After A Man Punched Her In The Vagina, This Woman's Rights Activist Had The Best Response
Get ready to feel a potent mix of fury and vicarious pride because this story about a woman’s response to being punched in the vagina — yes, punched in the vagina — by a stranger on a public street is equal parts enraging and inspiring. Enraging because it’s completely unfathomable how anyone could believe that randomly punching another person in the genitals is OK in any context whatsoever, and inspiring because this woman handled the situation like a total badass, refusing to let her alleged attacker get away with his disgusting behavior and even forcing him to apologize to her on camera.
In a June 26 Facebook post, a woman named “Azmina” alleged that she had been assaulted by a man on the street in London. “Yesterday evening, I was walking down the street with my boyfriend in Fitzrovia and a man walked passed me and punched me in my vagina,” she wrote. “I was shocked — and it took a moment for me to comprehend what had just happened — that I had just been violated and sexually assaulted in my city, in the middle of a street in Central London….”
“I yelled at the guy to stop as he walked away and told him that he just sexually assaulted me and that it was NOT okay,” she recalled. According to Azmina, her alleged attacker reacted with hostility and acted as if he wanted to fight with Azmina’s boyfriend. Azmina, a women’s rights campaigner, attempted to contact the police, but was unsuccessful. She said that the man told her to stop following him. “[A]t this point, I blew up and told him that he has no right to say that to me after grabbing my vagina in the middle of a street simply because he felt like he was entitled to my body,” she wrote, continuing,
[I] asked him why he did it, why felt like he could walk down the street and sexually assault me. Was it because he assumed there would be no consequences? That I would just remain silent and get over it? Was it because I was a young-ish woman? Because I am a brown skinned woman? Did he think it was okay because I was wearing heels? He responded that it was because ‘I was attractive and he was intoxicated.’
Excuse me while I scream for a moment.
Azmina claimed that, when the man finally realized that she had really been attempting to contact police, he changed his tune quickly, and began to apologize (while at the same time telling her “not make such a big deal out of it,” because of course). Ultimately, she had him apologize to her on camera. In the video (which you can watch here), the man says, “You are a very beautiful woman that I found attractive, but doing that was totally wrong on every level and I really am sorry.” Azmina asks him to name what, exactly, he’s sorry about. “Punching you in the crotch,” he says.
In her Facebook post, Azmina writes,
I don’t know why I decided to take a video, but it was probably because I wanted to use this experience to share this one incredibly simple message — sexual harassment is never okay. I don’t care if you find me attractive and you just had 10 jager bombs, you do not get to act upon whatever entitled feelings our society has convinced you that you have over me because you are a man and I am a woman. And if you act upon those entitled feelings, there will be consequences.
She tells readers, “Share this video. Shame this guy. Spread this message.” The message is, indeed, spreading, with Azmina’s post garnering more than 71,000 views since she posted it three days ago.
In an interview with The Independent, Azmina said she’s “completely humbled and overwhelmed” by the support she’s received from viewers, adding, “I feel empowered by what I've done.” She emphasized, however, that there is no single “correct” response to sexual harassment and assault, and that, although confronting her attacker was empowering for her, it may not be the right, or safe, decision for all victims of assault. “The only reason I was able to do what I did was because I'm a women's rights campaigner, I have a support system in place of friends and feminist lawyers that allowed me to do what I did,” she explained. “But not everyone has that, I don't want this to be seen as the standard. I don't want to be glorified for what I did or make women feel bad for not being able to confront their aggressor in the past.”
You can read Azmina’s full Facebook post here.
Images: NBC Universal; Giphy