When I was a freshman in high school, I heard the horror stories. I saw the humiliation of several girls- girls who were asked out by boys in the top echelons of the social hierarchy. When you’re a target of bullying, you learn very quickly to keep not only your eyes, but your ears peeled, and as a result, you pick up a lot of cross talk.
These guys would take these girls out, treat them to dinner and maybe a movie. Next, they’d take them to the countryside, out to the back roads, and proposition them. Sure, many girls would give in and get thrown away like yesterday’s trash.
But some would refuse. And when a girl politely declined, the guy would get angry, kick the girl out of his vehicle, and leave her stranded on the side of the road. She’d be alone in the dead of night!
Back then, there were no cellphones and no internet, and the poor girl would have to thumb it to the nearest house to call her parents.
I overheard these girls talking in the girls’ room, over in the next stall. On this particular day, a girl was crying and confiding to her best friend. She’d fallen victim to this routine and paid for her solid refusal to cave into any demands for sex.
Although I wasn’t friends with the girl, my heart hurt for her, and I became furious with the guy who did that to her. I remember thinking to myself,
“Soooo…some creep thinks just because he took her to dinner and a movie, that suddenly she’s obligated to let him get in her pants???”
Oh yes! I was steaming! Judging from the way these girls talked, the schmuck who took this girl out acted like he’d done her a favor by asking her on a date- told her to her face that she should be thankful he even considered her!
The longer I eavesdropped, the angrier I became until I just had to get out of there or the temptation to open my mouth and insert my two cents would surely overwhelm me.
Who did this asshole think he was? Just learning of the privileged mindsets of some of those chumps in the popular crowd infuriated me! It was guys like him who made it hard on the decent guys who did respect women.
Their delusions of grandeur!
Thinking they were somehow entitled to a cheap roll in the hey!
Thinking that any girl who dated them was somehow “lucky” and that she should be on her knees thanking him for choosing her!
The delusional assumption that their reproductive organs were made of gold and that a girl was supposed to just grant him access to her body without question!
Ugh! All of it made me sick to my stomach and I couldn’t help but feel compassion for that poor girl a few stalls from me! It was a conversation I never forgot overhearing. I decided then and there that if some jerk from Oakley High asked me out, there was no way I’d be desperate enough to accept, and I didn’t give two hoots how “popular” he was! It wasn’t worth the risk.
No way was I going to fall victim to that! Being a victim of bullying was bad enough. I wasn’t about to add something like that to a repertoire of disses that was already a mile long. No, thank you!
These creeps would also threaten girls with things like, “If you don’t, I’ll tell everyone you did. And who do you think everyone will believe? You or me?”
It was the arrogant and narcissistic guys who had a way of forcing these girls to give them what they wanted. And if the girl wasn’t nearly as popular as the guy, all the worse for her! If she did give in, he’d use her once, then go ghost, while telling everyone he scored with her and putting her down like a dog. If she didn’t give in, he’d put her out, then lie and tell everyone he did score with her but kicked her out because she was a lousy lay.
She was damned no matter what she decided!
I look back now and am thankful I overheard that conversation because it forced me to make a few critical decisions, one of which was to avoid guys in the popular crowd like the plague and date guys who were a little more mature and knew how to treat a girl.
Eventually, I’d meet a guy in the college-age range, and he would become my first serious boyfriend. He allowed me the freedom to decide when I was ready. And although the relationship ended after a year and a half, I can look back and remember that he respected me and never guilted nor threatened me into doing anything I didn’t want to do.
Understand that this is a form of bullying and sadly, it’s something that’s rarely talked about. The creep in this story tried to bully this girl into giving herself to him before she was ready- he played on her fear of being left stranded, then humiliated, to get what he wanted from her. And when she stood firm in her decision, he made good on his threat and put her in a potentially dangerous situation.
I admire her for sticking to her guns, although she was punished for it. And I’m pretty sure she looks back on it today and is glad she respected herself and didn’t give in regardless of the end result.
Even today, many of the women from my class think I and a few others missed out because “we didn’t date the (right) guys in school.” But I beg to differ. I was fortunate not to have dated any of them because there’s no telling what might have happened to me if I had.
Know this! It’s okay to say no when someone demands you do something you’d rather not do. Avoid anyone who thinks they’re entitled to sex or thinks you owe them something. Because you owe no one a damn thing!
No means no! And if your date cannot respect you for it, then that person is not good enough for you. You deserve so much better. You might have to wait a while longer before a better person comes along, but anyone who truly deserves you is worth the wait!