Every woman has a story. Every woman can tell you about their first time. Each one of us can tell you how, at a very young age, we were unknowingly groomed – or abruptly forced – to navigate the everyday landscape of unwanted advances, cat calls, lewd stares, sexual innuendos and wayward hands. Or worse.
My first time took place in a hotel elevator in Los Angeles. All I wanted was a bucket of ice. I was 12 years old. I had to go from the third to first floor, and so I boldly left the comfort of my room (and my family) to accomplish this simple task of independence. Four men were in there – smelling of dirt and chemicals, body odor and construction sites. Their conversation halted when the doors opened, and then they all stared. There was a split second of hesitation on my part. My brain told me to wait in the hall for the next one. But that would be so rude, I thought. That would be silly. Continue reading