Controversy of Sexual Entitlement

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This is going to be a difficult post to write. For some of you, it may even be a difficult thing to read. My opinion here won’t be popular, and I’m ok with that. My opinion rarely follows the social ebb and flow.

Stand for what is right

By now, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen #MeToo plastered on social media accounts by women who have been sexually harassed in some way. The premise of the hashtag is to raise awareness as to the reality and prevalence of the issue. My understanding is it originated following the Harvey Weinstein allegations.

Before I go on, let me state as clearly as I can: Men who abuse women in any fashion are wrong. Period. No excuses. No justifications. It’s just wrong. So at any point, when reading below, if you think I’m justifying the actions of despicable men who choose such exploitive behavior, feel free to re read this paragraph. Abuse is wrong. End of story.

Here’s the issue. We live in a society where truth has become relative, and every ridiculous act can be categorized as merely an illness. The impulse to rape an individual isn’t an illness. It’s just wrong. Molestation/unwanted comments…also not an illness. It’s wrong. But in a time where truth is now relative, the lines between right and wrong get blurred into some disgusting shade of muddy grey, and suddenly everything is permissible based upon tolerance and the justification of an illness.

Sorry. This woman isn’t buying it. That’s a load of crap. Plain and simple.

And unfortunately, a socially acceptable hashtag on the subject fixes nothing.

As a woman, I find it sickeningly comical that the Me Too hashtag trend even exists.  I can’t name a single woman in my life who hasn’t been on the receiving end of some man’s lewd comments or worse. OF COURSE we’ve all been harassed! Is everyone living in a fantasy world of unicorn slime and fidget spinners where the enthrallment of trendy toys has us burying our heads in the sand?! How is this news in Oct of 2017?!

And if you’re a man, you cannot, in total honesty, tell me you’ve never either said something horribly inappropriate to a woman or witnessed it happen. It’s all around us in an overly sexualized world. We are inundated with it. And somehow we think this needs “awareness”…… ?

We are all well aware. And I’ve got news for you. Hashtags are just a popular trend and this one will be gone as quickly as #IceBucketChallenge. Will it force a conversation? Maybe. For a minute. Will anything change? Nope.

Why?

Because the real issue doesn’t have jack-squat to do with sexual harassment or rape culture. It has to do with basic entitlement and complete lack of respect. And, my friends, that lack of respect goes in all directions….Not just men lacking respect for women….

People lack respect for people.

When you get down to the real nitty-gritty of it, we kill babies and save puppies. I like puppies. But puppies are cute and cuddly and a much more socially acceptable version of something to save. Babies? Well, that’s too controversial. That’s too political. That’s too HUMAN so let’s not talk about that…right? Let’s save puppies instead. Everyone loves puppies.

Sorry folks, something is wrong with that picture….

If we kill our own children, and toss the elderly and disabled aside, did we think respect for the female population should somehow just take priority? That’s asinine.

If we emasculate men, and treat them more like dogs than actual people all in the name of feminism, did we think they’d take kindly to that and come crawling on their hands and knees apologizing for treating women as less than human as well? Basic logic says…. Duh… No.

If we wear vagina hats and march through the streets proclaiming our right to do what we want with our reproductive organs, please, for the love of all the puppies, explain to me why in the heck men would not claim  the same behavior!

Essentially, sexual harassment, molestation, and rape are men “doing what they want with their reproductive organ.”  Everybody wants to scream gender equality, but guess what?! THAT’s equality! A really messed up version of it, granted. But it is what it is, and it’s certainly not solving any issues.

Andi, that’s so not the same thing. You are being sooo closed minded.”

No, I’m living in reality, not fantasy. We’ve taught everybody to:

“Do what makes you happy.

Do what makes you feel good.

Live for yourself.

Be true to yourself.” ….

Well, this is where selfishness gets you.

Andi, if you only knew what happened to me, you wouldn’t say these things. You just don’t understand.”

