When I was six years old I went to sleep away camp, I remember an older boy putting me in his lap and making me squirm by tickling me. I got this sick feeling inside, even though I didn’t understand what was happening, I somehow knew that what he was doing was wrong. The following summer I went to a day camp. They offered a one-night sleep over which I was excited about. An older boy took me out alone for a late night walk. I don’t know why he picked me. I remember being in pajamas and walking barefoot in the grass. We sat on a bench and he asked me to hold onto a stick he had in his hand. It was very dark, and I couldn’t see. He then took my hand and placed it on something that didn’t feel like a stick at all. I got that sick feeling again, and quickly pulled my hand away. I said I wanted to go back inside. I’m grateful he let me go. When I was ten my family and I were at some kind of dress up event. A boy I didn’t know pinned me against a wall and thrust his tongue in my mouth. I was startled, it happened so fast. It was more of an assault than a kiss. Had I misled him? Had I unknowingly invited this kind of male attention? It’s sad that women are even taught to ask that question. Our culture has made us believe that just because of our femaleness we could be the cause of your bad behavior. Were these adolescent boys innocent? After all, weren’t they just trying to gratify themselves at my expense? Was there something about little me that attracted that kind of behavior? Was I to blame for being so adorable? Hell No!! There will never be a justified excuse for disrespecting another human being. You may think it’s okay because the world has allowed you to think it was okay. We’ve all heard the saying “Boys will be boys.” Guess what? that won’t fly anymore. You are accountable and we are giving you fair warning. Welcome to the new normal. We are watching you and we will no longer make excuses for your lack of respect.