With the plethora of women coming forward with their sexual harassment stories, my own was something I questioned. Was it? Was it not? Was I? Was I not? After much searching, I came to the conclusion that I was and feel I can no longer stay silent. Every single time I log onto Twitter, I read the tweets of mostly women and every single time, I feel raw. I feel numb. I feel disgusted. I’m not sure whether that disgust is with myself, because of my silence or if it is with the pieces of do-do that feel – due to societal norms – that they automatically have infinite power over us.
It was February 2016. I had finished my shopping at the gold market and this man approached me asking if I wanted to buy handbags. Although I had finished shopping I said ok ( a family member always said I was too nice). I followed him into an elevator and immediately felt uneasy but I was trapped, literally. The elevator door opens and I see around 20 men purchasing bags. All men. Not a single woman. He tells me the bags are in the back room and goes inside. Feeling something was not right I did not enter and stood in the doorway. I quickly walked back to the elevator and pressed the button hoping it would close in time. It did not. He makes it back.
With him on the right side and me on the left it is silence for a few seconds. Then he goes in and begins touching me. As per the rules of the land or what I thought were the rules, I knew that if I touched him I could land in jail. I assumed he would have witnesses- the men upstairs. I assumed I wouldn’t have any, so I let him do what he wanted and all I did was use my voice to say “no no”. He stopped. The elevator opened, outside we went and he made it visually look like it was a business transaction by offering me his business card but using his words he told me to meet him there the next day. Relieved, I took his card and began walking away only to throw his card in the trash, hail a cab and sit there numb until I reached the hotel.
I’ve put it in the back of my mind since and it has only come to my memory’s surface in the midst of these stories. If you believe in a higher power like I do, I feel they will get what they deserve from the Almighty whether that be in this life through karma or in the afterlife on the day of judgement.
As some of the women have stated, it is not just Hollywood. It happens everywhere. It happens in offices, at parties and yes, even markets. It happens because we let them. We let them, temporarily and permanently, own us due to fear of the consequences whether that be potentially being fired or potentially facing jail. Our voices deserve to be heard, not simply because we are women, but because we are souls.