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Are You One Of The Two In Three?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Posted in: Uncategorized

Earlier, I watched an interesting TV show, where they were discussing how common it is for a woman to be flashed at, groped, or mildly sexually abused in some way, whilst going about her business.

Apparently, two out of three women have been victims of mild sexual abuse. This includes being groped in a club, or being flashed at by a pervert, or having an erection pressed into you. (If you live in London, the erection thing happens a lot, especially on the tube)

I’ve definitely experienced being groped. I remember a few years ago, when my friends and I went out in the North East, this guy grabbed my arse, and thought it was hilarious. I of course went totally crazy and tore strips off him. He didn’t think it was so funny then.

So, are you one of the two in three? If so, what was your reaction?

41 Comments »


  • Leslee
    July 2
    11:35 am

    A guy in high school was know for it, but he was on the football and basketball team so the administration did nothing. He tried it with me one day, saw him going for it. I told him if he tried to touch me he would be pulling back a bloody stub. Obviously my seriousness was communicated and he never tried to touch me ever! Can’t remember if there was any other circumstances but that is the one that sticks out in my mind.

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  • The groupers (usually happened in party/club) got dirty looks. The sexual innuendoes (depending who said it–that sounds awful to say, but there some male friends that I indulge in some harmless bantering/flirting) also get a dirty look. The erection pressers (happens in the crowded subways) get my very heavy handbag shoved into their gut.

    I’ve been flashed once. After a late shift (worked in a restaurant part-time in college) I was walking home at around mid-night. It’s a pretty safe neighbourhood, so I’ve never felt fearful of walking alone so late at night. I saw the guy in the standard cliched tan colored trench. He showed me his little worm and I just kept walking. So it was very disconcerting when about 10 mins and several blocks away, as I was cutting through a local high school parking lot, he was skulking in a doorway and flash me again. I walked on very quickly, heart thumping.

    I started taking the streetcar home, and didn’t take that short cut again for a very, very long time. It might have been a coincident that the very next spot he decided to try his luck was where I met him again, but I figure he must have known I took that route home.

    I’ve also had bothersome phone callers. To this day one of my friends keeps teasing me about the man, who when I informed him that there was no so-so at this number, replied: Well, maybe it’s good for you. I finally had to change my number and make it unlisted to get rid of him.

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  • Geez, Karen, I tend to lurk here, but when I come out and play I always post these long-ass comments. πŸ˜›

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  • sula
    July 2
    12:51 pm

    Hmm. Having spent most of my life outside my passport country and being the standout foreigner (and tall and shiny white) in the places I grew up and worked, I have experienced plenty of extra attention that sometimes bordered on harrassment. I would get hooted and whistled at and called after so often, that when I would come back to the States, it felt odd to be invisible. You learn to brush it off and ignore it because to react in any way just makes it worse usually. That said, I do recall some friends and I literally being CHASED through a market in Indonesia once by one particularly forward guy. And when I was in Mali, I recall one man grabbing my arm to try to get my attention. I wrenched it out of his grasp, then came back and castigated him loudly in the local language. The language skillz always help shock and embarrass them. Somehow it’s ok to harrass a girl who looks like a tourist but when she’s haranguing you in your language and knows the culturally appropriate phrases to put you in your place…heh. I rather enjoyed that part to be honest.

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  • Ghetto Diva
    July 2
    1:04 pm

    I work in an almost all male company, and I’ve had one man who pressed his erection against me, right after he requested I help him find something. I wanted to puke, and I was so angry.

    Anyway, when my boyfriend (now hubby) found out, he cornered him, and let’s just say, the guy never did it again. He was also fired.

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  • I was flashed by a little person once. I was torn between laughter and pity.

    The first and the only time I rode a Greyhound Bus, I feel asleep only to wake up with some guy’s hand on my lap. I went berserk and started screaming at him. He moved to another seat. But I reported it to the bus driver and the guy was put off at the next stop.

