Response to Occupy Pussy Writing Rally by Anonymous

Thank you for writing “For Women to Matter.” My stomach stuck in my throat as I read "It happened on my flight back back to London last Sunday.” I was relieved. I smiled. I cheered. I felt the same ire.

I hate the word “pussy,” the sound of it, the derision, all of it. I was taken aback when I read it and was yet somehow pulled in by the rawness. It was compelling. I couldn’t turn away from the way you were telling the truth of what we have all experienced.

Recently, I was at a girls’ night out party and I was saying to the host’s husband that they had a beautiful home. He said, “Oh it goes on and on. Would you like a tour of the bedroom?” Even now, as I write that, I am stunned at my obtuseness. 

I remember feeling afraid and clamoring a little inside my head as to how to veer off or change what was happening. I saw one of my good friends in my peripheral and thought of saying, “hey come on…” but it was all happening too fast. 

I kept a wide berth as he showed me around. I kept/keep telling myself it was innocent, so I continued taking small steps into danger. Peeking past him into a walk in closet. Letting him be between me and the door in the bathroom. God, what was I thinking?!

Later my friend half asked, half joked about my tour. 

I sort of put it out of my mind until I read your piece and I realized it had done something to me. Like a small sliver of fiberglass in your finger, you can’t see it and can only feel it at certain angles. You put tape on it so it won’t affect your grip, but it still does. You scrape it with a knife, trying to remove the invisible, but it’s still there.

I texted my friend after I read your piece and the night came back with more foolish clarity. 

“I meant to tell you later that I was scared. That I thought for a brief moment of asking you to come with. That I wondered what I would do if something happened, however small, and how it could change everything: me, our group of friends. I was nervous and relieved when I came out the same as I went in.”

But the truth is we never walk out of those things the same. They leave their mark. I’m not sure what I would have done with that night if I hadn’t read your post, but I’m glad you wrote it, and with such unflinching fire.

Beautifully and boldly done!