I like smiling at people. I enjoy being open and non-judgemental. It feels good to trust my fellow man. So, despite my attempts to practice in the mirror, I’ve never been able to develop a good ‘resting bitch face.’ “Alyssa, you need to practice being bitchier to keep the freaks away,” my friends would joke. But the idea that nice people are easy targets has always bothered me. I don’t believe that’s the way the world should operate.
The #Me Too Movement changed me. Simple as that. It suddenly hit me recently, that I have not been sexually harassed one single time since the #Me Too movement. And this is miraculous, since previously it had been such a regular part of my human experience.
I had already begun exploring how to inhabit my body in a more confident way and how to respond to unwanted comments I might encounter. What pushed me over that edge was the day I was sexually harassed six times in one visit to the gas station. Was I in a slinky dress about to hit the club? No. I had frazzled hair, grease stained clothes, and was dripping sweat from mowing the lawn. All I wanted was the freedom to select and purchase a six pack of beer in peace.
But I had a scent. A scent of prey. And all my attempts to be more confident were failing. I was still on guard. But then #Me Too happened. And somehow, not even consciously at the time, the massive wave of women saying ‘no more’ crashed over me and removed my scent. It’s gone. I can wear a slinky dress to the gas station or my pajamas, with the same level of confidence, because the scent of prey has been washed away.
I wish Donald Trump could understand that. I wish many of his supporters could understand that. You’re not overly sensitive when you rise up and say enough is enough.