Awakening – 2016
The autumn I started untangling myself from D was when the country was at the crossroad to choose the new commander in chief between two candidates. Even to an observer as myself, the choice seemed obvious. One was an experienced and highly qualified then-Secretary of State, and the other was a hate-mongering and entitled byproduct of American capitalism.
Every day, stories were exposed about the orange-faced man as he uttered either racist or sexist things or both. One particularly disturbing one was a recorded conversation between him and a TV presenter, in which he bragged he could do anything to women because he was a star, even grabbing them by the pussy. The media and its audience on the left side were furious not only about the comment itself but also about the right that acquitted the man that it was just “locker-room talk.” D said to me, “Please don’t think it as locker-room talk. It was awful, and not all men act like him.” I guessed he said this to declare his decency, that HE was not like the man.
A few months later, D told me in front of my friends that I didn’t understand something (I don’t recall what, possibly, about the interpretation of Taming of the Shrew, as I opposed to his opinion that it was a love story) because I couldn’t speak English. Emboldened by the minorities’ narratives surged since the presidential election, I told him later in the car that what he said was rude and hurtful. His energy tensed, and he shouted at me, “You won’t be able to go far in the world if you get so sensitive about little things!”
D walked the Women’s March that winter, and The Walk Against Rape in spring with me. In a couple of months after that, I completely detached myself from him. But it took another year until I was awoken to the fact of how D had violated my physical boundaries was much worse than I had initially understood.