    In high school the guys thought it was funny to run up to girls and give them free ‘breast exams’ because one of the bigger chested girls in school I got my share of these ‘exams’. The guy would sneak up behind me and cop a feel. Sometimes I’d catch them and punch or kick them but sometimes the fuckers were too fast for me. I just hope those boys grew up and no one does that to their daughters.

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  • My ass is a no touch zone. If that gets felt up in a club or a bar, I smack them.

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  • When I was 14, some man (MAN, not a fellow teen, not that that would’ve made it better) standing behind me at a concert reached around and started playing with my breasts. That was the first time anyone had EVER touched me like that. I was too terrified to move, being rather a shy and uncertain-of-myself child, so I didn’t say or do anything. I could barely move anyway, the crowd was so tight. It was weird, because even though I was so afraid and kind of wanted to throw up, it also felt sort of good. That part bothered me more than anything else for a long time, before I grew up enough to realize that human physiology and emotional reactions can be complex and not at all what you think they ought to be.

    As an adult, I’ve been catcalled, innuendoed (is that a word?? it is now…), obscene phone-called and groped. Most of the groping came from head injury patients (I’m a nurse), so those are easily ignored. Head injury takes away those nice, helpful social inhibitions and makes folks do things they would not normally do. The one or two guys who’ve tried groping me without the head injury excuse have gotten my elbow in their guts.

    Sadly, most of the women I know can tell multiple stories, just as I can. That is a very depressing statistic. And the men in our lives so often don’t understand WHY we’re always on guard, because they themselves have never had to be.

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  • Cherrie Lynn
    July 2
    2:09 pm

    We were learning about frotteurism (erection-pressing) in my abnormal psych class, and my professor said some women don’t even know it’s happening because they’re in a crowd with people pressed in around them anyway. She told a story about a friend of hers who actually had a guy, erm…finish all over the back of her skirt. She didn’t realize it until after she got off the subway or whatever it was she was riding. So be careful in crowds!

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  • Sad to say, I am too (and I think it would be more accurate to say three in four, but what do I know?)

    It hasn’t happened in a long time, for which I’m thankful.

    Crowded subway, check. Boss who thought it was okay to harass me, check. Group of drunk college kids chasing a couple of my friends and I after a party, check.

    So far no flashing, thank you very much and crossing fingers and toes. πŸ˜‰

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  • Once that I can recall, it was recent and I wished I hadn’t checked my urge to elbow the jackass-I thought it was a friend of mine being her normal weird self. Was wrong. It was some jerk and I really…really REALLY wish I hadn’t checked the impulse.

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  • Definitely have been.

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  • MB (Leah)
    July 2
    3:09 pm

    Count me in as one of the 3 in 4. I’m much older now and don’t get out much so it hasn’t happened in a long while, but all. the. time. when I was younger.

    Much of it happened in when I lived in Israel. I was constantly followed, harassed, and groped. And when I would get angry, it would spur them on even more. Luckily things never escalated to the point of actual rape, which I was in fear of.

    I got flashed quite a few time in Japan, and groped in the U-Bahn in Germany quite a bit.

    Sometimes I would say something and try to embarrass the culprit, and other times I just let it go. What to do? Seems to something we women have to just deal with.

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  • Kimberly Anne
    July 2
    3:23 pm

    I used to love spending long Saturday afternoons at the library, just roaming the stacks and reading whatever peaked my interest. I was sitting at a table when a man came up and started hitting on me. I told him I was married, I asked him nicely to leave me alone, but he just kept telling me how beautiful I was, and how much he wanted me. I got up and tried losing him in the stacks, but he kept finding me. He’d stroke my arm, grab my hand, try to embrace me, and no matter how many times I asked him to stop, he wouldn’t. He was a very big man, and I was terrified. It didn’t even occur to me to hit him or get a security guard or anything. I just left the library, shaking like a leaf, wondering if I had somehow encouraged him, or that because I didn’t fight back, I deserved it. The thought that haunted me was that because it wasn’t a violent assault, he hadn’t actually done anything wrong – I was just being oversensitive. I still struggle with that.

