Originally posted on September 9, 2010.
A few nights ago, I got drunk and knocked on my roommate's door and confessed my attraction to him while he was lying in bed in nothing more than his skivvies. And then I asked him if I could sleep in his room because our other roommate—whose bedroom is directly above mine—was having sex so loudly that I couldn't sleep. Which was true, but it clearly didn't make the bed of the roommate I was drunkenly confessing to the appropriate alternative. Not being able to sleep on work nights is sometimes a real problem, but one to be addressed with her, not used as drunken fodder to get into someone else's bed.
I feel pathetic and embarrassed for having thrown myself at my roommate and completely freaked out that I got wasted enough to do something I have daydreamed about but wouldn't do sober. But much more importantly, I think my behavior did not reflect active consent, trashed my roommate's boundaries, and was generally creepy—all characteristics of sexual assaulters.
I am biologically female, and if the situation were reversed, I would commit a huge double standard because I would back any woman who did not feel safe continuing to live with a dude who did what I did. I feel like I should be held accountable and move out immediately, though my housemate has told me he doesn't feel threatened and that I should stay.
Help. I feel like a total piece of shit for having done this and can't stop wondering...
Am I A Sexual Predator?
My response after the jump...
Calm the fuck down—and no more women's studies classes for you, okay? I think you've had quite enough, and I'm cutting you off.
Look, AIASP, you didn't assault anyone, you're not a predator, you shouldn't have to move out. You made a drunken, ill-advised-in-retrospect pass at a roommate. If that makes someone a "sexual predator," AIASP, then we'd better build walls around our better universities and start calling 'em all penitentiaries.
As for that double standard: In light of your recent experience—you made a drunken pass at someone who wasn't interested in you—you might want to revisit the assumptions you've made about men who make passes, drunken and otherwise, at women who aren't interested in them. Making a pass is not grounds for eviction or conviction. It's how a person makes a pass (did you pounce or did you ask?) and how a person reacts if the pass is rebuffed (did you graciously take no for an answer or were you a complete asshole about it?) that matters.
Of course, men's passes at women—roommates and otherwise—exist in a context of male sexual violence. So it's understandable that a woman might feel uncomfortable living with a dude who did what you did. But if the dude wasn't a creep about it and graciously took no for an answer (if the answer was no), perhaps he should be judged as an individual and not as someone who bears responsibility for the collective crimes committed by members of his sex throughout history.
And even if you were an asshole about that no, AIASP, that still wouldn't make you a sexual predator. You're only a sexual predator—or guilty of sexual assault—if you refuse to take no for an answer and force yourself on someone. (Or if you go after someone who is incapable of granting consent.) You didn't force yourself on anyone. All you're guilty of, AIASP, is asking someone whom you wanted to fuck if he wanted to fuck you. It's a legit question, and no one gets fucked without asking it.
And that simple question doesn't magically become sexual assault or harassment when the answer is no.