(Trigger Warning: sex, rape, domestic violence, etc.)
I am taking a Women’s Studies course on Sexual Violence this semester, and after our class today, I have been thinking a lot about past relationships and interactions with intimacy, romance and sex.
So to the boy who talked to me at the bar
until I told him I wouldn’t go home with him
and then walked away
– I don’t owe you that for buying me a drink.
To the guy who messaged me on Tinder
until I told him I don’t like hooking up with people
and immediately unmatched me
– that doesn’t always have to be the end game.
To the boy I did everything for
and just wanted to impress,
I didn’t think I was allowed to say no.
I thought there were other ways to show love,
but it seemed all focused on one thing
that I didn’t really want to give.
To the friend who told me,
“But you guys were dating so it was fine”
– It was not fine.
To all of the above that I encounter in the future
- I know that I love really easily
But I don’t owe you anything because I love you.
I don’t owe you anything because we’re dating.
I will expect a lot from you as a person
But you should not expect sex from me
In this class, we learn a lot about rape, sexual assault and harassment in the country and specifically on college campuses. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men will experience non-penetrative sexual assault at some point in their lives, and the majority of assaults of women occur within a romantic relationship from their partner (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey).
Sexual assault is an incredibly real issue on college campuses, and we need to be aware of the effects it is having n our generation. So remember that it’s okay to talk about sex, violence and intimacy – it’s healthy, even. It’s one thousand billion times okay to say no to someone even if you’re committed to them. You don’t owe anyone sexual favors for anything they do for you, and it’s time we all start realizing that. It’s time I started realizing that.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, please contact your local rape crisis center or contact the police or call 911 if you feel you or someone you know is in danger. If you are a student at UofM, you can confidentially call the SAPAC Crisis Line at (734)936-3333.