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Were it so easy...
1 year ago
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Stickied post

I'm a Women's Reporter covering gender issues, activism and sexual violence for HuffPost. My beat includes reporting on sexism, sexual violence and feminism in entertainment, sexism in politics, high-profile sexual assault cases, sex workers' rights, sexual abuse in sports, and other systemic issues including violence against women, America's rape kit backlog and abortion rights. Recently, I've covered the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case, the perspectives of his survivors and the subsequent reckonings of USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. Between Nassar, Bill Cosby and the recent #MeToo movement, the voices of sexual assault survivors and our cultural perspectives on sexual violence has never been more important. I'm happy to answer questions about these topics or any related ones!


EDIT: This AMA has ended — thank you all for your thoughtful questions!


I’m 23, work full time, live on my own, and am getting my PhD. I haven’t had a serious boyfriend ever, just casual dating. And I am totally fine with that. But nobody else is.

All of my relatives and friends are CONSTANTLY trying to set me up. Everywhere we go, it’s “look there’s a cute guy go talk to him!” What?!? I’m sorry but why the hell would I approach some random person in the grocery store and try to flirt? I know nothing about him and he’s not there to pick up women. Plus I’m HAPPY.

My moms the worst. She’ll outright ask strangers in public if they’d want to date me/think I’m cute. She’s constantly trying to set me up with ANY man who will listen. She recently tried to get me to date her coworkers son who’s 19 and lives three hours away (and honestly, seems extremely ugly and rude from his Facebook).

I’m so so tired of people assuming I’m unhappy because I’m not in a romantic relationship. That’s all. I needed to vent. Thanks for reading.

*obligatory “this blew up” edit. I can’t believe how many people are saying “men get this too!” I’m sure that’s true. But I’m a woman, surrounded by women who do this to other women, so I wouldn’t know. You can share that experience without being upset that this post, made in TWOXCHROMOSOMES, is geared to women.


Incoming rant. Apologies for the grammar, and thank you for taking the time to read this:

It was a long and hellacious process to get this order set in place. After many continuances and hours spent in front of a judge it was finally granted.

I felt so much relief and felt I could finally start moving on with my life. Then I receive and an email from my lawyer that you are appealing the order.

Fuck you.

I know that you very well know there is no way in hell you will be able to appeal this. I know you are doing this to make my life harder and throw more legal fees at me. Because of you I am afraid to be in my own home at night. Afraid that you are coming for me.

I am trying not to hate you with every fiber of my being because I don’t want to carry that around with me. I just want you to leave me alone. I want to try and pick up my life and move on. I don’t want to see you and I can’t bear the thought of sitting in another court room with you for hours going over everything you did to me.

I want this to stop.


I just want to preface this by saying I’m not looking for advice since I will only be employed with this company for 7 more weeks. I just really need support and to rant.

** I do discuss my harassment experiences that may be triggering

I work in a warehouse/production floor which, as you can guess, is full of of young dudes; and I knew that going in but the sheer amount of inappropriate attention I got was way more overwhelming than I ever expected. I only work seasonally during summer and Christmas time (I’m a college student) and I’ve been there for 3 years (starting at age 19). In that time I have:

  • had every single dude stare at my ass with no shame. Some would even poke at other dudes to tell them to look when I got up or walked around.

  • 2 of them have physically touched my ass. One pinned me against a door while I was opening it ahead of him and the other would tell our manager he needed my help (he didn’t) so that he could pinch and poke me all day. I would also get my ass slapped with packing materials when I worked in packaging.

  • I have been told that I would make a great stripper and one guy wanted to take me to a strip club with him. (I was 19 at the time he was 28)

  • one guy would repeatedly tell me how big his dick was and how I’d be too small for him.

  • ANOTHER dude made a joke about how if we fucked I’d be ruined forever cause his dick is so big.

-The youngest one (18) asked me out EVERY DAY for a MONTH. I finally relented and went to his house to hang out (with another person I trusted and his parents were home) but when that person stepped out he tried to force himself on me.

  • I have received a dick pic and then he asked me for reciprocal nudes.

-one dude would sneak up on me, take a pic without me knowing and send it to me like a fucking stalker.

  • I draw a lot and one guy said that the girl I doodled was hot even tho it was obviously me (she was in the outfit I was wearing) he then asked me if I drew porn.

