“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” – Alyssa Milano
The campaign, #metoo spread across social media quicker than I can spread hummus on a bagel. I’m not usually one to delve deep into the dark corners of my brain but brace yourself, because today is story time and it’s 100% real.
The year was 2008 and I was a shy emo kid, not that this changes the story in any way. If this happened to me today, as a tough as nails 25 year old woman, it would still be disgusting. However, the fact that this happened to 16 year old innocent Jaz just makes me shudder even more.
Let’s start, I had spent an evening with a few friends where I met this boy who was a mutual friend. I was 16 and he was 19. I was a little drunk and we made out quite a bit but that’s all that happened. We met up a couple more times with the same friends and the same shit would happen, we’d have a short make out session and that was it. I wasn’t ready to lose my virginity, I knew that.
On Bonfire Night 2008, me, 19 year old boy and a couple that we were mutual friends with decided to do a little fireworks display. Sounds like a nice idea, right? The night came and we were at his house with no parents around, just two teenage couples making out and watching the fireworks. The other couple decided to disappear and have a bit of quiet time, me & make out boy stayed outside, just chatting and laughing. He then started kissing me pretty roughly, which was fine, I went along with this. He moved a hand lower and I still felt okay with this. The second the button on my jeans was suddenly undone, I did a nervous laughter and assured him that this was my limit right now.
He attempted to change my mind, by ignoring what I said and continuing anyway. This was still… okay, I guess. I slowly moved away and suggested we go back to having a drink and watching the sky. I could feel my nerves getting to me and I did not want to go any further. He ignored me, again. He touched inside of my underwear and suddenly shoved fingers inside me. The pain was excruciating. I pushed both of my hands down with all of the force I had onto his arm and screamed for him to stop and he wouldn’t, he stayed inside of me and pushed into me harder and grabbed onto my body with his other hand and told me to “Shhhh”.
I couldn’t break free, he carried me to his room and pushed me on his bed and threw his clothes on the floor. I said I was fine as I was with my clothes on, forcing tears back and leaning against the wall with a loss of spirit. I could feel my insides were in pain. All I wanted to do was leave and wrap myself in a huge duvet and hibernate for days. He yanked at my clothes and tried to tell me that I would enjoy myself. I told him I wanted to leave and I specifically remember him saying “Give me a blowjob first, if you don’t, I’ll have to shove my fingers inside you again.” I felt so shaky and didn’t know what to do. All I knew is that I didn’t want to feel that pain again so I did what he asked.
I got up and said I had had enough and I would just get my dad to pick me up. He didn’t like this so he grabbed a condom, slipped it on and pushed me down, repeatedly telling me that I would enjoy it. I was trying to force him off, which felt like it was only delaying the inevitable as I was only weak back then. What felt like a rescue but was most likely only a coincidence, a knock at the door happened and it was a friend of his trying to talk to him, he started putting clothing on and I used this to promptly get dressed and run out of the door, pretending that my dad was outside.
I didn’t give him the chance to speak and I didn’t get the chance to think until I made it to the bus stop. I texted my friends that disappeared earlier in the night and got them to meet me and we set off home. For weeks, I thought that I was a wuss and I was frigid and that this was all my fault. I didn’t believe he had done anything wrong because I felt as if I owed him my body. I felt ashamed at myself for being nervous.
Flash forward 9 years and I am absolutely disgusted and sickened by the way I was treated. It doesn’t fucking matter how much a guy does for you, you never owe him your vagina! Sex should be between two consenting adults and should be fun! What fucking shit was going through 16 year old me’s mind when I thought I had done something wrong that night. I cried and cried back then because I believed that I was useless because I saw it that I had led him on and he had every right to act that way. WRONG. SO SO SO WRONG.
If even one young girl or boy (even if that is my just little sister) looks at this posts and alters their perception, even slightly, I’ll feel amazing that I have done something to contribute to changing the way we look at sexual harassment. Humanity is making progress with how seriously sexual harassment and sexual assault are taken, but there is so much more that could be done.