We All Have a List

“Every woman knows a version of Donald Trump. Most of us have known more of them than we can (or care to) recall. …Come on, women. You know this man. I can name the ones in my past — name yours and imagine each as president, with every woman’s life in his care. Would you even trust him to watch your dog?” -Lindy West (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/09/opinion/sunday/donald-and-billy-on-the-bus.html)

I have a list. I have a list that I’d prefer to not remember. A list I usually don’t think about, but which has been knocking around in my head the past few days.

This is my list:

  1. A current sitting US congressman, who grabbed my breasts and tried to kiss me at a work party, and then later the same night unzipped his pants and started to climb on top of me while I was sitting with a friend on a couch. (I checked his website & Twitter to see if he’s said anything about Trump. He’s been silent on it, so perhaps he at least knows enough to be quiet rather than hypocritical?)
  2. There was the Washington Redskins player I met at a bar, who was really nice until I said I didn’t want to go home with him that night, at which point he grabbed me by the waist and pulled me down hard onto his lap against his erection, and whispered in my ear, “Don’t be stupid. You know you want this.” I did not. When I pulled away, he angrily shouted, “I don’t need you. I play for the NFL. I can find 10 other girls to come home with me.” (Not me.)
  3. The guy who wouldn’t return the diamond ring I accidentally left at his apartment, unless I promised to sleep with him again. When I refused, he said he wasn’t going to waste his time meeting up with me if I wasn’t going to make it “worthwhile.” I told him to just keep it, and then for a year or so after, he’d send drunken midnight texts asking if I “want to come get that ring?”
  4. The boss who, anytime I sneezed, would say “I’d love to hear what you sound like when you orgasm.”
  5. The investment banker. I won’t get into details, but when Bear Stearns failed in 2008, I found myself pouring through news images of bankers with their boxes, hoping to see him looking even just a tiny bit as awful as he once made me feel.
  6. The guy who followed me home from the gym, driving his car slowly down the street as I walked, shouting out his car window that he wanted to “lick the sweat” off my neck. I didn’t want him to know where I lived, so I walked around a few extra blocks, hoping he’d finally give up and go away.
  7. The lawyer, a mutual friend, who took me out for a slice of pie in an effort to cheer me up after an argument with a guy I was dating. And then he walked me home and grabbed me and tried to force himself on me, shouting that I should have never let him buy me pie if I didn’t want to hook-up.
  8. #7’s friend who had introduced us and who inexplicably defended him when I told him the story the next day.
  9. The guy who saw me baking a cake with Al Roker on the TODAY Show a couple weeks ago, looked me up on Facebook, and private messaged me a picture of his cock. (It wasn’t the first time that happened. And I know it’s far from the last time.)

It’s not just words. It’s not just talk. Because the ones that think it’s OK to say it are the ones that think it’s OK to do it.