  • I was given the nicknames “sexy legs” and “Harley Quinn”

  • And finally (this isn’t sexual harassment but it was due to my gender) I would get a sarcastic “sir, yes sir” or “yes my queen” when I told the two guys under my management what to do (aka my job) and it would often be accompanied by a dramatic bow or army salute.

I thought all this shit was finally behind me because one by one all of these guys quit or were fired while I was away at school but I’m afraid it’s happening again. I just wanted summer to go smoothly for once. I used to get so nervous before work that I’d feel physically ill and sometimes I’d even have a panic attack.

The new guy I’m working with is pretty cool and laid back but lately our convos have turned very sexual but I thought maybe he was just getting really comfortable not necessarily creepy. But then the other day he admitted to me that when we first met his first thought was that I have a nice “apple” ( ass ) and I got pretty uncomfortable but hoped that was it. Unfortunately, no. He has now started referring to me as “apple”. This is particularly annoying cause I had told him about my experience with the other guys and how I didn’t like the feeling of being reduced to my ass and that nickname literally reduces me to my ass. (It’s not even that great)

I’m starting to get that sinking feeling in my gut again that comes with the fear that every interaction with this person will begin to involve dodging flirtations and redirecting away from awkward topics. I am not stunningly gorgeous and never have been so I am not used to dealing with attention. I don’t even LIKE attention. (Especially flirtatious/sexual attention). It just all falls on me cause pretty much every other woman here is elderly or doesn’t speak English.

I’m just afraid that this is how my work environments will always be. Nothing seems to be a deterrent to these guys Not age (many of them were significantly older than me. I’m 21 now); not they’re existing relationship (many had girlfriends/wives) ; not me being uncomfortable. Nothing. It’s like I’m not important. Just a nice ass to look at at work.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I’ve been keeping this to myself for too long.

(Sorry for any mistakes and errors. I wrote this in pieces)


Just a little vent...

It's so upsetting to me that a woman can't be a sexual creature without being viewed as "bad" or a "slut".

Just recently, a friend told me (aged 23, engaged) that her gynecologist told her she might have trouble conceiving because of hormone imbalances. She wasn't even there to begin the process of getting pregnant. She was having other difficulties bc of the hormones. She went on to tell me "remember I didn't get my period until I was 18 and never really had that teenaged horniness?" She also didn't really have breasts at all until 17. Which I did remember and I thought it was odd at the time, but of course her parents were thrilled that she never had a desire to be alone with boys or anything like that.

Maybe I'm being ridiculous but for them (her parents) it was way better for them to think they had a good girl instead of investigating why their daughter was developmentally behind. So now my friend is devastated thinking that she's not going to be able to have the children she's wanted her whole life because no sexual desires in a teenager was seen as a blessing.


Hey! Created this account just to post this because it's a part of my life that I'm trying to keep segregated at the moment. (Tl;dr at the end)

Basically I am going through a sexual harassment complaint that I have brought against my manager. There was nothing criminal that happened but many many inappropriate words said most of which are disgusting, upsetting and one particularly that amounts to basically verbalising a rape scenario towards me without saying the words "I want to rape you". I don't want to give the details as although this is a big wide world there is an ongoing investigation.

What I am struggling with is feelings of guilt. My friends have described it as he was basically gaslighting me but there are a plethora of instances/times when you could describe him as the perfect manager: supportive, caring, furthered my career etc. But then there are these (sometimes sustained) instances which have facilitated an awful working environment for myself and my colleagues which have caused me to raise this complaint.

I'm just wondering if anyone has gone through similar circumstances, and apart from repeating to myself "you have done nothing wrong, you have only told the truth", how can I get over this awful guilt for effectively ruining a person's life?

Tl;dr Raised a sexual harrassment complaint against my manager, can't get over the guilt of ruining someone's life


I hope this is the right place for this. I've been in LTRs most of my life and six months ago got out of a relationship with someone I thought I was going to marry. There were issues, and I often felt lonely or like he was never truthful with the amount that he loved me throughout our relationship, but he was also one of the most interesting, sweetest, and kindest people I've met. I don't know how much of that was in my head. It felt like we were a perfect pair most of the time. He moved on within two weeks.