    I haven’t been able to be in a library alone since.

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  • I used to club a lot so I had my share of gropers et al. I decked a guy once for being overly forward and another guy for being overly forward with a friend. Strangely, I’m a very nonviolent person otherwise. That type of thing makes me very angry.

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  • Jenns
    July 2
    4:49 pm

    Bra snapped and unhooked in junior high. Had a stranger try to proposition me with offers of giving each other massages and drinking wine (at age 13 – and he stated that he guessed me for a junior high student; actually, that perv pretty much chased me home from the mailbox around the corner from where I lived. I barely got away.) A group of lewd male teens once followed my best friend and I out of a certain amusement park, catcalling and making all sorts of ‘invitations’. (I was 16.) Whistled at, breasts blatantly stared at, lewd comments made – check all those. I once had a friend’s boyfriend start feeling me up. I’ve had my butt ‘accidentally’ smacked or touched in store lines.
    Some of the stories I’ve heard from friends are equally as bad, if not horrifying. I know two survivors of rape.
    I wish there were some sort of solution for all of the sexual abuse and harrassment that women go through on such a regular basis.

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  • I can’t recall ever being groped, but I did have a guy walk by my car in a parking lot once and drop a polaroid picture of his manly bits in front of me. I reached down to hand him what he’d dropped, saw what it was, laughed hysterically, then drove away. I acted totally on instinct.

    I’ve had phone calls, too, quite a while ago. Caller ID has pretty much gotten rid of that problem, hasn’t it? I know I had some kids prank call me a few summers ago, I took the number down and then called their mother later in the evening. She was furious–first that her sons had been so rude and second that they were so stupid as to not take caller ID into account!

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  • kristenmary
    July 2
    6:02 pm

    Yep. During my high school years at the mall some fellows thought they could grab my arse. I don’t remember what I said but I do remember being impressed with myself at my eloquence. I hope they learned a lesson.

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  • Flashed twice. Once on the train and once at the beach. I just moved away.

    Had my breast grabbed at a club in Mexico. I was merely walking and a random guy reached out and tried to fondle my breast. I dug my fingernails into the guy’s arm pretty deep. He got pissed and threatened me saying I couldn’t come to his country and blah blah blah. I said he had no right to grab my breast and I had every right to retaliate. A bigger guy intervened and told him to leave me alone.

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  • Bonnie L.
    July 2
    6:31 pm

    It seems I’m the odd woman out as I don’t remember ever being groped, flashed, or heckled (except by my husband πŸ™‚

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  • One of the benefits of being older, this doesn’t happen to me anymore. In high school the football team pinned me to a wall and felt me up. Reported it, but nothing was done to them. One of the teachers actually laughed.

    A co-worker tried to rape me on the job, after sexually harassing me for months. I’d reported him repeatedly. Nothing was done. When the assault occurred I wound up whupping his ass and then called 911. He copped a plea to lesser charge. No jail time, but he took early retirement from the job.

    Another attempted rape walking across campus in grad school.

    Various and sundry catcalls and whatnot over the years. Don’t get it much anymore.

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  • MB (Leah) – we have some stuff in common – some of the most outrageous things happened to me in Japan or here in Israel. I think a lot of it comes from looking all little and blond – like I’m not going to make a scene – which was the case for the longest time *sigh*
    I think the first time I made a scene when was a drunk guy grabbed my breast on the street in Japan one night. I swung with my left and hit him before anyone (including me) had realized what had happened.
    The worst thing to happen to me was having some guy put something in my drink (at Vertigo, Ramat David). I was out with my girlfriends and thankfully hubby (then boyfriend) got to the club early – just as I started feeling too heavy to hold myself up. I vaguely remember telling him I need to sit down and then starting to slide down the wall that was holding me up – but nothing after that. He apparently had to carry me out to the car and take me home – my girlfriends were off dancing and didn’t notice anything. Besides the fact that hubby was all overprotective for ages after, thinking of what could have happened really did scare the crap out of me. After that, whenever I went out I only drank stuff that would come in a sealed bottle.
    It really is a scary world out there sometimes. In another 10 or 15 years, my daughter is going to start on into her β€œyoung and stupid” phase. God only knows what type of stuff she is going to have to put up with – unless they find a cure for being an ass by then

