Today we live in a society where both women and men should have their own sense of strength, courage, and unique individuality. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In light of most recent events on the news, the powerful has become the weak, and oh how the mighty has fallen. I am not one for commenting on anything political, or even controversial, but due to the nature of the beast; I am compelled to share this...
It should not matter whether you are a male or a female, a baby, a child, a young adult, or even an adult for that matter, but it does. It should not matter the color of your skin, your sexual preference, or even your religion, but it does. It should not matter if you are a victim, or the aggressor, but it does. It should not matter how you wear your clothes, or carry yourself with confidence, but it does. It should not matter whether you want it, like it, or even hate it, sex should always be consensual, but sometimes it is not. No one should have to be a victim, but sometimes they are. No child, or parent of that child should ever have to explain why you can not be a unique individual in how you express yourself, whether it is the clothes that you choose to wear, or how you walk and talk. No man or woman should have to rethink what they wear other than what is customary for the occasion. Nobody should ever be afraid of someone else that is close to them, a family member, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife. And no one should ever be afraid to say no, I don’t want to do that, whether it is saying no to drugs, alcohol, and or especially sex, but sometimes we are afraid.
Fear can create the fight or flight instincts in all of us to react to whatever the circumstances may be. Although sometimes that reaction is suppressed out of fear, it causes us to freeze, and we cannot fight or run away, no matter how much we want to. Please remember to anytime that you were too afraid to speak out against a bully, or even fight back, we just stand there and take whatever happens to us. The same reaction can occur if we are in a situation where we feel trapped, there’s nowhere else to go, and we may be in fear of our own lives. Although we may not be in a situation where our lives are in jeopardy, we still can have our lives threatened by the outcome. Oftentimes it is a casual threat, or a promise of what is to come if we don’t tell what happened, sometimes it is simply the disbelief that it ever occurred by the ones we trust the most that causes us to remain silent.
Sexual harassment, molestation, and even rape can occur to anyone. This is not a disease that can be cured with antibiotics, but something we can prevent with knowledge. Ignorance is believing something else is to blame other than the one committing the crime. It is not the way we look, dress, or even look at someone, and it is not something anyone wants to happen to them. Children are too young to understand what is going on, and most of the time it is someone they trusted who is the attacker. Women often are blamed for being too attractive, or wearing something that hangs too low, or rides too high, and they are not asking for it. Men are almost never thought of when it comes to sexual misconduct, unless they are named the assailant, and not the victim; they are equally victims themselves too, but more often at a much younger age. No matter what your race, religion, or sexual preferences are, everyone is at risk to be a victim of some form of sexual assault.
I speak as a former victim, but I try not to let the past determine my present self, or my future self. I did not ask for it I was only twelve and didn’t realize that it was bad, but it wasn’t my fault. When I was thirteen was I really consenting or coerced into it? When I was fifteen I didn’t want to do all the things that my boyfriend wanted to do. When I was sixteen I didn’t want to have unprotected sex, and my crazy then boyfriend thought otherwise. When I was under the age of eighteen; I was either scared or confused. When you don’t want to do something and it is done to you anyway it shouldn’t matter when you change your mind. We all have experimented with sex, drugs, or alcohol at various stages in our lives, and it is ok to say no, and its ok to change your mind at any given time. No one should ever hurt you for that.
You have the power to say no, don’t worry how the other person feels. If it does not feel right then don’t do it, no matter what it is. Believe in yourself, trust your instincts, let your fight or flight take control, and always dream big.