My First “Sexual Experiences” Felt Demeaning

Stop sexual assault

By Fe Hmelar

I’ve never had a boyfriend, never gone on a date, or even been kissed. But I have been sexually assaulted. Twice.

And that is partly why I have never dated.

In middle school I was quiet. I wasn’t the popular girl always going to parties. Most days I spent my time in play rehearsal, drawing, or watching Bones with my grandma.

A few boys did ask me out but I always said, “No thank you.” I didn’t feel ready to have a boyfriend and wanted to wait until I was more mature.

But on the last day of middle school, as I waited in line for my graduation ceremony, I suddenly felt hands on my butt and my chest. I froze. I didn’t know how to register what had just happened.

I looked up and two boys I knew from math class were staring at me and laughing. Behind them other boys egged them on, “Good job guys!”

I couldn’t believe that those boys had violated me right in front of the entire school, my friends and my family.

It’s sad that my first “sexual experience” felt demeaning and embarrassing.

I didn’t report them or tell my parents since offenders so often get just a slap on the wrist — if anything. 

In high school I was determined to never be violated again. I avoided boys and said “No” to any guy who looked my way. I didn’t want a boyfriend to think that he had a right to touch me just because we were in a relationship.

Still, I was assaulted again. It happened last summer while I was living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

When I first arrived in KL I was assigned a personal chauffeur and a bodyguard named Mike. I couldn’t understand why I needed a body guard but within the first 24 hours it became clear. I was catcalled repeatedly that first day. Men’s stares were even more disturbing as I felt eyes piercing through me and practically undressing me — despite being forced by my family to wear modest clothing. Because apparently Western women are seen as “loose” and my mom didn’t want to attract attention.

Other than catcalling and stares, life in KL was filled with gratifying adventures. My bodyguard made it possible for me to carry on as if I were home.

All was well until the day I went to a bookstore and told Mike to wait in the car. I’d just be a couple of minutes, after all. But in that short time I felt a hand press up against my pelvic area and make its way to my chest. It was so quick that I just kept walking, feeling completely petrified. I felt both saddened and enraged.

In this foreign land the moral code and manners felt alien. I was not seen as a man’s equal. I was treated like property and made to feel that I had no control over my own body.  

While I’m glad I live in a country that has progressed far beyond that mentality, America still has far too much sexual assault. And I’m tired of girls being told to carry pepper spray or use the buddy system. It’s time to teach men to treat women with respect and to reliably punish those who do not.

Related Posts

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social 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. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on November 5, 2019, in rape and sexual assault and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 81 Comments.

  1. yajairavilla989

    It is very unfortunate that women have to go through more than anyone else. Sexual assault is a very big issue, but it is shoved in the dark because often times, the woman is blamed. It is never, “men should correct the way they behave and be mature” rather, it is always “women need to dress less revealing, the probably asked for it.” Women are perceived as sexual objects purely existing for male pleasure which is something that dates back ages with the idea that women are inferior to men. As time progresses, these ideas have remained with the mentality of the past. I am not afraid to admit I have been through a similar situation and you are brave for posting this. This brings awareness, but also shows how much we struggle to live a normal life. It is harder to look forward to love someone when you feel like you your sexual experiences are demeaning and have ni value. The fact that I have to walk around with a taser in my backpack and pepper spray close to hand, shows just how much “safe” we are.

  2. I am sorry to hear about your story. Why have you been sexually assaulted twice and you weren’t against it ? It surprised me because you had twice assaulted experience.
    When a woman is in a dangerous environment , you must be alert or maybe to avoid that environment. Especially in an unfamiliar environment , you must be careful in that unfamiliar environment. When I was a young girl, I didn’t understand what sexual assault was. Since I finished my nursing school studies, I fully understand.
    News or magazine often tell us that when you encounter sexual violence or sexual assault , you have to be brave to resist.I thank you for sharing your story bravely to warn the younger girl or woman. Women have to learn how to protect themselves.
    I wish you will stand up bravely. Also, you can make your life better and happier.

  3. Like many women, unfortunately, experience sexual assault, and there should be more consequences than just a slap on the risk because men see this as just a warning without seeing their action as a serious violation of women. And many men don’t understand that sexual harassment is not a reward or an action worth celebrating when its degrading and causes women to feel unsafe around men. And as someone who lives in a country that has progressed far beyond that mentality of treating women like property, it still has far too much sexual assault. And as the blog states, we should be reminded to bring pepper spray and always have a buddy with them (buddy system). Just like another example, women have to remind each other to be aware of our drinks to avoid getting drugged (where it shouldn’t be another thing we should be worried about). Even though we should be passed all the steps for preventions and just be safe in general we got to keep reminding women to be safe around men.

  4. It has always been wild to me how often women are sexually assaulted in this world. It deeply saddens me that I have been in very uncomfortable situation that I luckily made it out of. I do know that if I stayed in the situation longer it could have gone bad. I have been in a situation where I was unable to get a friend out of the situation. I could never imagine what she faced due to the situation, but it was something we, as friends, had to help her through the best we could. I hope there is change one day in our world where men don’t act the way they do towards women, but I know it is something that won’t change if more don’t get held accountable.

  5. Virginia Chase caporusso

    First off I’m sorry that you had to experience that, secondly I do agree that men should start respecting women more. Women get sexually assaulted, raped, discriminated, abused, and just treated horribly more than men do. Yes women do that to men too, however, but nearly as much as men, because they are so used to us being inferior. If more men started respecting women more often we wouldn’t have to live in fear every day. We won’t have to think, “Will this random guy hurt me?” Every guy that walks past me, if they look shady or creepy to me, I automatically try to stay away from them. I even think of ways to defend myself if they try anything just so I’m prepared for the worse case. We shouldn’t have to live like that.

  6. I find it to be a bit terrifying, the almost apathetic or offhand approach that these men and boys took, it’s kind of hard to wrap my head around how casually they did these things. That’s something that seems to be a recurring theme, at least from what I’ve read online from women who’ve shared their stories and from the women in my life who’ve talked to me about their personal experiences. That abusers or predators act casually without care for the consequences. Actually, maybe it’s not so casual, maybe the ease with which these people so uncaringly help themselves to the bodies of others comes from a sense of superiority, it’s not that they don’t care, it’s that they don’t feel like they need to, almost like its a game to see how far they can push their privilege. I don’t know, that’s a guess and I don’t want to boil down the horrible things these people are doing to just ‘not caring’. Different people have different motivations when committing such atrocious actions like sexual assault on a minor, I assume its more complicated than ‘they don’t care’. Whatever the case may be, I believe that it likely stems from a lack of education, poor morals, an environment that at the very least tolerates that behavior, and some sort of outside reinforcement.

