Grace was bitter and hurt. Yet in our unbuttoned age, her only weapon, as she sees it, is to claim that a crime was committed. “It took a really long time for me to validate this as sexual assault. . . . And that’s why I confronted so many of my friends and listened to what they had to say, because I wanted validation that it was actually bad.”
If you feel used, abused, or any of a hundred other negative emotions about a sexual encounter, you are made to feel that that you’ve failed in some way. Everyone else seems to be loving it. But coercion, that’s the one get-out-of-jail-free card. If you were “coerced,” your bad feelings are validated. He really did do something terrible to you.
Those who chide Grace that her experience was just “bad sex” are missing the point. It wasn’t that the sex was bad — though it was — it was that the date was only about sex, and she had hoped for more. In this, I think Grace speaks for many, many women and also some men.