I have never been single for longer than a month or two, but I'm 31 now and terrified that I won't be able to find the same type of love I had with him. I know that's silly, and that people find love at every stage of life, but I can't shake the feeling that I've burned through my opportunities and I'm going to be single for either long enough that I lose hope or that I'm going to have to settle.

I know myself well; I don't need to do any "soul searching" to be ready for the next person, I just miss having a partner and am so scared that I've burned myself out. I still love him and the fact that he has moved on so easily makes me ill. The idea of dating seems so exhausting to me after believing that I was done and had found the one. The process of figuring someone out, falling for someone and building a life with them just to have the same thing potentially happen again is too much.

Looking for advice or encouragement from any ladies who have been through something similar or found their soul mate later in life. I just don't want to feel like this is it.


(Instead of "my dude" I should've written "a dude")

We were together for 3 years. I'm now past the point of grief but there is this new feeling of curiosity to how he is doing, missing the parts of his personality that I loved, and just dying to know what thoughts are on his mind.

Is anyone else in the same boat...

Just looking for some positive girl talk and someone to relate too.

This is always the most difficult part of the break up IMO.


I was sexually abused (molested etc although not raped) for years by my older cousin whom I often lived with over summers etc. between the ages of 11-14. It was awful, i had terrible nightmares and acute ptsd etc, trusted him a lot and felt betrayed. A few years later after it stopped i found myself weirdly attracted to him, and i mean really strongly. I really need him to like me and every time he compliments me or flirts with me i get really turned on.

I hoped it was some weird cognitive dissonance thing but here i am 23 and still cant shake this and continue to treat him in an adoring and needy way. I feel really ashamed for feeling like this because maybe it means the abuse was always consensual/maybe i liked it, but i kept journals while it was happening and it is clear that i hated it at the time.

Tl;dr was sexually abused by family member as a child and am now attracted to him, wtf?


Hi guys, I need some advice because I’m feeling utterly bad for something that happened just now.

We are great friends with a couple that we know for years and we have a great relationship.

Today was her birthday and the plan was to give her a hug & a kiss since it’s work day and her birthday dinner will be this Saturday.

They don’t live on the same city as us.

We have been exhausted this last couple weeks because of work and my husband fell asleep right after dinner and I didn’t want to wake him up to ask him to drive to another city.

I called her wishing her a happy birthday (already talked to her today wishing the same) and that we couldn’t make it, we were sorry and that we would celebrate her birthday on Saturday. Apparently everyone cancelled last minute today (I’m guessing because they live a little far away from everyone, but I don’t think that should be an excuse) and we were the only ones who could make it today.

Her husband (who I have a friendship for more than 10 years) lashes out on me on the phone, saying that he’s pissed that everyone just cancelled and he always makes sure that they go everywhere when invited.

I told him that he couldn’t judge people, because everyone has their life and that we would celebrate with her in 2 days. He told me that he didn’t wanna talk anymore, that we were a disappointment and that he would starting changing his behavior because no one deserved their commitment.

He hanged the phone on me and I texted her that we loved her no matter how far away we were and that we would be on her celebration if she wanted too.

This guy is a brother to me and he knows us for many, many years. I’m worried that a social event can ruin a friendship that is very dear to me and I’m feeling like crap because I decided just to care for my husband too that is freaking tired and I’m very worried that this will take a toll on our friendship.


I was extremely drunk and blacked out a few times. He knew I was really drunk but we ended up having sex. He fingered my bum which I’ve never done before, I didn’t stop him cause I was blacking out a bit and didn’t realize what he was doing until a bit into it. I wouldn’t usually let this happen.

He asked me on a date, and I’m just really confused and worried.

My concerns are:

-why would he be interested in someone he met that was really drunk

-guys don’t usually ask me out after a drunk hookup, especially attractive ones like him

-he did butt things even though we just met and he seemed to know I was really drunk.

Am I over reacting?

Please help me. I’d like to see him again but I’m just scared he might be manipulating me. He seems really sweet but I just don’t get why he’d be interested and I’m worried. I’m also in a really bad place mentally cause I started taking antideps and I don’t know when to set up the date for :/


Throwaway for obvious reasons.

