Me too

I have been sexually assaulted. One man sought to use his power to gain sexual favours from me. Another I despised treated me as sexually available, simply because I am trans.

I am glad to be able to say, Me too. I am an asylum seeker, not a colonist. I accept difficulties of being a woman. I do not have it as hard as women do; one experience of a man’s power, and he did no more than hold my hand, though I felt-

I do not know what I felt, but I did not want to see him again. It is hard to put it into words. Something inside me is screaming in revulsion. Something is saying, oh don’t make a fuss, it was not that big a deal. He just held my hand, and later told me I did not snatch it away, so he felt encouraged. He was concerned that any contact be consensual, or appear so, but he inveigled me into his house with the possibility of a job I would value. He used his power to place me in a position where

I got off lightly.

I am aware of terms like “the casting couch” and “sleeping her way to the top” as if it were the women exploiting the men. In the acting profession, physical attractiveness is one of the main reasons to employ someone. This is part of the patriarchy, and when women are angry I get nervous. I got off lightly, I have not had the experiences I read of, I have been devalued and feel besmirched, but not raped.

I was sexually humiliated when presenting male, around the age of thirty. I went into Manchester for a formal dinner, and was walking across Piccadilly Gardens in my kilt, black jacket and bow tie when a group of men started asking if I was wearing anything underneath it. One, larger than me, came up to me, took hold of me, put his head next to mine-

whispered soft, calming words that unmanned any resistance

and put his hand up my kilt to find that I was indeed wearing underpants. “Yes, he is,” he shouted to his laughing friends. I did not resist. He assaulted me, and I feel shame. Well, now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.

And anger. I never wore pants below a kilt again.

I have the Ars Amatoria by Ovid, one of those books which was forbidden in English translation as obscene but permitted in Latin, for the upper classes. I remember a bit of it which I paraphrased as, you must take care when seeking a wife, or even a mistress, but for a quick shag anything in a skirt will do. I opened it at random, and by one of the paintings by Graham Baker, of a man pulling a woman’s garment from her though she was holding hands with another man, I read

women are often pleased
By force, and like what they’re giving to be seized.
The girl whose citadel is stormed
By sheer audacity feels warmed,
Complimented;

and would be “sad” to have escaped intact. Other pictures show a woman kneeling to fellate a man, and a genuflecting man lifting a woman’s skirt. How should a woman laugh? No “grotesque guffaw” or “raucous, unpleasing sound” is permissible, only a sort of light trill, as is befitting to their sex.

The paintings are pastiches of Greek pottery.

The problem is imbalance of power, and the powerful exploiting their power. I have no power. I am old enough not to be continually bothered, and more likely to be assaulted as a trans person than assaulted sexually. I am big enough to fight someone off, perhaps, though I have always run away, or submitted.

It has not been as bad for me, as it is for other women.

12 thoughts on “Me too

      • Not even a piece of it?

        When I was a small child, and being cared for by the lady next door, I was molested by her while I was taking a bath. She gave me a lesson on cleaning my foreskin – or so she said. I was confused by it at the time, and it wasn’t until many years later that I allowed myself to recognize what she had done to me. I was also subjected to unwanted touching and sexual advances on three different occasions by men (pedophiles) when I was a teenager (presenting totally as a male). Since beginning transition, I have been sexually accosted and/or molested a number of times, including being cornered and pinned by a very large drag queen who tried to grope me, as a group of my “friends” sat close by, watching and laughing. Being treated like a piece of meat is not funny, nor should it be tolerated – on any level.

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  1. I’m so sorry that you had to deal with that Clare. You’re an amazing person and those dickless assholes can’t ever fuck with you again. As long as people like you are willing to come forward and speak honestly about their experiences we create an atmosphere and environment where people can feel safe to honestly talk about what happens and then hopefully cowards like those won’t feel like they can get away with stuff like that. You have a voice and it matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There has been a great deal of courage in speaking out recently, and it shows the fear hurt shame and humiliation felt in the past. And the fear and shame continue. Let us speak out, let us encourage each other, and if you see this please challenge it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. No matter how small it is, its still an unwanted touch, thats assault. I was the same way with what happened to me, you can read in my blog if interested. He tried to make me believe i was “ok” with it, when infact i was disgusted! He used me, manipulated me, and tore me down emotionally once i put a stop to it. No one has the right to hold, kiss, touch, or grope. It took me over a year to admit my “former friend” sexually assaulted me.. Just touching and not rape, but destroying my trust in humans, and creating a hurt i can’t describe cause i trusted this guy. Blessing to you and thank you for sharing your story.

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      • Yes, he very manipulative. I am so thankful i got away from him. I have googled about manipulation after going through this and how to tell if you could be a victim. I fit victim very well, its because of him i have learned what to watch for and never let happen to me again. Thats the only good he gave to this earth. Courage from now on, all the way!

        Liked by 1 person

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