NOTE: printed in entirety without permission, because you have to read this for yourself to believe it. Brandy Ferner’s personal description of her alleged “sexual harassment,” which it wasn’t, shows perfectly how incapable America’s young women are dealing with the complexities of our modern world.
Simply put — these pampered and spoiled woman, who were raised in a “participation trophy environment,” have absolutely zero self confidence and zero understanding of real risk v. the fantasy world that they envision they live. Brandy considered herself “as more of a dick-puncher/’Get the fuck out of here’ type” with superhero identity that she thought would show up when needed.
A Couple Reactions
Scott Mattern: Leader: “This is seriously the lead story on HufPo this morning?!?!?!?!”
Cynthia Luesley: Leader: “I had something similar happen and I said I needed to use the restroom and would be right back, and called the cops, who came an escorted him out and into their nice car. But she handled herself well, each person handles things differently, but caution is the best road taken, far to many crazies out there.”
[Cynthia admits there was better way to respond. But cautions: every guy’s a predator]
Joe Biden Apology Response
Michael Alapaki: Leader: “On behalf of all men everywhere, I apologize to you, Brandy, for this sociopath’s assault. All men and all fathers bear just a little bit of blame for these acts. You handled it well, even if your critics disagree — they have hindsight and can afford to be Monday Morning Quarterbacks. Personally, I HOPE that I would have told him instantly he was inappropriate, rejected the tip verbally, and told him not to return. Tell the boss to blackball him, and remind her that her business serves the public, not manipulative criminals. Maybe I would have reacted very poorly. Who knows? But you were there, I was not. “The credit goes to the woman in the arena, not to the critic who risks nothing, whose place is among those cold souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” — my apologies to President Theodore Roosevelt.
Sean Yay Brooks: Leader: Responds to Biden: “you cant speak for 50% of the worlds population dude.”
Advice ALL Ladies Should Heed
Melissa Cohn: Leader: “As a LMT, we do all have stories like that. But I would never work in a place where a concern is management taking a he said/she said stance. We are put in a vulnerable position every single time we close the treatment room door. We expect to go in and provide the health service our client needs, not to be sexually harassed.
But when that situation arises, a properly trained therapist knows to end the session and walk out, letting management know what happened and typically having the offender permanently banished from the business. I’ve been assaulted outside the workplace so I can understand feeling frozen, but when you are in a professional setting, you have the upper hand.
For one thing the person is normally not clothed so you can get out and it takes a little more effort to follow. Also, there are typically other people around which provides a measure of safety. Besides myself, I’ve known many colleagues this has happened to. Each one of us managed to handle the creep without continuing the service.”
Brandy Ferner’s Sexual Harassment Failure
[my comments in bracketed quotes]
There is little that offends me. I like dark, even inappropriate, humor. So I guess it makes sense that I stood there laughing after I was sexually harassed for 80 minutes during a massage I gave during my one-night-a-week job as a massage therapist.
[“stood there laughing for 80 minutes.” Brandy implied consent entire time]
I learned the hard way that one of the funny things about sexual harassment is that you might not know it’s happened even after it’s happened. You might stand there laughing and thinking, I can’t wait to tell my husband about this creep, as if you had seen a new Netflix show that you weren’t the star of.
[“can’t wait to tell my husband.” Brandy is excited and looking forward to tell others. further implied consent]
You may not know that there is a lag time between the lizard brain — the oldest part of the brain which is responsible for primitive survival instincts such as fear — and real time, and it can be one of the reasons you don’t flee an abusive situation like you thought you would. Or even realize the extent of what happened until days later.
[“there is a lag time between the lizard brain.” no, there is not: fight or flight, that’s all]
This 6’4” man, who was so big his arms didn’t fit on the massage table, knew what he was doing. And in hindsight, after my lizard skin molted, I could see it too, strategically mapped out.
[“knew what he was doing.” every guy’s a predator]
It started with friendly conversation about where we grew up, and a big career win he’d had earlier that day that I congratulated him on.
How open is this one? he was surely thinking, gauging his entry point. I usually prefer no talking when working on a client, as giving massages is a form of meditation for me ― a sacred, quiet space where children aren’t, where no one is asking me for snacks, and my mind and body simultaneously get to focus on just one task. But if a client is chatty, I go with it. I’m in the service industry, after all.