I would like to start off with saying I am a piece of shit, I know it, so please know I am aware, and am here as I really want help to ensure the minimal amount of hurt is felt by my girlfriend.

I will try to cut it into jot nots, simplification might cut out a lot of detail, but easier to read: - She is a better person than I ever will be

  • We have been together between 3-4 years now

  • I love her so much, but cannot continue with her as it is unfair to keep her waiting like this

  • She converted to the same religion as me, but it was not for me, it was her own choice

  • Her parents did not like that (her father is a bit racist, and her mom loves her still, but just doesn’t respect her choice and thinks she is doing it for me, she isn’t)

  • My Gf feels isolated from her family as a result, I am her sole support system consequently

  • As much as I love her, I lost attraction to her as our whole time spent together became about either her crying from school stress (minuscule issues big picture wise) or her pressuring me about getting married

  • There were still good times, but they were mostly sexual things

  • We were still on the same level in terms of interests and so on, I just starting finding myself trying to hangout with other people more

  • She is not very good at making new friends as she is super shy, and with her religious conversion she was even more anxious about talking to anyone

  • 2.5 years into the relationship I tried to end the relationship, but she convinced me to just take a period where we think about it

  • During this period I had a quick fling with a classmate (The cheating)

  • Felt terrible as it was not fully done with still with the gf, but she continued to try to get back with me and I caved, and was a coward and didn’t tell her about the fling.

  • One year later, I am really drained emotionally and can no longer support her, I recently suggested we get professional help, but she doesn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone else as she fears getting judged, so that idea was a no go.

  • I confess to her what I had done a year earlier, hoping she will break up with me. During the conversation she asks if I want out, and again I am a spineless piece of shit that is apologetic and keeps saying he wants her to forgive so that he could keep the relationship going, I could try to defend myself and say I just really hate seeing her hurt, and me telling her about the cheating was already bad enough, but I cannot justify it in my head after as now it will hurt her more. I know, I deserve to be shot.

  • Now I am still in this relationship, not knowing how to minimise the effects of a breakup so that she doesn’t get so hurt, I wanna stay friends with her to be able to be there for her, but I already know she won’t do that as it would hurt her every time she sees me.

    • I hate myself for wasting her time, but I just cannot seem to push myself to do the right thing. I know she doesn’t have any close friends, so I fear for her being alone and crying without me being there for her, I fear what it might push her to do.

If any of you can give some insight on how they would approach this based on the limited information provided (there is too much, I will answer what I can in the comments), or even just any shared experiences, I would be thankful.


My MeLuna cups just came in the mail. I immediately ran out and got them, yanked out my tampon and have been squatting and squeezing and trying to get the hang of it. The medium seemed too big so I am going with the small today ( I ordered both sizes). Hoping it’s actually sealed in there because I’m about to do leg day at the gym in about 30 minutes.


I went on a first date a little while ago. And when this first happened I didnt think much of it, but now it’s starting to bother me.

So I [24/f] meet this guy [25/m] on tinder, he asks me out, he seems like a good guy after talking for a while back and forth and looks relatively safe/normal, so why not. We went to see a movie, I can’t even remember what movie. About half way through he starts holding my hand and working his way toward my chest. I kinda froze and didn’t really know what to do when he started playing with my breasts and squeezing them. I tired to push his hand away but I stopped becouse I didn’t want to make a scene in the busy movie theater. After the movie was over we walked to the train and parted ways, he then goes in for a kiss super fast and kisses me off guard before I leave for my train.

When I was on the train alone heading home I felt slightly violated becouse I had no say in what he did, am I in the wrong for feeling this way? Is this a normal thing for first dates? Did I consent to him touching me by accepting the first date and not being more persistent to stop him when he was touching me? I feel like part of it is my fault.


I don’t want to go into a lot of detail. I just need advice. he’s been an alcoholic and has abused pills for about 5 years and I haven’t had a consistent relationship with him for 2 years. he doesn’t try to reach out or get help for himself so he can be a father and it sucks. last year I saw him 3 times. he’s started a family with some girl and she’s expecting a child soon. I feel forgotten and thrown away.


I recently used the pomegranate raspberry can, and I think it might be the cause of a pinkish-purple color under my nails. The color isn't too visible unless I look underneath. The purple color is also under my toenails and most visible when a light is shone on them

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