So I was shook when I saw this article by BBC, for a company that holds values in hardline journalistic integrity, they were incredibly biased and made it seem like a bashticle that serves just the negative and one sided view upon the situation. It was when my friend sent me this Babe article, I could taste the sick in my stomach, knowing that something similar has happened to me and probably other people before.
The thing that many in the comment section said that got me to actually writing about the issue is along the lines of these words:
Why didn’t she leave earlier? Why even go down and accept the back rub?
Which is where my story comes in, this happened when I was in college, and he was a friend I would hang with at the campus coffee shop.
What had started as flirtation led itself to occasionally hooking up. Damien* and I would be barely friendly in public spaces, but behind closed doors he would be more commanding. He masked it as an interest in role-play and BDSM – I followed along because in my head at that time it was what college students did.
The consent I gave to him soon was ill-fated when he wanted to try choking during intercourse. I generally don’t like constricting my neck area, even with scarves and turtlenecks I would always fidget around with it. So when he said he wanted to try I had already said no, he agreed until he was in a different headspace and continued to place his hands around my neck… I froze and let him finish because it I struggled, he would think it was a game (even with the safe word).
In that moment I relied on my ability to hold my breath, I racked my mind hoping no marks would have been left behind, I hoped that because I let him do that then he would not bring our twisted relationship out in conversations.
I barely told anyone about my fuckship with Damien even if it lasted a few months. I continued hooking up with him because of my fear of other people finding out. Another time he put true terror in my head was our night out with his cousins; wanting to just have a night out dancing turned real fast when it was bout time to go home.
He had promised to send me back before my parents woke up, “it’ll just be a minute” was what he said when he had to stop by his cousin’s apartment so I said I’ll wait in the car, we both had been drinking and I should have gotten a taxi home but again when he clenched his hands on the wheel of the car, I froze. Knowing if I tried to get away there’s a higher chance of him hurting me.
So, I went up to the apartment and we hooked up again – it was in my head that his cousins were looking at me like vultures waiting for a meal, but I was sober and I made sure the lock worked because when he was “getting the keys” as I cleaned myself up, I was holding my tears hoping they wouldn’t barge in – especially since he told his cousins to “go ahead” when dancing at the club.
That was my last outing with him, slowly I started to ignore him altogether and after a few months of excuses not to see him alone, I was rid of him. Yet the memories remain.
Time isn’t a factor when it comes to these encounters, until I read other #metoo stories I thought my past encounters had been dismissed. But yesterday at work, on a smoke break I had a flashback that made it hard to breathe easy. A lingering scent of musk followed me from the club, the apartment, the car, and now it was in my cigarette – before I knew it, this post was created.
In light of my story, I can confirm that it’s not as easy as calling them out, even to their faces – the factors to consider are more than just the “it’s his words against yours…,” it is the overwhelming sense of being in danger, it’s knowing the person is stronger, it’s being called out for something else that could be worst (which Damien still did, fyi!).
So no, fellas in the BBC comment section, it’s not as simple as walking out the door.
In his position, Grace could’ve lost her credibility if Aziz were to just mention her badly. His reply was a PR message drafted in 31 hours by his team of people. I was rooting on him being an example of how you can be a successful comedian no matter your gender, race, or sexuality – without being predatory!
But I won’t go on about him, for too long we’ve been talking about his narrative, his actions, his POV, him being a POC, the unpredictability of the scandal… no, it’s not his story to glorify while a female photographer, working her hustle, speaking out anonymously, is nowhere close to being the first in the cookie cut scenario.
Grace like many women in schools, colleges, offices, social media and even public transportation, go through or have gone through conformity in lieu of consent. Not for the thrill of rough sex, but for the safety from it.
I, until today knew I could have done things differently those times with Damien, but the person that I was did not see it that way, she, I, we used to think it’s our fault, to a sick point thinking that we deserved it, because we stepped away from the “good girl” life we were brought up in, because “boys play rough honey, get used to it!,” because “God wouldn’t have put you in that situation if you had been more religious.”
I guess that’s all I have for now, there are a few other instances with different persons but I’ll ease into those stories on my other posts sometime this year (I’m a horrible blogger I know!).
But if you slide into my DMs or drop a comment, maybe I’ll post sooner 🙂
* Not his real name, but he probably knows who he is.