1. When you were in a crowded metro and you felt a hand brush against your ass. It stopped on the cheek and there was some light grabbing. You glared at the guy the hand belonged to. He looked back cockily and said, “Sorry, that was a mistake.” Surely, he would have shown some sign of guilt if he had done it intentionally. You brushed it off and figured you had imagined it.
2. That time at work, when your male co-worker said, “Wow, you’ve lost weight. We should get coffee, outside of the stuffy office walls. I haven’t seen you in so long, and then you go ahead and lose weight.” As his eyes went up and down your bones, you wondered how he made it sound like the purpose of your fitness regime was to get him alone on a coffee date. Was he was the voyeur in your head that you were trying to appeal to? You shook your head and thought, He’s just giving me a compliment. I’m my own voyeur. You politely declined the coffee.
3. When you were 8 years old your private school teacher told you that when you twirled your skirt went up. The teacher blamed you for trying to entice the boys. You didn’t know what the word ‘entice’ meant. And the boys weren’t looking at you, they were too busy examining their boogers. But you didn’t disagree because adults knew better. You apologized. The next day, after you narrated the incident to your mom, your skirt length was longer and you were thrilled because then you could twirl all you wanted.
4. That time on your birthday when you had a little too much to drink and your friend said he’d drop you home. On the way back, in his car, he tried to kiss you. And you tried to say no. The next day, when you confronted him, he told you that you were into it. You wanted it. Your own thoughts were a blur from the alcohol so you believed him. He’d been such a good friend, for so long after all. Why would he lie now?
5. You went for an interview and the man you were meeting said that he was running late for a dinner so could you come with him and answer his questions on the way. In the car, you were professional and sharp. You tried really hard and were relieved when he said he was impressed and wanted to keep the conversation going. He asked if you’d like to join him for the party he had been running late for. As a date, he joked. You really needed a job and didn’t know if he would get offended, so you agreed. He introduced you as his girlfriend to all his friends, which you didn’t like. But you realized that you had been over thinking it. Later, you got the job!