Worry not, I’m not going to get insanely political here. I simply want to share why I decided to go to the Women’s March this past Saturday in Chicago. Every woman has a reason why they attended the march. Whether it was more political or personal, or likely a combination of both, women of all backgrounds, ages, color, religions and sexuality united as a determined front to express their feelings and lend their voice to a movement they believe in. Several people have asked me why I decided to go to the march. Here is why.
Back in college I was at our go to bar with a bunch of my friends. We were dancing, laughing and drinking, what many young women do during their college years. We were young and having fun. When out of nowhere a man of my height, brown hair, a bit surly, drunk and wearing a red plaid flannel grabbed my boobs. Not even a “hello.” Just came from out of nowhere and put his gross hands on MY body. I was in shock and didn’t have time to react when he then grabbed my vagina. I was so pissed off and violated I took my glass and first splashed my drink in his face then threw the glass at his chest. He took his beer bottle by the handle and swung it hard, directly into my face. I immediately put my hand to my mouth knowing it was not good. As I looked up, I saw the door guy open the door for him as he ran out. Now, at the time I was convinced the door guy saw everything and just let him go. He certainly saw me leave shortly after and spit out teeth and blood onto the sidewalk. However, I never spoke with him about it so I will never be 100% positive. I spent many years being really pissed off about the incident. Eventually I let it go because I knew it was up to me to tell someone – but I never did. I was too scared to. If I told my parents what happened I thought they’d move me out of the city and back home. I was worried if I filed a report I’d cause a giant stink with the bar. People would be pissed at me. So, while I’m sitting with ice on my face, cracked teeth and the inside of my lip torn up from the impact, I was worrying how to not cause a fuss. Somehow I was worried I would get in trouble. Not the person who sexually assaulted and battered me in a public place. I lied and said a coffee jar fell out and smashed me in the face. When I arrived at the dentist, he took one look at me and said, “who hit you with a beer bottle?” Apparently, bottles to the face show similar results among their victims. I tried to deny it, but he knew. I finally fessed up and told him not to say a word. He was pissed and informed me of what I already knew, a broken nose and/or death were other possible outcomes. It took years, but finally with the help of an amazing dentist, I can say that my teeth look as good as new and are beautiful. It also took time to reconcile with how I reacted. Should I have retaliated? Why didn’t I speak up? Live and learn.
Some of my friends have had their vaginas grabbed by strangers too. Some worse than that. Have you? It’s certainly the most unpleasant of situations, so I hope you haven’t. If you haven’t gotten my point yet, yes, I was extremely perturbed when I heard President Trump say that he grabs women by the pussy when he pleases. It’s not okay. It’s scary. It’s sad. It’s not just locker room talk, it happens to women all the time. It makes you angry. If you react and fight back, it can make you hurt even more. This shit is going to continue to happen. And I know I am not going to change our current president and how he speaks about and treats women. I also know that I will never again sit back quietly and sweep that shit under the rug. This is my only opportunity to get back at the person who assaulted me. It’s an outlet for me to never again be complacent with perverts. I marched so that hopefully my little nieces don’t need to when they are older. I want their male peers to treat them with respect. I marched so that a man won’t grab their crotch in a crowded bar and think it’s acceptable. And God forbid if anything ever were to happen, I am here to help them report it and take care of it. In my eyes, we have the opportunity to help mold the next generation of folks and as a society we need to stand up for one another and support each other. And this may come as a shock to you, but I do wish our newly elected president the best. I’m not here to see him fail. I’m not here to hate. I’m here to give my voice and show some of the issues I’m concerned with. It’s our right to be heard and we are freaking lucky to have said right. Most importantly, it’s imperative that we urge women and young girls to not do as I did. Yes, it sucks and it could make the process more painful, but sexual assault should not and cannot be tolerated. It should never be normalized.
That is why I went to the march. Whether you agree or oppose the concept of a peaceful protest, I don’t care. I marched for you, young girls of the world and all of our vaginas regardless. Because I’m cool like that, I got you. Not to mention, I had a fucking blast. I laughed, made new friends, ran into some old ones, and went out for a couple beers afterwards. I felt a connection with a couple other million women who I will never meet, but in some way feel I have. It was a pretty cool day filled with a shit ton of positive energy and if you know anything about me, I’m all about good vibes and helping make history. March on sisters. March on.
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