Excuse me, sir. Would you like to explain to me why you decided it was acceptable to touch me without my permission? I don’t know you. I’ve never seen you before. In fact, we are total strangers who just happen to be walking in opposite directions on the same sidewalk. Your existence occupying a space my existence also occupies does not give you any right to touch me, in any way, under any circumstance.
As it so happens, all I was trying to do was get back to my car so my friends and I could go home. I was in no way encroaching on your space, so why did you have to violate mine?
You see, had you asked me if I wanted to receive a fleeting but firm smack on my rear, you would have received an equally firm “FUCK NO” in response (quite similar to the “HEY FUCK YOU, I HOPE YOU DROWN” that you received instead, after I had recovered from the shock of your harassment) . What you demonstrated in that moment was A) your sense of entitlement B) your male privilege and C) that you are an asshole. Since it seems that perhaps your mind doesn’t function quite as well as it could, allow me to further explain what I mean.
A) By reaching out and touching me without my consent, you proved that you believe you are, in some way, entitled to my body, that you have a right to touch and handle it. If we were speaking, this is the part where I would speak very slowly and clearly, so I could make sure you understood. YOU DO NOT. You have absolutely zero right to touch my body, because it is MINE and NOT YOURS. In case you were not aware, sir, women’s bodies DO NOT exist for men and are not your property to do with whatever you so wish. My body is MINE, and MINE ALONE, and you touching me without consent is a violation of my body, my space, and my privacy.
B) I’m guessing you have never been sexually harassed. I am also guessing that you believe your harassment of me was “no big deal.” In fact, were I to run into you tomorrow and mention it, you might not even remember it. This is because you exist in a space of male privilege, wherein you may believe yourself superior, or at least may believe me inferior. Even if you wouldn’t say that you believe these things, your actions showed that you did. In any case, your actions towards me came from a place of entitlement and privilege, and only proved to me once more the plethora of ways in which I am not privileged, and in which I am forced to fight to be seen 1) as a person 2) as more than an object for any and all men’s use and pleasure and 3) as an equal.
C) I wondered, as I often do when these sorts of things happen (and, oh, they happen FAR TOO OFTEN) whether you have a sister, or a female cousin, or female friends. I wonder what you would think if they told you about a similar incident happening to them. Would you be angry on their behalf, or would you shrug and think “no big deal?” Your response to that question will tell you a great deal about the kind of person you are. If you would feel anger on their behalf, I would say there is hope for you to NOT be an asshole, and I would challenge you to consider the consequences of sexual harassment. If your response would be more along the lines of the latter, well, then, you sir, are an unbelievable asshole. Please refer to sections A and B above for further explication as to why this makes you an asshole.
In closing, Drunk Guy Who Harassed Me, your brief moment of “no big deal” or “joking around” or “having fun” was none of those things for me. It was a violation of my body, my safety, my privacy, and my personal space. It was a threat. It was demeaning. It made me viciously angry but it also frightened me. What if I hadn’t had two friends with me? How could I know whether or not your intentions are to harm me, to assault me, to rape me? Because I live in a society that teaches women not to get raped instead of teaching men not to rape, any time I go anywhere I am forced to shoulder the blame for what happens to me, despite not having any control over your actions. NOBODY DESERVES TO BE HARASSED, ASSAULTED, OR VIOLATED. PERIOD FULL STOP.
I hope, Drunk Guy Who Harassed Me, that you learn to see women not as objects you can use for whatever purpose you see fit, but as human beings, equally worthy of respect. I hope no other woman has to deal with your drunk, idiotic, entitled self slapping her ass because you were drunk or bored or trying to impress your buddies when she happened to be walking by.
As per my response the other night, it still stands. Fuck you, dude. Fuck. You.