  7. This blog post hit home. As someone who had been sexually assaulted as a child, I never really realized what happened until I got older. It was when I learned that couple of my friends and several people I knew were all sexually assaulted. When they told their stores in detail, I began to remember memories that I had buried away in my mind. Would it count as a “sexual experience” even though I did not consent to it? It is unfortunate that this is something that happens because no should ever have to experience it. I used to be able to places by myself because I was naive and young and thought that nothing would ever happen to me. However, even going to a Target or gas station, I still get cat called and weird looks despite what I was wearing. I could be wearing my dad’s clothes and still get looked at. Now I always have someone with me (either my boyfriend or a friend) to go to places. I started doing when I started hearing more and more news about girls missing and getting kidnapped. It’s definitely a scary place to live in.

  8. I felt so much dread reading this. I’m very saddened to hear about your experience, I 100% know how it feels to be demeaned and disrepected . Last summer in Mexico I went through a similar experience and in general have been name called by several men for not sending nude images or refusing to do certain things I am not comfortable with. It’s sad that some men still don’t respect women and treat them like objects or property. I can not imagine how it must be for other women out there who have been through worse and whose voices are not heard. Hearing about their experiences causes so much fear in me and a lot of woman that we have to carry mace or tasers and always be alert which is not fair. Nobody should have to go through what you have and it is sick that people who do this face little to no consequences. What is even worse is that so many higher officials who help run countries such as our president and high profile celebrities get away with this sort of thing all the time when they should be setting an example for people on how to respect and treat woman with equality.

  9. I can really relate to this story. My first sexual experience was a guy, in my friend group, raping me. I was unconscious and later on a found out many people came in the room while it was happening, some with their phones recording. The following day, a girl had dm’d me and said, “you will always be known as the slut that lost her virginity at a party.” I was completely horrified, especially since another female could say that to someone. I became very depressed. I stopped doing my school work and I would go to school under the influence when I actually went. I was a straight A, honors student, so this was out of character. I had told a couple of my friends and eventually the whole school knew me as the “one who cried rape.” I began to blame myself. I thought it was my fault. I tried so hard to make this reputation go away. I would deny it and I eventually became hyper-sexual, so people would think it was just a rumor. I never accepted what had happened to me until I went to college. Before college, I couldn’t even say the word “rape” because I didn’t want to believe that it happened to me. I got educated on rape cultural and it helped me over come my fears and love myself, since I hated the thought of myself for so long. I am no longer scared to speak out about my experience, as I was in the past. I have actually shared my experience and had many people reach out to me and open up about their experiences. I have never felt more empowered than the day I stopped blaming myself. I am glad I am now able to help others feel empowered, as well.

  10. Lilly Morino

    I wish this was a rarity; to hear stories like this. Unfortunately, I hear things like this all the time. I also am a victim of sexual assault and I can honestly say I never thought I would be. I am a very cautious individual and was with my boyfriend of 3 years. (Now ex boyfriend). You never think that someone who cares and loves you could take advantage of you in such a way. It was especially hard to comprehend and made sex and being intimate in other relationships extremely challenging. To anyone reading this who has been taken advantage of, I am so unbelievably sorry. It is never your fault. I personally found it very helpful to talk with a therapist and sort through my emotions that way. Even a close friend to confide in is very helpful. It is really easy to feel alone after things like this.

  11. I have gone through the same experience when I was younger. I was never the same after that traumatic day. This incident has caused be to go into depression for 2 years, I didn’t want to see anybody or talk to anybody. I would cry myself to sleep. To this day I still think about that day, I ask myself why did it have to be me? and why did he do this to me? My friends ask me why i don’t have a boyfriend and I just say that I don’t want to have a boyfriend right now and I want to focus on school, but inside I tell myself that if I have a boyfriend then maybe i will go through the same experience the same thing I did when I was younger how can i tell my friends that I am scared. This incident made me realize that being sexually assaulted can happen to anyone at any age. I have heard of many women being sexually assaulted on the news and I thought that it would never happen to me but it did. Sometimes I think to myself why did this happen to me? and what did I do wrong to deserve this kind of treatment from someone I trusted?

    • I’m so sorry this happened to you. Maybe you can talk to a therapist or a school counselor.

      I don’t know if this helps at all but keep in mind that it’s not about you. This person would’ve found someone to hurt. You happened to be there.

    • Lilly Morino

      Hi there,
      I am sorry to hear this. I know exactly how you feel. I want you to know that you are not alone. I personally found comfort in talking with a therapist. It took me years to get to a place where I could admit to myself what happened and also be okay with talking about it. I hope you know that it is not your fault and has nothing to do with you as an individual. Stay strong.

  12. I wanted to say that reading this story places fear within my heart. Having a younger sister who is thirteen years old, I am afraid for her to face this cruel reality that awaits outside. Of course this should not be the reality but in situations as such we need to remember how the world has and continues to treat women.You mention that America still has a long ways to go and on that note it feels as the whole world needs to respect women to a higher degree like you say. Women and girls should not have to be armored with pepper spray or friends to feel safe. Being open and discussing these matters is never easy, especially when it is accompanied by the mentality and exhaustion that these boy will get nothing more than a slap on the wrist unless strongly violated. Even within strong sexual violation/assault we still see men get off the hook. It breaks my heart to know that most women go through experiences similar as such. That the numbers related to women sexually assaulted is much larger than ever discussed or recognized. I appreciate the willingness the author portrayed to share a story as such. Its stories as such that shed better light on how women proceed in the world after having to deal with such matters.

    Best,

    Triston

  13. While reading this blog, I became sad and felt bad for the writer for having to go through these experiences from such a young age. It is really sad that her middle school graduation has become a terrible memory for her because of boys who couldn’t keep their hands to themselves. Needing a bodyguard in Malaysia shows how big the sexual assault rate is there. I was shocked when she said that one of the few moments she was without her bodyguard, she was sexually assaulted. Women shouldn’t need bodyguards just to go to a bookstore and not be sexually assaulted — it’s crazy. My environment growing up was very safe and the crime rate didn’t go up until recently. In fact, my friends that are 2 years older than me were surprised when I told them how unsafe parking lots of popular complexes have become recently. My parents have become a lot more cautious and scared for my safety. I used to be allowed to come home from a friend’s house at 1 AM; now I have to be back home by 10 PM because they are scared about the recent crime rate. Walking in parking lots by myself makes me paranoid and always on high alert. Certain places make me feel uncomfortable if I am wearing shorts or a crop top. Women shouldn’t have to be scared for their safety and always on high alert because men do not treat women with respect. I believe young boys need to be educated in schools about treating women with respect because in college there are a lot of sexual assault cases, most of which do not get reported.