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  • I was sunbathing at my apartment’s pool, reading The Thorn Birds, when something caught my eye: a flasher. I was towards the end of the book, when everything was happening. I was so wrapped up in the story I forgot about being flashed until I finished the book. The flasher had left.

    I was flashed one other time, on my way into a Pizza Parlor. The flasher drove his car in between me and my friend, and the door to the Pizza place, lifted himself up, and wiggled his thing all over the place. Me and my friend squealed with laughter so hard we were bent over holding our stomachs. He drove away.

    I waitressed in night clubs when I was younger, so was groped on occasion. Two different gropers had their hand twisted with some little martial art move.

    Another groper — that was much worse, and really, REALLY ticked me off — got pinned to the bar with my long fingernails jabbing his adam’s apple, while my other hand strongly “groped” his privates upwards for leverage. After I calmed down and let him go, I told the manager, and the manager threw him out of the club. Literally.Threw.Him.Out! He first tried to escort him out, but groper resisted (he was probably ticked about being pinned by a female in front of his guy buddies), so the manager picked him up by his collar and belt, and tossed him outside onto the ground, which shocked us because he was usually so mellow.

    I still smile a wicked little smile at that memory. Pervert got his that night. Twice!

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  • MB (Leah)
    July 2
    11:17 pm

    the most outrageous things happened to me in Japan

    At least in Japan, they have that whole want to save face thing, so it’s easy to publicly embarrass someone. And, they are quite mild and won’t mess with you further if you make a scene.

    The few times I got flashed, the guys had such little weenies that it was very funny. I think I even told one “if you’re gonna flash me at least show me something I don’t need a magnifying glass to see.” I did that more to humiliate him, and it worked.

    In Israel, it was Arab men who harassed me and if I fought back, which I did, I was in more danger. You are not even a human being to them, just some kind of thing they can do what they want with and it was very scary for me many times because there is no way to deal with that.

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  • willaful
    July 2
    11:53 pm

    I’ve been pretty much invisible for years but since losing 90 pounds I’ve been ogled a bit and had my neck fondled once. I was more bemused than any thing else.

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  • At school, at work, at bars, on the street… Sad, really. Sometimes it feels like there’s a shortage of women up here. But wait! It’s happened to me in Canada, US, and a handful of countries in Europe.

    I usually break the hold and move away. If they’re really persistent, I’ll give them THE LOOK. If that doesn’t work, I point out the 6’3″ boyfriend.

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  • Oh, the scariest was when I had one idiot physically pick me up and throw me over his shoulder. The boyfriend nearly lost it when he saw that.

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  • Sam
    July 3
    1:12 am

    I’ve had a few. Reported someone at a summer job. Stabbed a classmate with a compass point. I carried it into class (I’d told both the teacher and my boyfriend etc.) and he asked what it was for. I said ‘you grab me one more time and I’m stabbing you”…idiot didn’t believe me. He grabbed, I stabbed.

    I’m also not normally violent, but if I TELL you straight out that ‘if you X, I will Z’ and you do it anyway…you are a dumb ass and you deserve it.

    Sam

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  • My experience puts the numbers at about 80% of women are sexually mistreated–from these anonymous assaults to rape and molestation.

    I won’t go into gory details, but the more I read, the more I think Susan Brownmiller was right:
    This is the way ALL men keep ALL women afraid.

