What Happened To Me And Why #womenboycotttwitter Makes Me Conflicted #womenboycottwitter

Yet again social media has made me uncomfortable and confused about myself. What’s the right thing to do? Some say the hashtag, in support of Rose Mcgowan, is necessary, others say it’s insulting because the support wasn’t there for them. At first I tweeted the hashtag, before fully waking up this morning, which isn’t something I’d normally do but I wanted to show I sympathise (which, of course, I do).

But then I got more and more annoyed -not at the hashtag, I absolutely want to make that clear, people should be free to protest how they wish, but at the idea of my keeping quiet any longer. I have something to say. He may not have been a fancy producer or anything to do with Hollywood, and it wasn’t as traumatic as most people have experienced, but it’s a situation that frightened and confused me and it was my own silence at the time that I still find so frustrating.

Years ago, at university, I knew my boyfriend and I weren’t particularly suited, which isn’t his fault. What was his fault was the thing that began that summer at a festival.

We rolled into the tent after a fun and busy day, and I was too tired to accept his advances and fell asleep. When I woke it was almost morning, I could tell by the light, and something sexual was happening. Fear flooded me – such a harsh awakening kickstarted my fight or flight responses and I did…nothing. I froze. There was no context to the events occurring and my brain was struggling to process it. It wasn’t as if we’d been fooling around or being intimate, I’d literally been asleep. For hours. Not that that’s any kind of excuse if you don’t want to go further, I just mean he wasn’t misunderstanding the situation and it took me a while to piece together what was happening.

It seems he’d woken in the night and decided to work on himself, which is fine. Obviously I don’t have a problem with that. What sent this over the edge into something that induced primal fear was the fact that he then rolled over, pinned me down, held my hands in place and ground his hips hard (and I mean hard) into my body, only letting go when he’d finished, which was when he rolled back over and fell asleep.

I lay there all night, thinking, trying not to think, wondering  what that meant, what I was supposed to do, whether it was a big deal and why I really felt like it was. The next morning he got up, said hello and went through plans for the day like nothing happened. I was so confused. Did I dream it? No, I definitely hadn’t, I could still feel the pressure of his body, the way he’d made me feel like a useless rag doll.

He went off to get some supplies and I met up with our friends who were camping nearby. Our conversation went roughly like this:

Me: So, (blank) did something a bit weird last night.

Her: Yeah?

Me: yeah. I didn’t want to do it, so, he kind of did it anyway.

Her: What do you mean?

Me: I mean…he just did it after I said no.

Her: Well, you must have wanted to do it a bit, otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to get it in.

Me: He didn’t get it in…he just sort of did it on top of me.

Her: Oh, I don’t think that’s anything to worry about.

Me: No?

Her: No.

So that was that. I was with him for a year and he did it a further five or six times. I told myself each time that I was making a big fuss about nothing, but I reacted to our relationship by getting drunk too often and insulting him. Which, by the way, the same friend told me wasn’t very nice and that I should really treat him better.

Yes, I was naive and yes, I should have finished with him after the first time, but I was young and still didn’t quite understand how relationships worked. I mean, who does? I’ve tried to stop thinking about it and tried to forget it, even, as just another odd thing that happened to me. It wasn’t the worst thing that’s happened to anyone and I really wouldn’t want to compare my experiences with something truly terrible, but it’s been increasingly making me angry and I’m starting to see how it’s affected me since, and I need to get it off my chest.

I think people should protest how they like and their way of dealing with things is theirs, but I don’t want to be quiet anymore.

21 thoughts on “What Happened To Me And Why #womenboycotttwitter Makes Me Conflicted #womenboycottwitter

  1. Jesus Christ, this is an awful thing to happen. I’m so sorry. I wish I could explain your friend’s behaviour as being because people weren’t as informed back then, but I don’t buy that “of its time” crap I see floated around. I don’t think there’s ever been an excuse for treating others this way. Thank you for sharing your experience, I know that was difficult.

      1. Understandable, I guess. I was told a story by someone at college about an almost-incident and I was ill-equipped to properly support them at that age.

  2. Once again, you’ve picked a really important topic to speak up about! I have run into more than one person that has been really negatively effected by a similar experience. I believe that you were wronged and so were the other women. Sure, sex is fun and to a point, biologically necessary, but forcing anyone to do what is supposed to be a loving act against their will is wrong. Period. Trapping someone, hurting them, or making them obey your will isn’t cool at all! You just stole what is supposed to be one of the best and most wonderful things in the world away from someone forever. Just for the selfish purpose of you getting off!

    You are right, relationships when you’re young are tricky. Especially when everyone on TV or movies is having wild passionate sex with great music and candlelight. Wow! Hey I want to be doing that, too! But somehow the real life version is more like searching for ancient condoms in the glovebox of a car parked in the dark behind a shopping mall. Eeeg! No orchestra in the background…But it could still be fun if both people are really ready and want to do whatever is going to happen.The main point is it has to be definitely consensual, not assumed, or done while someone is asleep(or at least trying to be). Otherwise it’s wrong,

    For those people who want to hide behind the idea that since they didn’t penetrate the person who said no, it ain’t no thing…BIZZZZ! You’re wrong! However you’re having sex with a person that doesn’t want to have it with you, you are defining what that person will expect from every future experience. Experiencing the scars with victims of that kind of behavior makes my heart hurt, but if you have a partner who wants to talk to you about what happened years back, please listen. It’s really important.

    1. Again thanks loads for your words, what you say is so true. He had a very entitled attitude in general and I think it just extended to annoyance that I’d said, unequivocally, no I’m too tired. Thank you for reading and being supportive.

  3. I’m sorry for your bad experience, and I think your post clearly illustrates the need for women to speak up and stand up. Society keeps teaching young women not to make a fuss, the stupid “boys will be boys” crap, and other nonsense that leaves women confused and unsure like you were. Women do need to be more assertive and say, “no, this is wrong”, “it’s not appropriate”, and other more stronger vocabulary if necessary. The world has to stop pretending and making excuses for bad sexual behaviour.

    1. I agree and it shouldn’t have to be the women’s responsibility to tell men/boys that they deserve respect. Boys will be boys is definitely crap and if they’re going to stay boys then they don’t deserve to do any adult activities.

      1. That is the other part of the problem, that boys aren’t taught to respect women before they become adults.

  4. I’m sorry that happened to you. That guy had absolutely no right to impose himself on you after you said you didn’t want to. As for the boycott (of a site that’s free to use anyway) I saw no point in silencing ourselves in this instance or on this topic.

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