Whenever I try to recall certain events in my life, they play through my head like scenes from a Hollywood blockbuster with extremely high production value. Stories of relationships, and fights, and heartbreak are etched into my DNA. For better or worse, they’ve made me who I am.
About a year ago, I attended a house party with three of my friends. Aside from those three, I didn’t really know anyone there. It had been one of those Facebook invite parties that people send out to everyone on their friends list. I’d been in a group project with this one guy and we’d added each other on Facebook and that had been my ticket in.
It was your average party. There was loud music, lots of alcohol, beer pong, complete with a large house overstuffed with horny college kids. Midway through, I lost my friends. I had their numbers though so it wasn’t anything to panic over. For some time, I hung out in the living room. It might’ve been a half hour or it might’ve been two hours. Eventually, it got too stuffy and I retreated to the backyard.
And that’s where it happened. I saw a girl and a guy I’d never seen before engaging in an argument. I didn’t make much of it at first. Arguments are nothing to scratch your head over. But suddenly it escalated and the guy started being physical with the girl. He started holding her down and forcing himself on her. There were people all around but no one made a move. Instinctively, I tackled the guy to the ground, though he was far bigger than me and he overpowered me in no time and started throwing punches at me. However, by then, people had begun to take notice and were eager to help me. Long story short, he got thrown out of the party.
I spoke to the girl after. She was obviously shaken up. I can’t even imagine the type of psychological trauma that inflicts on someone. The guy had been a classmate of hers. He’d liked her but she’d rejected his many advances and it had all come to a head at this party.
I don’t understand how a guy could think that harassment was the way to go here. How is a person raised into believing that forcing themselves on someone is the right thing to do? How do you justify that to yourself?
You hear about things of this nature happening all the time but it’s so unreal when it happens in front of you. To this day, it shocks me that no one made a move to stop the harassment when it was first happening. People only acted after I was down getting my ass beat. And that’s not to say that any of them are bad people. I don’t even know if any of my friends would’ve intervened. A lot of times you think you’ll act a certain way during a problem, but once you’re actually faced with that problem, you act completely different. You freeze up. Or you just try to ignore it. And more often than not those are not the solutions.
As Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.