So she wears a short dress to class and this clown thinks its okay for some jerkoff professor to lock her in his office and attack her. Don't these guys have daughters? Don't they have wives? If I wear a sexy blouse, does this moron think it's okay to lock me in the copy room and grope me on the printer?

Listen, I say. I don't want to get into a big thing here, but you're not suggesting, are you, that because she wore short dresses to his class it was okay for him to attack her? Right?

Of course not, he says. He straightens his tie and looks at me, as if sizing me up. We've known each other casually for years. He's wondering what he can say and what he can't. You're not going to charge me with sexual harassment, are you? He grins, like it's a big joke.

I don't answer.

Oh, come on, he says, not funny anymore. All I was saying is, we don't know what happened in the guy's office, and the fact that she dressed provocatively for his classes is a factor. That's all.

So, what? I say. If I wear a short dress to work, and you lock me in the copy room and start groping me, the short dress I wore to work is a factor? I mean, what? If I don't dress like a nun, I'm not safe?

Have I ever acted inappropriately toward you in any way? he asks.

I don't answer immediately. I'm trying to find the words to explain how his saying that this girl wearing a short dress might make her responsible for being attacked feels like a threat to me.

No, he says. I haven't. He huffs away.

There you go. Now I've done it. From now on, I'm the office bitch. Next thing you know, I'll hear rumors that I'm gay.