That Shit is Just Not OK
I’ve been seeing a lot online lately about an issue that I have a few things to say about: Sexual Assault. Between all the allegations in Hollywood, the #MeToo movement, and our President, it’s hard to make it through a single day without seeing something about it. Quite frankly, I’m getting a bit sick of seeing it constantly. Not because I don’t think it is an issue that needs attention and change, but because it is still an issue at all. I’m sickened by what some people think is, or ever was, an acceptable way to treat other human beings.
I generally try to be as positive an uplifting as possible in what I choose to write and share with the world. I stated last night in the very short piece I wrote that I’m grateful for all of you, and that I love you all. That’s still true because I don’t imagine anyone reading this will fall into the exception I’m about to mention.
I AM grateful for you, and I DO love you…That is, unless of course you’re the victim blaming, excuse making sort when it comes to sexual assault that thinks it is EVER ok. Not just of women, but men, children, ANYONE. That shits just not ok and you can just go ahead and fuck off. Your presence is not required or desired here and I have zero patience for such bull shit.
People use all sorts of justifications for behavior that’s simply unacceptable and it just blows my mind. Boys will be boys? Seriously? This isn’t the 18-fucking-hundreds anymore! And what does that even mean anyway? I was a boy (I’d like to think I’m a man now) and I never did that shit! I’m very much against physical punishment when it comes to child rearing but if I’d ever done things like that as a boy, I certainly hope my parents WOULD have beat my ass for it because I would have deserved it. And if that’s the only way I was going to learn it, well, I’d much rather have my ass beat than have a friend get violated.
Now, I’m certainly not suggesting that kicking our kids’ asses is going to fix the problem. I WILL say, that to a degree, it IS the fault of the parents that raised these individuals, but it’s not that simple. I know plenty of people that were raised by parents that felt certain types of behaviors were perfectly acceptable and they’ve grown up to hold dramatically different opinions. Blaming the parents still doesn’t excuse the behavior and doesn’t make the individual any less responsible for it. If you can teach a dog to ignore a steak sitting on a plate at eye level just because you say no, as the “more advanced species” we should be able to expect the same level of respect from people.
To the guys out there that complain about how touchy women can be about comments that are intended as genuine compliments, I understand what you’re saying. As guys, we don’t always think things through all that fully and, on occasion, we say things that aren’t so well advised. They sound better in our heads and sometimes come out of our mouths before they register completely. We may be trying to be a nice guy and offer a compliment to brighten someone’s day and accidently trigger them instead.
To this I say, imagine that someone has taken sand paper to your skin and rubbed vigorously until the skin is all red and raw. Even the nurse or doctor with the softest hands, gentlest touch, and best intentions, is going to cause a measure of pain when touching the raw skin while attempting to help heal it. You’ll flinch and recoil from the touch because it still hurts. For years and years, this is basically what has been happening and the damage done is not going to just heal over night and be all better.
We have to be mindful, all of us, regardless of race, age, or gender, that this has been going on for too long and give a second thought to our words and actions. I’m just as guilty of not thinking things through as much as I perhaps should have as well. For example: A couple months ago I was walking downtown, and I passed a small courtyard with a woman sitting by herself eating her lunch. She looked like she might have been having a rough day and without giving it much thought, I walked over and said, “Incase no one has told you, you look really beautiful today” and then turned and continued on my way.
I didn’t ask for her number or a date. I didn’t try to sit down and join her, nor did I get too close as to invade her personal space. I also didn’t even bother to consider whether or not she might be a bit intimidated or bothered by some random biker lookin’ dude that she’s never met approaching her out of the blue and offering an unsolicited opinion on her physical appearance. Oh yah, and this was before I stopped wearing the big ass bowie knife all the time too.
Personally, I don’t think that my comment was crossing any lines and she seemed grateful for the compliment rather than offended, but my point is that I didn’t even consider that she might be. No matter our intentions, we all need to think about our words and actions before sharing them. We need to continue to discuss the topic of sexual assault until everyone is on the same page about consent and respecting the rights of others. We need to stop blaming the victims and asking what they were wearing or doing that could have led to the occurrence.
Consent is a really simple concept. Seriously, it’s not complicated at all. It’s either a clear decisive yes, or it’s a no. Don’t assume, don’t guess, just fucking ask! I can promise you, it’s not awkward or weird. Consent is sexy. Who doesn’t want to have a verbal confirmation that the other person involved wants them? They’ll respect you more for respecting them, and you get to hear them say they want you. It’s a win-win!
I could go on for days on this topic undoubtedly, but I don’t want to confuse the point with too much talking. I’ll recap just to say it all one more time and make sure it has sunk in. Sexual Assault is never ok, ever. Be aware of what you say and do and how someone else might perceive it. Don’t make excuses for it, there is never a justification. Don’t blame the victim, that’s like blaming the steak for existing when the dog eats it, it just doesn’t make sense. Consent is sexy, make sure you have it. And finally, anything less than a clear concise YES, is a NO.
If you have any thoughts or comments, feel free to add them below. I’d certainly appreciate some feedback or other opinions. As always, thanks for taking the time to read what I’ve got to say!