This has become a common theme these days. “Netflix & chill” has upgraded hookup culture to new heights. But at what cost?
In my experience, this concept can prove to be very dangerous. Yet it has only led me to wonder, how many women have encountered similar situations? How many women actually wanted to only watch a movie & unwind yet ended up giving into or forced to have sex instead?
My incident started innocently enough though now I look back & think he probably had it all planned. We weren’t dating but hung out occasionally, I was teaching him English in exchange for him teaching me Spanish. One night, he invited me over for dinner at his place. In my mind, I was ready for only dinner & planned to maybe go out a bit later with some schoolmates since it was post-exams. My night turned out a lot differently than I expected.
While he cooked, he told me I could pick a movie that we could watch while we ate. Netflix was already on his television. In all honesty, I thought nothing of it. I hadn’t heard of most of the movies listed & by the time I found one, dinner was ready.
It was an old western movie if I remember correctly but I can’t really recall. All I know is that after finishing my food, I was really drowsy (I later learned he spiked my milkshake) and I looked over to see him knocked out. He was my ride home so I had no choice but to stay put. I like to think that if I had been in my right mind, I wouldn’t have laid down beside him & fallen asleep.
I woke up to him pulling down my jeans and slapping his penis across my ass. I protested & tried to push him away, my arm awkwardly bent behind me. When he shoved it away, I froze. In that moment, I was really scared that I’d end up dead. I remember thinking “this can’t be happening.” As he pushed himself into me I cried & begged him to stop. I tried to get away and was pushed against the wall. His moans drowned me out as if he was getting pleasure based off of my distress. I remember becoming silent as I dissociated from what was happening, feeling nothing as I thought “I hate men.” Looking up at the open window hoping someone heard my cries from the other house & would come save me. Nobody came. I don’t know how long it continued but it was over soon enough.
It’s been almost 3 months & I still have trouble accepting that I was raped. It seems like a foreign idea & my mind tries to protect me from it by going into a haze whenever the thought comes up. The crazy thing? I went to the police & they never arrested him. The police officer didn’t try to hide that he didn’t believe my story. “Why did you watch a movie at his house? The judge will have a hard time believing you” he let me know. The doctor was the same way. “Why would you have sex with him?” “I DIDNT HAVE SEX WITH HIM, HE RAPED ME!” It was the most insensitive way Ive ever been treated & sent me into a really bad headspace. I felt like I was being assaulted all over again.
As much as I’d like to believe that my experience with officials was like this because it happened abroad (they aren’t too fond of Americans here), research shows that survivors encounter similar reactions in the US as well. I now feel called to be a voice for the victims who were unheard, for the victims who had to change jobs/cities/schools just to feel safe, for the survivors who are dealing with the aftermath of PTSD long after the trauma took place. At the same time, I want to warn all women, especially the younger generation who may become trapped in a “Netflix & Chill” situation who thinks the only way out is by giving in. You are NOT obligated to share your body with anyone. And it is in your best interest to find your voice & speak up if you’re ever put in an uncomfortable situation. If they try to force you, scream at the top of your lungs & get the hell out of there if at all possible. Defend yourself by keeping pepper spray or a taser on hand. Drastic measures, yes, but I pray above all else that no woman I encounter will ever have to deal with the dark side of “Netflix & Chill”.