The man baited me with a question.
[“baited me.” every guy’s a predator]
“Do you have any life dreams that you want to pursue?” This was after we had talked about his military background, his wife and kids, his knee surgeries, and his over-seven-figure salary.
I answered something pat like, “Other than going to Hawaii more often, I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing.” And then like a good conversationalist, I asked him the same question back. I now know that this was exactly what he wanted.
[“like a good conversationalist.” Brand is such a Wonder Woman. she is forced to ask him]
“How honest can I be?” he said.
“It’s up to you.”
[“up to you.” Brandy gave him permission]
When I said this, it didn’t cross my mind that he would use the most vulgar words, with such colorful detail and size comparison to Coke cans and forearms ― and with such specific intonation and emphasis ― to tell me all about his sexual desires.
[“didn’t cross my mind.” zero planning or preparation for the real world. Brandy excuses her flawed behavior]
“I really want to get my cock sucked by a man again.” He uttered all the details of his past aloud in the tiny, cozy room we both inhabited, spa music playing softly in the background, his naked body on the squishy table, covered by a sheet and my hands.
[“get my cock sucked by a man again.” not sexual harassment]
Once I reattached my jaw and subsequently found my voice, I told him he should stop telling me these stories. But he didn’t ever stop.
[“But he didn’t ever stop.” Brandy didn’t leave the room. further implied consent]
“You have to tell me yours because I told you mine,” he said playfully, like I was a horny high schooler in a closet, not a mother at her place of work.
“There are only five other people in the world that know this about me,” he revealed, purposefully setting me up to wonder if he was being vulnerable instead of violating, hoping I would think that maybe he was just pouring out his heart. Then he refused the eye pillow I offered him, “I want to be able to see you a little bit.” He asked me if I was going to tell my husband all the things he had said and then suggested, “How about you tell him right when you’re fucking him.”
[“tell him right when you’re fucking him.” not sexual harassment. not appropriate, but Brandy continued her massage and implied consent]
The words shot out of his mouth like bullets from a gun. And I was his target.
[“his target.” every guy’s a predator]
What’s funny about sexual harassment is I can consider myself a strong feminist who rallies around other victimized women and strives to be a solid role model for my daughter and son, teaching them all about consent and body autonomy, and I can still lose my voice and agency when I’m the one in shock while being victimized. Just like in birth and parenting, what you thought you’d do in those intense, prepared-for moments and what you actually do can be two very different things.
[“consider myself a strong feminist.” Brandy isn’t]
[“strives to be a solid role model.” Brandy has a Savior and SuperHero complex]
I thought of myself as more of a dick-puncher/“Get the fuck out of here” type, but little did I know that when these sleazebags are good at what they do, I may not really know what’s happening until it’s escalated far past what I’m comfortable with. My own personality, conditioning, and fear of agitating someone three times my size might overtake the superhero identity that I thought would show up.
[“thought of myself as more of a dick-puncher.” Oversized and inflated, false ego]
[“the superhero identity.” Oversized and inflated, false ego]
I also didn’t realize that every single person to hear my story would have the luxury of all the details laid out nicely in front of them, dots already connected, knowing from the get-go that this dude was in fact a creeper, and that I survived.
[“dots already connected.” all of us get the details one-by-one as you describe here. we would have walked long ago]
[“this dude was in fact a creeper.” every guy’s a predator]
Right now, you as the reader know this man is human garbage because I did the legwork on that for you. But I didn’t know all of that while it was happening to me. I was chugging along, doing my job, trying to be professional, while a perpetrator lounged underneath my nurturing hands, purposefully orchestrating a slow, tactical build that caught me by surprise.
[“man is human garbage because I did the legwork.” legwork was walking out door]
After sharing my story, some people have had the gall to say things like, “I would’ve told him to fuck off,” or “Why didn’t you leave?” What their tone-deaf responses fail to recognize is that they are problem-solving from the safety and comfort of having all the facts and without feeling the effects of the cortisol and lizard brain cocktail. I now fully understand why some women don’t tell their stories. Sometimes the insensitive reactions can be as traumatizing as the event itself.
