Sexual Assault Blogapy
I’ve been asked to share my Blogapy sessions with members of the military who have been sexually assaulted.
And I’m not really sure what to say.
I’ve never been raped. However, in the 80’s…it was not uncommon to overhear girls talk in the bathroom about sexual assaults at the frat houses the night before…it was very commonplace at college…but no one wanted to openly talk about it. It was too embarrassing…and then everyone would label you as a slut.
The closest I came was when I graduated college. My first “real” job was in classified advertising sales at The Boston Phoenix. It was Boston’s big nightlife/alternative newspaper…and it made A LOT of money! I was low man on the totem pole and did phone sales.
I was asked to accompany a top salesperson on a routine call to “learn” how to sell. I thought it was a big opportunity to show how professional I was…and then maybe they would promote me to outside sales!
The guy they had me go out with was a notorious sleaze ball. But I sucked it up and got into his car. He took me to a porn shop. He said that it was one of his biggest clients and that I could learn a lot. As we were shown around the shop…and the back room…and the supply room…I was told it was to “better understand the customers needs”…so we could create an appropriate and successful ad campaign.
Then he suggested I try on a pair of handcuffs…I took off and went back to his car while he closed the deal. On the very uncomfortable ride back, he asked if we could quickly stop at a job fair. I was 21…what was I going to say. “O.K.”
The “Job Fair” was at the Hotel…I kid you not. We walked in and he showed me that the fair was in the conference room…on the 12th floor. I told him to go up and I would meet him up there.
I then used a pay phone in the lobby to call back to my friend April, who by the way married Greg and I last year, back at The Boston Phoenix. She got our manager and told me to grab a cab and get back there…she would pay for it.
I was so embarrassed. I didn’t want to go into work the next day. I just wanted to quit over the phone. Later that night, the head of the company called me at home and asked to speak with me in his office first thing in the morning.
I was so young and scared…I went into an office with two older men…who questioned me until I started to cry. They then told me I should go home and take the day off.
When I told my Dad this…he said that I had all the power in the situation. I could hire a lawyer…and sue them. I’d probably never have to work a day in my life with the settlement they would offer me.
Instead I went in and handed my resignation letter the next day. I was a chicken. I felt I had everything to lose. I was just starting out…I didn’t want my career to get screwed up on my very first time out of the gate.
So…now I have to say something inspiring to these young women in the military. And I don’t know what to say.
I do know this…That nothing gets changed unless you stand up and say something. That’s what I have done…of course, at this stage in my life…I really don’t have anything to lose. So I speak out with reckless abandon… and people are loving it! Especially big top military men…How ironic is that!!!!
Look, I don’t know what its like to be a soldier. But I know what sexual assault is. It’s about someone who’s weak…and desperate…and inadequate…trying to exert some kind of false power over someone else.
If you are strong enough to fight for your country…and for other people’s basic human rights…than you are definitely strong enough to stand up and be a hero and role model for those who will follow in your footsteps.
If anything…do it for me! 23 years ago I should have shoved those handcuffs up his ass! Along with an arrest warrant!
Be stronger than I was!