This is a post I made on Facebook about 2 weeks ago. I am going to try to remember to save these long winded albeit brief moments of clarity for this here blog instead of always throwing them on the Face. I figured, why not share this one here as well.
November 18, 2017
So, I wasn’t going to post about this because there are already so many opinions floating around. Valuable, worthy opinions. But I am also seeing a lot of unnerving verbiage as well. So, I’ve decided to spew my own thoughts onto this page for a moment. This may get long.
Sexual assault, abuse, misogyny does not discriminate based on political leaning, economic standing or education level. This shit is so embedded and ingrained into our society that it’s been almost invisible to our attention for so long.
Being called a fucking bitch for politely declining a date request, being touched at work in a way that makes skin crawl, a father’s friend who stares way too long, being smeared all over social media after refusing sex, being pinned up against a wall while feeling gooey unwanted breath from way too close…
The stories are endless and 99% of us have them. Did we report them? Did we seek justice? Usually not. Who would we tell? Who would listen? Who would believe? The consequences of telling usually far surpassed the faint chance of retribution.
Finally, women (and men) are speaking up because there is safety in numbers. Questioning their decision to come forward or remain quiet is appalling. The decision couldn’t be more personal.
My heart broke with the news of Spacey, Louis and, now, Franken. It is hard to hear these things about those you’ve respected and enjoyed.
Does the Franken story match up against the others? Of course not. We also do not have any evidence that this is a pattern of behavior. I also think we need to be careful not to lump every idiotic mistake into the same pile. I know a lot of great guys who did something stupid in their past. That doesn’t define who they are or have become. There is also room for forgiveness. These things should be considered.
HOWEVER, using a woman’s political affiliation, her past choices or her fucking attire as a means to discredit her story is repulsive. I don’t care if she was a pole dancer prancing naked down the street. Absolutely NOTHING gives a man a free ticket to use a woman as his toy. Ever.
I was falsely accused of a terrible thing and it forever altered my existence. I will never fully recover. I am well aware that people lie and make shit up for their own benefit. It does happen.
But I have also been a victim. One who was not listened to. I’ve had hands around my neck and I’ve been touched against my will. More than one occasion, more than one man and, after, many who didn’t listen.
I am against the immediate pitch fork witch hunt responses. The damage that can do may be irreparable. And it is dangerous.
But I also will not tolerate victim blaming/shaming. I will always give the victim the benefit of the doubt in absence of any reason not to.
“He only stuck his tongue in her mouth.”
“Women should dress modestly.”
“She is making this up for politics.”
These a just a few things I have read in the past HOUR and they were all written by self proclaimed progressives. No. Just – NO.
Repairing institutional racism must start with white people.
Repairing institutional sexism must start with male people.
We must speak up even when uncomfortable. We must teach our children better than we were taught. We must check our own instincts, responses and privilege.
This doesn’t mean all white people are racist bigots. This doesn’t mean all men are sexist pigs. Far from it. It just means we are all responsible for improving the world around us.
It’s fucking complicated. And a lot of those vomiting their self righteous word salad all over Facebook should probably step back and just listen for a while.