I read an article recently about how women have gotten used to catcalling, insults, or being treated like objects. That we now have an instinct to always protect ourselves; having 911 on speed dial when walking back to our car at night, holding a key in between our fingers because that’s all we have to defend ourselves.

That got me thinking about the stuff that’s happened to me. I never really thought too much about it when I went to hang out with a guy and his friends to pregame before going to the club to dance, and when he asked me to come with him to his apartment one floor below to make sure he made it okay (he was drunk), I said okay. I knew exactly what he was doing. But the caring mom-friend in me told me to go, just in case he threw up all over himself and died.

We went downstairs and he opened the door as I followed. The living room was dark, aside from the bright TV in the living room spreading light where it could. He led me to his room, and I saw lots of Tennessee Volunteers decor. I joked with him about how they’re terrible. He told me all he needed was a pair of clean pants, and he left to get them out of the dryer. He came back, and I was waiting for him to put them on when he walked up very close to me, grasping for my attention. He turned me towards him, and he kissed me.

I said, “Don’t get any ideas.”

He asked playfully, “What are you talking about? You want it. Don’t deny it.”

“I’m serious. No,” I said sternly.

He either didn’t hear me, or was convinced he could persuade me otherwise. Probably the latter, don’t you think?

He moved his tongue in my mouth, and I just let him. I figured I’d let him have just this. But before I knew it, he grabbed my waist and pulled me on top of him on the bed. I just remember I kept saying “No” over and over and he wouldn’t stop kissing me. He grazed his hands against me where ever his small brain wanted them. He started trying to lift my shirt, and I said, “No, seriously. STOP!”

He stopped, and when he spoke, it was in a smooth-talking yet kind of annoyed tone. A tone in which he wanted to seem so cool and charming, just enough to get me to give in.

“I thought you wanted to go to the club..” he said.

“I do.”

Then he said, “Well we aren’t going dancing if we’re not fucking.”

If I would have had something in my mouth, I would have spit it out in shock.

I said to him, “HA! Okay.” Then I swiftly got up to leave.

“Are you seriously leaving?” he asked, double annoyed at how I could possibly be such a boner-killer.

“Uh, yeah,” I snapped at him. I walked out the door and left.

This isn’t even the only instance in which something like this has happened. But I shrugged it off and later laughed about how dumb guys are. Is that enough, though? Would you call that sexual assault? I had never even thought about it.

I just thought, boys will be boys.

And that’s the problem, isn’t it?