Unwanted Touch

Most women have experienced it in one point of their life or another. Some one has either touched or commented in a sexual way that was not wanted. The worst cases are certainly rapes, but even lighter touch can wound and scar, which many men are not able to realize because their own experiences are so different.

My own experiences are quite bitter and because of them this is very hard posting to write and publish, but I try because I think this is an important issue. I’ve slowly learned to not blame my self. I don’t dress provocatively and I was just a small girl when it happened the first time. Yet it has left scars.

Slowly I’ve been forgiving the men too, as I believe they truly don’t understand, how they hurt. They don’t mean to be evil, they just act out of their own limited experience and understanding of women. What we could really do is try to teach boys, when they still are able to take  in the message and not totally controlled by their hormones. I think men don’t understand, because for them intimate advances and suggestions don’t feel like harassment. They don’t understand, like most women do, that male and female sexuality is deep down quite different.

My story is not beautiful and I think it is to blame my over-shyness in the intimate relationships with men. My gage started building up when I was five. I got a lot of unwanted attention from some what older boy.  At that age even kiss is too much, but he did more. He said he was in love with me, but it was not cute “being love” it is usually among children. I think this made me vulnerable for later accidents. Adults did not take my distress it seriously, yet they considered he had seen far too much adult action.  At that point he was propably victim too.

Again when I was at school and in my teens I got attention from a gang of older boys. They used to gather around me talking dirty and making suggestions. I was afraid of them and used to stare my feet. There was no trustworthy adult for me to talk about the situation. It lasted whole spring – longer than the first one. We had just moved and I really did not have friends in my new school either. Only later did I learn that they had been bullying others in the different ways too. I only learned it too late as I had already build my walls.

When I once again encountered this as an adult, I was too wounded to protect my self and get over it. It wounded me again and left me bitter. The worst was that men I tried to confide were either not able or willing to understand my distress. My experience was downplayed or called exaggeration. I felt lonely and helpless like I had the other times too. And I was angry and bitter, even if I would not have wanted to be. I have always wanted to be like other “girls” (women) – easy going with “boys” (men).

On top of these serious ones there has been unwanted touching (like pinching ass and rubbing) and propositions in many occasions of my life. I dress very modestly, but it does not seem to clear out this problem. I had even one experience where the question was about potential stalking. He definately crossed the line, although I might have taken it slightly too seriously, if that is possible.

Especially problematic it was in Italy and India. It is like some men think that foreign women are free game and to be treated badly. Most of the men are of course not like this, but it needs just one bad apple to make the taste sour. Men seem to have certain stereotype of either foreign women in general or western women in particular. There is also general attitude towards women especially in India, where the women only passenger cars are necessary in even local trains.  

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4 Responses

  1. I know what you feel about receiving those unwanted touches/ stalking… This is why, when I was a kid, my father wanted me to be able to defend myself. Unfortunately, even if you don’t dress provocatively, it can happen to you. Men can be pigs, not all of them, thankfully.

  2. You had a wise father.

    Mine could not handle well my growing up to a woman. I think he was better with my sister or my sister was just more brisk.

  3. I too know what it’s like to have men treat you like an object. I was abused by a man when I was five, and the shock and shame of it hasn’t diminished much some three decades later. I was also grabbed and felt up a few times as an adolescent. You try and get past it, but somehow despite your best efforts you carry it with you, and like you said, put up walls.

    After all that, trust me, my walls are pretty thick.

    I wish there was a way for men to learn to respect women — while they’re young, while they are still impressionable. I think it can be done, if the will is there. Maybe that would make a difference.

  4. What you say is true. I recently run in this article by Science Daily saying that men that have not experienced abuse them selves are likely to be sceptics on abuse. They don’t often believe something like this could happen. This leads to silence by victims, who are afraid of telling their stories.

    Read: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070213101053.htm

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