Dear white male, around 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, flabby, with dark hair and a scruffy beard,
Hey. How are you? No, I really mean that. I heard you got punched in the face.
I know you must have been so surprised that the girl you tried to assault reacted the way she did. Crazy! Based on the police report, you did everything right: you grabbed her from behind, touched her vagina and made a sexually explicit comment. I’m pretty sure that move came straight out of a romcom. Besides, that’s our president’s signature move and look how far it got him!
It was pretty slick of you to run away the way you did. I know not everyone has to balls to “[flee] the area towards Campus after the complainant punched him in the face”, as the CUPD so kindly put it, but you knew better than to stick around to face the repercussions of your actions! Go you!
But don’t you worry. If you keep trying, maybe one day you’ll grab a girl on the street and it will be true love. Your lucky choice of conquest will turn as she feels your hand caress her body, fall for you immediately, and grow old with you. You’ll have such a cute story to tell your kids. They’ll laugh as you recount the time you saw her walking on the street that one time and just knew you had to grab her by the pussy.
Or maybe not.
Maybe our bodies don’t belong to you. Maybe we are not poor, defenseless fragile things. Maybe we are strong fucking women here to get educated and to make a difference in this world. Maybe when we walk home late from the library, we don’t want to be touched by strangers.
It’s common sense, but common sense doesn’t work on guys like you. To you, every “no,” every frown, every push is all just part of the game; it’s just an invitation to try harder, hold on tighter, pull us in closer. It just makes the reward all that sweeter. Like a sadistic game of Chinese handcuffs, you laugh at our discomfort and grow stronger as we squirm.
Somehow it’s all too alluring: big hips or small hips, tall legs or a short frame, a thigh gap or thick thighs, the way our shadowy figure looks at 1:30 a.m. walking home in the dark.
But this is not about lust. It’s not about love or attraction or even sex. It’s about power and fear. And if you expect us to bow at your presence, to worship your existence, to cower when you come near, to let you make us feel like we’re only here for your pleasure… well, then you’re going to get punched in the face.
Sarah Park is a sophomore in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Guest Room appears periodically throughout the semester.