  14. It’s sad that at such a young age, boys are taught that it is okay to touch a girl’s body in that manner. It leads to girls feeling as though it is their fault, and they feel shame. Although we do live in a more progressive society, there is more improvement that must occur. We still have the issue where men are not held accountable for their actions. The boys who touched her at her middle school graduation were not punished, but it was due to her fearing any shame or attention that may follow after she tells someone. We often see rape or sexual assault victims being blamed for wearing something revealing or putting themselves in that situation.

    I think we really need to change the way we handle these cases by making sure men respect women. Women need to feel validated and not have to hide anything that made them feel uncomfortable or unsafe because they fear people blaming them.

  15. Monique Tiscareno

    I really felt for that girl that went through that experience and I really felt for that young woman that had to go through that experience. I understand it is the same person but it happened at two totally different stages of her life and the emotions that she must have gone through makes me so pissed. As the mother of a daughter and as a mother of a son I let them both know what can happen to them at an early age because that is the age when kids are most vulnerable and afraid to speak up.
    I tell my daughter I will always believe you so if someone tells you that you will be in trouble don’t believe them ever.
    I also tell my son if a girl ever says stop or no or anything of that nature to stop immediately and walk away.
    I wish I didn’t have to warn them against things like this but the reality is that it will not change. Some men will always think that they have dominance over women. It certainly doesn’t help that the President of the United States has over 12 women accusing him of sexual assault and facing zero consequences, leaves that behavior acceptable rather then condemnable.

  16. Athena Clark

    It’s incredibly saddening that no matter where you are, there are men who feel as though they have a birthright to a woman’s body. Not only do they feel that way, they act upon that feeling, inappropriately touching women without consent. I have a friend who works in a vets office, and the owner is constantly inappropriately touching her and her female coworkers, she’s told me that when anyone speaks up about it, he deflects and tells them they are terrible employees who are lucky they aren’t being fired. She told me that when she walks in the building, she feels naked, and dreads going to work. It’s awful that women have to constantly be on guard because sexual assault is just so common, and it somehow is usually flipped on the girl because of what she was wearing or how she was acting. Nobody should ever have to go through sexual assault, harassment, or abuse.

  17. Serena Delgadillo

    It absolutely breaks my heart to hear stories like this happen to so many women. Something as special as your first kiss or any intimate experience for that matter should have been on your terms when you were ready. Any person would want to look back on those moments without having to feel like it got taken away. None of this should have ever happened without your consent and the encouragement made by the other boys was unacceptable behavior. It hurts to see that it has become normal for women to feel the need to cover up or have literal body guards to stop things like this from happening, and it continuing anyways. We have come far in the sense that people are making awareness towards this issue, but nowhere near where it should be. There is no reason that women have to grow up compromising the way they act or dress in order to feel safe. I do not want to feel the need to walk to my car with my keys in between my knuckles or pepper spray in my pocket.

  18. Reading this post made me think of my middle school and high school years as well. It is frustrating how men think that just because they are male they can disrespect and assault women whenever they please. I don’t think that the country where you are matters when it comes to sexual assault though I am aware that in some places is more common than others. I think that men just feel like the things they do are not wrong since they are considered to be what makes them male. Whenever since I was in 4th grade I would walk to school by myself, it was uncomfortable, to be honest. I used to cross a bridge where many men would just sit there every morning, I could feel them looking at me though I refused to look at them. other times it would be them telling me things that maybe they thought made me feel good about myself and my looks, in reality, it made me feel dirty and scared. I always made sure to walk as far from them as I could just in case. I think women should not have to feel this way on the streets feeling like we are not safe and being scared of men just because they are male. It is sad but I think at some point in our life we all feel assaulted even if we were not touched.

  19. It upsets me how in this society, women are afraid to walk around in public due to the possibility of being assaulted. I am so sorry that you had those traumatizing experiences that have caused you to feel unsafe and paranoid. I have had female friends and family members be victims of sexual assault and it is heartbreaking to see their paranoia when being exposed to the outside world. This resulted in me changing my perspective and outlook on the scary world. Over the years, I have been taking precaution measures for my own safety by traveling in a group, carrying pepper spray, not wearing anything that shows “too much” skin. I remember I was walking around an outdoor mall and I was envious of a man wearing no shirt, while I was wearing a light jacket on a hot day. I was bothered that if I were to wear a tank top, I would be sexualized. Although we should not feel this way, at all, I do not believe that this lifestyle will change for women.

  20. I’m sorry you had to experience this all at such a young age, and even in a different country! I’m originally from Pennsylvania, and we used to leave our doors unlocked at night and not have a care in the world walking around town at night by yourself. When I moved out to California all of that changed. I got a new job and had to park on the top floor of the parking structure and was always terrified to leave at night because it was such a big area and so far away from the actual mall entrance. I was followed to my car once by two guys who were at the opposite end of the parking structure. Since then I’ve carried around pepper spray and a small device that if I pull the cord on it it makes a VERY loud noise to attract attention. I’ve never been sexually abused or assaulted, but I am still terrified to go out by myself anywhere, even in broad daylight, in fear that something may happen. I’ve read too many stories about this happening to other girls, and it’s sad that this is the world we live in. A world where women have to go out in groups just to feel even remotely safe, or they have to carry pepper spray with them everywhere.

  21. “I’m tired of girls being told to carry pepper spray or use the buddy system.” This world we live in is sick, I agree.
    Little girls are being told to cover up or that their “shorts are too short”. It infuriates me a lot to hear this happen to us women. I remember in high school I was eating a popsicle and I had a group of boys looking at me all nasty.
    Everything a woman does is seen as a sexual thing. I hate it

  22. This post hit close to home, I was sexually assaulted as a four year old little girl and it severely shaped my view of the opposite sex as well as anyone older than me. I wish I could say that was my only experience, but it was not. It is scary how common sexual assault really is. As a mom I have made it a point to teach my boys to respect other people’s bodies and that consent is above anything else a priority. I have also encouraged them to hold their friends accountable. My little girl I try to arm with knowledge and as she gets older, I will enroll her in mixed martial arts. As advanced as our society is there is still such a long way to go. My heart hurts for anyone who has been through this and I hope that someday we will put an end to it for good.

  23. I think it is so sad that women basically have to go out and wear a full body suit to somewhat feel safe. Like I do not see how hard it is for people to not be able to hints and simply keep their hands to themselves. I am sure there is probably a ridiculous percentage of women that have experienced sexual assault at least twice maybe even more. I do think the US has tried to obviously give feminism and women in general more a platform. On the other hand, I do think that the country needs have bigger punishes to first time sex offenders. I think there needs to be more a fear struck in people (more so men) that think they can do whatever they want to innocent people (more so women). I also think that it is also unfair that women are accused of trying to “get men in trouble or ruin their career” when men should not be doing that in the first place. Lastly, I do not think people really understand the psychological damage something traumatic like that can do to you.

