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Speechless and ashamed no more

Ceili Doyle, Senior Staff Senior

Two weeks before break I heard two students discussing their previous night out. One was talking adamantly about a girl one of the boys had hooked up with that night.

"Dude, she was so sloppy it wasn't even worth it."

I could stand on a soapbox all day and preach feminism and condemn the terrifying statistics that plague this campus: the reality that one in four women admits to being sexually assaulted at Miami University should be enough. But it is not.

I never thought that I would allow myself to become a statistic of sexual assault. To be honest, I struggled to even type those two words and associate them with myself.

I never thought that I would be the kind of girl to blame myself. I never thought I would get so drunk that I would have no ability to say no or to even think that "no" should have been the only appropriate response.

I never even explicitly said no. One series of events led to another and I found myself trying to muster the strength to stop this total stranger before things progressed any further and shove him out of the door and out of my brain.

I suppose I should consider myself lucky -- it could have been worse. The old me would be appalled at my feelings. Why aren't I enraged? Why can't I look anyone in the eye and talk about this?

I'm torn between wanting to block out the pieces I remember and the desire to be the passionate advocate I used to be, or at least I am for everyone but myself.

I'm not even sure I can even blame anyone else but myself and I don't know why. Everything that I've ever supported, read or advocated for seems to have slipped from my mind.

I feel as though I should be actively doing something but the fact of the matter is that I don't even remember his name. I don't know if that makes it better or worse -- that I let a perfect stranger coerce me into hooking up in the study room of my hall, or that even if I wanted to take action I was hopeless.

I feel pathetic, and all I want to do is forget. I am supposed to be a strong, independent feminist, but all I want to do is forget. I feel so embarrassed and I cannot shake the feeling that it's on me.

I am struggling with this sense of shame that I cannot even fully fathom, because to truly acknowledge it is to admit that I allowed myself to get so drunk that I could not even say no, and that makes me feel disgusted with myself.

How have we created a culture where any asshole with a charming smile can take advantage of a girl so drunk the only decision she should be allowed to make is to go to bed?

How have we established that consent is not even a question to be entertained -- not even a passing thought?

How do we allow a man to be elected president who continues to perpetuate this culture through his "locker room talk?"

For every one out of four women on this campus, I am so sorry that the statistics do not lie.

Talk is no less excusable than action, and I am all out of talk.