Know your rights

sex, sexual harassment, celibate, abstinence, men, women

Used to be that when a man came and sat next to me and started talking I felt obliged to talk back. Even if I didn’t want him there, had not in any way invited him into my space, even if I was clearly reading a book and he interrupted me, I felt as though I had no choice but to respond to him. On the rare occasion I didn’t, it would end up with him getting hostile and calling me a bitch. It would never end up with him respecting my request to be left alone.

I think to avoid the pain of being called a bitch and being the brunt of male hostility, I always went along with listening to any guy who decided to invade my space and take up my precious time. Every time I did this, I was being untrue to myself and diminishing my self-esteem. I’ll out myself here by saying if he were tall and handsome I’d have no problem. But these guys never are.

Since I became celibate eight and a half months ago, I have experienced shifts inside which includes no longer needing the approval and attention of men. Recently I was in a half empty food court and I purposely found a long table with about eighteen empty chairs and sat in one of them so I could safely be alone. Within five minutes a guy came and sat right beside me asking “is this seat taken?” What am I going to say? There are 18 empty chairs and you have to pick the one next to me? Of course he began to speak and after a cursory response I thought to myself:

“I can move.”

I know it’s not earth-shattering to most people. But the realization that I could just get up and move and that I had every right to do so actually did rock my world. I picked up my tray, stood up and moved to another table without saying a word. Of course, he didn’t just let me go–they never do. He said “You moved,” as though I had no right to do so. Before, I would have apologized or made an excuse. This time I nodded my head and kept my eyes straight ahead, didn’t look at him. And that was it. I was free! And I am free…to move and go where I please, to talk or not talk to whomever I want, and to be alone when I want to be. Those are my rights and I’m going to exercise the hell out of them.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I needed to read this. I always feel obligated to talk to or do cetain unnmentionable things with someone. I bet it felt freeing to walk away. I totally get it. There are a couple of dudes I have been getting on my nerves lately and I need to quit humoring them and walk away.

    • Thank you. I’m glad you get it. Too often, humouring them gives them the wrong impression and it’s just not worth it!


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