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  • Mireya
    July 3
    1:29 am

    Yup, have had cat calling and definitely the mass transportation issue. I started carrying a tote with my books during my commutes. Now, anyone that dares touch me, even in crowded subways, gets the shove … I don’t even look at who is rubbing him or herself against me, if it was by accident or what … I just swing my bags, stick my elbow out or my closed fist with the knuckles pointing out.

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  • KayCee
    July 3
    2:35 am

    Sorry, still LOL about the groupers.

    Which, to the best of my knowledge, would be defined as a school of fish. πŸ˜‰

    Now the gropers, they’re a whole ‘nother ball of wax. πŸ™‚

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  • A man visiting my house with his friend (who was, for lack of a better word, using my friend as a sex and cash cow) walked up to me as we stood talking in the front room, leaned forward and put his lips on my breast over my shirt. I took a step back, and took a good swing at him and knocked him into the kitchen. I’d been taking karate for about two months at the time. I read him the riot act that he could not treat me so disrespectfully in my house and that no matter what my roommate allowed his friend to do to her (and we DID try to get her out of that relationship. It took a lot more than 3 roommates, however), that I was not to man-handled.

    I’ve never seen a man grovel more after that. Apology accepted!

    ***

    At the 1976 Republican Washington State convention (my mother was a delegate. I was a teenager and got a job as a floor page), a drunken delegate backed me into a corner and tried to kiss on me, etc. A guard-at-arms literally pulled the guy off me and sent him packing. I was then moved off the floor and onto the podium. Where Ronald Regan was about to speak. For a kid, that was a very exciting moment–knowing that I was six feet away from the future president and his wife (who looked like a stick with a red hat).

    I can’t recall any instances of being groped at a dance or in a crowd. I have been flashed more than once, however.

    A Native American man walking down the street with his hoo-hoo hanging out when I was 18, a man pulling his pud atop a big rock at a park when I was 13–and of course there was the time in the early 1970’s when my cousin and I were approached by a man in a cast with a clipboard who wanted to know how physically fit we were and what kind of panties we had on. We ran all the way home and while we were telling my mother about the guy and she was reaching for the phone to call the police, the guy’s picture appeared on the TV. It was Ted Bundy. Ted freakin’ Bundy.

    My hometown has had a bizarre share of serial killers pass through. And they all drank at the same bar (where I have not had a drink, but have bought fried oysters). http://www.mywire.com/pubs/Esquire/2003/09/01/260104?extID=10037&oliID=229

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  • Indida
    July 3
    6:21 am

    It’s happened countless times and it disgusts me. I can’t stand being touched without my permission by anyone.

    The last time it happened, May 31st of this year. A group of us went to a pub crawl.

    We were on a trolley bus and this drunk woman pressed up against my back and started grabbing my boobs and saying dirty stuff. I tend to freeze, rather than fight or flight. I froze up for a few seconds then I started begging my friends for help.

    The woman’s husband had to pull her off of me. He was laughing the entire time. She invited me back to their place for a “good fuckin’ time”.

    I can still feel her body against my back. It was so gross.

    Oh, wait, forgot about the last NBA finals game. I got felt up by a former acquaintance in front of my old and new work friends. He was oh so happy to see me but couldn’t help feeling me up when he tried to give me a sideways hug. Lovely time.

    I grabbed his crotch and squeezed until he let me go. My worthless friends thought that was hilarious.

    He did call and leave a message, apologizing and blaming it on the liquor. Didn’t even bother listening to the entire message before deleting it.

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  • Isn’t it sad how so many of us can easily come up with stories like this?

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  • Got to agree with Angelia. I’d bet anything the stats are closer to eighty or ninety percent.

    Take a little trip to Literotica (I just call it Rotica for short) to get an idea of where some people’s heads are at. Even John Waters couldn’t dream up some of this shit.

    Yes, Heidi, it is very sad.

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  • Dawn
    July 3
    8:36 am

    I was going to say that I wasn’t one of the unlucky ones, then reading the comments, I remembered a few.

