Opinion » Letters

Sexual assault should meet aggression



Camillia Lanham writes eloquently about sexual offenses in the commentary “Reality check” in the Oct. 27 issue of New Times. I came of age in Massachusetts during the 1950s when men’s advances were verbal and therefore easy to ignore. I went to Italy when I turned 21. Everywhere I walked men yelled, “blonda, bella, alta,” and then pinched my butt.

Foolishly, I accepted an invitation for a ride in a small sailboat out into the Mediterranean Sea. When we were out so far that we couldn’t see land, he made a physical pass at me. I dove overboard. The sails were up and the wind blew hard. I had to tread water for a half hour or so until he could get back to me. By then he was completely subdued and sailed me back to shore, so carefully.

In the early ’80s I returned to Italy and learned from all the women I met that Italian men no longer pinched them because they had begun to pinch men’s butts during the ’70s. Perhaps we should encourage college girls to stay somewhat sober so they can create some unexpected aggression next time they’re accosted.

-- Evelyn Cole - Arroyo Grande

-- Evelyn Cole - Arroyo Grande

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