Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., admitted to having groped a high school classmate in a column for his college newspaper, saying he had “a wake up call” about sexual respect, according to The Washington Post.
Booker recounted the story in The Stanford Daily 1992, while a student at Stanford University. He wrote that on New Year’s Eve 1984, when the senator was 15, he gave a female friend a hug and she gave him “an overwhelming kiss.”
“I slowly reached for her breast,” he recalled. “After having my hand pushed away once, I reached my ‘mark.'”
He uses the term “groping” to describe the encounter, which he says did not last long. The Post notes that his column and incident were first uncovered by the Daily Caller in 2013, and that Booker had little to say about it during his first run for Senate, or in the years since. He was elected to the Senate in a special election that year, and re-elected the next.
“Ever since puberty, I remember receiving messages that sex was a game, a competition,” he wrote. “Sexual relations were best achieved through luck, guile, strategy or coercion.”
Booker notes that when he arrived at college, he found men expressing the same casual sexism, competitive attitude about sex, and occasionally making outright violent comments about women. He says that by his sophomore year, Booker had “snapped from one extreme to the other,” and became a “man-hater,” according to one female friend.
He says that his work as a peer counselor taught him about the “raw truth” of rape, and was the impetus for his “polar leap,” saying, “it was a wake-up call – I will never be the same.”
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