In the last few months, sexual harassment has been such a hot topic of conversation for just about everyone. Whether it’s online on FB posts and Twitter feeds, or a discussion being had at the dinner table with guests or family, where before to speak of such a thing was considered taboo, now people like Weinstein, Bill Cosby, former FOX news chief Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, L.A Reid, David Mueller, and even comments by our president Donald Trump (“Grab them by the pussy!”) have opened up the lines of communication for accusers all over the world. Women from all economic class levels, cultures, ages, have been coming together to speak of their stories that for up until now have been kept buried in the farthest corner of their minds. Almost as if it were a story that wasn’t wanting to be told until now.
My story is not very different when comparing it to the others that have been told. It seems to always start off with a man who feels in power. Whether it is the situation at hand that makes them feel powerful or something else in life that makes them feel empowered, they almost always seem to have the upper hand like an illusion produced by an intimidating magician. I can personally tell you about three separate occasions that single handily happened to me where I was alone and an unsuspecting victim. I can then also give you a list of “minor” instances that fall longer than a roll of toilet paper where I have fallen victim to the cat calls, the groping, the unwanted advances. Even an incident as recent as last weekend in which I was at a concert with my boyfriend and I was touched multiple times, obviously unwillingly, by a shadow in the crowd. How did we get to be a society in which the norm is for women to be fondled or fall prey to these heartless cowards. Cowards because they hide in the shadows, cowards because they hide behind their titles and their roles in society.
With the #metoo movement, not only have people who have fallen victim to sexual assault found a group of comfort and support, but we also have been seeing a change in the attitude of men, some who are self admitting to committing such advances.
Right now we are living in a time in which many voices who have been silenced have been given a mic. Some may think that this is our “five mins of fame” or that we are presently standing on our “soap boxes” in hopes to make a small wave in what recently has been seen as the “norm” in society. Yet for us, it’s not about making a wave. It’s about starting a movement. We want to be able to move towards change in order to allow for a better future. We will no longer stand for allowing the mistreatment of people no matter the age, race, heritage, nor gender. We may not have been able to always stand up against those we accuse, but at least now we can stand together for the cause. I may not have children of my own but children are our future.
To all of my friend’s who have children, those kids are our future and we must make this a better place for them to grow, live, and evolve. We must break this unacceptable cycle of sexual assault whether it’s on our campuses, work place, or simply at home. It is not Ok for those in power to feel as though those who aren’t have no say, have no voice.
To all of you who are just like me, although together we stand united and strong, we must never forget that to stand strong as a whole means that we hold a little piece inside of us that is strong too. Feel empowered because you are. We are the face of resistance.
Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: Fort Myers Beach, FL