We know that gropers seek out situations like this in order to get away with assault. In order to deal with that reality, we invent excuses to blame groping victims for also being present in these circumstances. The victim-blaming is tailored for each space in which a groper operates. Because sexual assailants target places where people are drinking, “potential victims” shouldn’t drink so much. Women—and men, both gay and straight, who aren’t into non-consensual groping from strangers—don’t belong in gay bars, or at least shouldn’t complain when they’re assaulted in them. Of course, it’s hard to argue that people should avoid public transportation just because gropers get off on the sheer number of people who do take the train. So we suggest that people targeted on the Metro are to blame for failing to speak up or fight back.
And just as a reminder, when I got groped, none of these conditions were true. You can still get groped when you’re walking down the street without a gay bar in sight. In my situation, it wasn’t me. It wasn’t the surroundings. It was all the culprit.