I don’t imagine that my personal experiences are universal because I live in the bubble of my own mind. I know they are universal because I read widely on the subject and talk to a large cross-section of other women. And every single one of them and everyone that they know has stories. From the young to the old, from the Trump supporters to the ultra-left wing, all around the country and the world.
And you absolutely have not sat down with your mother (for example) and said, “Mom, I’m hearing a lot about street harassment and the like. Has that kind of thing every happened to you? I’d like to know more about your experiences if it has.” My 86 year old mother had told me a few of her stories along the way but she recently shared some more — like the time when she was 16 and her doctor grabbed her and French kissed her during a medical appointment. When her mother found out, she was horrified but knew that reporting him would get them no-where and so simply counseled her to never be alone with him again.
I’ve had my breasts touched on a crowded subway undercover of it being “so crowded” and I’ve had my crotch grabbed in a crowded bar. An astronomical percentage of women have been groped in public just like that. Someone in your family has had that happen, whether they’ve told you so or not. No doubt some of them have been assaulted in more violent ways and probably at least one has actually been raped. The fact that you don’t know that is not an indicator it hasn’t happened; it’s an indicator of the culture that we’ve lived in.
Perspective | Dear dads: Your daughters told me about their assaults. This is why they never told…
A man emailed recently in response to something I'd written about street harassment. He was so glad, he said, that his…
And if I’m snarky it’s because it adds insult to a lifetime of injury each time someone like you acts like this stuff is all a big overreaction — particularly in light of government statistics on the subject; overwhelming corroboration in the media on an almost daily basis and my very specific examples of how women are routinely deprived of justice in our legal system. If you don’t want to be snarked at, why don’t you behave like a decent human being rather than a condescending chauvenist?
Edit: Excerpted from another recent article I just came across
Men, if you think that sexual violence has not touched a women in your life, think again.
· One in five women experience rape at some point in their lives
· In the U.S., one in three women experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime
· One in four girls will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old
Clearly, due to the stigma still associated with these crimes, the actual numbers are even higher.
Women are telling their stories, and they are sharing their singular grief and outrage. Like rain drops, these stories will join into a flood.
Men, wondering what you can do? Listen. Truly, with compassion, and with some deep reflection about mis/conceptions about victims and perpetrators, as well as about the ludicrous dissonance of both wanting to allow boys their teenage impulses but also wanting to protect your female family members. Are you actually protecting anyone with this mis-belief?
Don’t question a women’s truth, or become defensive. Make space for women’s stories.
And then there’s shit like this too……..
There Is a Hidden Epidemic of Doctors Abusing Women in Labor, Doulas Say
Photo by Krista Jones courtesy of Caroline Malatesta On August 6, 2016, the number $16,000,000 echoed through the world…
If the extreme prevalence of the violence against women makes you uncomfortable, good — it should!