I don’t know if you’ve been under a rock for the past year or so, but there’s a pretty ugly election campaign going on for President of this great country. And in the past week there has been less talk of things like gun law regulations, tax plans, family leave plans, how to keep our country safe, etc. (you know, the shit we really need to focus on?) and instead more about grabbing women by their nether regions. What is going on? I’m not choosing sides or starting a political war, but as a mother and a mother of a daughter, I think it’s important to discuss what is going on.
Not so fun fact. 1 in every 6 women is the victim of a sexual assault. Another not so fun fact, 1 in every 4 college female students is the victim of a sexual assault on American college campuses. By looking at these numbers you might think to yourself that with statistics like these you would know someone who is a victim. Perhaps you don’t know anyone and think these numbers are wrong. Another not so fun fact. 90% of these victims don’t go to law enforcement and another 30% never tell anyone. Why? Because nobody ever fucking believes the victim. It is far too easy for the other side to say the victim is a liar, and that ends that. This. Is. Not. Ok.
I have never been a victim of sexual assault. I am, however, a woman, and have been in many situations in which I feel uncomfortable. I vividly remember being in college and some random person in class telling me he wished he could be my panties so he could be between my legs. I remember another time being picked up off the floor by another man and carried around like it was a joke even though I was telling them to stop. These are tame examples of what men have been doing to women forever, but they are examples that are seen as normal by our culture because we have let this go on for so long. It’s okay to call women whores and bitches in pop culture. If a woman enjoys sex just as much as a man she is a slut and he is a god. Even leaving a mans house after a night is considered the “walk of shame.” And don’t even get me started on alcohol. Once alcohol is involved and a girl is assaulted it automatically becomes her fault because she let her guard down by drinking.
Our culture has allowed women to be looked at as pieces of meat for decades. We are there to please the greater male species and that’s it. Powerful men should be able to grab us and do whatever they want to us and we just need to be silent and take it. Enough is enough.
If there’s anything good that came out of what happened with Donald Trump this past week it’s that it at least has opened the conversation to how we need to change. To discuss consent and what that means. And parents of young children, both girls and boys, to think about how we can change our future. I know I will teach my daughter she is more than the body parts that God gave her and that she is the only person who ever has a say about her body. No will always mean no. And if God forbid anything happened to her it’s important to never be silent and instead fight what has been kept silent for others for too long. And if I am ever blessed with a boy, I’m going to teach him to be a gentleman and not to fucking rape. NO WILL ALWAYS MEAN NO.