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Thursday, June 16, 2005

My Sunday morning story

Over at Pandagon Amanda Marcotte has written several highly commented posts on the way that society blames rape victims ( and ). As part of this she mentioned that she has read many woment bloggers posting their experiences, but no men. This is what I put in the comments to the second post:

Okay, here's my story.

I was probably around 12 or 13, but I was always small for my age so I looked younger. On Friday and Saturday nights, my friends and I would converge on one of our homes and play D&D, or some similar game, until the sun came up. It was about a five mile walk back to our respective homes in the morning and three of us, who lived near each other, would take the walk back together.

I can't remember why, but one Sunday morning I had to walk back by myself. By the time I was two-thirds the way home I was tired and bored and when some guy I'd never met before asked me if I wanted a lift, I said yes.

At first everything seemed okay: I was a bit nervous and realized that I probably shouldn't've accepted the ride, but he seem okay. Then he takes a wrong turn. I point this out to him, and he makes another turn into an industrial park and pulls over.

He then exposed himself and asked me to expose myself as well. I refused and he pulled out what appeared to be a gun. He asked me again and I refused. He last asked me what I would do if he shot me.

Different people react to stressful situations in different ways. I dont' believe that there is a single right way for people to react. I tend to become hyperfocused. There was a gun in front of me and that's pretty much what I was paying attention to. Perhaps there were people around who could have helped if I yelled. I don't know.

What I did say was that, if he shot me, I would probably die. That turned out to be the magic phrase. I impressed him enough, or it had just been an idle thought for him and he didn't expect resistence, or whatever; he let me go. My resistence could have just as easily angered him and I very likely could have died.

As he unlocked the door, he said that the gun was only a cigarette lighter. I don't know, it looked real to me.

Did I do something foolish? Yes, for me to walk the five miles along a busy highway at 6:30 Sunday morning wasn't among the brightest things I've ever done. But it shouldn't have been foolish. I should have been able to make that walk without worrying about pedophiles, rapists or whatever. Anyone should. And at any time one of the people involved in any physical situation says, "no," then that's where it should end.

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