To the boys on the middle school bus who used to torment me when I screamed to leave me alone, while they tried to touch me and harass me with used tampons. And to the bus driver that never intervened, even though it happened every day. Which made the hour-long bus ride a daunting thing, and my parents worked hours that didn't allow them to drive me to and from school.
To the family members that asked me inappropriate questions and said inappropriate things to me.
To the neighbor who was 4 years older than me and kept asking if I was 18 yet, and when I was 17 he said I was "old enough" and invited me over to his parties with his college friends.
To every older man who stole my innocence by making me feel shameful for wearing tank tops and summer-appropriate clothing by insisting I "cover up to be modest," even though the blame was on them for sexualizing a minor.
To every grade school that had dress codes that vilified girls for having bodies instead of teaching boys to just not sexualize us. Prioritizing their education over ours.
To the boy I lost my virginity to, who didn't take it without consent, but used emotional manipulation and preyed on my low self-esteem to convince me that if I loved him I would do it. I was 17 and didn't know sex was enjoyable until I was 20. The same boy that cheated on me, tormented me, stalked me, and threw a rock through my window after he broke up with me because I didn't want to be in contact with him at all anymore. Who still continued to stalk me after the restraining order expired.
To the supervisor at Mt. Brighton that insinuated he'd like to take me into a back room and other words I can't even remember clearly, but I remember the sickness in my stomach hearing him laugh about it.
To the men at Norwich University — RA, staff sergeants, whatever they were called — who audibly pointed at myself and my friend and said "I want to get them drunk and lock them in a room tonight" at their annual fall gala. Some of these men are now either active duty or reservists in the military.
To the Norwich student who I had a brief moment with who later called me a "slut" and said I "deserved whatever happened to me, rape and otherwise for being one" because I didn't want him to hug me because being touched by men made me uncomfortable. He's now employed by the Navy.
To the boy in college who called me a bitch for asking nicely to not be touched when he was drunk.
To the boys who called me a bitch when I changed my mind halfway through foreplay.
To the boys who called me a bitch for not wanting to fuck them.
To the boy who sexted me and then showed the text messages to his friends to laugh about it, and embarrass me.
To the car full of men who catcalled me and then turned around and pulled up to the curb when I screamed "fuck you."
To the boy who lied about having sex with me to all his friends to feel more cool.
To every man who has ever called me any pet name ever instead of using my name.
To the male guest at the hotel I worked at who remarked "how short" my skirt was.
To the manager who told me to take that as a compliment.
To the man who was displeased with my friendship after I no longer wanted to hook up, who relentlessly used all forms of communication to convince me otherwise, and when I made it clear that there were no hard feelings, I just didn't want to hook up anymore, he still persisted. And when I gave up talking to him altogether because he wouldn't respect my boundaries, he called me a bitch because I ignored him.
To the man who asked me on a date, and after the first one I realized there wasn't chemistry, and that I didn't have time to date someone anyway, told me I had a superiority complex making him feel like he should grovel for my attention, when really I just told him I didn't have time to give him the level of attention he needed.
To the owner at East Coast Printers that frequently said sexist things. And stalked all my social media to find reasons to fire me. He found my personal blog where I had nude photos and submitted them to the state to block me from getting unemployment when he fired me (after yelling about firing me to his co-owner, which I got to overhear). His parting words were that I should be "ashamed" of what he found. But really HE should be ashamed, a married man, looking at a young woman's nudes and using them to fuck her over. Just within the legal limit to not be considered revenge porn, but outrageous enough to be creepy and inappropriate. He did this on company time.
To his Ordering Manager who called women and female customers he didn't like "cunts."
And to the customer in my first week who felt it appropriate to hug me instead of shake my hand like professionals do. If I had been a man, he wouldn't have even thought about that.
To the man who told me my sexual harassment experiences were my “opinions” and that he disagreed with my opinions.
To every man who ever used "sweetheart" to be condescending.
To every man that has ever mansplained me.
To every man who has ever catcalled me.
To every man who has found a reason to grope me in a crowded room.
To all the experiences that I can't remember because my brain either repressed the trauma or couldn't hold that many examples of harassment.
My heart breaks for every #metoo I’ve seen on my facebook feed. My heart breaks for all those who have shared their trauma and experiences. My heart breaks for those who are too scared to post. My heart breaks for all those assaulted and harassed every second of every minute. One is too many. 12 million is too many. Share your stories below, if you feel inclined to, or simply leave a “me too.”