Tag Archives: sexual assault

Open Letter to Uber

Dear Uber,

I want to start by thanking you for flooding my Facebook news feed with ads asking me if my car qualifies for Uber. It doesn’t. Nor does my cell phone, being as it is an ancient relic from a time when GPS and Uber apps didn’t exist. So no, I won’t be making thousands of dollars a month driving for you any time soon. But even if my car did qualify, and even if I did have GPS, I still wouldn’t apply.

You’re probably wondering why.

A friend of mine started driving for Uber. The first few rides were everything a nervous new driver could hope for—polite passengers, friendly conversation, respect from total strangers. But her third ride is precisely why women nationwide are not driving for you.

UberSam
SamBam, the friend who’s story I’m sharing here today – insta: @sam_alys

My friend, a fine-looking young woman, accepted ride number three. The man sat in the back of her car. She started driving. He started playing with her hair. She told him to stop, which he ignored. He told her he was drunk and on drugs. He whispered in her ear, “Show me your tits. Give me your pussy.” He kissed her neck. She told him to stop. He didn’t. When they arrived at his destination, he did not exit the car. She opened her door, hoping he would do the same. He did. When he got out, she slipped back in, locked all her doors and fuckin dipped.

He gave her a zero-star rating. She reported the incident in an email, since you have no phone number to call, and asked to have the man’s rating removed, which you refused. This lowered her rating from five stars to three, due to her denying a strange, intoxicated man her tits and pussy. But her job isn’t to give her tits and pussy. That’s not the service you provide. Unless maybe I’ve been misinterpreting your use of the word “rides.”

So no, I won’t be signing up to confine myself alone in a vehicle with a stranger any time soon. My safety is not for sale, and no monthly sum of money is enough to justify that constant risk. Although an article on fastcompany.com points out that, “App-based services allow drivers to carry a lot less money, diminishing the potential for theft,” (Greenfield), the potential for assault remains all too real. Women are targeted regardless of the cash they carry. Women’s bodies are a currency of their own, and pursued as such.

In my friend’s case, it could have been much worse. What if he had been armed? Weapons aren’t always used to kill. Weapons force victims to submit to someone’s will, against their own. Most people would choose “Give me your money” or “Give me your pussy” over “Give me your life.” And, voila, another sexual assault. It’s that easy, guys! All you need is a gun.

Uber, I’m not blaming you for the society you were born into. Women have been sexually targeted by (some, not all) men since the dawn of civilization. It’s not your fault women face a disproportionate risk, but it is your responsibility to accommodate for it. The service you provide puts women in a more unsafe position, and you owe it to those women to take any measure you can to prevent such an assault. Perhaps you could install audio recorders, video cameras, and/or some kind of Life-Alert device in vehicles to notify somebody when a driver is at risk, and track their location. If you want more women, offer them an equal opportunity as men, to safely earn an income without having to wonder if their next passenger will be their next attacker. Until then, do me a favor and don’t ask me to drive for you again.

—D$

Open Letter to Drunk Boys at Parties

Dear Drunk Boy Lying Next to Me on Couch,

I drank too much tonight. You did too. This is a party. That’s what we were supposed to do. You tried to kiss me after my last shot, but I said no. I told you it was wrong to come onto me just because I’m fucked up. I’ve been sober with you dozens of times, and you’ve never made a move. So why tonight?

Is it because I needed to lay down? Is lying down a universal cue for any man to lay with me? Did you interpret my intoxicated state as an open invitation? It isn’t. You assumed, and you were wrong. And when I told you no, you didn’t stop. And I lay here, pretending to be sleeping, just to see how far you’ll go with a girl that you believe to be unconscious. I guess I should count myself “lucky” I’m lucid enough to stop you, if I need to.

But “luckily” for me, you don’t go that far. You keep your dick in your pants. But your hands… You hold me like I’m yours to hold. You pet me, like an animal. Except, unlike an animal, my coat isn’t attached. You take it off. You feel me up. You touch my skin against my will. Without consent. Without permission. And unlike all the women who are too drunk to say no, I said no, and you still did.

So why am I surprised? Maybe I’m surprised because you seem like a nice boy. Because you seem respectful when you’re sober. Because you don’t act sexist. Because you don’t act like a player. Because on the spectrum of men, you seem better-than-average. A gentleman, even. So to think that you, a respectful, better-than-average boy, who I thought I could trust, still feels entitled to touch me against my will, unsettles me.

It scares me.

But that isn’t what surprises me the most. You touching me without consent — to be expected. You, a man, taking advantage of a woman at a party when she’s drunk — standard procedure. Keeping your hands off my body is my responsibility, not yours. I guess I should thank you for reminding me. I guess this is what I get for being female. Why should your persistence come as a surprise? Who am I to deny you permission?

So that isn’t what surprises me the most. You holding me, caressing me and petting me, kissing my neck. You, the nice boy, violating me. What surprised me most was when you held my hand. Because it was so sweet. Because it was so innocent. Because it didn’t seem malicious. Because it seemed less like aggression or possession and more like loneliness. It confused me because, for a second, it felt like you were just as vulnerable as me.

Maybe you’re not a monster. Maybe you just want somebody to be close with. Maybe you don’t know how else to be close with me. Maybe you are a nice boy, after all, just lonely. If you are, the physical closeness you’re forcing isn’t what you’re looking for, and forcing it won’t help you find it. You want somebody who wants you too.

Maybe you’re scared to ask permission because you’re scared that I’ll say no. Scared I don’t want you. Scared that I’ll deny you. But I can say no either way, and you not asking me won’t stop me, just like me saying no didn’t stop you. And even if I didn’t say it, the absence of a no is not a yes. The yes is not implied. Implied consent does not exist. Sleeping is not implied consent. Being single is not implied consent. Being available is not implied consent. Me being drunk is not implied consent. Me looking nice tonight is not implied consent. Me being female is not implied consent. You being drunk is no excuse.

Just because you want it doesn’t mean it’s yours to take. Maybe your chances would be better if you asked.

Sincerely Not-Yours,

Drunk Chick

PS. Joke’s on you. I’m covered in scabies.