  24. This subject is sadly very close to me as I was a victim of abuse, I’m not ashamed of it as I acknowledge it wasn’t my fault and am glad I overcame that episode and I can speak freely about it because I believe that maybe I will inspire others to believe it will be ok and you should defiantly speak out.
    With that being said we must understand sexual assault’s happen everyday and not just to people who are shy, quiet or insecure as the stereotype of a victims usually is, it happens to powerful people, one reason could be a sense of entitlement where an individual or aggressor thinks they can be above others and they can do whatever they like, they feel entitled to get whatever they desire and can’t take no for an answer. Another reason is that we have a society that will not put mental health as priority and with so many cases of people who have committed rapes and violent acts, people that have a history of mental health illness and yet our government keeps putting mental health on the back burner.
    I know a victim may have a hard time or will for some reason feel it’s embarrassing to talk about something like that but I want to encourage anyone to speak out, you are not the only one out there. There are many who keep quiet but why should we keep quiet? That is exactly what they want us to do so nothing could be done about it. It’s not fair for whoever you are, you have a voice, your life is worth having every moment to be free and happy, it wasn’t your choice but speaking out will be!
    “It’s amazing how women can overcome anything, what powerful creatures we are.”

  25. Fe, this is awful and I am truly sorry that is happened to you. This shouldn’t be happening to anyone especially at such a young age when we are barely learning about ourselves and about the world. I had a similar situation happen to me as a young girl and I still think about it to this day as a 23-year-old woman. Situations such as these shape the way we feel about our bodies and the way we interact with men possibly for the rest of our lives. Ever since my situation, I have always felt more comfortable around women then I do around men and it took me a long time to realize why. I think it’s because after the situation I started to see all men as dangerous or unpredictable. It’s truly awful to think that one experience could change how I feel about an entire gender of people. Most women I know carry pepper spray or a pocket knife because sexual assault happens all the time! And yet we are the ones who are told to cover up or be careful. But you are right, women shouldn’t have to feel scared. Men should treat women with the same respect they would give anyone else.

  26. I’m so sorry you had to endure that Fe. Sexual assaults happen everyday. It can range for being catcalled to rape. It seems that people do it so often that most of the time it isn’t seen as a big deal. Women are always objectified so they are not seen as real people with real feelings. Men tend to downplay their actions of catcalling women on the streets; that it should be taken as a compliment. Also, groping or touching women without their consent shouldn’t be seen as a big deal due to it being “just a simple touch”. It doesn’t always happen with strangers, but family, friends and relationships can be guilty of sexual assault. According to RAINN’s statistics, 55% of sexual assault is done at or near someone’s home. It is true that when in relationships, boyfriends and husbands can feel entitled to your body and then believe that consent is no longer needed. I do believe that men can also be sexually assaulted, and women can also be the aggressors however, that is not the case majority of the time. We as a society still need to improve on our views on sexual assaults so instances as the ones that happened to Fe don’t happen anymore.

  27. That’s a terrible story and I’m sorry you had to go through both of those experiences. It’s never okay for those situations to occur, regardless of where in the world someone is. I studied abroad in China and realized how differently people are treated in different countries. Both men and women were objectified just because of their skin color and that they were not from China. I wish equality and treating people normally was accepted everywhere, and I hope it keeps improving all over the world. Almost everyone I know has been sexually assaulted at some point. As a man I have been sexually assaulted multiple times, but I have barely told anyone because many people would say it was my fault. It is an extremely common issue when alcohol is involved, and people tend to use that as an excuse. In my experience I have found sexual assault to become more talked about and becoming a much more important issue. I hope it keeps that way and people are less afraid to speak up when they have been assaulted.

  28. Areyda Bautista

    This stood out to me so much because of the fact that I am a woman myself and things like these tend to happen frequently. It saddens me to know the number of sexual assaults that happen and that have already taken place. In my opinion the whole sexual assault concept frustruates me because if you really think about it, we as woman can not even go out comfortably anymore without fearing that something is going to happen to us. In addition, we can not wear short skirts or show much skin without being cat called and bothered my strange men out in the streets. Men need to learn to respect women and realize that we are just as equal as they are, therefore we should not have to worry about such things or live miserable because of it. It is indeed very sick of people who do such things to women and find it silly because at the end of the day, those who are doing these things do indeed scar the individual. On the other hand, many people who act towards these things like sexual assault have grown up in a torn household or they were simply never taught what it is to be a respectful gentleman. With that being said, it is not their fault that they never had someone to teach them what was right and that is why it is very important to teach young kids between right and wrong.

  29. First and foremost I want to give my condolences to what you went through. These are the type of stories you picture only happening in movies. They are stories you hear of on the news or read in books, but ones you never expect will happen to you. I want to say I am sorry those immature boys stole something from you that was supposed to be special. Unfortunately, everywhere around the world women are just objects to men, not all, but a lot of them. It is sad, like you said, that women are the ones that get taught how to protect themselves like wearing longer dresses or covering their shoulders when it should be men getting taught how to treat and respect these women.

    I have never been through that situation nor personally know someone who has so I cannot say I know what it feels like, but I can say that you sharing your story is eye-opening to a lot of women (including myself) and helps us stand together and have a louder voice.

  30. I am so sorry that this has happened to you and multiple times, at that. Thank you for sharing this, as I know it can be difficult. At the very least, the assault is disrespectful, but at its core, the way they abused you is completely unjustifiable. It is predatory behavior that is not just unsafe for you, but other women as well. Those people need to be reported to the authorities. I know that it is insanely difficult to actually do this, as you say, “offenders so often get just a slap on the wrist — if anything.” But creating a paper trail is the main goal. The men that abused you are no short of criminal. And if they do it again, hopefully the paper trail will help, and they would get caught. They need to understand that sexual assault is no little offense. It is huge. It is mentally and emotionally scarring. And that is something that will never fully go away. Again, thank you for sharing, I wish you the best.

  31. Posts like yours are a wake up call to me. My initial response was not one of sympathy, and I have to say that that reaction shocked me. I very much thought “so what” that has happened to me thousands of times, to not be cat called meant you must be butt ugly where I grew up. To go out in public over the age of 15 was to expect to get felt up, squeezed and groped. It was normal and you just put up with it if you wanted to drink and dance with your friends. My normality was to just pretend that it did not matter. I am actually very sorry that it happened to you, that your body was used for the gratification of others and that it happens regularly the world over, however I am thankful that the tables are turning on men.
    They can no longer have a quick squeeze and expect you to take it as a compliment. They can not use the fact that they are male to mean they have the right to subdue you. There would be an outcry if women went around cupping mens balls and penis to see if its worth dating them. The only time that I have truly felt like others believed me to be public property was when I was pregnant. Strangers and those I knew felt it fine to just walk up to me and touch me, feel my protruding belly and ask me personal questions. It does not seem to occur to men or women that they need to ask permission to touch another person. That their touch may not be welcome and may in fact cause that person psychological distress.

