In the fall of 1993 at Yale, something happened to me that I will never forget. It was my first year of college, I was a freshly retired ballet dancer and I had traveled down from Cambridge to New Haven to attend the Yale-Harvard football game. While I don’t remember much of that long-ago weekend, I had an experience that will forever remain clear in my memory. It’s not the worst thing that could happen to someone. However, it was a terrifying violation of my person.
After the football game, I went with a couple of friends to a party. During the party, two large, very drunk Yale men approached me. At first they were explicit in their appraisal and assessment of my physicality. They gushed with compliments about my body. I was merely uncomfortable. At first.
Then they began to drool. They drooled to display how much they wanted me, that I made their mouths water, that they were hungry for me. The more they drooled the funnier they thought they were. They laughed and kept going. Then they weren’t just drooling on themselves, but on me. Lengthy globs of drunken drool fell on my body and stuck to me.
Maybe you — if you are a man who liked to drink with your buddies and get girls in college — think that sounds funny. Think again. If that was your daughter away at college and it happened to her, would you find it funny? If you found out your son did that, would you encourage him to do it again? These misguided boys were having fun at my expense. Rather than being funny, it was disgusting and terrifying. I was scared of what might come next, and left the party as quickly as I could.
While there are details I will never forget, there is a lot I don’t remember. I’m certain I could find corroboration, but it might take a while. Which friend did I go to immediately to explain what had just happened to me? Who left the party with me? Where did we go? Who won the game?
These details have faded with the passage of time. But one thing remains clear as day: if one of these men was qualified in every other way to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, I feel certain there would be a still better Justice for the job.
Amara Hastings graduated from Harvard College in 1997.