It’s easier to blame yourself.
You weren’t aware of your surroundings.
You drank too much.
You didn’t look after yourself.
You know how men are.
This is how you take back control. Make it about what you could have done differently so it doesn’t happen again.
You don’t call it “assault.”
It was just a bad night.
Just too many drinks.
Just unfamiliar hands.
Just more loud, urgent “NOs” than you were used to saying.
In the end, you were fine. Uncomfortable. Embarrassed. Pissed off.
Years later, you know more. There’s Kelly. And Cosby. And Turner. And Ailes. And Trump. And O’Reilly. And Weinstein.
You understand consent. You scroll the hashtags. You read survivors’ stories.
They sound too much like your own.
That bad night.
That you don’t talk about.
Because really. In the end, you were fine.
Even now–with all you know–you don’t call that night what it was.
It’s easier that way.