Systemic sexual harassment is not new news
Lately the news is a barrage of “no shit, really you just discovered this? Seriously do five seconds of research”.So I have not been commenting on much, instead just focusing on work and being a productive person.
Like the rest of the world who participates on social media, I am not blind to the #metoo all over everyone’s feeds. I am also aware as every woman ever around the globe since the dawn of time,what it feels like to be sexually harassed and or abused.
I am a little shocked by the bewilderment I’m seeing however, and not to point fingers but mainly by men. Sorry guys, but really? I suppose it not happing so much in front of you so I guess I get it. I’ve personally had to explain several times in the past few days how being sexually harassed is just a part of daily life and just something we have had to deal with as women our entire lives.
Little things like rude sexual comments about our appearances, being told to smile, inappropriate touches from strange men, men just randomly showing you their penis even if you are nine years old, to bigger things like when you are an 8-year-old latch key kid and your super creepy single neighbor decides to play a game with you where you end up tied to your mother’s bed, but somehow get out of this situation by promising to tell your mom and every everyone you can think of in that moment.
Here’s a few more of my personal experiences:
14 years old and at my doctor’s office and the new Doctor there instructs me to but on a gown remove my pants and bend over to check,well my vagina I guess? because I can’t remember what I had actually gone in for but it wasn’t a bend over gyno exam. Yes, my mom was in the waiting room and I told her how that made me feel really uncomfortable. But nothing happened, well… eventually I recall him being fired because of so many complaints. Medical Doctor = we are conditioned to trust them.
My first boyfriend sexually and physically abused me and promised to kill me if I ever left him while in the same breath promising no one will ever love me like they do. That last line I have heard more than once in my life and you know what? That’s what the worst possible person that you could ever be involved with says to you to keep you…. I don’t know afraid of being alone maybe? I’m not sure the purpose of that statement,because it’s never true.
One time I was walking down Haight St with TWO guy friends and some random guy walked by me with his friends turned around, reached up my skirt and grabbed my ass hard. The guys I was with didn’t even notice, I turned around and marched right up to that fucker and kicked him as hard as I could. He was SHOCKED, can you believe it? Shocked his uninvited groping was not okay with me. Similar situation 19 years old in Paris I was not aware if you are a woman do NOT go on Champs Elysee NYE because it’s a groping festival. After about five gropes in I turned and bloodied a guy’s nose, which very lucky for me snapped him out of whatever universe he was in and he actually apologised and helped me get off the boulevard. I did apologise for punching him. I’m not excusing my violent reaction to being inappropriately touched by strangers but that was my immediate reaction at the time. And probably still is actually, It’s been awhile since a strange man has tried to grab me.
I could literally go on and on with stories like this just from my life. But those tiny tip of the iceberg examples are enough.
Girls are not taught to expect men will hurt, berate and abuse them. Of course the majority do not, unfortunately there are just bad guys out there mixed with all the good ones.
So how do you even start that conversation with your little girl? I hope most cases you wouldn’t have to but I really think something needs to be said to prepare young girls for the systemic sexual harassment we are certain to face at some point in our lives as women.
In this case learning as you go fucking sucks. Gathering all these shit experiences is not character building it’s terrible. Sexual harassment and abuse does what’s it is intended to do, break down spirit. Why do we not talk about it all the time? Because it’s literally so common that we would be talking about it daily. People want to see videos of hedgehogs wearing slippers while getting belly rubs not thousands of stories of abuse.
You can’t baby kitten in a sweater coat this bullshit.
So that’s my two cents.
If anyone needs to talk about this subject, ladies my door is wide open to you, my sisters we are in this shitty club together so we might as well always be there for each other to lend support.
I would like to note I have been stood up for and thankfully saved from many other terrifying situations by amazing men. I have a consistent optimism for inherent human nature, there is love and kindness and harmony in our world. It just gets very much overshadowed by bad people unfortunately.
Undying love my darlings,