Don’t I? Are you sure?

I would say #Me Too in capital letters, thrown up in a smoke signal, spray painted on the 50 yard line at the Superbowl, and written on the moon if I thought it would fix something.

I’ve been there.

I’ve had a man abuse his position as my boss to harass and molest me. I would’ve been raped on more than one occasion were it not for someone else knocking on the door to interrupt what they had no idea was taking place. He was a man so, by sheer nature, he was stronger than me. I was desperate for income at the time, and was too scared to risk my job by saying something. My story isn’t terribly different from many others.

It happened. It was traumatizing, and it haunts me how much worse it could have gotten, but by the grace of God and the timing of those knocks…

But I have a serious problem with women who, in the next couple of weeks, will go to Halloween parties dressed in as little clothing as possible, under the guise of a holiday, only to turn around and post #Me Too on their social media when a man dare stare at her backside a little too long. Or if there’s been too much to drink so hands go where hands don’t belong, and suddenly there’s an issue.

There’s no justification for disrespect in this manner. And ladies and gentlemen, like it or not, it is a two-way street.

“Andi, you’re saying it’s her fault.”

No. I’m saying don’t be so ridiculous as to think that being female gives you the right to act however you please. Consequences happen. Drunk drivers kill people. Impaired judgement generally breeds unwanted results. It is a fact of life. It’s called being an adult, and leaving entitlement behind.

Conduct yourself like a lady if you are one. Respect yourself enough to not dress in some ridiculous manner, only to have a man act like a baboon around you.

Men, grow up. You don’t want to be called an animal? Don’t act like one.

We cannot have it both ways. We cannot sexualize everything, and then act surprised when abuse surfaces.

Just today, I saw an article on the subject where Joy Behar was blasting men for their treatment of women. The text was just below a photo of her laughing and grabbing Robin William’s crotch while they stood at a photo op on a red carpet. Uhm, inappropriate much? ( I’d link the article, but quite frankly, I don’t want it getting more traffic than necessary.  I’m sure a quick google search will bring it up if you’re that curious). 

Respect is the name of the game. Teaching it is the only way sexual entitlement will change.

You are responsible for you. Of course you cannot control the actions of another, but you sure as heck can take steps to minimize the chance. It’s why we have airbags and seatbelts.

Don’t be part of the 95%…..

Be the one who draws lines in black and white, right and wrong.

Be respectful.

Be careful.

Be smart.

Be the fifth percentile.

It’s difficult because it is rare. It is rare because it is difficult.

 

*and don’t do what I did. Report your boss…or whomever is hurting you. You are worth more than that. You are worth being treated well.

 

“Write A Book,” They Said

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“It’ll be fun,” they said.

Do you know what it takes to write a book?  …Probably the same list of things I was supposed to utilize when writing all those research papers.  Outlines & thesis statements & some semblance of an organized thought process to the words strewn across the page.

Generally speaking,  there should probably be a goal for the reader to come away with a profound sort of inspiration/realization from having spent their valuable time reading this book.

And let’s not forget the paramount nature of editing & grammatical correctness.

I’m a terrible editor,  & while grammatical errors tend to drive me a tiny bit insane,  I don’t pretend to actually know what I’m doing when placing commas & semicolons.  I just wing it…& I can’t even wing my eyeliner so my abilities here aren’t exactly New York Times Bestseller worthy…

The very idea of inspiring a life realization in another person causes anxiety to kick in on such a high level that I nearly have a stroke.

(Ok,  that might’ve been the slightest bit dramatic).

But it’s a lot! A..Lot…

Of pressure

Of responsibility

Of fear.

And if we’re being honest,  fear is the one thing I’ve always been really good at.

Fear is like my unseen,  unexplained,  conjoined twin. We aren’t just siblings,  Fear and I. We share the same internal organs, the same heartbeat. If Fear dies, I die. We are inseparable because Fear is my lifeline. Where I go,  Fear goes.

