch my asshole.” We all stared after the couple that had just walked by, a middle-aged man and woman holding hands. My friend said again, “Yeah, no way that was accidental. He just tried his damned best to stick his finger in my butt.”

This was new to me. I have never been present when a man was sexually assaulted. None of us knew how to respond. My friend was justly stunned, and the rest of us weren’t sure if we should chase the stranger down, or yell after him, or just move on. In the end – no surprises here – we made some weak jokes…

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych, women's psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State University. And I have blogged for Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos.

Posted on November 30, 2013, in feminism, men, rape and sexual assault, women and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Empowerment makes all the difference. Making a decelerating statement like this, loudly, moves this event into the public space where such behavior is strongly disapproved, and the victimizer fails in their attempt to victimize.

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