The term “sexual harassment” is popping up all over the front page media outlets, bringing to the surface an age-old issue regarding the maltreatment of women as a gender.
Under the recent headlines regarding Weinstein, Frank, Rose, Ratner, Louis C.K., Lasseter, Lauer, Huff, Moore and countless other males, and possibly females, a common thread of Power and Control fuels these “allegations”, driving home a much deeper issue….the tolerance of sexual abuse.
I am not a silent mouth when it comes to highlighting the perpetual abuse of any individual, but when dealing with the sexual harassment, abuse, violence and degradation of women, those who identify as women and “legally” labeled children, I become more than a voice. I become a volcano full of the feelings and emotions personally felt by each and every individual who has survived these haneous crimes against their very soul.
I am not scared to speak it because I have lived it.
Sexual harassment has many definitions, depending upon which organizational leader defines the policy. As long as you “CYA” from a minimalized administrative perspective (aka…pencil whipping), then your definition is deemed acceptable.
On the more accepted surface, it can be HOW you approach an individual, WHAT you say to an individual, IF you touch an individual, WHERE you touch an individual, WHAT items or behaviors you engage in around an individual and even WHERE any of the above occurs. It can be text, email, phone message, direct contact, innuendo, joke, plausible deniability and can occur with strangers such as wait staff, coworkers, friends, clients, subordinates, family and ANYONE else not listed here. It occurs in churches, schools, small businesses, contract workers, corporations, government organizations, protection agencies, sports groups and EVERYWHERE else.
Personally, I have endured it as a child via sexual abuse, so innocent and trusting, as teen who was directly raped by a fellow classmate then humiliated a group of girls because of it, and as a runaway who experienced way more of her share of it than some. As an adult, I dealt with it as a waitress on a military installation trying to make money to pay off bills, directly from my recruiter, my tech school instructor and my first supervisor while in the service. I have experienced it directly from customers at my own garage sale, customers at my husband’s shop, individuals who have walked into my place of business and from different business owners and their staff in the fields of fitness and martial arts.
It is so widely accepted (plausible deniability), and even sensationalized, that it is not isolated, nor does it wear a special sign, robe or hat.
Sexual abuse, which includes direct and indirect penetration, touching, harassment, innuendos, jokes, flirting and other manners of using ones position or power or influence to obtain sexual attention, favors, acts or worse, contact, is A B U S E.
Without the full detailed version, I was targeted by two very skilled individuals in an act called “hedging”. They used their power, influence, abilities, strength and money to hone in on my own vulnerabilities of the past and present. They used their power over me to obtain steps towards their own agendas and goals. I was not the first, but I was the one who spoke out.
I was targeted. I was hedged. I was taken. I was humiliated. I was belittled. I was reduced to an animal. I was raped. I was removed of all that I had earned. I was cast out because I spoke out.
This is what happens to ANYONE who speaks out! Society jumps in and begins pointing a finger towards the victims who FINALLY come forward after years and years of tolerance. And why do we tolerate? Because we see what happens to those who speak out.
A vicious looping cycle.
Even in light of the current Sexual Harassment Scandals perpetuated by the media, there is a significant oppositional demonic twist regarding the victims who are finally speaking out. I have even personally seen it by men in my OWN family and circle of friends.
The main reasoning behind the victims becoming societies’ “bad guy” is that speaking out creates a disruption to whatever entity tolerates the abuse!
Of course there will be the outliers on both sides of the spectrum; those individuals who fake accusations and those who are silent their entire lives on earth. However, the absolute VAST MAJORITY, LANDSLIDE WIN, SIGNIFICANTLY DISPROPORTIONATE number of victims who finally speak out are:
Dismissal, minimization, deflection and even accusing a victim of lying or turning the tables is an even more tolerated and accepted response by society, media and culture.
Today, I am NOT here to tell you what we should do solve this rampant problem created by the tolerance of harsh gender roles, sexualization of men and women, lack of relevant and consistent punitive consequences or the continued support of corporate sponsored marketing campaigns, magazines, Hollywood and media. Those who know me, know that I am completely against the objectification of women in any form or fashion. What I am here to say is that:
It isn’t new
It isn’t ok
It needs to S T O P
It is one of the KEY underlying issues with our collapsing society
If you makes excuses for it in any capacity, you are the real problem. If you blame the victim, you are the real problem. If you tolerate it, you are the real problem. If you don’t initiate due diligence to get it under control by HOW YOU MENTALLY think about and VERBALLY speak of women, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.
I have the right to NOT be cat-called, gawked at, touched without 100% consent, not have to listen to some disgusting fat guy talk about some blow up doll image of what isn’t real, not be approached about my form while working out, not be approached while waitressing, sitting at an office desk, coaching or in any other medium of life.
I have the absolute right to LIVE a life free from objectification, comparison or demotion if I do not allow it or speak against it.
I have the right to be 100% woman 100% of the time with 100% safety, confidence, security and comfort surrounding me.