When I was in college I did a wonderful monologue from a play called Piper's Cave. I'm too lazy and up in my own head to transcribe it right now, but I might later. The gist is that it is about a woman attacked by a man who'd just beaten up his girlfriend. He follows the main character, forces his way into her building and pins her down on the stairs saying over and over "I could kill you right now." Eventually he uses his knife to carve a J into her arm so he can remember who he is.
When the girl goes upstairs to tell another woman what happened the response is: "What? You mean you've been raped? No...not raped. Well. That's okay then. What am I upset about? He didn't touch my cunt, did he?"
In some ways, I feel like I am terribly lucky in that I've never been assaulted.
I've had my ass fondled in public.
I've been propositioned while walking home.
I've had a man on the bus whisper to me, in exquisite detail, exactly what he was going to do to me when I got off the bus.
I had someone, on stage during a burlesque show, grab my ass and bite it so hard she drew blood. Her excuse? "It was right THERE!!"
But what am I upset about? They didn't touch my cunt, did they?
I am not an imposing person.
I am a bad ass, reffing roller derby and stage managing, but I'm 5 ft 5 on a good day and 140 pounds on a bad day. I have the personal bubble of one of those pods from the Jetsons and I am keenly aware of that in crowds. I often feel like if someone is looking for a weak spot to push through the crowd, it is around me. And it's not that I am unusually aware of my surroundings. I often walk into doorways and lonelydumptruck has to keep me from walking into display or other people while shopping.
With the climate right now, I was especially aware of my personal space at the concert tonight. For a good deal of the night we were standing in a pocket of calm nesr a friend and her dad. Eventually, we started moving towards the stage. Partly because we could and partly because there was a dude behind me who kept elbowing in the back. Over and over.
Our friend noticed we we drifting away and came over to apologize. "I'm so sorry. I"m a dancer," she explained. "I dance."
"Oh no," I exclaimed. "It's not you. It's THAT guy."
Her whole face lit up in understanding. "OHHHH! I got this!"
And she tucked in right behind me and began to gyrate until we had a three foot pocket of calm around us.
That is looking out for each other.