Reporter Mia Rodriguez shares her story as part of the #metoo movement
Opinion by Mia Rodriguez | reporter
When I was in kindergarten, a kid said “I will show you mine, if you show me yours.” He showed me his penis.
I was young and confused, as I did not understand. I ran away from him because I did not want to see it.
When I was in middle school, I was grabbing something from the bottom of my locker when a guy grabbed and slapped my rear end and ran. It scared me, so I went and told the teacher, who said “Maybe you were just in his way while he was passing by.”
I went back to my locker, then the same guy came back up to me and said, “Why did you snitch? You should be lucky anyone would touch you” before he left. My heart sank and I stood there in disbelief.
When I turned 18 and started making my own decisions. I decided to download a dating app called Tinder. On Tinder, I matched with a boy and arranged plans to meet up.
I met up with him in Emporia. He was very sexually aggressive.
“Are we gonna have sex or what?” he asked. I looked at him and said “I don’t know.”
He told me to leave and that I wasted his time.
After going to school in Emporia, I moved back to Wichita and started working. My co-worker, ten years older than me, complimented me every day and asked if I was losing weight.
I worked alone with him late at night and he liked to stare at me and ask me about my sexuality. He would ask me about “my type” of people to date and ask “How are you single?”
I would not answer.
He asked me on dates and I would say no.
“Why?” he asked.
I told him he is not my type, I am only 18 and he is a lot older than me.
Later, I quit that job because of him and other reasons.
When I was 19, I met a guy and had been seeing him for a while. He told me to do things I did not want to do. I would say no, but he would put his hand on my thigh and ask “Why not?”
“I don’t want to,” I said. He said, “Okay.”
Later in the night, his hand was in my pants. I told him to stop and he did stop for a second, but then he said, “I bought you something to eat so you owe me.”
“You bought me a $1 burger,” I said in my head. This happened twice.
I asked some people about the incident and most said, “You went to his house, what did you expect?” I never questioned it again.
He kept asking me to come over. One night and I told him no because I was busy.
“You are not busy, do not make excuses. You know you want to see me,” he said.
He continued texting and guilting me then I told him to leave me alone. I never saw him again.
At 20 years old, I went to a concert. A guy grabbed my rear end and smacked it, I turned around thinking it was my boyfriend, but he was in the bathroom. I told the stranger not do it again and he responded with “Do not dress like that.” I was wearing a T-shirt and jeans.
Now I watch my back but have learned to speak up, instead of keeping everything to myself and being scared. I am stronger and happier now, and I am not afraid of anyone anymore.