When the "Me Too" activity hit (link below for details), here was my post, and some comments.
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If all the survivors of sexual assault or harassment write, Me too, we might have a sense of the magnitude of the problem. Please copy and paste the status to raise awareness. #metoo
My mom and sister were raped, at 10 and 14, respectively. I didn't know about my mom's until I was in my 30's, but it explained a lot of her reactions and rules and fears concerning me, when I was young.
I'm not even going to mention hoots and come-ons; there have been dozens.
When I was in 5th grade (so I was 10) a boy (I didn't know him or his name) would shove his middle finger HARD between girls' legs in the hallway when it was crowded and then slip away quickly. We were made to wear skirts or dresses to school, so we weren't as protected as if we were wearing jeans. He did it to me once, and to my best friend a couple of times. Other times we saw him and averted. I seriously doubt we were the only ones, but I didn't hear of others. We reported it to the teacher in that hallway and tried to spot him to report him, but I don't know what happened. It stopped. [He must have been in a higher grade than we were, because his face was unfamiliar. He also might not have been at school for long—transient type, perhaps.]
When I was in college there were two hitchhiking problems (yes, I know... too dangerous). Both times I was with a boyfriend.
One was on Cerillos Road in Santa Fe, and my travelling companion noted the suspicious behavior—reading guy-clues I had missed—and declined the ride after we had already accepted (and retrieved his guitar during his courteously worded change-of-plan, which was good).
The other time, another boyfriend, there were four of them, two of us, we were separated in the car (me in the middle front, he in the middle back), behavior was VERY suspicious, glances in rearview mirrors, tension. We were travelling north on I-25 toward Santa Fe. One of the guys said "So, are you going to Denver or somewhere?" (Something about Denver, or maybe he was asking me where I was from...)
EVERYone in the car relaxed, and the conversation was immediately friendly and happy, about where I lived and who I knew and the danger was gone.
Judging by jokes and reputation, naming that town might've should've increased danger, but it didn't. I was not an anonymous distant nameless anglo girl. We had things in common. It's a good thing I wasn't from Denver or somewhere, though. I don't think I would be here to write this.
There were some safe and fun hitchhiking stories from my reckless youth, but still I don't recommend it. Keith and I have tried to be sure our kids had access to safe vehicles and communications, and I'm glad we were able to do that.
My post above, and those below, are on my facebook page here: October 15, 2017
Rhetoric and slogans don't change human nature. Being outraged doesn't create peace. There WILL be violence.
Education hasn't stopped murder and theft on earth. It won't stop rape, either. Laws don't stop it. Religion doesn't stop it.
Women DO need to be careful, and every time someone recommends anything reckless, that's a part of the problem, too. Sometimes it's a relative, or a friend's relative, or a acquaintance / date.
Sometimes it's a hitch-hiking situation, or jail, or home invasion.
Some women are cautious and lucky. Neither caution nor luck are full-on guarantees.
Terrible things have always happened in the world, and I think they always will. Peace is better than non-peace, and no one can guarantee anyone else's contentment and safety.
I hope the revelations and discussions are brief and we all get back to happier present moments, having laid out past sorrows.Yes, I know, men too. Stay out of English boarding schools, retroactively and in the future.
I'm unwilling to sooth anyone's rhetorical urges by making the whole topic neuter/neutral; sorry.
Things are said and done to girls and women that are not, in such great numbers done to men.
Avoid giving teenagers reason to lie about where they are. Give them leeway and backup and be ready to rescue a child or teen any time of the day or night from an uncomfortable situation. Lots of times kids are afraid to get in trouble for being where they are and when, and the people they're with know it, and that compounds danger.
Dev and I (for those who knew Dev) were trying (as usual) to get to Española (for the weekend) from Albuquerque so we could take care of my baby half-brother so my mom could go out drinking. I mean she was going to go out drinking, so we would go up there to stay with the baby she had had because she was always going out drinking.
That's not the good part.
A man stopped, in his 50's, asked if one of us could drive, because he was intoxicated. We could, we did. He lived in a very pretty little house in old downtown Santa Fe. He made us some dinner. Food, conversation, time and coffee sobered him up, I drove us all to my mom's, which was in Sombrillo right off the highway on the edge of Española (a house that's not there anymore), and he drove himself back home, 25 miles.
I was walking with a girl I didn't know very well one day. She went to different schools, but we were taking a summer class together.
Between the old Española High School and Ciddio's, an old-time burger place, were two blocks of mostly abandoned houses. We were walking through there, slowly, talking, and a guy in a low-rider pulled up right next to us and hey-babied us with the look and the ooginess. The other girl calmly took the top off her large coke with ice and poured it gently on the trunk of his fancy car. He zoomed away.
Me, I was a bit spooked, because in northern New Mexico, messing with someone's car is serious business, but she ranked in our town and even if he didn't know who she was, had it gone further, he would've found out.
Lower San Pedro (Española), +/- 1967, 68
I was walking near my house. I was 14 or 15. A large four-door car pulled up near two cottonwood trees, [I came back to edit this. First they talked to me. There were three or four guys in the car, I don't remember. It was chit-chat about "where y'going?"]
and the two doors on my side opened, in such a way that I could easily have been trapped. Two guys started getting out. I backed up. I heard someone say loudly, "Sandra, are you okay?"
It was my neighbor, a late-20's fish-and-game officer who was renting a trailer house from our family. He wasn't super close to us, and there was a fence between and half a field. I called back "Yeah, thanks," and he went back in the house. The guys noticed him go back in, and hadn't yet jumped back in the car. Then he came right back out with a rifle, and jump they did.
I cannot remember that man's name. He didn't live there long, but I'm still grateful to him for noticing and saving me in what ended up being a simple way, but could have escalated.
I walked over and thanked him, and went home.
In a conversation just two days ago, my sister mentioned that house I had been in front of. One of the then-child-aged inhabitants died recently. That might be what has brought the story to mind. That makes me think there might be other stories down in me that haven't come up yet. Because I didn't think of this one when I wrote on my own page, but "escape" and "Peenie died" dredged this one up.
I'm leaving it so that if someday I'm looking for these stories they'll be in one place. I don't care if nobody ever reads it but me.
This was posted there with a link to its original (me quoting someone, then writing):
-=-Yes, I have instincts. About lots of things other than parenting too..who to trust, what to do, where to go, little things, and big things. -=-
People ignore visceral reactions (the creepy-physical-on-skin feeling, hairs standing up, fear, revulsion) out of political correctness sometimes or courtesy. People will get in a car with someone to prove they're not racist, or prejudiced. When I was 25, childless, a guy tried to get me to go to bed with him to prove I didn't just like jocks. That was a good one, because Keith (who had moved to Salt Lake City, and I was planning to follow him if friends found a teaching job there for me) was my first jock boyfriend. The rest had all been musicians. 🙂 Pressure with a political overlay causes many people to ignore their instinctive "No, get away."
A friend of mine, to prove she wasn't racist, didn't pull her bag closer to her when a young Black man sat next to her in a cafeteria in one of the Smithsonian museums. If it had been a young lighter-skinned woman, she would have moved the bag closer in a kind of gesture of giving her more room. (The friend is Hispanic, northern New Mexico's Spanish/Indian gene pool, lightish skin, dark hair.) But to be liberal, she didn't touch the bag. So he got her wallet and left.
We are trained and shamed to ignore our instincts.
But there are instincts we try to extinguish with religion and law. Rape and persuasion on the part of men to impregnate more women. We like for men to stay and protect women and children after their instinctive mating phase wears off.
I have a page on instinct, and will link back to this page from there, too.