People say I’m quiet.  The joke is ‘it’s because you don’t want to know what I’m actually thinking.’  The reality,  though,  is that it’s because Fear is present. Fear never shuts up. Not ever. So I can’t get a word in edgewise.

Putting a muzzle on Fear proves to be difficult considering she likes to invite her best friends Anxiety & Depression over on a frequent basis. At this point,  we’re all very comfortable around one another, although they do prefer the dark. Me? I’m afraid of the dark. How’s that for a life conundrum?!

I said I would post the ugly truth here.

The ugly truth is I know I’m not the only one who feels like she’s constantly clawing her way out of some dark pit in the desert while Anxiety & Depression each grab an ankle and try to pull her back in. And because the nature of Fear is hating the unknown, she prefers to be moving in the opposite direction of the strongest pull.

But we all know down is easier than up.

Then again,  when you’re at the bottom, or when you’re fighting to climb out, the easiest place to focus is up towards the Light.

 

Oh, my soul

You are not alone

There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know

One more day, He will make a way

Let Him show you how, you can lay this down

‘Cause you’re not alone

Here and now

You can be honest
I won’t try to promise that someday it all works out
‘Cause this is the valley

And even now, He is breathing on your dry bones

And there will be dancing
There will be beauty where beauty was ash and stone
This much I know

-Casting Crowns

So write the book….errrrr blog.

Get the job.

Skydive.

Do that thing. The scary one. That Fear says you can’t.

Because if I can, you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And So It Begins

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Technically speaking, this place, The Fifth Percentile, was born close to a decade ago by a woman in her mid 20’s who was searching for her place in the world. The posts were filled with sarcasm and humor in a brand all her own, but the truth is she wasn’t laughing. She was filled with overwhelming dread and a paralyzing fear of the unknown.

Authenticity was lost in favor a much more acceptable version of herself. The sarcasm was a cover, and the humor was forced. Her wit had always been quick, but writing in a public forum required a filter of sorts, at least in her own mind.  She appeared confident; arrogant even…It was all documented here, making it seem as though she had the world by the tail.

But the truth…the dark, ugly reality… was missing. She was broken, so she hid. After 100’s of posts filled with lighthearted sarcasm, she stopped. She stood up from the keyboard and walked away because the façade had taken a plunge from exhilaration to exhaustion.

Everyone has a chapter in their book they don’t want read aloud.

She didn’t just have a chapter. She wanted to rewrite most of the book. She wanted to tear out page after page, and toss it into a fire until all the ugliness was reduced to grey ashes, unrecognizable as life. My life.

The blog …this blog…sat untouched for years as I contemplated whether I wanted to write again…whether I wanted to put words to what being real looks like.

Could people handle it?

What if I wrote it all down, and no one read it?

What if I wrote it all down, and everyone read it?!

I am teetering on the edge of mid 30’s now. I still find humor in the most inappropriate of situations, and sarcasm is as natural as breathing. But that is only part of me. My story isn’t pretty, or politically correct, or especially kind. It’s raw and emotional, and parts of it are shocking.

It’s hurt behind the humor.

It’s darkness in between the light.

It’s ugliness beyond the beauty.

But there is purpose here. There is purpose in me…in learning from the past, and in showing the light at the end of the tunnel even on days when I don’t see the brightness at all.

Someone once told me:

95% of the world are idiots, and the other 5% have possibilities!

I used to just relate this to the ever-waning common sense in the world, and the amount of stupidity found in the general population. It’s how the blog became known as The Fifth Percentile.

Today, it’s taken on new meaning. It takes strength and courage in the face of adversity to be transparent…to put it all on the line and write the hidden chapters. That’s the goal.

That is The Fifth Percentile.

(Not to worry, though. There will still be plenty of #tallgirljokes and #didhejustsaythat moments along the way!)