I am so happy the #metoo movement started because sexual misconduct can and does happens to people in all shapes and forms. As a mother this is extremely important to me, to see the tide is finally turning when it comes to the shame and secrecy that surrounded sexual wrong doings when I was growing up.
To be clear, sexual wrong doings are just that wrong and it IS black and white. Touching someone for sexual gratification when they are not in agreement with it is wrong. Involving someone in your sexual gratification when you know they do not wish to partake is wrong. Engaging in sexual activity with someone who is not mentally able to understand what they are doing is wrong. Using your position of authority to instigate any type of sexual situation is wrong. Then, of course, there is the obvious acts that don’t not need qualifying here.
Are we really surprised that victims did not feel they could come forward.
I do, of course, know there are those that will cry wolf, or try to distort the truth in order to personally gain something from this movement. To those I say – “look at yourselves and think about the person you are hurting: not just the accused and their families, but true victims who will be tarnished by your spiteful selfish actions. Therefore, adding to the blurred lines of what is and isn’t a sexual wrong doings.”
For too long it has been put out there; through film, tv and various other forms of media; that victims will suffer. That they will be too traumatised trying to prove what happened to them, will not be believed, will never be able to get over it and that it will negatively impact their future relationships. As I think about it more I wonder, “the media industry has proven to be one of the most rife with sexual misconducts is that just a coincidence?” Growing up in a world where the media can and does, to a degree, shape our expectations of most life experiences, there is no surprise that people have not wanted to hold those that hurt them accountable. The message has been out there for years. Let’s face it, it was only during the tail end of the 20th century that people began to stop ignoring this type of behaviour. Are we really surprised that victims did not feel they could come forward.
I have seen comments that say, well why did “the victim” still associate with that person afterwards. How could they smile and take pictures with the same person who hurt them. I’ll be honest that flashed through my mind when I saw recent reports about Rose McGowan, Uma Thurman and Hilarie Burton to name a few. But I was just as quick at answering my own initial question. The answer:
- The same way a person marries the one who assaulted them just a week, days or even hours before.
- The same way a person gets up and goes to work with a smile on their face after being assaulted less than 24hrs previously.
- The same way a frightened person will question their reality as the perpetrator brazenly visits them and interacts with them as if nothing has happened.
Sometimes the mind will do whatever it can to protect itself . So before you judge too harshly, just remember you don’t know what their thought process was after those traumatic moments happened. The reasons that come to mind – denial, repressed memories, PTSD, Stockholm Syndrome, traumatic bonds, past abuse, they chose to turn something traumatic into something positive, sheer fear of the person. To name a few – there are reasons for everything.
Everyone has a chapter they don’t read out loud.
I am so beyond happy that now as you grow up you will know, not only from mamma and pappa but also from society, that if someone hurts you, you can ask for protection. If someone makes you uncomfortable you don’t have to put up with it. If someone abuses their power; and all you can do at the time is smile and try to pretend like everything is normal; you don’t have to, you can speak out – sooner rather than later. You will know from the outset that that person was wrong. That how you feels is valued and you wont have to ever have to hide that. Believe me when I tell you – “Secrets are the cancers of the soul and that’s what those perpetrators thrive on.”
So to my darling girl, as much as I would love to believe that my prayers, wishes and your father and my’s protection will keep you safe always. I know that is not enough and that unfortunately, in the world we live in there is a chance someone will put you in a #metoo situation. What I you can tell you is TELL SOMEONE!! If something doesn’t feel right tell us. If you are in a situation where you don’t feel comfortable, leave ASAP. Or you will always wish you did my darling. Forget about being polite, drop that smile and dig deep, use those lungs your mama gave you and scream NOOOOOOO!!. And if that doesn’t work knee them in the crotch or you throw a punch/elbow to the throat. Mamma ain’t raising no fool baby girl. I know you will have you’re wits about you but whether it is a stranger, teacher, colleague, friend or family member please know that –
If it doesn’t feel right IT PROBABLY ISN’T!