This is part one of a two-part series.
Last year a friend let me know about a New Jersey-based indie filmmaker, actress, and dancer named Gabi Faye. She was creating a movie that had the working title of #metoo, in recognition of the countless people who were survivors of sexual harassment or sexual assault. She thought I would want to be involved in some way since I had written an article for one of the sites on which I have a regular column about the movement. It was called #metoo….you too?
After it was published, another memory came to the fore. I was in my early 20s and living alone in an apartment. My hair was down to my waist at the time. I had mostly felt safe as a single woman and blessedly had not had been assaulted as many I have known throughout my life. That was until I received a voice mail message and note on my windshield from a neighbor I had not met.
He told me that he wanted to wrap my long hair around his naked body.
My first thought was that he had been stalking me since he knew which car was mine and somehow he knew my name and got my phone number. I immediately called the police and reported it, turning both the note and the mini tape over to them. I then contacted a male friend who walked across the street with me, and we knocked on his door. He seemed surprised to see me. I told him what I had done and that if he didn’t refrain from contact and if the threat of the police involvement wasn’t sufficient, I would tell his wife. He went pale and stammered his response. I felt both vindicated and slimed that it happened in the first place.