stopharassingwomen:

It was rush hour, so I was standing directly in front of your seat as I tried to read my book without falling over. You tapped my hand that was clutching my book and I jumped.

“What’s that book about?” you asked.

I stared blankly at you. “You can probably read the description on the back from where you’re sitting,” I said, and held the book higher, blocking my face.

A minute later… you tapped my hand again.

“WHAT!” I demanded. People were now staring.

“That book sounds really interesting. Can I take you out sometime? I’d love to buy you dinner.”

“NO, I DO NOT WANT TO GO OUT WITH YOU,” I said as loudly as possible in case you were about to act even weirder.

I backed away from you, slowly, and got off at the next stop.

There were a couple of things I was hoping to tell you, though, and I would have, had you not completely creeped me out, invaded my personal space, and embarrassed me on a crowded train.

Those things are:

1) I am reading. That means I don’t want to talk to you.

2) Don’t touch my hand. Don’t. Ever. Touch. Me.

3) IN WHAT WORLD WOULD ANY SANE WOMAN SAY YES TO A DINNER DATE WITH A CREEPY STRANGER WHO ASKED ABOUT HER BOOK ON THE TRAIN?

4) Stop it.

5) I was reading The Handmaid’s Tale. You will never understand.

At a time of great emotional turmoil, students who say they were assaulted must make a choice: Seek help from their school, turn to the criminal justice system or simply remain silent. The great majority — including the student in this case — choose their school, because of the expectation of anonymity and the belief that administrators will offer the sort of support that the police will not.

Yet many students come to regret that decision, wishing they had never reported the assault in the first place.

The woman at Hobart and William Smith is no exception. With no advocate to speak up for her at the disciplinary hearing, panelists interrupted her answers, at times misrepresented evidence and asked about a campus-police report she had not seen. The hearing proceeded before her rape-kit results were known, and the medical records indicating trauma were not shown to two of the three panel members.

"By successfully arguing that company owners’ right to religious conscience trumps women’s right to contraceptive access, Hobby Lobby has helped further the myth that birth control isn’t a critical part of health care. It’s a victory within the larger context of chipping away women’s access to contraception and abortion — a war on reproductive services that has already had devastating impacts on low-income women and communities of color.”