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“It doesn’t just happen at bars, either—-it’s happened to me at the grocery store, it happens to me on my lunch break in Georgetown, and it’s just demeaning, and it’s disrespectful, and it scares you, which is the biggest thing,” Corey says. “The big thing that’s upset me the most is people say, ‘Oh, you’re at a bar or you’re out in public, you should accept the fact that that’s going to happen.’ And that’s not OK.”
The disappointing part of the interview is the reporter, who frames groping as a newly emerging and unexplainable trend. Her line of questioning: “Why do you think this is? . . . Where was this? . . . Who knew? Is this a new thing? Is this something you started seeing in college that is now accelerating?” To her credit, Corey handles the feigned disbelief well: “No. This started happening to me as soon as I started hitting puberty. As soon as I got tall enough, guys would yell things to me from the car, and now that I’m out in public more often, I get grabbed a lot.”
Corey’s headline-making body-slams aside (“I’m lucky because I’m almost six feet tall”), the queen presents a variety of groping response tactics in her four-minute interview: physical self-defense, verbal responses, getting quickly to safety, reporting the incident to authorities, and even hollering back. “I want girls to know that it’s okay to tell people and say something out loud,” she says. “The biggest thing is that it’s so underreported. . . . This has happened to me dozens of times, and I’ve never once reported it.”