it seems so hard to doAugust 12, 2008
My friend Roxie recently returned from three weeks in Japan. She had a blast, except when she was groped by a stranger on the subway.
She stood in a crowded car, and the man next to her began brushing against her breasts. Roxie had the misfortune to encounter a frotteur.
Frotteurs become aroused by rubbing against non-consenting individuals. According to Roxie, everyone standing nearby could tell what was happening, but no one said anything.
And the extent of her protest was to step on his foot. This did not deter him from sitting next to her later and leaning into her torso, continuing to feel her boobs.
The most shocking thing to me is why Roxie said nothing. She did nothing, and she speaks proficient Japanese.
No, we do not blame people who endure assault, violence, or harassment. But her inability to confront her assaulter was harmful to her, the stranger, and women he will molest in the future.
Women cannot continue to tolerate such behavior. We cannot let children and adults think this is acceptable.
We cannot always control what happens, but we damn well can control how we respond. So yell at your attacker, use physical violence, make a scene, do anything necessary to make him or her stop.
You have power. Use it.