When Captain Marvel #1 first came out I was overjoyed because Carol Danvers is my #1 favorite Marvel super hero. I was so excited and then I hit the last 4 pages, where Helen Cobb is voicing over the panels (or whatever she’s doing) and I was flabbergasted. I handed it to my mother and she said,…
That’s so wonderful. Thank you for sharing that with me.
Real quick, because break time is just about over and I need to get back to work—I’ve got a story for you.
[EDITING TO ADD TRIGGER WARNINGS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT, JUST IN CASE.]
So… Maybe 15 years ago at this point? Maybe longer. I was working at Citigroup in New York and going clubbing in with my friends in the evenings. I smoked at the time, because I was an idiot.*
I think of myself as a fairly confrontational person—more so the older I get, but even as a young woman it was always a part of my concept of myself that I would speak my mind. Even so, one night at a club I found myself separated from my from my friends and pushed up against a wall by a drunk man I’d never seen before in my life. He was mumbling as though the thought I was someone else and physically restraining me as he attempted to put his hands in my clothes. I tried to get the attention of my friends, but I’m 5 feet tall and no one could see me. I called, but the music was too loud.
Here’s the thing: I had a lit cigarette in my hand, which, instead of putting out on his arm, I held politely out of the way with my stronger right hand while I tried to get him off me with my left and apologized to him that I wasn’t the person he thought I was.
I managed to get away by ducking down to the floor and crawling away, but I was shaken — by what had happened, yes, but more so by my reaction to it.
The next day I signed up for a full contact self defense class.
During my training—which I recommend to anyone and everyone, by the way—we did a stranger rape scenario. We simulated an attacker coming into our rooms at night, and we would each have to assess the situation and decide whether we would be able to escape to safety, talk our way out or fight. Each of the actors playing assailants took a different approach, so as students we had to be on our toes.
My assailant was psychotic. It was clear that I would have to fight or I could lose my life. Even though I knew it was all pretend, the way the man was talking to me made me cry… which made me angry (tears, anger and embarrassment are always closely linked for me).
I tried to call time out, but my coach wouldn’t let me. She made me fight and talked to me from the sidelines. She called targets, helping me through the fight (“Knees!” “Eyes!”) and gave me this bit, which I’ve never forgotten: ”You can cry while you kick his ass.”
I won the fight.
Bit of a ramble, I know, and not the kind of tears you were referring to, but just so you know? I have it on good authority that tears do not make you any less of a badass.
*What are you going to do, Stinky? Cough on me?