“I had never been a particularly good liar, having been blessed with a round moon of a face that registered every thought. But as I assimilated among the English, a people with whom I assumed I’d get along very well, being of clearly similar native-of-Boston stock and having a love of nineties Britpop, it was becoming clear to me that I had a more pressing social problem: I did not know how to tell a white lie.”
I’ve been debating whether or not to write this, but I feel compelled. If only for the sake of giving voice to the anger and concern and disillusionment I have felt the past 24 hours.
Last night a friend and I were sexually harassed by some drunk men at a restaurant. I won’t go into what was said, because frankly, I don’t want to relive it. But I’m still fuming and somewhat in shock. I have never been talked to like that in this country or even in the U.S., and I hope never to again. It’s shameful.
But one thing is intensely clear: women’s bodies are still not their own. Something I’ve known for a long time—however, last night it became even more real to me. So here are some important realities that I want to drive home:
- My value AS A HUMAN BEING is not determined by my ability or inability to give you an erection. Fuck you if you believe that. I repeat: fuck you if you believe that.
- No ONE, man or woman, has a right OR obligation to TELL ANYONE how to feel or think about their bodies.
- If this is what women in the public eye feel like every goddamn day, then I’ve developed a new level of sadness for them.
I’m still stunned, but as I told my friend—I cried, I dealt, tomorrow it will be nothing more than a turd sandwich. I’m angry and sad because the world can be so unwelcoming and cruel. I’m angry and disillusioned that in many parts of the world, this is normal for most women. I brought these feelings into my lecture on gender this morning and told the young women and one young man in my class that NO ONE is allowed to tell you what to do or think of feel about YOUR BODY. I’ll call that a minor triumph in light of some serious bullshit.
Predators are some of the most pathetic and unhappy people on this earth, and perhaps that’s the saddest part of it all.
And that’s all I will speak about said turd sandwich.
It has been six months since I have completed my service in the Peace Corps and returned to America, and in full disclosure, this is the fourth attempt I have made at writing a final blog post to sum up my experiences, convey what I have learned, and generally distill 26 months of service into one final post.
I will tell you right now that it is impossible. There is no way for me to accurately convey all of the life changing experiences, from the mundane to the earth-shifting, that I have had happened to me. Nor is there a way to ever tell how much of an impact I have might have had on the people of my communities in Namibia.
Badonkadona: Goal 2
- Colleague: "Sandroochka, do you know what a badonkadonk is?"
- Me: "Of course. But you can always Google 'Beyoncé' if you need further explanation."