Chronicles Of Receiving An Unsolicited Nude

8:42pm : I sink into my usual seat in the library. For some reason the idea of forcing myself to work tonight is especially exhausting.

8:50pm :  M playfully kicks my chair and reminds me to focus. When she turns around I visit my ex’s Instagram instead.

8:55pm : I finally crack open my Chinese book.

9:15pm : Some girls enter the room gossiping about the weekend’s events. Apparently everyone knows something that I don’t.

9:17pm : I see my phone light up. C sent me a Snapchat.

9:28pm : My unwillingness to translate modern Chinese prose provokes an unnecessary study break.

9:28:30pm : My left thumb instinctively unlocks my phone.

9:29pm : Remembering how aggressively C texted me two years ago when was packing at the end of the year makes me roll my eyes. I must have said no at least 5 times.

9:30pm : Fuck it. I open the Snapchat. Believing that this will be innocent feels like community service.

9:30:30pm : It’s a dick pic. No caption. No warning. No respect.

9:33pm : I’m immobile. I’m in shock. Consumed by anger I shake my head and think “You should have expected less from him”.

9:35pm : “Should I really have expected less from him? Shouldn’t I hold all people to a basic level of respect, consideration, and awareness?”

9:36pm :  M emphasizes how important it is to finish my Chinese homework. The girls nearby sound like ducks arguing over stale bread.

9:38pm : “There’s nothing sexy or attractive about this at all; C is trying to exert power over me”.

9:40pm : “The worst part about this is that there was no consent involved. The second worst part is how uncomfortable I feel”.

9:42pm : I know if I told him all of this he’d respond: “So if I can’t ask for them and I can’t send them when I want, what the fuck am I supposed to do?”

9:44pm : C sends another Snapchat. I delete the conversation and try to forget about it.

9:46pm : M tells me that I should have screenshotted them but I disagree. It’s not about revenge or putting someone else in a compromising position. I should not disrespect someone else as a request for my own respect.

9:50pm : I plan to demand an apology from him the next time I see him. This will not happen again. I did not ask for this.

9:51pm : Chinese homework clearly isn’t getting done tonight.

9:53pm : I continue to reflect on the situation. Sending explicit photos of oneself feels empowering because one is permitting themselves to be viewed in a vulnerable way. But if it’s not consensual then the act is a digital form of sexual violence.

9:54pm : “There is a reason that flashing people in public is a crime. Just because C’s acts are electronic does not make them any less serious, offensive, or dangerous.”

9:57pm : I take a snack break. A bottle of water and a funfetti cupcake costs $4 in the library café.

10:00pm : “Experiencing constant unwarranted, vulgar sexual advances from men in my vicinity and the media is exhausting. Especially as a black woman.”

10:04pm : Third attempt at finishing my Chinese homework.

10:23pm : “Where did he get the idea that this was okay? Porn? My body is not estranged from my character.”

10:25pm : The girls leave. The dramatic decrease in noise still does not ease my anxiety.

10:26pm : “My support for people’s exception of their bodies is strong, but this is sexual violence. I am not validating C’s behavior”.

10:28pm : I resolve to finish my Chinese homework by the end of the night. I will not let him affect my academic experience or mental health.

11:13pm : Chinese homework is done.