Senior explains her connection with the #MeToo movement

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Senior explains her connection with the #MeToo movement


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Me too.

I can’t remember the first time it happened. In my 17 years on this planet, I’ve been yelled at, approached, and touched by strangers too many times to count. Each time, I try to erase the memory. But as the discussion about sexual harassment and assault has grown over the past few months, I have had no choice but to look back at the things I have been forced to accept as a normal part of life, something I can’t avoid. These are a few of the times that stand out the most.


Time: summer 2017

Location: Cusco, Peru

Outfit: a long sleeve shirt, sweatpants, and a leather jacket

As I walked into a steakhouse with my friend, one of the boys who was walking being us reached out and grabbed my butt. When I turned around, they laughed in my face. I hurried into the restaurant. That night, I told my male friend that it had happened. He didn’t comment on it.


Time: autumn 2012

Location: Stella Link Library

Outfit: private school uniform; a baggy polo shirt and a knee-length plaid skirt

An older man with a five o’clock shadow told me I didn’t need to read because I had “good birthing hips”. When I told my science teacher the next day, she told me that things like that would happen, to stay away from men like that. The boys in my class laughed. I pretended to think it was funny because I wanted to hide the way it made me feel.


Time: spring 2017, after the SAT

Location: South Rice, between BHS and Starbucks

Outfit: a baggy, rag-tag button up shirt and denim shorts

A man in a red pick-up truck leaned out his window and asked if I needed a ride. The way he said sweetheart made me instinctively pick up my pace. Minutes later, a car slowed down next to me to honk. The driver winked, and I clutched the graphing calculator that was in my back pocket.


Time: summer 2014

Location: Schlitterbahn, New Braunfels

Outfit: a swimsuit covered by a baggy tank top

The first time the boy in the wave pool grabbed my butt, I thought it had to have been an accident. The second time, I chose to swim away from him. But the third time, I kicked him as hard as I could. I told my male classmate, and he laughed. I remember what he said next distinctly: “He wanted a piece of that booty.” My teacher told me never to resort to violence.


Time: winter 2015, 6:00 pm

Location: the benches outside of BHS

Outfit: a t-shirt and gray skinny jeans

A group of boys approached me. I recognized one of them because he had harassed my friend in gym class the year before. They came up to me, asked if I had Twitter, Instagram, Kik. I told him I didn’t use social media. He asked for my number. After the fourth time I told him no, I asked him to leave because he was making me uncomfortable. “You know what happens when a white girl says she’s uncomfortable: she calls rape!” His friends laughed, but they didn’t leave until they decided that Chick-fil-a was more important than I was. Later, I saw the boy I had recognized talking with the cops. They were friends.


Time: summer 2016

Location: Galleria food court

Outfit: a shirt and jeans

My best friend and I were eating tater tots when two boys came up to us and asked to sit with us. We sat with uncomfortable smiles on our faces while they tried to talk to us, until finally they left. Everyone I told thought it was a funny story. No one found it out of the ordinary that those boys thought they had the right to sit with us. Someone even told me it was charming.


Time: autumn 2017

Location: Chimney Rock, walking home from my bus stop

Outfit: a bodycon dress with a bomber jacket

A middle schooler asked me for my name. He said he wanted to get to know me because I was pretty. When I responded with, “No thanks,” the girls around me looked amazed. On my walk home, one of the girls who lives in my neighborhood told me that she didn’t know she could say no like that.


These are just a few stories; I could tell you a hundred more. I could tell you that almost every time I sit outside BHS when it’s dark, I get harassed by students, most of whom are friendly with the school police officers. I could say that almost every time I tell men that things like this have happened, they either stay silent or they laugh. Or worse, I could tell you that almost every girl I’ve told about these experiences has embarked on a horror story of their own. I could tell you all of this because I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it.

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