I really struggled with whether or not to write on this topic – #metoo – the hashtag all over SM that reveals just how many of us have been sexually harassed or assaulted.
Given how many women, AND gay men who joined this online movement, I feel pretty confident you are part of this group, too.
There’s a part of me feeling embarrassed to share some of my experiences of assault, because that part of me thinks it was my fault, or I should have known better, or worse, I asked for it.
Worse yet – I wanted it to prove something to someone else.
While none of those statements are true, it makes logical sense to me that I would say those things to myself, I mean, I grew up in a world seeing women objectified, it happened to me too.
The first memory I have of knowing something was off in some way was when I was a toddler, a family friend thought it was funny to pull my dress up, I think I had a poopy diaper and my mom had taken it off, I was going toddler commando, and this guy thought it was OK to expose my baby parts.
I am impressed with my ability to innately know, even at 2 years old, that it was NOT ok.
When I was in high school, my friend and I would walk a really popular street. I was honked at and cat called. At that age, I took it as a compliment, I had come into my woman hood, and out of my baby fat and I received their objectification as a sign I was pretty and attractive to men. All through middle school, I didn’t have much attention from boys, so this felt like a status I had finally earned.
Here’s what makes me feel dirty and wrong and really, really bad about myself.
I really thought more than twice about sharing this…but I realized, if it will help me to help you, or someone else, I have to put aside my own self criticism and judgement, and share it anyway.
I was once with a friend at a big house party, for one reason or another, we ended up staying most of the night, and I was lying with a man I didn’t really know, and had not kissed or anything, we were literally just lying there.
I remember feeling weird, I was awake but pretending to sleep.
He tried to touch me.
And instead of telling him to STOP or moving his hand away, I just moved and made those noises you make when you naturally move or wake from sleep.
But that’s not all.
Still not knowing my power, and being in my twenties, being in a place where I did stupid things to prove I was cool, I let a man I didn’t know, who was friends with a man I was involved with at the time, touch me – the man I was involved with basically told him to, and me, the young girl wanting to “be cool”, went along with it as if it was no big deal.
That breaks my heart.
It breaks my heart that there are women out there right now that are experiencing the same things – feeling like they can’t speak up, or they’ll lose something; a job, a guy, a status.
None of those things are worth more than your dignity.
I know. And you probably do, too.
In the years passed, self worth earned and known, I have learned how to say NO and stand in my power, that doesn’t always mean it’s easy or come with thoughts of doubt and how others will think of me.
Yet it – sexual harassment, and inappropriate behavior toward women is still happening – from the guy on the street to the President of the United States.
It’s quite disgraceful, if you ask me.
We are GODDESS WOMEN – HERE US ROAR!
It truly is time to speak up, to own our value, to put a stop to this atrocity.
No longer will we accept that it’s “just the way it is”, and I personally take a stand for all women everywhere to never be sacrificed their dignity.
I am a woman.
I don’t deserve to be ogled, I deserve to be seen with respect and appreciation.
I am a woman.
I don’t ASK for anything based on what I wear.
I am a woman.
I don’t have to accept it just because you say, “that’s just the way it is”
May you speak loud against harassment of women, girls, and young boys!
May you find your power within and KNOW it is NOT ok to stay silent!
May we all prosper and thrive in a world that respects, sees, honors, and values us!