Last Night, I Screamed "NO!" In a Guy's Face Because He Wouldn't Stop Trying to Kiss Me. Would YOU Do That?
I screamed so loud, it echoed off the bricks and parking structures around us.
Fun fact: as a blogger, I get people pitching guest posts to me basically every day. I basically always say no. But once in a while, someone says something so brilliant, I've got to say yes. Among these: How to Be Happy, Even When You're Programmed Not To Be; 6 Reasons It's Not COMPLETELY Awful to Date A Guy Who Lives With His Parents; and If You Care About Women's Rights, Stop Saying Islam is a Religion of Peace.
Today, my friend Claire* told me a story I thought was worth sharing -- so we did a co-write of her experience with a "good friend" the other night.
In this conversation, I (Eva) will be the speaker in bold. Claire will be in normal text.
So, what happened?
Basically, I was out with a guy I've had clearly-established boundaries with. He knows he's just a friend. (But, of course, just because sex is off the table, doesn't mean I'm not worth spending time with. It's totally possible for guys and girls to be friends.)
Neither of us had plans, so, just sort of last-minute, we decided to get together for cocktails, because why not? It was a really fun night. We laughed. We reminisced. We discussed the psychosocial benefits of being a regular -- somewhere, anywhere.
Image: @TheHappyTalent on Instagram
And then it was time to go home. He walked me to my car, as a gentleman should.
So when we got to my car, he said, "Kiss me!"
I didn't want to kiss him, so I said, "You can kiss me -- on the cheek."
So he kissed my left cheek. Then he grossly tried to kiss my lips, even though I'd clearly just said he could only kiss my cheek.
Ew. What the fuck?
I know. So I turned my face so far to the side I basically broke my neck. And he said, all whiny and gross, "No, I don't want that! I want your lips!"
I couldn't step back, since, you know, my freaking car was there. So I said, "No." He kept trying. So I screamed, as loud as I could,
It echoed off the brick buildings and parking structures around us, and the fucker finally stopped. I guess he, like, finally realized how rapey his behavior was, and he apologized.
I avoided the natural, scripted response most people use when someone apologizes to them. You know. You're "supposed" to be like, "That's okay."
But I resisted the urge, because it was not okay. I can forgive him without telling him there was anything "okay" about his attempted kiss rape.
Which is what it was -- an attempted kiss rape.
Definitely. And it's so much worse when it's supposed to be some good, trusted friend, as opposed to some random dude you're on a first date with.
But that's the thing, isn't it? Most women aren't, like, abducted in allies or assaulted by strangers on the street. It's basically always some trusted friend, co-worker, or dating partner. And that's where a lot of women run into trouble. They're told they're going to get abducted if they go for a run without a man protecting them. They go to self-defense classes that teach you how to escape from some violent stranger.
But if it's your friend...
Yeah, it's different. Like, if it's your friend, you don't necessarily want to gouge his eyes out or permanently maim or injure him. And you might be, like, worried about the person's feelings, or the future of the friendship, or whatever. Which is kind of dumb, because he is clearly not worried about your feelings, but, you know.
So I feel like self-defense classes don't necessarily prepare you for what's actually most likely to happen.
But it does help some, right? Maybe?
Yeah, I think so. Women are taught to be "nice". And one thing that I hated, but also appreciated, about the self-defense class I went to is that they make you yell. So, like, maybe I didn't gouge out my friend's eyes or whatever... but I didn't feel uncomfortable screaming in his face to stop. I didn't even realize I'd done it till I heard the echoes.
Which is the part of your story that really stood out to me. I feel like most people -- especially most women -- wouldn't feel quite comfortable with it.
I'm not sure how many people/women would have been comfortable vs. uncomfortable with yelling at a friend. Or stranger.
I feel like... maybe not that many? But I'm really glad you did. That's what I wish all women would do in that situation. And, like, that can obviously be complicated by "power dynamics," a phrase I'm always reluctant to use because there's definitely a bizarre obsession with THE POWER DYNAMIC in some social justice circles... But it would be ignorant to pretend there's no difference between screaming "NO!" at some guy you're hanging out with socially and screaming at your boss.
Yeah, definitely. And I also feel like not that many [women would be comfortable shouting]. One of the things you wrote on your blog [in How NOT To Be The Girl From 'Cat Person'] is that some women and girls find it easier to... acquiesce?... than to say no to some unwanted sexual advance for the 20th time.
I blame that partly on smart phones -- as I wrote in Today's Young Women Feel Less Bodily Autonomy Than Their Grandmas Did... Because of Smart Phones.
Learning to say no and enforce your boundaries is definitely a skill. And I think most women get better at it as they get older.
Which is good, because, "Yay! They're getting better at it!" But bad, because, "The reason they're getting better is probably because gross ass rapey dudes keep trying to force them into unwanted sex stuff, and practice makes perfect."
We talkin' 'bout practice?
We're not talking about the game I go out there and die for.
Omg. Great minds.
Seriously. Allen Iverson references never get old. Remember when AI used to mean Allen Iverson, not artificial intelligence?
I do remember that. Barely.
Remember when I was Sexy Allen Iverson for Halloween?
Anyway. So. Yeah. That's all I really have to say. In a perfect world, this shit wouldn't happen, but it does, and fuck that guy, and I thought of you because you've written a couple different posts on this topic.
I have. Among them, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Gif ALL Women Need to See ASAP; If someone's touching your kid weirdly, CONFRONT THEM. IMMEDIATELY. RIGHT IN FRONT OF your kid; and What Men Don't Understand When They Complain, "It's Only Creepy If The Guy Isn't Hot."
Which, for the record, motherfuckers, the guy last night was hot. That doesn't make kiss rape okay.
Right. Because it's not really about hotness. It's about reciprocity.
Okay, so, for all the confused dudes out there, I also want to paste in an excerpt from an old post, How to Know When (And When NOT) to Kiss a Girl, because I think the advice might actually be helpful for dudes who are genuinely confused and want to do better:
When It's Okay to Kiss a Girl
It's helpful, but it's not completely comprehensive.
It's impossible to predict every possible situation. But I think these are some nice guidelines.
So I want to close by inviting anyone who's had an experience like this to share it in the comments. Especially if you have a way of handling unwanted physical advances that has worked well for you. I think the more examples we encounter, the more likely we will be to stand up for ourselves in similar situations.
And also, if you're a dude -- and even if you're not -- DON'T TRY TO FORCE PEOPLE TO KISS OR TOUCH YOU. IT IS DISGUSTING AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A TOTAL SCUM BAG.
Also, as evidenced by this post, women talk. Do you really need this kiss to happen so urgently that you're okay with being known as a kiss rapist for the rest of your life?
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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