    Thank you for sharing and for teaching me about myself. I hope that those you encounter from now on are respectful of you and your body. A welcome touch can stir unknown parts of your brain and warm your heart till you think it may burst.

  32. It’s quite horrible how something that can scar someone for life can be funny and amusing to another. My friend went through a similar experience in which she was manipulated and taken advantage of. When she entered her first relationship, she was scared and uncomfortable because of the left over shame she felt from that one experience. Although our world and country have progressed, we still have a long way to go in regards to the respect people must have for women and the right to her body. Not just on the topic of abortion and such, but the right to feel safe and that her personal space and skin won’t be violated or touched without consent. The author is right in saying that America has way too much sexual assault to this day and that needs to change. People need to raise their kids to treat women with respect and that they have no right to touch someone’s body, in any way, without consent, no matter how “funny” it may be to them.

  33. First I’d like to give you my deepest condolences that that happened to you. It’s so unfortunate that men and boys like that exist in this world. I believe that those boys acted like that because they didn’t have the correct male role models in their life. Consent is so important and I know that I will be teaching my future sons that they are not to do anything that to a woman or man or whoever that they do not allow. I will be teaching my daughter also that she has control over her body and who she allows to be let into her private zones. I absolutely despise that some men and boys think that they have a right to touch someone else without their consent. Every time I see or hear about sexual assault I wonder where the parents or role models are to teach those kids or teach those men when they were kids that it was not ok.

  34. Hi Fe,

    Im so sorry you had to go through something like this, although I like to look and the bright side and say that it could have been worse. Not only could someone feeling you up end in a rape situation but as well as making you a target. Men talk as we all know, whether its about a women’s bottom or top half. They share their experiences and latest happenings, they count endlessly, and egg each other on for ridiculous things that make them feel more manly. Especially men in other countries where the stereotypical wife in the house taking care of children, cleaning, and having dinner ready by the time their husband is home from work; still exist. I’m so pleased to hear that it has made you more determined to speak your mind about the woman’s body being sexualized! I think it has always been a problem and sadly will continue to be as not everyone raises their children the same and with more and more cultures and beliefs making appearances its only going to make it harder on us women to stand tall and be able to walk down the street feeling safe.

    I recently started carrying pepper spray with me as I decided to take the bus to college since it’s cheaper for me instead of driving myself. My first day on the bus there was a man in the back video chatting a women and making inappropriate comments, not once did he stop to think that this wasn’t the place or the time. On my way back from college to home a homeless man was on the bus, but didn’t pay so him and the bus driver were arguing back and forth. As you may know there is only one entrance you can go through when paying for the bus, and the man was walking in the middle so I stepped aside giving him more than enough room to pass, he decided to elbow me in my arm and me knowing he might go crazy if I were to say anything I just sat down and sat quiet. Its so sad that we live in such a world.

  35. I’d first off like to say thank you. I know it must’ve been difficult to recount the memories of your assault. It’s unfortunate that this is something you experienced, especially at a young age where we aren’t exactly aware what sexual assault is. I think until the me too movement sparked, that’s when people were introduced to how women and men have been needing to keep their silence on their own experience. The law doesn’t exactly help anyone when it comes to cases of sexual assault and rape. For example, the Brock Turner case has proven that money really does save you in difficult situations. This is why many victims of sexual assault tend to keep quiet rather than to report their incidents. Many simply believe that nothing will be done.The thought that sexual assault could happen to anyone is truly terrifying, and it’s something very difficult that we all should have to discuss as well. I have experienced sexual assault which is a primary reason to why I left my old university. My story is something that I do share very much mainly because I never thought about the possibility that I could be sexually assaulted one day.

    The person who assaulted me was someone I considered a friend, which is why I was so shocked when I figured out what happened. The most common place where assaults or rape occur is usually at parties, which is why I was not surprised when people asked me why I showed up to the party that I had attended that terrifying night. He touched my chest and attempted to remove my clothing. Once I realized what was happening, the attempt to defend myself failed as he wrapped his hand around my neck. I had to hide several bruises from my parents and wore sunglasses more to cover up my red eyes.

    I think it is very important for people to educate their children and teach them right from wrong. Men and women are victims to sexual assault, despite there being more spotlight on women’s experiences. Something that i think needs to be addressed a lot more is the criminal justice system and how they handle cases of sexual assault and rape. The amount of pain that somebody feels from unwanted experiences is immense and can truly derail the mental health of a victim. Punishment should be required especially when no one asked to be touched or penetrated.

  36. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and story with us. I know how much courage that takes. Although it doesn’t take the feelings you have away, I am so sorry this happened to you. I think a lot of people, especially men, don’t realize that touching a female in those areas is incredibly violating. I think a lot of boys that age would think it’s funny. They don’t take our feelings of fear into consideration. I too was sexually assaulted, when I was much younger, by my stepfather. I told my mom and she either didn’t believe me or chose to ignore it. Either way, the trauma from that experience has affected my self-esteem, mental health, and the way I’ve come to view sex in general. I can’t fully express how upset I get when people say “she shouldn’t have worn that,” or try to blame the victim in any way. It’s not fair that we have to constantly worry about these things when most men don’t need to think twice about such things.

  37. I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that. I also had experiences that were demeaning when I was younger. I was bullied, often sexually, by boys in elementary school and all through high school. I was often told that I was at fault and was even suspended once when a boy touched me between my legs and I pushed him to get away from him. He hit me repeatedly and I still was suspended for it. It is such a shame that the attitude “boys will be boys” prevails because it is so toxic. It is absurd that this is a world-wide phenomenon that women have to be extra vigilant so that they aren’t harassed. I’m so sorry that you even travelled the world and had to experience sexual harassment. I too had a hard time dating when I was younger because I was always so afraid because of my early childhood experiences. Even in high school I ran into a brick wall when my butt was grabbed repeatedly and I tried to get help from the administration only to be told that “boys will be boys” and to ignore them. It creates a hostile environment where the victim is told they are too sensitive and the problem is never truly addressed. It teaches the victim that justice can never be done and a lesson to the boys that this type of behavior is acceptable. I spent most of my high school years with my back to the wall. It created a hyper vigilance in me that still carries on to this day where I don’t like my personal space violated at all and it creates intense anxiety. I hope you are doing better.

