The effects of a day of drinking games on an empty stomach have taken their toll, with blurred vision and Bambi legs I search for a place to lie down. Using the walls for support I stumble to my friend’s room collapsing on her bed as the room starts to spin. He walks in and begins to close the door, instantly I feel uneasy. He is a friend of an acquaintance and I don’t even know his name. With sudden clarity I jump out of the bed and head for the door he calls me back as I turn towards him he grabs my arm and starts to stoke it leaning in for a kiss. My stomach is in my throat as I bound out of the room.
I could almost have forgiven his actions if he had simply stopped there. However instead of becoming less attractive by rejecting him I had only increased his interest. I was a challenge, a prize to be won using any means necessary. He whispers to my friend that I am tease and she should go and speak to me his words run like ice down my spine, my stomach churns as I feel the uneasiness overtake my entire body.
I hardly sit still as he acts as my shadow, following me around the room grasping for me at any opportunity he gets. The sense of his touch lingers with each second that his fingers manage to find my thighs and waist I am so completely consumed with disgust.
They call a taxi as I make a bed for myself on the couch and shrug off their attempts at conversation. The taxi arrives and the room clears I hold my breath as he stands to leave. I’m too slow I feel his body weight against me and his lips on mine pushing him away I say NO he snickers telling me it’s my loss as he leaves.
I wish I could say this was a one off event. I wish I could say I have never felt uneasy about a man’s actions, that I have never felt unsafe. That I have never feared how far a man would go before he finally respected my right to say no.
This man to me was ‘Schrodinger’s Rapist. Phaedra Stalling said it best when she said “Now, I don’t know if he is an actual rapist, and I sincerely hope he’s not. But he is certainly Schrödinger’s Rapist, and this particular Schrödinger’s Rapist has a probability ratio greater than one in sixty. Because a man who ignores a woman’s NO in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in a sexual setting, as well. So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights. For women, who are watching you very closely to determine how much of a threat you are, this is an important piece of data.”
If you have not read the article by Phaedra Stalling called ‘Schrodinger’s Rapist: Or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced’ I suggest you read it now. Read it and share it with all your male friends. Help give them some insight into what runs through our mind when a man we don’t know approaches us. This is not some Hollywood movie where if you chase after the girl, throw yourself continually at her feet she will change her mind and jump into your arms. If you don’t take my no to mean no all you are going to get is my disgust and my fear.