Sunday, November 9, 2014

Guys: "No" means NO!!!

So.  Last night, my daughter finally came out of her shell long enough to come with her mother and me to a fundraiser at our church.  The annual Auction.  Instead of just spending the evening with her old fart parents, she reconnected with some friends her age whom she had not seen in a few years.  All was going well.

Then some asshole, not someone in her circle of friends, came over with his phone.  He asked if any of the girls wanted to see a baby animal.  Of course, they said "yes" and he showed them some cute picture.  Then in a creepy sort of voice, according to my daughter, he asked if they wanted "to see where it came from?"  My daughter, who is no dummy, saw what was probably coming and said, "No."

He grabbed her and shoved the phone at her so she could see his stupid video of animals mating.

Now my daughter is a pretty modest kid.  She always has been.  And church for her, even though she's an atheist like her old man, has always been a place where she could feel safe.  That all changed last night.

Her reaction to this incident was somewhat out of proportion to the circumstances, but not unreasonable, especially not when you consider that in her freshman year of college she had what in polite society used to be called a "bad sexual experience."  Her first serious boyfriend at college turned out to be an abusive, controlling, possessive thug.  So grabbing her and forcing something on her to which she had already said "no" triggered all of her insecurities and anxieties.  When I finally realized that something was wrong, I got her out of there and took her home.  She was tearful, and shaking, and clearly very, very upset.  She settled down almost immediately when we were in the car and was almost normal by time I got her home.

But now a place where she always felt safe has been crossed off of that list for her, perhaps forever.

Men, I cannot stress this strongly enough:  When a woman says "no" to you, you cannot ignore her.  Period.  You don't know what her story might be, and frankly, you don't need to know.  The "no" is enough for you to stop.  Always.  Add to that the basic fact of the Golden Rule and damn it, you just have to treat her the way you yourself would want to be treated.  Or your mother to be treated.  Or your sister.  Or your grandmother.

I don't know who did this to her.  She won't spill, and I hope for her sake that I never find out.  Because  he and I will have words.

And I don't know that I will listen to him when he says "no."

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