It’s been an interesting week to be a woman, to realize how connected we are in sexual assault. Even writing that statement is infuriating. As I reflected on my own life, and all the times I was degraded, touched, violated because I’m a woman. To be a woman is to deal with these things with grace. Why? Because…“Its just locker room talk.” To react is to “over-react,” which so many times in my life wasn’t seen as cool, because you’re taught “boys will be boys” just let things go.
I sat with a glass of wine sharing some of these stories with my husband, stories that had been buried. Stories that even I shrugged off and thought, “that’s the way it is.” I expressed to him how grateful I am that finally these conversations are being had. He said, “me too.” See my husband isn’t one of those men, he calls himself a feminist, which I love. But it’s bigger than that… it’s about being a humanist. It’s not just a female fight. It’s about coming together as human beings and deciding to treat each other with mutual respect. It’s about being a good person.
I was a bartender for a good portion of the last 10 years. I’ve seen a lot. I could tell you a lot of repulsive stories, but I’d rather tell this one. There was a very drunk girl sitting at the bar with this man, we’ll call him, “The Creeper” who was clearly trying to convince her to leave with him. It’s hard to know in these situations if they came together or if they just met. What this stranger had the courage to do, we’ll call him Sam, I’ll never forget.
He walked up to that drunk girl and said, “Do you know him?”
She seemed to sober up in that moment and look at The Creeper and said, “No.”
The Creeper quickly stepped, “WTF dude. Man code. Mind your business.”
Sam ignored The Creeper. “Do you want to leave with him?”
She said. “No”
Sam, “I think you should go.” He said sternly to The Creeper.
She ended up in a cab home that night. Whether she remembered it in the morning, there was an Angel in my bar that night named Sam. He was just your average awesome dude who decided he didn’t like what he was seeing, so he was going to do something.
What I love about this story is the idea that we have the power to look out for each other. To shame the attackers, not the victims. I want the little girls of today to not have these stories. I want to celebrate the Sams of the World. The guys that choose to stay out of the locker, not cause its easy, but because it’s what’s right.