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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Me, Too

I stood in that dinghy room, trying to put on my clothes as fast as possible. The sun will soon set and my folks will be wondering why I was late from work. Except I wasn't at work. I was in a rendezvous with a guy I met on the internet. A quick meeting where I ended up getting screwed, literally and figuratively speaking.

For years I told myself it was not an assault. We met, we kiss, and then we fuck. I was fully aware that that's what going to happen. After all, was I not the one who obediently agreeing to hang with him? I was a bad, bad girl for saying yes to a date so fast, even though I barely knew him. I got what I deserve. Good girl doesn't wander around meeting strangers off the internet.

I spent the next six months waiting nervously for my HIV test. But I deserve it. I did the walk of shame at the doctor's office, a haughty residence that scorned visibly at me when I told her I was unwed but need STD testing. But I deserve it. My ex-boyfriend said he can't be with me again. But I deserve it. I was told for years by the person I loved what a cheap whore I was. But I deserve it.

I deserved those wretched periods. I deserved that filthy look. I deserved the shock when his wife (whom he said he had none) called me on both of my numbers and cussed me for sleeping with her husband. I deserved the "Oh wow, I didn't know that" by a mutual friend who previously swore he's a good man, and then that friend conveniently disappear after. I deserved that all. After all, am I not just a filthy whore who gets what she deserves?

But I don't deserve all of that. 

It wasn't after my divorce and my life in the US that I started to see things with a different perspective. The male enhancement that I saw in the room. The ease of talking of him and his friend. The phone that kept on vibrating. It was a setup. A trap. They knew what they were after, and I fell in their trap. They want free sex, and many women will give it to them. I didn't know. Even though I talked big and bragged about it afterward, inside I feel so filthy, so low. I feel like something was taken from me.

"But it's your decision. You deserve it." No. No, I don't. Now that I understand myself more, there was no way that man doesn't realize I don't want it. It took an hour or so with heavy hints for me to finally followed him to the room. And in there, it was not voluntarily i.e. I wanted to have him, it was "Oh fuck, I guess I have to follow with the program." It was a "yes" under pressure. It was a "yes" because I don't feel like I have an option. Because I already choose to be the whore when I decided to meet him.

The pattern continues with the next few men I dated. If I decide on meeting up with these strangers, sex is to be expected. My feeling was irrelevant. With the first foreigner I dated, I even went as far as making an excuse: "I exchange sex with good conversation, it's perfectly acceptable". Which speaks volume of my desperation, as my country was a very conservative country. I was already a whore. I was already tainted. Yet I feel so filthy, so dirty.

To many, very many people, assault is physical, violent. That's why when there was no visible violence going on, it is not considered an 'assault'. Being proposed for lewd acts, men showing up their dicks, getting masturbated into in a public place, catcalled or being ogled at, these are all being dismissed by "You have the option to leave," "Nothing's missing from you anyway," "No harm done," "Well maybe if you dressed…"

No. No. No.

1) We do not have the option to leave. A lot of times assault victim is placed in the position where they don't really have the option to leave or even to say, "Fuck off". Me with the predators back home. The authority figures (boss, teacher, partner, etc) whom we just can't say no to without jeopardizing our position. The society who pressed us into submission and made us think it is ok for us to be treated that way.

2) Nothing's missing from us. Well, nothing's missing except our pride and self-esteem. Nothing's missing except the feeling of safety that we have and our trust in people and the world. As for "No harm's done", we are reduced into feeling we're nothing like a slab of meat. Our feelings, our thoughts, our self does not matter. Our self-confidence was destroyed and we saw the world, perhaps forever, as scared as a rabbit might. Is that not enough harm?

3) I already have ample breasts by the time I was in high school, and I'll never forget the way the school guard looked at me in my uniform. What, you expect me to get a breast reduction at that age so people won't ogle me? Or do you want me to cover up from top to bottom as to not rouse the very fragile manhood? But men get raped too. Shall we all get covered then?

I dated a man not long after my divorce. We met, he was fun, I knew panty drop will happen. Because it was expected, right? His words forever change my life: "When you are ready." He could've very easily taken advantage of me, me being confused and hurt at that time, but he didn't. Few more date nights happened, but nothing happened. I asked him then, "Don't you want me?" He shrugged. "When you are ready. I will feel guilty if I take advantage of your emotional state," I cried so hard in his arms his dog started barking, thinking he had somehow hurt me.

Another date asked my permission to possibly have sex once we're home from the club. I looked at him confusedly and asked, "Why? You know I won't mind." He replied, "I don't want to have sex without consent, especially if you get too drunk to give consent later." Another date always asks me ever so nicely, and never once our Netflix and Chill turned into sex flicks and willies. These people know I will always say yes, being the somewhat-nympho I am, but that doesn't mean they won't respect how I feel or what I think. This, this is the standard to live on.

If the current me was placed with that predator a decade back, I know I can say, "Not now, homeboy." Because I know I have options, I know I will not be preyed upon. Not by predators like him, not by society, not by the insecure lovers who beat me emotionally to make them feel good about themselves. But the only way to know you have these options is to learn it from your surroundings, by seeing and learning from others. It falls in our shoulders and our hands to established acceptable boundaries and instilling one's worth.

It's ok to say no.
You need to listen what other's feel.
It's not your fault when you are assaulted.
You should not assault people.
What happened to you does not make you an object.
Do not objectify people.
Treat people like you want to be treated.
Have compassion. Have mercy. Have respect.
Don't let your lust run your head.
There is not a single person that is 'asking for it', unless he/she on his/her own clear conscience come to you and literally asked for it, whatever 'it' was.

Changes don't happen overnight. While it was overwhelming to read so many #MeToo stories, nothing will change if we do not take action. Men and women should work together, should realize that when assault happens, it is a crime. Focus on the victims and make them feel better, punish the perpetrators so people will think twice, but above all, understand that it. is. a. crime. Safety and self-esteem are one of the most precious things a person can have, and nobody has the right to rob a person of it.

I feel like I need a good long shower after this, and I might just do that. As measly as it was, my story still scarred me. The repeated words of how dirty I was, both from myself and from others, were still echoing now and then. But I am getting better. I am getting stronger. And no, I do not 'ask' for it nor do I 'deserve' it. Me, too. Me, too.


  1. Hi Ary,

    Pengalaman hidupmu unik. Saya sering Baca blogmu. I believe one day you gonna meet your true love.


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