This morning, an article surfaced on gossip blog Instablog9ja. On it a lady named The Whiskey Lady put out an extensive statement about how a long time friend of hers, tried to take advantage of her drunkeness and performed acts that clearly fall into sexual assault territory. She goes into sordid, yet familiar detail about how the man who was supposed to drop her off at home after a night of drinking as a group detoured to his own house, and when she tried to get him to order an Uber for her to go home, laughed off her concerns and exposed himself indecently to her.
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He tried to kiss her and when that didn’t work, went ahead to try to force himself on her, pinning her against the bed and put his mouth of her breasts without her consent. When fighting him off didn’t yield any results, she explains that she eventually defended herself by trying to put a finger in his rectum, an action she says he didn’t like. She eventually hightails it out of his house by using his car and driving herself home. As a much older woman (she’s 31) who hadn’t experienced sexual assault prior, the woman who told the story had not experienced any of the silencing that makes younger women reluctant to report assault. And she is livid.
While the whole incident as at right now is only from her own point of view, her experience highlights a few things that we all know but need a healthy reminder of. There are no statute of limitations on sexual assault. There is no threshold of years that pass before women can adequately relax around men. It doesn’t matter long women have known men, no matter if they are married to them, work with them or even raised them, sexual assault is almost certainly a possibility if a man feels so entitled. Rape culture is so entrenched in the way we are socialized that men feel entitled to women’s bodies and can do so for years without acting on it, content to know that the woman in question is ‘within reach’.
The Whiskey Lady was lucky, but many women aren’t. And it is tiring that women have to live this way, 24/7. As a whole, men need to do so much better. And until the law starts to truly punish offenders, we might never get there.