I’m really confused.
Yesterday I was subjected to what I would describe (in very uncertain terms) as sexual assault. I say uncertain, because I don’t particularly feel victimized, never felt threatened, and — if I wasn’t writing this — would probably forget about it in a week’s time. Were our sexes reversed, I wouldn’t hesitate. If a man had done to a woman, what was done to me, police would have been called without question.
* * *
So I’m GM’ing a semi-public game. Some random people show up after a brunch date and join in. It makes for the critical minimum I need to start the game and they’re completely new — I describe the overall setting and idea of an RPG, one asks if it’s like acting.
We start playing, and it’s a game that has it’s common detachment problems. You found bodies — whatever, we’ll investigate. A thug comes out of the back — whatever, we’ll beat him up. He gives you the name of his boss — sure, we’ll seduce him for information.
This is about where it gets weird.
With a very live-acting style, the woman rubs her torso (I want to say “suggestively” here, but for accuracy I’d need a more imperative word), and the NPC I’m running plays along. It’s very in his oeuvre. She touches my hand while playing to his ego. Sure – she’s improv’ing a little. And then when she started unbuttoning my shirt while miming the gaudy seduction of this NPC, I realized the situation had gone much further than expected. I shut the scene down, and shortly after, they left.
I passed it off to the other people at the table as her having probably had several mimosas (a suspicion which was corroborated by the shop-owner). But I was left really uncomfortable with what had played out — and specifically recognized the situation as what is constantly being described by the vocal activists I know, as a sexual assault. Or was it?
* * *
A man’s chest is generally not subject to the same zoning as a woman’s. I wasn’t groped, per se. So what happened? Do I get to talk about this without being derogatorily lumped into the “Men’s Rights Advocacy” camp? I’ve always heard that men can be raped, first and foremost from my mother. And more recently, I hear that that comment basically triggers spam-filtering and almost always accounts that person unworthy of notice because they’re usually twisting the conversation away from places where it’s a problem (the sole exceptions being made for men who have actually been subjected to rape/sexual assault).
That said, I can’t for the life of me discern whether or not this qualifies as a valid assault tale. That despite the fact that I was touched in a way that made me very uncomfortable, I never felt threatened, I was not hurt, and I don’t expect that I will feel any great anxiety over the event. Does it count for me?