An Open Letter To My Groper

I Wish You Karma

Dear Mr. Groper,

I guess Mr. Groper is unnecessary since I’ve never been groped by a woman, but I digress… and in my opening sentence! There is so much I want to say to you that I barely know where to begin.

I’ll start by telling you that I finally spoke to your ex-wife a few days ago. She was amazingly gracious and open to my phone call, as I described how you groped me 25 years ago. You asked me to show you where our bathroom was and grabbed my breasts as I reached for the light switch. You don’t remember? Of course you don’t, because I don’t think women even register as people to you.

Anyway, after you “honked” my breasts at the dinner party we had at my house, I separated from your wife too, not just you. It’s another reason I called her. Regarding that “honk,” do you think that all women’s boobs are merely flesh toys for your enjoyment? That is SO juvenile! Oh, here I am digressing again.

After the party, my then-husband, Greg, and I discussed your hands and where they’d gone. What should I do? He offered to call you, but as a feminist I didn’t want him fighting my battles. That would primarily reinforce the idea that women are chattel their “owners” argue and fight over. “You touched my woman! How dare you, sir! I will meet you in Griffith Park at dawn, where we shall duel!” No. I am a full person, not a thing to manhandle according to your whims. How I dealt with the situation was that I wrote about you in one of the first published anthologies on Sexual Harassment in 1992.

I am keeping your identity anonymous; however, rest assured I’ll be posting this on my social media feeds and sending you a link in a Facebook IM. Oh yes, I know you’re on Facebook. We are “friends,” although you are not my friend. I’ve kept my eye on you. From appearances, you’re still as arrogant, shallow and clueless as you were 25 years ago.

I am primarily keeping you anonymous because of the love and respect I have for your ex-wife and kids. Here you are, benefitting from their protection. You won’t suffer consequences, unlike the “Big Boys” who are now finally facing the long-overdue music. You are in stellar company although you’ve never been quite as audacious as them, whose activities range from “naughty hands” to out and out rape. You see, you and your ilk’s behavior doesn’t just impact your victims but your families, too. I could care less what you think of me. However, should your children know what a boor and a putz you are? I’ll leave that to the ex-wife whose children you share. I just hope they can learn from your mistakes, not even knowing what those mistakes are. You apparently haven’t.

On one level, I’m very aware that a breast squeeze is making mountains out of my molehills. In the scope of the universe, it’s not a big deal; it is what we’re mindful of calling a “first world problem.” What is a big deal is the decades-long accumulation of similar slights, grabs, being invisible, treated like a second or third-class citizen, never being allowed to ever, ever, forget that I’m a female. You don’t know how good you have it. You don’t have to endure unwanted remarks about your body’s size, shape, breasts. You have the luxury of being an individual. I’ve never had that luxury.

Are all men as dickish as you are? No. I’ve actually dated “important” men who listened to me! I’m recalling one media man in particular who, may he rest in peace, was a professor of mine many years ago. I sent him a note in an adult education class he taught, telling him how attractive I found him, and could I take him to dinner? He wrote back and said that our power dynamic was such that as my professor, he didn’t want to take advantage. However, after a dignified 6 months had passed, he did call me, and we dated for about a year. Now, that’s classy.

And yes, I’ve also had my share of complete pigs on my roster of males I have known. And you are a champion blue-ribbon porcine, having the gall to maul me in my own home with your wife in the next room! Really? EWWW!! I wish I’d kicked you in the galls (intentional wordplay) or at the very least given you a swift kick in the shins. I would have loved to hear you scream like a little boy. (Just like little girls, little boys also scream.)

I hope you get some karmic payback from someone else since I missed my window of opportunity.

Very sincerely not yours, Ellen

NOTE: This article is an updated and expanded version of my column in the Pasadena Weekly that originally ran on December 7, 2017

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