The #MeToo movement has sent pretty much every woman I know down the dusty stairs of her own interior basement to reckon with her own history. All of us have stories. Mine are pretty typical and, in the grand scheme of things, not that bad. There was that one high school teacher who kissed me and told me he loved me. Weird. The waiter at my first restaurant job, who’d back me into corners and grind against me. Also not great.
There were all of the guys, over all the years, who’ve said or yelled or whispered stuff while I was out in the world, buying groceries or waiting for a bus, but that’s just the background noise to every woman’s life, the price of being in a female body. Oh, and the writer at the weekly newspaper where I was an intern who would join me in the storage room when my hands were full of heavy bound back issues, swiping at my breasts as he reached across me. The worst part wasn’t the touching but the way he’d leer at me afterward. Now we have a secret, his look seemed to say. Now we have a pact. I’m going to keep doing this, and you’re going to keep not saying anything, because I am powerful and you are replaceable.