  38. In today’s society, many assaulters get away with their actions. Many rape kits sit untouched and this makes women feel like they have no voice for themselves, especially if an assaulter is one in power. With little to no punishments for acts of sexual assault, people think they can get away with doing it, which is why we see so many casual acts of assault happening right in front of us. For example, when the author of this blog got groped at a graduation ceremony. Although it wasn’t rape, it was still a type of assault and invasion of privacy men think they can casually commit. I do think America has progressed more in this area than other cultures, but it is absolutely necessary for there to be real consequences for people who assault others. Without consequences, people aren’t scared to do things. Society and laws also need to make women feel like they can speak up. Most assaults go unnoticed/unreported and this adds to the fuel of men thinking they can assault a woman without consequences. I don’t think it is fair that women have to be so cautious when they go out. When I was growing up I’d always be told that it was more unsafe for me to be out by myself than if I were a boy. This should not be a gender difference, that men are naturally safer than women. Especially as a college student, it is scary and frustrating that every time I go out by myself, more so at night, I could be in danger. Women deserve the same respect as men and we can start by enforcing laws that punish those who don’t and get rid of any negative stigma surrounding assault.

  39. Sexual assault happens more often than many people think and it is unfortunate. The alarming part is that a lot of the time it is done publicly, with no shame. When I was in middle school I saw this happening very frequently with the girls, even some of my friends. At an age so young you never know what the right thing to do is because no one usually warns you about how high the possibility can be or how to handle such a traumatic experience. The sad part was that a lot of the time the boys never got punished for sexually assaulting girls, usually it was just a warning or two. It is sad to think that women have to go out always on the lookout or always having to be extra careful about walking or being alone. I feel that more awareness about sexual harassment needs to be acknowledged due to how frequently it does happen, unfortunately.

  40. In an abrahamic culture it is impossible to have sexual experiences that are not demeaning. A woman is defined by how much sex she hasn’t had therefore once a woman has sex even in a sanctioned context her value goes down because she has been possessed (defiled) by another male. She is incapable of being a full and equal economic actor in the sexual marketplace.

  41. My heart really goes out to young women (or any women) who have experienced this sort of behavior.

    I personally have witnessed “old” guys catcalling and honking horns at high-school aged girls. It is sad and pathetic behavior.

    I can recall the story the daughter of the woman I knew told me. She stated she was 14 years old and cut classes with some other kids. They were all at the home of this one kid. The rest left the house except for her to find weed and some alcohol. She thought she was alone in the home. Well, there was the uncle of the kid home who was asleep upstairs. He came down to find her alone. He forced her to perform oral sex. She was only 14 years old!!! The guy was nearly 40 she stated. Disgusting.

    This is one area where I 100% support women and young girls. There is very widespread sexual abuse in the Black community. It is rarely discussed. During my time volunteering at the women’s homeless shelter, I saw the consequences. I heard the stories. I saw the trama. A few years ago the maid service that cleans my home sent over three ladies to clean. One was a regular. I overheard these two women talking in the bathroom. One stated that her now husband “took her” when she was 15! She looked to be around 25ish.

    I truly believe a lot of young women (and girls) are suffering from PTSD the result of this sort of behavior.

  42. It took me a bit to reply to this blog. I was sharing it with my co-worker as I thought it was interesting because we were speaking to how can parents at our school district not want to educate their kids (developmentally appropriate of course) on sexual misconduct. There were so many waivers trying to protect the innocence instead of educating. “My First Sexual Experience Felt Demeaning” when the author mentioned make men accountable I completely agree. The thing that I would add is to teach them when they are young prior to becoming men. My co-worker was assaulted in college and had to go through several sessions of therapy to be able to function. She has a son and shared with me that she gives the following information to him. No means no, drunk yes means no, I’m not sure means no, and even a yes followed by no means no! “No control over my body” sadly, even in this day it’s a familiar situation because you get a group of insecure boys trying to prove something. I truly felt the pain as I too had my breast grabbed in middle school. It was 8th-grade graduation and he said it was something on my chest. The feeling of violation truly never leaves your mind and parents should teach their boys to be respectful instead of trying to protect their innocence.

  43. I feel as though sexual assault has always been a major problem but in todays society it has drastically increased and its kind of scary. the fact that most women can’t even feel safe while walking around by themselves, says a lot about the kind of world we live in. we hear so many things about what happens with men or other problems, but I feel as though sexual assaults are mainly overlooked or not taken as serious as they should be. I applaud the author for being able to tell her story because like she stated many times we see girls try and speak up but their offender is not even treated as harshly as they should be, its just like a slap on the wirst. I myself carry mace on me when I walk around by myself because of all the what ifs in my head, but even with the mace I do not feel as safe as I should. sexual assault can happen anywhere and committed by anyone, girls being told to carry some sort of a weapon does not do anything because sometimes the person targeting you is the one you least expect.

    • It’s too bad that women have to worry about this on such a regular basis. And it’s not good for men either to have women Fearful of them. We will all be better off without sexual assault.

  44. Sexual assault is not treated as a priority. That’s probably why most women don’t speak up about their assaults. It saddened me to read this post. No one deserves to be assaulted. Your body is your temple. No one should experience any type of assault. Women are individually strong and goddesses in their own way. I believe women go through sexual assaults on a bi weekly basis. Women are assaulted in the randomness locations. Their work environment, shopping, partying, going for a jog, etc. For example, I was apprehended by a gentlemen in the work environment several times after being asked not to. I had to move forward with reporting him because I wasn’t interested in a date and he kept insisting and eventually got touchy. Some men don’t know the respect in keeping their hands to themselves and in those cases you need to report it. I strongly agree that women shouldn’t have to carry a pepper spray in order to feel safe. Regardless, pepper spray will probably give you the advantage of a couple minutes. Within time, the assaulter can catch up to you and really hurt you. Women should feel safe in their community, work environment, and globally. We shouldn’t carry pepper sprays to feel safe. Women are the seed of the world. We bare children. We contribute to empower other women and the world. Our bodies deserve the same respect!

  45. It is unfortunate that that women years ago and still today have to endure such harassment. While I have not had the same experience of physical harassment I do recall many times being “cat called”. I was one to begin developing at a very young age. By the age of 12 training bras were not ideal for me, and my mom and I became more aware of it when she witnessed me being stared at and cat called when my nipples were hardened from the cold weather. I didn’t fully understand my moms anger until years later when I was in my later teens and while walking in a store I heard two guys speaking mumble quickly as they passed by me “nice ass”. I can’t even full recall if I said anything back but I remember telling my mom about it and her saying to me that “guys will never change”. I do not fully believe in that term that guys will never change because I am optimistic and do believe that people can change for the better, but that makes it difficult when society does nothing about harassment that is delivered by men, I do not mean to go political here but we do have men in the government office who have pressed harassment on women and we have yet to see them receive punishment for their behavior making it “acceptable” for men to continue harassing women. I have not had the experience of feeling harassed in a foreign country, but I will be visiting Morocco soon and I have been told that men are possessive and controlling of their women so I am curious to see how my experience there will be. However, it shouldn’t matter what country someone is in, a woman should never feel like she has no control over her own body. Living in a country that many foreigners look up to, we should lead by example and show other countries that women are to be treated with respect and those who fail to do so shall be disciplined for it, and this needs to include people in office as well. 