    When I was 18 the guy I worked for used to ask me to get his car keys out of his pocket – in front of his wife, too. They were a very strange couple!

    One time when I was about 15 my uncle tried to undo my bra while we were dancing. I told my mum and she told me to ignore him – Uncle Tony has some serious mental problems.

    Then there was the time I got a dirty phone call and didn’t realise. I thought I recognised the voice when he said how are you and I settled down for a chat and it wasn’t until he started chatting shit (can’t remember what he said) that I realised what it was. I just hung up on him.

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  • I’ve always wondered if all this animosity directed toward the romance genre isn’t due to a little professional jealousy. It does outsell every other fiction genre out there. And it always seems like the very people who are putting the genre down haven’t really read enough of the books to make an informed opinion. That’s just my observation.

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  • Throwmearope
    July 4
    2:55 am

    Oh yeah, all of the above and more. But I grew up in a bad neighborhood. The best thing was we all had to learn to fend for ourselves. (The only cops who showed up in our area were either burned out and homicidal or clueless newbies.)

    When I was 9 years old, some red neck in a pick up pulled up next to me and shoved open the passenger door. He showed me his erection and asked if I wanted to lick his lollipop. I told him that that was not a lollipop. Then I sung out in a sing-song, “Pervert in the neighborhood, pervert in the neighborhood!” All the neighbors piled out of their houses to see him. He lost his erection (wasn’t even big enough to impress a nine-year-old) and drove off in a huff.

    The pervert song worked great on my sick-o great uncle who felt me up at Christmas. My grandmother (boy was she a poor-role-model kind of woman) told me to be nice because he had a cleft palate and wasn’t meant to live. I told her if he touched me again, he wouldn’t be among the living. Later my cousins told me that he made Christmas a nightmare for them and they were glad I spoke up.

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  • shirley
    July 4
    3:37 am

    Well, I haven’t been groped in ages, but yes to just about everything above – and then some. And I’m with whoever said 3 in 4. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to find the number more like 9 in 10. And it really doesn’t matter what a woman looks like either. I’ve had friends who were, pardon the expression, dog ugly but it didn’t stop them from being groped or harassed or flashed.

    The worst situation I can recall happened to me in the late fifties or early sixties. I was at a Montgomery Ward and was trying on slacks when a man burst into my dressing room. Holy mother, thank goodness my father taught me to stick up for myself. I slapped him soundly and shoved him out. The woman manning the area had already called someone and he was escorted away. Sicko, I tell you.

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  • TracyS
    July 5
    6:39 am

    Peeping Tom in Jr. High. Had the police involved and everything. The idiot made a lot of noise and came by around the same time every night~which made him easy to catch. It turned out to be the neighbor kid (2 years older) which on one hand was a relief~it wasn’t an old man pervert/stalker, but it didn’t take away the yucky feeling. How long had he been looking in before I heard him? What did he see? etc etc. Plus, I had to see him EVERY DAY for the next 4 years.*shudder*

    I was an early developer and dealt with my share of guys trying to cop a feel in Jr. High/High school. I also had a tight little ass back in the day and that got touched a lot too.

    UGH. Never thought to report that stuff (other than the peeping tom). It’s sad that we ignore so much isn’t it?

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  • Bonnie L.
    July 6
    12:49 am

    Wait, I do remember one time. I went to a women’s college in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. There are a number of colleges and universities in the area, but my school is the only women’s only college. I guess it was fairly well known that if you knew one dorm room phone number, all you had to do is dial the next highest/lowest number and you’d call the neighboring dorm room. One night when my dorm mate was visiting home and I was alone I got this call from a guy. He seemed genuinely surprised that he had called the wrong number and I was genial and all with him. I don’t remember a whole lot about what we talked about but the conversation ended when he asked me if I liked to talk dirty. Needless to say, I got very angry and told him where to go stick it and hung up. He called my number two or three more times trying to apologize for being such a dick. I stopped answering the phone and after a while he stopped calling.

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