Guh, all of these creeper/rape culture posts and articles I’m reading tonight are bringing up some way less-than-awesome feelings regarding an ex-boyfriend who wouldn’t take the hint, who guilted and manipulated and told sob stories, who crossed boundaries when explicitly told not to, and who then blamed me when I snapped over it — but even moreso, regarding the friends who didn’t have my back when it happened. And this isn’t even about the ones who blatantly took his side — it’s about everyone who stayed neutral, too. Because in a case like this, staying neutral is taking his side. It’s allowing him to believe this behaviour was in some way appropriate or excusable, and it implies that there was something, at least, wrong with me for asserting my right not to be harassed. That his hurt feelings and wounded pride are on the same level as my threatened security.
But what should I have done? I told myself, as so many women do, that to press the issue would’ve looked histrionic. That I might’ve been overreacting, making a tempest in a teacup. And no one would have taken me seriously, anyway. They’re his friends, too. No one wants to believe ill of him. So I’ve had to settle for their neutrality, no matter how betrayed I feel by that.
I don’t know what good answer there is to this. And it’s been months and mostly I don’t have to deal with it, except when circumstances force us to be in the same vicinity, or when word reaches my ears that he’s again blaming me for the fallout.
There were a few nights I should have asked A Question, and didn’t.