An open letter to the guy who grabbed my ass


Fuck you.

It’s funny how that two sophisticated words can sum up everything that I want to tell you.

Allow me to remind you of what happened. You saw two foreign women walking on the street, and just like that, boom! You grabbed one of the two foreign women.

That woman that you singlehandedly decided to touch is me.

Two years of living in Egypt had prepared me how to handle situation like this, yet when it actually happened, my mind just shut down and I couldn’t even move to sprang at you and slap you on the face.

You caught me in a moment of vulnerability. One moment I was in complete control of my own life. The next thing I know, you forcefully inserted yourself in the picture. You ambushed me to declare your opinion of my body. And that feeling of control is gone as fleeting as you are.

Even when this unwelcome encounter was no longer than a millisecond, it has left me feeling frustrated and silenced. I had to evaluate myself and figure out what I did that caught unwanted attention. If I wore a cover-up and a veil, will that change things? Had you seen two local women instead of two foreign women walking that night, would you have done the same thing?

Yes, let’s get personal because what you did is personal to me.

You treated me as if my only purpose was for the enjoyment of your male eyes. It didn’t matter how successful my career is, how intelligent I am, or how strong my sense of self is. None of that mattered because at that point, I was powerless. Powerless to avoid it, powerless to counteract it. Powerless to define my own body.

It has been eight days and I still couldn’t let go of what you did. No shower can wash away how I felt. And no matter how many times I put my jeans in the wash, that experience won’t seem to go away.

I am still upset that I let you walk away just like that. I wish I could have kneed you in the balls when you decided to be a dick. No, make that ten dicks. That way, I wouldn’t be spending all these time replaying what happened in my head, and thinking of what I could have done to reverse it. Then we will just be even.

I’m not really sure what’s going on with your pea-sized brain, but do you really think that grabbing someone will get you anywhere? If you want to make an impression, you might as well call for a marching band.

Seriously, think about it. Do you really think that grabbing someone will give you satisfaction? If anything, I guess what you did will be an anecdote you will tell all your pea-brained friends. And if you are expecting to get the high fives, then that is just an all new low. How embarrassingly tragic. I might as well move to Mars.

How difficult is it to be a civilized person and show respect to civilized people? Is it really that hard that you’d rather whistle at every vagina that you pass by? When was the last time any guy had a shot at a girl for doing this? I just couldn’t understand the logic.

If I tell you that grabbing a woman’s behind, or whistling at that “sexy babe” has zero percent chance of getting you anywhere, will you just stop doing it? Or is the equation too difficult to solve?

I had to put up with days of self doubt. I didn’t like that you made me second-guess myself. And I didn’t like that probably after all of these, people will still ask what I was wearing that night.

I’ve been whistled at wearing skinny jeans, wearing baggy sweaters, wearing dresses, wearing long sleeves. I’ve been cat-called with long hair, with short hair, with high heels, with sneakers. I’ve been gazed at when I was 20 kilos heavier, and 20 kilos lighter. I’ve been called a “babe” with or without make up on, in the street by myself, on the street with friends, in the morning, in the afternoon, and more so at night.

So, no matter what lengths I go to in order to avoid you, my guess is, you would still have done it.

This is the maddening reality that I have to live through day by day. And it makes me wonder why, when everything is said and done, the repercussion still falls heavily on the woman and not on the man who did the actual grabbing/cat-calling/wolfwhistling.

You made me question ethics, you made me question morality, you made me question values, and you made me question religion. I would not like to think that society will teach their people to objectify women no matter how patriarchal it is. I would not accept that any religion will teach their men to disrespect women. I will not believe that any family will raise their kids to act inappropriately.

I hope that you would just stop. I hope that I am the last woman who you will ever grab. You got lucky. For now. But know that should this ever happen again, with you or with anyone like you, I will make sure that you or anyone like you won’t get away with it. At least not without your balls being kicked hard or your eyes being poked out.


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