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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.