TW: Sexual harassment and LOTS of cursing
Hey there, me again!
So, I got to be the Easter Bunny on Sunday! Which was actually one of the best things ever. I figured out the only way I like to interact with small children is when I am completely covered in synthetic fur, wearing a giant plastic mask, and I don’t have to talk at all.
I got so many little-kid-hugs and little-kid-high-fives and so many little kids saying “Happy Easter, Easter Bunny, you’re so soft!”. I got to see all the little kid faces filled with little kid joy and I didn’t have to be in actual physical contact with any of them. My favorite were the ones who were really shy but then eventually gave me fist-bumps. SO GOOD!
But there was one interaction that was, to say the least, unwelcome. I took plenty of pictures with adults, lots of grandparents, and embarrassed teenagers and the like, so when one group of adults asked if I’d come take a picture, I did my standard Easter Bunny thumb’s up which was my way of silently saying yes. Nodding in the Easter Bunny costume was something of a challenge since it was about five times the size of my actual head.
I went over and joined the group, sweating profusely, barely able to see anything, and silently counting down the seconds before I could head back to my safe haven to rest for a few minutes before making another round. All was well, until I felt a dude’s hand on my breast.
If you had asked me before what I would do in this situation I would have given you an earful. I would yell at the dude, probably punch him in the face, at least get him kicked out of the restaurant for the rest of his life, and then hop off in a righteous rage. I am a strong independent woman and I don’t take shit from nobody.
And here is what I actually did: nothing.
I got out of the group as quickly as I could, finished my circuit of saying hi to little children, and finally made it to the back room where I could take off my rabbit head and breathe.
I was so angry. I couldn’t even tell where to start. I didn’t want to cry. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it. I just wanted the dude to die.
Because here’s the thing. He made me feel ashamed. Ashamed that I didn’t say anything immediately. I know I should have, but I didn’t want to cause a scene. I didn’t want to spoil some little kid’s Easter by submitting them to an Easter bunny beating up a douchebag. I didn’t want to worry my managers who were already swamped on one of the busiest days of the year. I didn’t want to tell my friends because they’ve had to deal with this shit enough. I didn’t want my family or other people to get upset over something as stupid as this. I only told a few of my male friends because, as predicted, they didn’t get it. I was angry and ashamed and I finally experienced firsthand why most sexual harassment or sexual assault cases go unreported.
By the time I got myself together again and re-bunny-suited-up, the group was already gone. So I told myself there was nothing I could do about it anyway. Nothing except replay over and over again all the stories of my friends who have been assaulted, all my fellow women who have experienced harassment like this and so much worse.
If there were ever any doubt that it’s not about what you wear, here it is. I was wearing a MOTHERFUCKING EASTER BUNNY COSTUME. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t breathe, could barely see, and was mostly there because I’m kind of broke at the moment. I was trying to bring joy to some little kids and I was GROPED.
If there were ever any doubt that sexual harassment leaves its victims silent, here it is. I, who for all my life have believed in myself as a person and a woman, couldn’t bring myself to turn in one idiotic asshole.
If there were ever any doubt that ALL WOMEN experience sexual harassment, sexual violence, or sexual discrimination, stop doubting it.
To the asshole who groped me: fuck you for making me doubt myself even for a second, fuck you for taking advantage of me when I was already on the verge of passing out, fuck you for turning something that was otherwise completely joyful into something horrifying, fuck you for reminding me of all the terrible things men do to women.
I refuse to let this sully my life. I had an awesome time being the Easter bunny and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I feel honored that I got to be a part of so many family’s celebrations. It reminded me of my family and how much I love and miss them. I am still going to take joy in all of life’s experiences. I am still going to go on walks alone at night. I am still a strong independent woman who doesn’t take shit from nobody.
I refuse to be beaten by assholes like you.
Happy Easter, everyone. Take care of yourselves.