The Brave Ones #YesAllWomen

I am falling so completely in love with people I’m Facebook friends with yet barely know. The women and the men. Seeing the brave ones out there.

Brave. A word so often tossed around and so infrequently displayed. 

Bravery is about taking personal responsibility and also realizing when an action has nothing to do with you. About fighting through discomfort to find truth, and I didn’t even know I was surrounded by warriors. 

It inspires me. 

But I carry so much guilt that I don’t know how to let go of. And anger. So I’ll write until I can put some of it down.  

I’ll talk about the most recent experience I had with a member of the Improv community. A beautiful and vibrant place filled with so many people I love, but during a party where I opted to wear a low cut dress (and show off a rather ample chest; it’s true) I made the mistake of rebuffing a gentleman’s (nay, dude’s) advances by dancing with him an arm’s length apart instead of grinding my ass against his cock. His response: 

HIM: “Who’s your target?” 

ME: “What?”

HIM: “Your target.” 

ME: “I don’t have a target.” 

HIM: “Really? Because you’re dressed like you have a target.” 

ME: “No… I’m happily taken.”

I wasn’t. I was just so wildly taken aback. That isn’t suppose to happen here. Here with all of my friends. Where I was so excited to dance and look pretty around people who so often see me at my grungiest. 

"Don’t wear that dress if you don’t want every single man to believe you want him." Was my message.

Back to my jeans and sneakers I said. 

And then I tried to understand why he did it.

Must have been rejected by a lot when he was younger. That happened to me.  

Must not receive love, in all of its many forms, very well. I don’t either. 

Must think women want assholes. Hey, I often wish I was more high maintenance since it seems like that’s what guys want. 

Man what a poor sad child in need of a hug. I hope he’ll be ok with me not being attracted to him. 

I HOPE HE’LL BE OK WITH ME NOT BEING ATTRACTED TO HIM. 

And I did what I’m realizing just now is a strength of women, but so often feels like a weakness. 

I empathized. 

I didn’t let myself feel upset for me. I never let myself feel wronged or hurt. Inconvenienced at best because it would make me feel powerless to stop it from happening again if I admitted what it really was. 

Someone else rampaging into my life uninvited, and affecting me. 

And how could he have known that I had to pep talk myself into not wearing an under shirt for that dress? 

How could he have known that I was in the midst of a personal victory because I’ve had horrible posture from shrinking into myself ever since Dale Reed, fellow 6th grader, said men would never look me in the eye cause I have big boobs? 

How could he have known that I have such a hard time allowing myself to be seen as a sexual being because all of the sudden men forget you’re a human being too?

He couldn’t, but he could have been brave.

And this is just an encounter that’s on my mind. Not even the worst. Maybe the one I’m the least afraid to share because I’ve gotten feedback from others of how wildly wrong this was. 

The larger things are moments I hope I can share in person. In hushed tones of a coffee and let’s just get teary together. 

Let’s hear each other, and hug each other, and know that we’ve reached a new place. 

A place where we are brave enough to speak our truths. All of us.