  46. I understand how scary this can be I’ve gone through this scary experience myself so never feel like you’re alone. I don’t understand and never will why boys and even men feel like they are entitled to our bodies like we’re objects. Finding the courage to talk to someone and report it is scarier than people think and it stays and affects you for a very long time and many people don’t realize that. I do believe there should be consequences even though nothing ever rarely ever happens to them even when it is reported. If the roles were reversed and men were as worried and scared like we are when things like this happen things would change.

  47. In this article, “My First “Sexual Experiences” Felt Demeaning”, I really felt for the girl who was narrating her experiences. I honestly commend her for speaking out to the public about her sexual assaults because it helps others who went through the same experience feel like they are not alone. It also helps makes others feel like they are a survivor instead of being a victim and that they are not for blame for the action that was taking part. I relate to her of never having a boyfriend, and never having a first kiss and the fact that her first encounters with males were of sexual assaults instead of someone that she wanted to be sexual with breaks my heart for her. It just breaks my heart because I feel, especially never having a boyfriend, actions like those should always be with someone who you trust. Those people who sexually assaulted her literally took that first experience away, not to mention scarring her into these horrible memories.

  48. Sexual assault has been such a big issue and sometimes I wonder how it still is in 2019, especially with things like the #MeToo movement and with so many people coming forward to share their experience. There is this whole culture of “boys will be boys” that is unacceptable as an excuse to not punish them for sexually assaulting someone. And women are so scared to come forward or to press charges because often times they are blamed for it or not believed. And even if charges go through the punishment does not fit the crime. If you look at cases like Brock Turner it is horrifying to see how little the seriousness of sexual assault is taken. While it is nice to see “not all men” stories, it would be better to teach boys about consent instead of teaching women how to protect themselves from being sexually assaulted. That feels like trying to come up with a prevention to the problem instead of trying to get rid of the problem itself.

  49. This honest piece demonstrates the fact that unwanted sexual attention can have a lasting effect on its victims. Often times those responsible for these acts are only thinking about their own desire, neglecting to acknowledge the human they are violating. I think that too often, men are not taught to respect women as human beings, but instead that their worth is boiled down to how they can please a man. One thing that strikes me in this post is that the men who violated the writer are never held responsible for their actions, but this is also the reality of many situations exactly like this one. The track record of reporting sexual assault to any degree is largely in the favor of men, whereas the female victims are often belittled or humiliated. This post presents the honest truth that is often ignored in sexual harassment, which is that any level of violation can have a tremendous affect on victims, and repercussions are often rare.

  50. Charlotte Greatwood

    I remember the first time I was catcalled. I was biking home from school, and two men leaned out of their car and yelled at me. I almost fell off my bike, I was so scared. I was barely eleven. When I went home and told my mom, she asked if I was okay and then she explained to me that I had to get used to this. She told me not to make eye contact when walking down the street, not to go out in the dark, and never to talk back to catcallers. I don’t think that boys who were the same age as me got these talks. They weren’t catcalled, so they never asked their parents. Unfortunately when sex education is taught, the ideas about respect and consent seem to be too little, too late. I wish there were some kind of basic ideas of respect taught after the initial kindergarten kindness ideas. It seems like after kids stop pushing and punching, that’s enough. Then when we are teenagers, we learn that consent exists, but not the underlying respect that creates good consent.

  51. “While I’m glad I live in a country that has progressed far beyond that mentality, America still has far too much sexual assault. And I’m tired of girls being told to carry pepper spray or use the buddy system. It’s time to teach men to treat women with respect and to reliably punish those who do not.”

    I strongly agree with this statement. While we may not require a bodyguard to run errands, there are many things my friends and I refuse to do alone due to safety precautions. I don’t think men realize the minor state of fear and hyper-awareness that is constant when we are out alone. I’ve mentioned to men how I wanted to buy a self-defense weapon of some sort for when I’m hiking or running alone and they seemed taken aback by the comment. That reaction, to me, says that it doesn’t seem to be common in their lives but also that its uncommon for them to realize that we feel like that regularly in everyday circumstances. Also, in regards to reliable punishments, this made me think of the Stanford student case. He assaulted an unconscious woman and only served 3 months of jail time. That doesn’t seem just to me and if I were the victim I would have expected more.

    • Speaking of men’s surprise I once interviewed a transwoman on how her life changed when she transitioned from male to female and she talked about how she wasn’t prepared for the constant worry and surveillance her new life brought. How unfortunate that women have to live our lives that way.

      • I’m surprised guys are taken back if a woman wants a weapon or protection if hiking or running by herself. Unfortunately abductions and murders have happened to women who were joggers or hikers which some bad guys seek or go after women doing such activities alone, because the women are isolated and vulnerable. It sucks women have to think about that. I’m one who would want any female family or friends who run, to do so with a group and not by themselves. Or what some do and I think helps with protection is if they have a dog and not just any dog, but has a big dog they own. Then go jogging while taking your dog for a walk. Examples, if you have a pitbull, Rotweiller, Dolberman, German Shephard, etc.

        My buddy has a German, great dog, but they are quite protective which can be good in that case. Very lovable, but very loyal too and they will be on guard if they don’t know you and you come up to the house. By buddies dog just adores me, he knows me quite well since it’s my best friend and I hang out with my friend often and he adores my buddies gf and my friends family, my family and close friends. Good people he knows of course. He’s a big boy though ha, like 120lbs. But seriously, I would not want to fight mike tyson as I would get destroyed of course. But if I had to choose, I’m getting in a fight with mike tyson anyday of the week over my buddies German. He’s a good dog, I’m just saying if he likes you, he would guard you with his life from an intruder and he would destroy that dude, I don’t care if it’s mike tyson. So yeah I think it’s best for girls to go in groups, but the exception is if they have a beastly dog breed as said ha. Well I guess St Bernards could be pretty good too, just because they are so damn huge. Like slobbery bears.

      • Getting a friendly but scary dog sounds like a great idea.

  52. Jennifer Valenzuela

    It always makes me sad when I read or hear about someone being sexually assaulted. It made me even more frustrated to read that this traumatizing experience happened twice. There is no excuse for another man or woman to feel as if they have a right to violate another person’s body. I personally didn’t have a boyfriend, kiss, or sexual relationship until after graduating high school. It would have shattered my heart to have someone else assault me before I was ready to live that part of my life. It’s frustrating that men feel as if they can do whatever they please and there wont be any consequences. I’ve noticed that these men always seem to gravitate towards the quiet or shy girls and decide to prey on them. It makes me sad to read that the boys sexually attacked in front of the whole school, something should have been done, that’s not OK! I agree that they usually only get a slap on the wrist, that not enough.

