Careful, this post might be upsetting.
I still remember it like it was yesterday. I still feel the anger, the shame, and the powerlessness even though I had done nothing wrong apart from being female.
It was a school day like every other day. Waiting outside in the rain, in the early morning. A small part of the schoolyard was covered, but I didn’t want to get in there. It was dark, and it smelled foul. More cars in the streets. The boys, some harmless, some little thugs in training, were leaning against the wall opposite to me, next to the entrance. All together, like a pack.
The bell rang. I was relieved that I would get inside again. I would not have to go on talking to some girls who were mean to me so that I didn’t end up on my own. And I would avoid confrontations. I had always been the head of the class, my family was not from here, and there was a constant rampant bullying.
Just like you brush your teeth, you pray, it would buff your soul a bit, and everybody then had the radiance of good people.
We had to line up, get to the classroom, wait outside, then the teacher would tell us to get in. Then he would take the register, and then there would be prayers or even religious songs. It was ok with me. I loved God, Jesus, Mary, and all the saints. The prayers had a reassuring monotonous quality, just like you brush your teeth, you pray, it would buff your soul a bit, and everybody then had the radiance of good people.
But today was a special day. We were told that there was a new student and that he was from a town, an urban area, not from a village. I must say that it made me feel joyful. I thought that maybe we could be friends. He would not be like all those locals who kept bullying me. I was so pleased.
But that boy was just like the other boys. Except worse. He had a thing for girls.
He had a thing for girls.
We were about 12 years old. I won’t say we were innocent, lots of children were from an agricultural background and they were used to see animals copulate. It was also the time when the radio would broadcast considerable sexual, misogynistic and racist jokes at lunch time.
I am not trying to find that boy excuses. But he had mitigating circumstances. The culture was toxic, and so were the adults around.
He tried to stick his fingers into my pudendal cleft.
Still, after a few days at school, he started pestering me, telling me that his father knew mine. That he would do something bad to him if I were to say anything. And then, every time he could, he would run after me, bursting out of nowhere, and then tried to stick his fingers into my pudendal cleft, pressing really hard. It would happen in the schoolyard, in the corridors, or even as we were leaving the directed study room. I would yell, telling him not to touch me. Strangely enough, nobody would do anything. Bystanders. Maybe some were enjoying my turmoil, schadenfreude seemed to be common here.
I was feeling so angry, so ashamed, so powerless.
One day, he was gone.
One day, he was gone. He was expelled. Apparently he had done to other girls what he did to me, and the school had to take action to protect them.
It’s a pity they didn’t protect me.
This is how I discovered that bullying, even at school, could be sexual too.