Issue No. 18 • Spring 2017
When I was in the 8th Grade, I was punished for punching the boy who grabbed me and stuck his hand down my pants in study hall. The boy who would constantly pull my desk closer to his during class, the kid who actually stole books from me.
I punched the kid who was using a fake account another student's name on AIM to ask me about my underwear. He knew styles, colors. I still don't know how he knew as much as he did. I don't think I want to.
I punched the kid who stole an ice pick from the science wing, and kept it hidden in his locker. The kid I also got in trouble for yelling at, because I was concerned about the ice pick. My teachers were more concerned with my cursing.
I punched the kid who got kicked out of school for taking up skirt pictures of another girl. And the art teacher.
When I was in the 8th grade, I didn't realize that this was sexual harassment. I didn't know I could go to anyone to talk about this. But I knew it was wrong-- to this day I have those AIM transcripts saved to my hard drive. And I know other girls who were targeted by the same kid, the same way. But we all dealt with it, because we were told that's just how boys behave at this age. We dealt with it silent and immobile, because anything else was a fault to us-- girls aren't supposed to curse, girls aren't supposed to fight, and girls aren't supposed to do anything in the back of a classroom with ten other students and a teacher when one of them grabs her and asks "is that your cellphone?" while he shoves his hand past your belt.