  53. It’s unfortunate that many women are in constant fear of being sexually assaulted because it can happen at any moment and quickly, as you mentioned. It’s unfair that women have to constantly look out for not only themselves but other women as well because of how likely it is that women go through something like this. It’s sad to say that most men have little respect for women; that talking or showing off the things they do to women is what makes them cool. it’s extremely unfair for women to be treated as an abject like that; just used to prove a man’s power. I believe that there needs to be more talk with men about what they’re doing and less talk to women about what to do when situations like this happen because they shouldn’t be happening. Men need to understand how situations like these affect women in the future.

    • I think that many many men do respect women, probably most, in fact, but those who don’t create problems for everyone.

      • It makes me wondering what is missing for these men who sexually assault or are in this manner? I’m sure it’s culture, but why more so men and what is it about men do like not care about doing something violent or threatening? I see sexual objectification brought up and it sucks that women have to deal with that and have such fears. I see something in common or an overlap. Men who commit sexual crimes, you notice they also just commit bad crimes in general though? Like I’m lucky to not have to fear about being raped like women don’t since I’m a man. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the same man who sexually assaulted a woman, is the same man who saw me in a dark alley at night, and tried to rob or mug me…or hijack my car. Like you often see men who are domestic beaters, also get arrested for picking a fight in a bar or badly assaulting a guy over out of control anger and jealousy. Or drunk drives and hits a pedestrian and then speeds off.

        Often male criminals even when in regard to sex crimes, are arrested for other bad things not related to sex, but just violence and other crimes. Like we talk about objectification, but there’s something male about “not giving a fuck?” about people and where does that come from. Isn’t it true it seems like more often there are not just more male criminals but much more male criminals with Narcissism?What is it about society that can cause men more likely in a way then, see things and people as an object of means and not care? Women are targets because most men are straight and such bad men don’t give a fuck, so they don’t give a shit if they treat the women as objects in the process. But to steal or mug, you don’t really give a shit about someone as a person. So something seems maybe to culture for men to remove or suppress empathy? Which is why men can more so than women can treat victims as an object and therefore do bad things?

      • One of my professors wrote a book called “Seductions of crime” and I haven’t read the whole thing but my memory is that he said that armed robbers did it partly because they were trying to feel a sense of personal empowerment. Breaking and entering. It’s similar to rape. And rapists are often also trying to create a sense of personal empowerment. It’s one of the most common reasons why some men rape and assault. (Although the reasons are varied. In group assaults the men are often trying to prove to each other how “male superior” they are by overpowering a woman and humiliating her. And yet they are actually demonstrating their lack of humanity.) There are a number of other motivations too. I should write about this sometime. The different motivations.

        I wrote a bit about it in this post
        https://broadblogs.com/2010/10/26/mind-of-a-rapist-trying-to-bridge-a-gap-between-a-small-self-and-a-big-man/

  54. It enraged me and saddens me so much to read. It is disgusting that women have to be careful wherever they go because they could be sexually assaulted at any moment. Women have to be constantly aware of their surroundings because they are afraid of men approaching them and abusing them. Some women live inconstant fear because they may live alone or just be alone in remote areas. Men do not have to be as fearful and as careful. They are not afraid when a woman is following them to their car or home. Women also have to spend more of their money in order to buy protective tools to feel safe. Even when having those tools, some women still do not feel safe in remote areas. The fact that women are just seen as objects for men’s pleasure is a saddening reality of the world that should be changed for the benefit of women.

    • Yes, and without sexual assault the world would even be better for men. For their partners, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends are less likely to be harmed, which aids the mental and emotional well-being of everyone. Plus, as women come to associate sexuality with something negative like assault they grow less positive about sex.

  55. I’m male. I’ve told my sons that the odds they would grow up to be car thieves or murderers were close to zero, but the risk that they might be rapists is scarily high and unfortunately odds are also scarily high that at least one of their friends would be a rapist. I’ve tried to impress upon them how critical consent is.

      • Wtf? Why would car thieves and murderers be rare for them to grow up to be, but rapists scarily high? There’s too much rape that happens, but that’s sexist too. If a boy rapes, there’s many things going on with what you say about society, but morals are quite missing too. Which if morals are missing, it doesn’t take much for same man to have a problem to steal or murder too does it? A lot of rapists murder or assault people so brutally. Unless you’re implying on the drunk, blurring line, college rape that can happen, but where a guy thinks the woman is consenting. None of my friends or friends friends are rapists and would be the first to brutally beat anyone rapists in fact. It’s like saying guy’s will have a high chance of being wife beaters.

      • You’re right. Thankfully the vast majority of men don’t rape. Those who do make everything worse for everyone. Victims experience trauma, which is bad for them and for those they love. Women who are raped lose interest in sex. And growing up in a world where sexuality is so closely associated with violence taints sexuality for all women. And, all men become scarier because women don’t know who they can trust.

  56. It is unfortunate that you had to experience such degradation at such a young age, not that its okay at any. Your experiences in KL are sadly not uncommon as women in developing countries continue to endure an oppressive patriarchal society. Women in these countries have little to no protection under the law and may be less inclined to report abuse for many reasons such as fear or fear of ostracization. You mention how America has moved on past that “mentality”, I would disagree slightly. We are definitely headed in the right direction, but there is still far too much unpunished sexual assault going on like you said. The me-too movement exposed just how much assault takes place in areas we least expect it and how its was seen as “normal”. Even males were coming forward; for example, Terry Crews. These women and men who came, and continue to, forward has been met with backlash and disbelief by those who want to ignore a problem in our society. Victims often do not come forward for the very reasons we are seeing unfold before our eyes in the media. Discrediting campaigns,mockery,insults, and victim blaming.

    I don’t have much personal experience to share in this regard, but something that definitely opened my eyes on this issue, I think is worth a mention. I was a floor manager at a theater and instructed a female employee to take some trash out to our garbage bin. I didn’t think much of it as sending a lone employee was normal. She asked if she could have another employee go with her or if someone else could do it because it was dark outside, as in very dark with sparse lighting. My mind immediately assumed a fear of the dark, so I sent a male employee who had come back from break. I brought this up to another employee who had been there several years and she looked at me like some fool for trying to send her out on her own. This specific employee shared her experience of being nearly assaulted by a lone male in the parking lot where our garbage bin is, and it is quite a large and dark area. Long story, yes, but it goes to show that women, even in America, still live in fear of assault and that is just plain wrong.

    I’m sorry you had to go through that Fe, no one should have to through these experiences.

    Best regards, Jorge

Thoughts? (Comments will appear after moderation)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: