There is sadly a truism about dating in this over-connected world. There is always a seeming level of disconnect between the types of communication that are available to us. Someone you might enjoy the company of in person can become someone entirely different when texting or emailing.
Plus, we women have to make a risk assessment any time we physically meet someone we’ve only just met on the Internet. It’s actually something we have to do any time we’re out with someone – even someone we may have known for a while.
Men complain that we don’t trust them. That we assume the worst of them before they’ve even gotten a chance.
As girls, we’re taught that men and boys only want one thing — to have sex with us. So before we’ve even started dating, we’re already set up to be afraid — whether it is on a conscious level or not. Then, we’re taught to dress in a certain way, act in a certain way or any of hundreds of other little criticisms about our behavior that eventually mean that if a man or boy actually attacks us sexuality, we are already set up to believe that the problem is with us, that we somehow provoked the attack by how we dressed or how we acted. Rarely, until more recently, was it ever stated clearly in many public discussions that perhaps the rapist is the problem, not us.
This isn’t about politics. It isn’t about who is better or worse. It isn’t even about ideologies.
It’s about us……and what kind of a world we want the next generations to live in.
The woman who wrote this is 27 years old. She IS the next generation to someone like me. If I had had a child at age 20, she would be this woman’s age right now.
She, like many of us, has experienced sexual harassment and sexual assault — but she, like me, has been one of the lucky ones. One of the ones who somehow lucked out that their responses got the men (oh, how I cringe to say that……because they aren’t men……they’re spoiled rotten assholes who have been told all of their lives that this kind of thing is OK to do to a female) to back off or protected themselves just enough to not get raped.
So, according to Trump and his supporters, President Bill Clinton is a sexual predator and Trump is not.
While I may not think positively about the ethics of either Clinton in that marriage, there are some real facts behind the truth. And it is NOT kind to Trump.
Of the 8 women who have come forward about sexual assault and/or harassment, there are three who were not in a consensual relationship. Now, given that I think even ONE non-consensual sexual interaction is too many, I have questions about those three.
Kathleen Willey — This is a woman who has changed her story repeatedly. It was, at best, sexual harassment based on the investigation report. She claims to have (and has affidavits in support of it) spoken to two friends about it. The part that bothers me the most? The fact that Ms. Tripp was one of those friends — this being the same women who illegally taped private discussions at the encouragement of a LITERARY AGENT (i.e. so she could write a tell-all at a later time). An independent prosecutor found that there was insufficient evidence to prove it happened.
Juanita Broaddrick —Both the original TV interviews and later the investigation could find no real proof that she had been assaulted. In fact, she repeatedly denied the assault in the 1970s until Clinton’s impeachment pushed her to come forward. With no physical evidence, repeated denials, ONLY a he-said/she-said situation and the fact that at the time she was conducting an affair with the man who later became her husband, I have serious concerns about her veracity.
Paula Jones — This is the only one of the three I give any credence to. She went straight for a sexual harassment suit immediately. It was inappropriate behavior (i.e. propositioning and exposure of private parts) but no assault. I’m a bit bothered by the fact that she was willing to settle the suit out of court, as I would have thought that this was an open and shut case of harassment. Does this excuse Bill’s behavior? Hell, no.
Just because this happened in New York doesn’t mean that it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen in smaller cities and towns.
I never reported any of the times I was sexually assaulted growing up. Not since my parents didn’t believe that a ten-year-old boy ripped my halter off to see my breasts when I was 13. I figured, if my parents didn’t believe me, surely the police would blame me as well. And even if the assaults stopped being quite so often once I hit my 20s, the sexual harassment continued until I started to hit my 4os. Plus, I am convinced that the reasons the assaults tapered off in my 20s is that after I got married, the emotional and mental abuse was already taking a toll on my personality and my looks.
It’s not that the police aren’t offering women sympathy for reporting an assault. It’s that our culture is so steeped in “boys will be boys” that these inappropriate questions and comments are somehow considered “sympathetic.”
In WHAT world is some stranger reaching down and firmly grabbing someone’s genitals an appropriateaction? Hell, the perpetrator himself knew he was out of line, because he had his shirt up over his mouth and nose.
Just a Note:
When I am speaking about others – unless I either have their permission to name them publicly, OR in the case of actual abuse DONE TO ME or IN MY PRESENCE – I will do my best to keep their identities private. In some cases, one may THINK they know whom I am talking about, but unless you actually know me and are actually trusted by me, I will NEITHER confirm nor deny the identification of the person in particular.
The other day, I called out a minor in my family. There are a number of minors in my family, and I will NOT state in this public forum who they are.
I called them out for sexually objectifying behavior. They posted something inappropriate to their Facebook wall, and within the bounds of Facebook privacy, I called them out by name within the limited public exposure of intersecting Facebook “friends.”
I suppose I should give a more detailed look into my life, if I’m going to claim to “Stand Up to be Myself.” Yes, I did some of that in my initial post on this blog, but I’m more than just a few labels.
In fact, this is probably not the last time you’ll see me talking about what makes me, me.
Why? Because to be quite honest, I spent far too much of my life allowing others to define me. Just like a lot of people do.
I’ve been defined by my family, my education, my ex-husband, the groups I choose to be part of (and have been part of in the past). Oh, I’ve struck out against those definitions, rebelling against the expectations of others about who I am. But, even that rebellion is still allowing others to define who you are.
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