[“their tone-deaf responses.” Brandy is right. if you say she is wrong, you are wrong]
[“effects of the cortisol and lizard brain cocktail.” Brandy is a professional pharmacist]
And yes, leaving the room was an option, but it wasn’t what I chose. In those moments, I couldn’t have told you why I wasn’t fleeing. This analyzation is a gift of hindsight. While it was happening, I was operating off of my personal autopilot that was built from days as a latchkey kid who handled things herself. And I thought that tough chick would cut and run. But I found out that navigating a threatening situation is so complicated that only the person in the crosshairs can understand the internal flow chart happening inside them:
[“yes, leaving the room was an option.” Brandy freely chose not to take this option]
[“I couldn’t have told you why I wasn’t fleeing.” Brandy is incompetent]
[“was operating off of my personal autopilot that was built from days as a latchkey kid who handled things herself.” her parent’s and society’s fault]
This guy could snap me in half if I upset him, and we’re behind closed doors at the end of a deserted long hallway. I don’t know what he’s capable of, but it isn’t looking good. Better keep the rapport up. If I stop the massage and report him, how many uncomfortable meetings will I find myself in saying the word “cock” to Ron the awkward HR guy, and the rest of the management? Will they believe me? Will I wrongfully lose my job over this? Will this man lie about me? If I make this a thing, will he target me afterwards? My kids? Better just get through this and be done with him forever.
[“This guy could snap me in half.” every guy’s a predator — even naked, under a sheet]
[“don’t know what he’s capable of, but it isn’t looking good.” every guy’s a predator]
[“If I stop the massage and report him.” brave die once; coward dies a death of 10,000 slashes]
I never quite realized how sticking around for sexual harassment could feel like the safer option. Had he gotten physical with me, I’d like to think that I would’ve fought or bolted.
[“sticking around for sexual harassment could feel like the safer option.” Brandy chose]
I’ve taken safety classes where I crotch-throttled a man in riot gear, so I know I have it in me.
[“I’ve taken safety classes.” classes aren’t real life]
But I can’t know what I would do in a violent situation because everything I thought I knew about how I would handle this was wrong.
[“everything I thought I knew about how I would handle this was wrong.” Brandy’s first honest statement. she is wrong about everything. she is incompetent]
I now viscerally get why many women don’t flee — especially at work. It has given me a newfound respect for every person who has been victimized by words, hands or worse. I now understand the nuances to why they run, why they don’t, why they tell, why they won’t. And how sometimes not exploding the situation is the safer choice.
[“newfound respect for every person who has been victimized.” victimization culture]
I know we’re all supposed to be supporting women finding their voices and the #MeToo movement, but we can’t be expected to smash the patriarchy when we’re in the middle of being victimized ourselves by that patriarchy.
[“we’re all supposed to be supporting women finding their voices … but.” yes, but]
[“can’t be expected to smash the patriarchy.” correct. can’t. if you believe you can’t …]
It’s a fight-or-flight deal that none of us deserve to be in. And I didn’t know that sometimes fighting can look like allowing.
[“fight-or-flight deal that none of us deserve.” welcome to life. this is why Brandy and all creatures have a lizard brain. Brandy neither fought nor fled. frozen on sideline]
For the past decade, I worked as a birth doula and childbirth educator who also mentored women after traumatic births. And in the later part of those 80 minutes that night, as I questioned myself about how I would be affected by what was transpiring, I remembered something from my trauma training. I remembered that part of trauma comes from the feeling of being paralyzed or frozen in the moment, and not taking action ― later wishing you had done something or said something.
[“I remembered that part of trauma … being frozen.” Brandy’s ego justifies inaction]
So, in a moment of fleeting lucidity, I asked myself, What do you need to do in this moment to come out of this less scathed, Brandy? I was practicing actual self-care, not that bubble bath bullshit. I knew what I needed to do, and it wasn’t to run. The communicator in me needed to speak up in some way, no matter if it changed his behavior or not.
[“practicing actual self-care, not that bubble bath bullshit.” still bubble bath bullshit]
At the end of my massages, I sit at the client’s head, rubbing their temples, then ears, thinking healing thoughts for them and visualizing my well wishes integrating into their body which I have just tenderized.
[“thinking healing thoughts for them.” thoughts don’t heal. bubble bath bullshit]
But this time, as I rubbed this man’s temples with a heavier hand than usual, I spoke up “You are lucky you got me tonight and not someone else.”
