Short Story Sunday: Slut

College is starting soon. One of the big things everyone is talking about is sexual assault on campus or in college towns. I’ve talked about it with my two kids who are in college. Everyone has, at least everyone who is a decent parent.

So I get this call from Hodge Williams. Yes, that Hodge Williams. Everyone remembers him.

“Bart, how are you?” As soon as he spoke I wondered what he wanted.

“Hodge. Fine. Great. Life is good. What’s up?”

“I’m writing a story on the history of sexual harassment and violence at universities in the US. I tried to contact your sister but she wouldn’t return my calls.”

“Beth?”

“Yes, Beth. She kind of got around so I was thinking she might have experienced first hand, you know, she was at risk.”

“What do you mean by at risk?”

“Oh come on, your sister was a slut. Everyone knew it.”

I sat there with the phone a bit stunned. He just called my sister a slut.

“Hodge, you’re an asshole. In fact you’ve always been an asshole.” I hung up the phone. What an asshole.

After sitting for a few minutes and collecting my thoughts I called my sister and told her about the conversation.

“What an asshole,” she said. “Sure I was sleeping with his best friend without the benefit of being his best friend’s official girlfriend. OK I also slept with another one of his friends but we were in college. We were young.”

“Did you ever sleep with Hodge?”

“No. Hell no. He was always making passes at me and grabbing me. Hodges had that Madonna/Whore things going on in his head. A girl was either a virgin until marriage or a whore. Plus we’re not like him, you know the religion thing, so he just assumed I was a whore.”

“But you didn’t have sex with him.”

“I know. That makes me a whore. He called any girl who wouldn’t have sex with him a whore.”

“What an asshole.”

“I know. Believe me, I know. I mean, if the guy had asked me to go see a movie or go for a walk or just spent time talking that would have been different but he was just all over me like…yuck. He really called you? I can’t believe he’d have the gall to do that. Asshole.”

After we got off the phone with the promise of a lunch date later in the week I got to thinking about my own kids.

I’d spoken with both my daughter and son about sexual predators. I’ve done the best to teach them not to be bully bait. I’ve taught them to stand up for themselves and for others.

From experience I knew that bullies never grow up and most don’t change. 

Hodge never got the answer he wanted. Over the years Beth had a few close calls with sexual predators but she always ended up safe either by being with friends or using physical force to get out of it (exactly twice as she told me.) That didn’t include unwanted advances by guys like Hodge. And even though Hodge didn’t use force it still hurt emotionally that he’d think so little of her or of any girl.

I wanted to pound the crap out of him. Then I thought about how many other women out there who thought the guy was an asshole. That made me smile. Spread the word ladies, spread the word.

That evening after work I talked to my wife about it. She shook her head and said she’d had similar experiences. More anger surged through my brain, then sadness deep in my soul.

We all judge others. We all make assumptions. We all call names even if it isn’t out loud. We all talk behind the backs of others. Maybe we need to stop. It isn’t easy. It isn’t even practical.

Anyway, if you see Hodge Williams call him and an asshole and tell him that Beth and Bart say hello.

vm girl in woods

17 thoughts on “Short Story Sunday: Slut

  1. Good job on this one. I’ve seen so many guys like Hodge and it always irks me when they open their mouths. Thanks for bringing this issue up. Bullying in any form is wrong.

    • It does get thrown around way too much and some guys are so quick to judge and live by the double standard. They’re assholes and everybody knows it but we have to keep reminding ourselves of that. Nobody need to take that kind of crap. No girl deserves to be called a slut, especially by the Hodges of the world.

      Thanks for the reblog Mandy. xoxox

    • HA! Thanks! Unfortunately there are too many Hodges out there. We just need to let our kids know that they CAN fight back with their words and actions against these pests.

  2. Reblogged this on THE MASKED MUJER and commented:
    Now that the new school year has started I would like to tell all the young ladies out there to be safe from predators and “assholes” like Hodge Williams mentioned in the Vampire Maman blog post, “Short Story Sunday: Slut.” (*See below) Oh yes dear, they are out there.

