In another life, it seems, back in the early 70’s, I was a 5th year, transferring undergrad with 45 residency credits to earn, before the receiving U would let me gratuate. I had been 3 credits short at the private college, but just flat-out ran out of change. I know many of you have been there …
This turned out, in retrospect, to be a good thing. The University was a much- superior teaching-learning experience. I ended up actually being required to think, more than the pat regurgitation required by the church-based private college.
I also got to think of myself as more than grist for the church school’s marriage-mill…They did not believe girls needed real education, since they were meant to run homes and have babies — yes, even in the 1970’s.
I had an experience or two though, transferring to the U, that are relevant to “telling our stories” as this article suggests. Because of these experiences, which still appear to be the norm in TrumpWorld, I will never, ever believe I am relegated to spending life on my knees, or supposed to be grateful, or valued in any way, for a man wanting to grab my crotch — regardless of what he calls it!
Ok…one experience, before I get fired up and do a soapbox dance…no, two… First, a frat guy at a house I visited, not on a party day, just an invite downstairs… grabbed me and pushed my head into his lap, saying it was a “requirement” for entry. Neither of us had been drinking..it was mid-day… When I fought that, he choked me, slapped my face and left me on the house’s porch. At the time, my first almost instinct was to APOLOGIZE — good grief! Thankfully, I had, rapidly, more productive thoughts, left, and never returned. Today though, I’d have reported it as an assault, or probably gone back in and whacked the guy.
Ladies, never, ever, let anyone lay hands on you in violence, even a little, or push you to do anything sexual that you do not want.
Second was a stand-up job interview… and I needed, and was qualified to do the job. Still trying to graduate, I applied for, and got a call-back, 2nd interview for an ideal-sounding job. I was ushered into the Big Boss’s office, and the doors were closed behind, by a well-dressed woman I thought I might admire.
He swiveled his big leather chair back ‘round toward me, and my resume on the desk in front of him. He shuffled the resume’s double sheets, looked extremely pleased, and then so did I. We discussed hours to work around my classes, salary that would really allow me to graduate, loan-free, if I was careful. Seemed too good to be true…red flags in my brain… I ignored them.
Then he said there was “just one more thing”… He said this was a “family” business, where members “shared…everything”… He told me to come around the big desk…and there he was, fancy suitpants open wide, starched dress shirt, inviting me to my knees. This time I smiled. I reached slowly for my resume, tore it in half smiling, and put it back on the spotless blotter, thanked him for his time, and walked out, upright.
I confess though, that once safe on a bus back toward my hole in the wall, I cried some, briefly wondering what it waz about ME, that made the asshole act like that…! Now I know it wasn’t me at all, of course — teach every woman this, especially this pivotal election year!
A better job, with better colleagues, did come along…again, people..do not let anyone make you feel “less than” or duty-bound in that way…I was hungry for awhile, but not that long, and it was worth the boost that walking away gave me .
Hopefully, we have taught more men that this is NOT the way job interviews, or dates, or partnerships should go, or that women need not capitulate, and then be ridiculed that they “slept their way to the top”.
… These are only two of many experiences, growing up, into my 20’s and 30’s… anyone else?