Social media has so many pros, but changing rape culture has definitely revealed the cons throughout the years. I’ve always been oblivious to the difference between adoration and harassment in my DMs, but my sophomore year provided a specific instance in which I realized I had been violated by the words of a stranger without giving permission. Feel free to reflect while reading my story; I’m sure a lot of us have been there.
I was friendly, okay? I felt bad about ignoring people with aggressive compliments, so one day while walking to class at the MH, I didn’t think twice about giving my email to a complete stranger. At first it was an email suggesting a couple works of literature that I should check out, then the emails kept coming the less I replied. One day I read an email in the form of a French poem that translated into English. It talked about the curves of my body and sexual fantasies expressing things that wanted to be done to me. My heart raced. My stomach dropped, and time came to a complete stop. I remember feeling so violated because I had only met this person once very briefly.
A year later, I’m sharing this for the first time with anyone besides the eyes that read this column, and I’ll never forget the wise words a survivor once told me, “I know my next love will be everything pure.” And they’re right. ‘Love’ does not like all 211 posts on your profile after you’ve clearly expressed no interest. ‘Love’ does not project sexual fantasies you’ve never comprehended or asked for. ‘Love’ does not email you abusive messages after you’ve blocked every possible channel that they can use to contact you.
Before you pick up your phone to go through your crush’s likes, please keep in mind: You cannot physically like someone 211 times in person.
-For my survivors who owe creeps NOTHING.