I’m terrified of the world. It feels like a train wreak happening before my eyes. We are shown so much information on things that don’t matter, while turning a blind eye to some really shitty things. Sexism. Racism. Classism. Human rights violations. Slavery. It’s all still happening, sometimes on our very own street, our very own house. Have we really made any progress at all?
I though my last post was about sexism. It wasn’t.
It was about books, and hoping books would make everything all better. They won’t.
I was attempting to turn a mirror on sexism in books, and in my own life. I failed.
I whistled a happy tune while tap dancing my way around the issue. I apologize.
The truth is that I’m terrified. I’m terrified there are so many people who still don’t understand that a legal abortion is better than the destruction caused by unsafe abortions. I’m terrified that people are unconcerned with a significant wage gap dependent on gender. I’m terrified people still hear of a rape and automatically think “What did she do to deserve it?” I wasn’t terrified that the UN reported how badly we were doing at women’s equality in this country, but I was profoundly sad. I’m also sad at how hard it still is to find female action figures, but then I’m a geek.
I’m furious about the fact that there are books and seminars on how to get away with rape, and how to control and subjugate your wife or partner. I’m pretty pissed about the sexist grandstanding currently going on in the political arena, and how many people seem on board with it, including females. I guess it’s some kind of backlash against feminism and women’s equality. Sometimes the movement goes too far in the wrong direction. Sometimes you have to scream and pitch a fit to even be heard, but then you do damage to your own ideals.
I’m angry that there are four males in the world that have sexually abused me, and that it is unreported abuse. I’m not even talking about the times I have been treated badly for being female, or cat-called, or just general sexual harassment. Just about every woman deals with that everyday, which is sad in it’s own way. I’m talking about four males who have had their hands or bodies on inappropriate places on my skin. Against my will.
One incident includes rape. I’ve been raped. It is horrible and strange to admit it. Now all those judgments people put on victims of rape will be turned to me, but I’m tired of the secrecy. It has not made me any safer or happier. Do you picture me differently, now?
Despite being decades ago, It haunts me to this day. Being stronger than the incident is exhausting. Some days it’s easy, and I forget how hard the hard days are. Other days it’s nearly impossible to get out of bed. Some days I tune out the world and write.
I truly don’t want sympathy. It is actually a small thing in a life of ups and downs. What I want is anybody reading this to just spend some time examining their own behavior. I have, and I continually find places my views are horribly sexist, against both genders. It is unbelievably deep in our culture and our brains.
Brace yourself, here’s the hard questions… In what ways are you promoting sexism? Your behavior? Your jokes? Your silence? Your secrets?
Why haven’t we done better with this as a society? Why are we smug about the small progresses we have made, and ignored how bad it is in some cultures? Why are we sliding farther from true equality?
Now, take a deep breath. I’m not saying you are bad. I think you are good. I think most people are good. I think we are all good enough to ask ourselves the hard questions, and to examine ourselves, and our society. We are good. We are humans. We can be better.
Would you like to know the number one thing that terrifies me? I have a teenage daughter. She’s next, on the front line. She’s next…