TW – Rape, Sexual assault
At the beginning of the month, I wrote a post about a sexist and infuriating CPR instructor we had at work. He said some of the most insulting and disrespectful things I’ve actually heard first-hand, in my post second-wave feminist life, and I asked for contact information for his company to give feedback. Continue reading “Speak Up! You Don’t Know Who Is Listening!”
Wee Evelyn awoke from her afternoon nap and blinked into the afternoon sunlight, trying to orient herself. The unmoving puppy Pa was there, the blanket ja-ja was there… where was her ninny, her pacifier?
Clutching ja-ja ever tighter, she looked down, hoping to spot it down by her feet. She kicked aside the bootie that had come off her foot to clear out a potential hiding place, to no avail. She exchanged a worried glance with Pa, who told her with a look that he didn’t know where it was either.
How well do you trust your instincts? People say we should, but do you? It’s not something I’ve thought about very often, but knowing I’m going to raise a little girl has made me think about how I’m gonna teach her this stuff. I’m better in some areas than others.
I got my daily dose of street harassment yesterday.
At 4.5 months pregnant, I’m still in the stomach phase of ‘I look like I ate too much.’ (Cohiba’s like: Yeah – if you ate a baby.) I was walking back to work from an afternoon coffee jaunt and these two young guys passed me. One of them yelled, “How far along are you?”
I know many people are tired of hearing about sexism, and tired of the so-called “War on Women.” Okay. There are some thing I’m tired of, too, with regards to the way women are treated, but it’s hard to point it out without sounding accusing. So I like to use more mainstream examples to prove the point. What do you think of these four?
Like many women, I get shit on the street. I get harassed and leered at, and it makes me uncomfortable. It’s quite disempowering, because I don’t want that attention, but there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. I hate it. Sometimes it happens among my clients at work, a homeless day program where I have a little more leverage and can tell people to knock it off. On the street, I have to be a little more…. careful.
I was going to write an open letter to street oglers, things that I wish I could say to them. But there’s nothing I could say that they would hear. There are only things I can do right in that minute. Things that would not be aggressive or even perceived as aggressive. (‘Cause that can lead to threats.)
At the end of March, President Obama made April 2014 National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
Sexual assault: Unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling.
I’ve survived this. I’ve never said it in this way before, but I have survived this. Twice.
Those times weren’t traumatic. They weren’t violent. I knew both the guys. (Many survivors know their assailant!) I didn’t like it and I felt icky afterward; I still feel icky to think about it. Despite this, I never thought of it as sexual assault. I’ve always thought: You know, we were both drinking the first time, and he said he was really ashamed about it afterward. And the second time, well, I was “sewing my oats” that summer and that was just part of it. You got burned. I never considered it assault.
But it was.
Excellent analysis and super timely. This wasn’t something I noticed as I read the book, but I have noticed the pattern as well: The strong heroine needs is really pretty, though she doesn’t know/feel it, and the hero-love interest comes along and validates it for her.
I think a lot of young women identify with that – they don’t feel pretty, either – and then they wait for a hero-love interest to prove it. ‘Cause that’s what happens in books.
What do they do when life doesn’t turn out that way?