Warning: This post contains language. Writing helps me work through a situation and I am also sharing this to show that it is NEVER okay to say these words to anyone.
I work an interesting job. I talk to people about rape. So, when an individual comes up to me it generally goes three ways.
One. The person genuinely cares. They want to volunteer or perhaps make a donation. They ask on how they can help. They thank me and move on.
Two. The person is going to disclose something to me. Generally on how its impacted them. Whether it be them personally or someone close to them. This also happens when they tell me that they know someone that has used our services. This person is also generally grateful and involved.
And my favorite.
Three. This db has a strong opinion and wants to tell me about it. Now this one is generally my favorite because I will debate anything- but an experience I have a connection with and am passionate about- bring it.
Today, at a company’s name I will not disclose- the third happened to me.
And what came out of their mouth may have been one of the most offensive things anyone has ever said to me. Ready for it? A man came up to me and said, and I quote…
“Beautiful women like you can be bought and sold…” (the rest really doesn’t matter at this point, but it was derogatory)
Are you fucking kidding me?
I wish I could make this shit up. And be prepared the rest of this email is going to be a rant with a lot of four letter words.
Bought and sold?
No. No I cannot. I am a person, a woman at that and I have my own rights. Lots of them actually. We’ve kind of worked are ass off on this one. Are you kidding me? I initially just kind of sat there stunned- and I wish I wish I would have said something back. A couple thoughts instantly came to mind. Okay I passed a security guard on the way in, sex trafficking is a big deal in Anchorage, was he just trying to shake me up, shit I have a name tag on and he knows where I work, call my boss…..
So I went with that. Very calmly she asked me if security was there and to leave. Now. And to come back to the office to debrief. Thankfully I work with a great group of men and women and the first person I spoke with our counselor. She asked me if I was shaking- I didn’t realize it but I was. How could I let some douche bag be affecting me like this? It was just a stranger who obviously has some shit going on. Was this a legitimate threat? Is it a threat? Am I over reacting? It could just a random person trying to get a rise out of me.
But in my world- we take safety seriously. I know the stats. I know how very real this is. I can see a sex trafficking operation from my office window. I know how hard it is to stop it. I also know I live by myself. I do most things by myself. I go to functions where I identify where I work- a lot. Many people in the community know who I am. I open myself up with a blog and social media.
So back to what he said.
Bought? No. Not by money. Not by gifts. Not by anything. My love and affection can be earned- but certainly- yes most certainly not bought.
And sold? Are you fucking kidding me? What does the rate go for that? For me personally? Do you want to put a value on my self-worth? What am I being sold for exactly? Do I go for more because you think I’m beautiful?
Some may think I’m being dramatic but I dare you to have someone say this to you and not react. Better yet- have someone say that to your daughter, your girlfriend, and your best friend… anyone you love and tell me how that is.
Thank you to the awesome people at my office. And while it doesn’t matter what I was wearing- I could have been naked- it could have been my boyfriend- anyone…. And it still wouldn’t have been appropriate.
But this is what I was wearing. No one asks for it. No one should be talked to that way. Ever. Period. End of story.
This is why I work where I do. This is why we talk about prevention. This is why we are advocates and educators. Because fuck people who have the mindset to say anything like that. How ignorant, rude, disrespectful. This is why we are making a difference and a change. To ensure that my children don’t grow up in a world that is ever this is okay. Ever.
Tell someone you love them today. Tell them how awesome they are. Because that’s what they deserve.
So to this dude- where ever you are- let this be a lesson to you. This was not okay. I don’t care how old you are, or if you think I’m attractive… this girl cannot be bought or sold for that matter for anything.