    This story made me recall a time in my younger 20’s when after much cajoling from two of my sisters to go out with them, I went. I had been going through a deep depression from various circumstances that were beyond my control e.g. an unspoken of secret surgery, the harrowing shame that this secret surgery — of which the truth was not even revealed to me — and the breakup of my relationship with someone all made me have a hard time wrapping my head around it all; thinking it was because I didn’t matter all due to my secret shame, plus the tumult of youthful questions of “what will I make of my life.” All this angst was a soupy sandwich mess which turned me into quite the recluse. Why do I tell you all this? Well, it was because of this state of mind I was not alert. I was not my usual discerning and astute self. In this state of mind I went out dancing at a nightclub with my sisters.

    As soon as we entered the nightclub My gorgeous and popular sisters disbursed to dance and meet with friends leaving me quite alone and lonely in a sea of painted and smiling and laughing faces, slow motion dancing and gyrating bodies to deafening pulsating beats. I remember the potent smell of hard liquor shaken and stirred with strong cologne and sweet pungent and musky perfumes iced down with sexual phernomes and this odor permeated the entire disco twirling ball scene. Yeah, it was like that for me.

    Anyway, Mr. Unknown and Smooth, approaches me with an icey Long Island Ice tea. Anyone that know those drinks knows it is a potent mixture of various alcoholic mish mash. Two of those drinks later — bought ever so kindly by Mr. Smooth, and I was gyrating with the rest of them. Then, I blacked out in the middle of the dance floor. Oh yes I did.

    He then slung me over his shoulder and as the sea of revelers parted was heard saying, “My girlfriend drank too much.” Friends of my sister said they also heard him say this to the bouncers as he walked out. A girl from our hometown saw the whole scene and even thought she had seen him put something in my drink. A mickied drink, maybe? Anyway, this nice girl found my sisters and told them what happened and they in turn ran to the bouncers and they all caught him slinging me into a dark and low Porsche as my head very hardly hit the door frame. After shoving me in his car my sisters grabbed my arm from one end and he on the other arm not knowing they were my sisters.

    “Hey! My girlfriend drank too much. What are you doing?!”

    To which my sisters replied as the bouncers threw him to the ground,

    “This is our sister. Asshole!! She doesn’t know you!”

    After the ordeal, police reports, arrest, etc. I became terrified thinking,

    “Where was he taking me?”

    In retrospect this man saw a “victim.” Remember I mentioned my state of mind? I was not alert. I was not discerning and astute. I accepted an open drink from a perfect stranger. My guard was down. I was lonely and depressed. I had deep shame for something beyond my control. All these things, all this crazy energy, was surrounding me and permeated in and from me. Basically, creating a psychic neon sign to any and all predators and Hodge Williams of the universe to see a “Victim.” Yes, they are drawn to those psychic neon signs like a moth to a flame.

    Had it not been for our town friend who knew us and our family, and had it not been for my beautiful sisters and bouncers who knows what would have happened. I could have been fodder for the surrounding local desert javelinas and coyotes after being brutally beaten or raped, or both.

    This is a true story.

    Now that the school year has begun and the world is in turmoil all around us, make sure to take heed and go out with a clear head. Be discerning, smart, and astute of people and your surroundings. Oh, and watch the bartenders make your own drinks if you aren’t opening a bottle yourself!

    Yes, now that school has begun watch out for the assholes, the presators, and for HODGE Williams…

    • Oh Diana that is awful. But thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. We have to watch out for our friends and others – always. Asshole Alert at all times! Thank you for reflagging. Hugs sweetie. xoxo

  3. Reading this post made me feel torn inside, Juliette. Me being bullied isn’t that long time ago that I don’t remember anymore how terrible it was….

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  5. A very powerful post, Juliette. And thank you, all you men who read this blog, whenever you call another guy on this sort of behavior. Because we have a tendency to just blow off bullies thinking that their actions aren’t really all THAT harmful or maybe they really didn’t mean what they said or the target can handle that sort of comment, they assume the world accepts their behavior.

    A simple, “hey dude, that’s rude!” said 100 times may start to sink into their petty little crash brains.

    • “Hey dude, that’s rude!” I like it! Unfortunately the double standard just won’t go away, along with egotistical, closed minded, judgmental people. And YES we (girls) DO notice and appreciate guys who are NOT like Hodge. We love you guys!

      Thanks Becky. xoxox

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