Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Reflecting on the Past

The recent political revelation has led to a lot of attention on the issue of sexual assault. There is a NPR story about a tweet that launched a million women remembering the first time they were assaulted.

I cannot remember the first time. I remember a number of times, mostly petty and small, where a boy rubbed up against me or put his hand where it wasn't wanted. Most events happened when I was in grade school, mostly guys that literally didn't know any better. I didn't either. It wasn't until I was in college that sexual harassment became something people talked about - and it took people awhile to figure out what was normal and what was actually something that could be considered actionable.

David Gerrold has a disturbing Facebook post about learning that virtually all women have a story about unwanted contact.

I've been having nightmares the last few days, remembering things I'd worked hard to forget. I've never been raped. In fact, until recently I would have said the things done to me weren't enough to worry about. But if that's the case, why am I having constant nightmares about them every time I try to fall asleep?

I don't blame the boys. I blame our society. I blame every person who thinks that sort of rhetoric is acceptable "locker room talk". It isn't. It's discussion of sexual assault. Whether or not the "men" who talk that way act on those words, they are enabling rape and assault by allowing that talk and claiming it's normal. And, frankly, if you are inclined to defend those words, I don't want to know you. I don't want to hear from you. I don't want anything to do with you. As a society, we know better now. We are better.