Every woman has a story the article said.
She ponders this over her coffee. She thinks it could be his hands linger a little too long on the small of the back or the shiny knee is cupped in his hand, then withdrawn leaving her wondering if she is over-sensitive.
Is the 'You look nice today' from the colleague at work, a gracious compliment or is it a sign of disrespect?
She must be ever vigilant but brushes off the day's encounters. There are places her mind does not want to go. Close calls which could have turned out differently.
Women did not speak about them then. Strangely, they felt ashamed, as if their naivetÚ had let the side down and it was their shame to find themselves in a locked room or a lonely place with someone they thought they could trust. Misreading signs on their part could become a charge that they had given out the wrong signals. There were those women who still believed that such attention was a compliment and all was fair in love and war. But now she thought how blasÚ they had been to believe that war of any kind was ever fair.
Thinking back, she remembers accepting a lift from university to her apartment, from an old man with bevelled glasses.
She was in a hurry and needed to get home. She had accepted, thinking of her own grandfather and the old men of her own town. She often talked with them about politics and world events in the sanctuary of the town's library.
The journey was only two miles but on the way he spoke about her studies and then asked her about her sex life. She was shocked as he continued to probe her history while she tried not to show alarm and disgust. She had enough presence of mind to give him a false address and insisted he stopped on a street a few blocks from her house. He did but looking around she was alarmed to see that the only people were two hundred yards away. She tried the door, but it was locked.
'Tell me about your sex life,' he leered, leaning towards her, the light gleaming on his glasses.
I don't have one,' she said, which was true, as she was very innocent at eighteen.
He reached out his arm as if to grab her and she said firmly, 'You come any nearer and I will scream at the top of my voice.' He gave a small laugh and she kicked the handle of the car door which gave way and the door swung open. She jumped out and shouted at him 'I know your car number and I will report you.'
He sped off but she hadn't reported him or told anyone. She had purged the memory from her brain. Why? A part of her blamed herself for having got in the car. This is what we did, she thought. We kept it quiet in a conspiracy of silence. Scratch any female life and something unpleasant spills out. It wasn't as bad as the incidents young women reported now.
Or did she not think it so bad because her younger self was speaking in her mind about it.
There were other occasions too that now came to her.
The older boys in the park taking out their penises and shaking them about when she was seven. In her innocence she had thought they had attachments and had been puzzled by it all. She hadn't told anyone though. It was as if, even then she felt implicated and guilty.
There was the guy who told her he had some books she might be interested in and when she got there had locked the door, slipped off his jeans 'to be more comfortable' and offered to help her out. Innocently, she had argued that he did not love her but was just using her. His answer to this was to slip out his appendage as evidence of his deep feelings. Again, she had spoken loudly and offered to scream, bringing his landlady to the door and affecting her release.
After that, she simply did not go to lectures where he might be. Over time, she became shrewder, more able to scout out the lay of the land. Like all women, occasionally she got it wrong. Like all women of the past, she considered such events 'normal' until MeToo made her re-examine the past.
Bringing up her daughter, she tried to alert her to dangers, telling her to never leave a drink in a crowded place and return to it, always make sure people know where you are, don't walk alone late at night and if you have to walk, do so with determination and purpose.
The usual stuff.
Even so, she doubted she had been able to totally protect her. She smiled as she remembered how her daughter had been impressed when a dirty phone-caller had boasted of his largeness and she had said 'Good, I have a very large scissors I want to try out.'
Having children made you more outspoken, she thought and more ready to stand your ground.
Looking at Metoo testimonies, she hoped for changing times. Women had such strength when they stood together.
She realised now that watching and applauding from the side-lines was not enough.
Hearing some older women speak smacked of nineteenth century attitudes of self-help; we suffered all this and got through it. They missed the point, she thought.
Like Peter Finch in Network, women were saying 'I'm mad as hell, I'm not going to take this anymore.'
The victorious always thought everyone could get through unbowed but actually there were many casualties who could not voice things in the same way.
Guilt needed to be shifted on its axis to where it truly belonged.
Change could only come when women made a stand, when they stood together and she had been sitting down too long herself.
Jude Brigley is Welsh and has been a teacher, a performance poet and an editor.