[“with a heavier hand than usual.” how would he know. first time. likely enjoyed it]
[“lucky you got me tonight.” lucky! Brandy again consents to behavior]
“You could’ve gotten a woman who had been deeply victimized before, and your words might have triggered or paralyzed her,” I told him.
[“your words might have triggered or paralyzed her.” Brandy said she was frozen. liar?]
“And I’m sure you don’t want to go through your life traumatizing women.” I made this news palatable to him so he wouldn’t choke me out.
[“palatable … so he wouldn’t choke me out.” every guy’s a predator]
“But I asked you?” he replied.
[“asked.” Brandy gave him permission]
He was referring to his earlier question about how honest he should be. Like a professional predator, he had turned it on me.
[“Like a professional predator, he had turned it on me.” every guy’s a predator. Brandy turned it on herself]
Never mind that I had told him to stop and he didn’t.
[“I had told him to stop.” Brandy remained in the room and continued the massage]
On my way home from work that night, I shared the whole story with a close friend. A woke, feminist friend.
[“shared the whole story with a close WOKE friend.” Brandy couldn’t wait to tell the world of her ordeal — probably over a glass of wine]
“He won,” she scolded. “He asserted his dominance and power in the situation. And it sounds like you actually consented and then consoled him.”
[“sounds like you actually consented and then consoled him.” Brandy’s WOKE bff]
Her words also felt like bullets. Imagine being victimized and then hearing how you did it wrong, how your primal actions had done a grave disservice to all women.
[“imagine … hearing how you did it wrong.” never been told she’s an imperfect princess before. Brandy was so offended]
My friend was too focused on the greater #MeToo movement to see that I didn’t make it comfortable for his sake.
[“too focused on the greater #MeToo.” not focused enough on Brandy]
I teetered that fine line between please don’t rape me and let me speak this truth for my own future well-being, and that was for my own damn survival.
[“please don’t rape me.” every guy’s a predator]
[“speak this truth.” Savior and Superhero complex]
[“for my own damn survival.” for ME, ME and for ME]
I can appreciate the internal fury that all women feel when watching other women seemingly become complacent, but I am a living, breathing person ― I’m someone’s mother ― not a movement with a hashtag.
[“but I am a living, breathing person.” all about Me, ME and about ME. plus, Brandy is someone’s mother. how scary is this?]
After some words, compassion emerged for my well-intentioned-but-grossly-missed-the-mark friend. I knew how it felt to act differently than you thought you would. I accepted her apology.
[“After some words.” Brandy’s WOKE bff apologized]
[“well-intentioned-but-grossly-missed-the-mark friend.” the mark is Brandy. always Brandy]
After the man got dressed, he met me outside the room. I was grateful he hadn’t masturbated and left it for me to clean up.
[“grateful he hadn’t masturbated.” every guy’s a predator]
I handed him a glass of refreshing citrus spa water. It was the first time in 80 minutes that my hands weren’t touching his body.
[“handed him a glass of refreshing citrus spa water.” rewarded his behavior]
“I’m gonna give you a big tip,” he said, smiling, and then held out $100 cash. Taking it would feel disgusting, like I was endorsing his abuse.
[“like I was endorsing his abuse.” endorsement, yes; prostitution, yes]
But also, he owed me something for blatantly exploiting the power dynamic between paying client and service provider, between his size and mine, and then blurring the lines between my job description and his intentions.
[“he owed me something.” Brandy claims he owed. he paid. contract complete. end of story. Brandy sold her services]
And so I took the cash. I would deal with the shame later, likely at Nordstrom.
[“took the cash … Nordstrom.” Brandy reveals her true character]
“Thank you for the therapy,” he said before he walked away. I struggled to make eye contact with him, feeling like an accomplice to my own attack.
[“struggled to make eye contact.” passive aggressive response]
[“feeling like an accomplice to my own attack.” Brandy was, wasn’t she? got paid well]
Halfway down the long hall, he stopped and turned around, put his finger to his mouth and said, “Shhhhh,” as I stood there holding my tip.
[“Hush money.” Brandy accepted the money. money was for silence. she violated the contract]
Brandy Ferner is an author, podcaster, blogger, mother, and lover of dark humor. In addition to HuffPost, she has bylines in Romper, TodayParents and CafeMom. For LOLs and real talk about motherhood, check out her “Adult Conversation” podcast, Facebook page, blog and forthcoming novel of the same name (May 2020, She Writes Press).
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