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Just Grab 'Em by the...You Know

When you've been sexually assaulted, you can't dismiss the degrading language used by the GOP nominee as "locker room talk." You just can't.

I can remember the first time I was touched without my permission. I was 12 years old. My best friend lived about 15 miles away from me, but her bus driver lived in my neighborhood. I came up with a great plan to hang out with her after school. Since hers was one of the first stops on the route, I would catch the bus with her, and play until the route was finished. The bus driver would pick me up, and we'd ride back to my house.

All was well until he decided he wanted to "teach me to drive." What it ended up being was a way for him to rub on my budding breasts. He's run his hand up my side until he got to my chest. The first time it happened, I was so confused. I didn't understand what was going on. I think I let it happen a couple more times -- to make sure I wasn't making it up in my head -- and then I got wise and came up with a plan.

My best friend had a sister whose best friend lived around the corner from me. I recruited her to go with me. I figured he couldn't touch both of us. We picked a day and hopped the bus, thinking that everything would be hunky dory. He fixed us, though. He just didn't come back through. I had to call my mom to come pick us up. Needless to say, it was NOT a fun ride home.

This man thought I was cute, and therefore he could just touch me any way he wanted to. He didn't think my neighbor was as cute, so instead of doing what he said he'd do, he just left us both. And just so you know, this bus driver was also a preacher in the town. He's dead now, but I remember feeling so dirty and awful when it happened.

When men dismiss that fool's rhetoric as "locker room talk," it sends two messages. It tells men that it's okay to be disrespectful to women. And it tells women that their feelings, wants, needs, etc. really don't matter because our only reason for existing is to please some man.

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