The first time Alex and I met, I was excited to know that I had found myself in the good graces of industry leaders that I admired.
The first time he assaulted me, I was sitting on the patio of a crowded bar having a cigarette when he sat down next to me and told me that he wanted to fuck me. Point blank. He went on to put his hand right between my thighs and tried to put his fingers inside me and kept telling me how great I feel and how amazing it would be. I am more than a foot shorter and over 100 pounds lighter than him, I could barely move his hands away. There were so many people around us, I just wanted him to shut up and found an excuse to get up and go back inside. I didn’t make a big deal.
The next day, he called me late at night panting and breathing heavily through the phone. He was touching himself and tried to have phone sex with me before I quickly hung up the phone. He called back twice before he gave up.
Over a year later, I was out at a bar with many of our mutual friends. I made the mistake of agreeing to give him a ride home because I remembered that he lived less than a mile from me. I didn’t realized that he had moved, and the trip would be much longer. He was so drunk and could barely tell me where to go. He wouldn’t tell me his address and told me that he’d just direct me. He said the same sexual things to me he had said before. I ignored it and kept changing the subject. He rubbed my thighs and tried to put his hands down my pants. We drove up towards his house, he told me to turn my headlights off as we pulled up. The car barely rolled to a stop before he jumped out and ran up the driveway to his house.
I sat in the car for a few minutes after he got in the door and thought, ” I just sent this man into his home to his wife and kids after what he had just done to me.” I hated myself for not honking the horn to wake his family up and tell them what happened. I drove home sobbing and laid next to my then-boyfriend unable to say anything. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t tell him.
The last time I ever let myself be alone with this man, he followed me out to the back lot of my bar while I had a cigarette. He pushed be up against a wall and held me by my throat. He thought it was sexy. I was terrified. I squirmed out of it and ran back inside. I had enough. This was not happening to me anymore.
The point of post is not to recount the horrific incidents that happened to me, but to bring light to the fact that I felt it would have been detrimental to my career to out this man publicly, or even call him out on it one-on-one for these incidents. I hoped that by going with the motions it would just go away. This man manipulated my friends and I into thinking he could do whatever he wanted because he was too important to have this come back to bite him. I worked shifts next to him and felt sick. I wondered how many other women I was allowing to be hurt by staying quiet.
I will never be quiet again. It’s time to stop ignoring this issue. Being “too drunk” is not an excuse to hurt the women in our community or anyone else. Ever. I’m tired of seeing men being praised for their dedication to our industry when what they do in the shadows is public knowledge.