I don’t normally write about politics. I try to be like Sweden, as neutral as possible in public. My political and religious views are no one’s business but my own. Lately though, I’ve been moved to speak up, share news articles, and consider current events. How can I not?
Any thinking person in the United States right now is aware of the shift in our climate.
Not the weather-and-atmosphere climate, but our social and political climate. One would have to be blind and deaf to not see it, feel it. A fire has been sparked, slowly, yes, but it is catching. Anita Hill was the first spark that I can remember when she came forward and testified to what Judge Thomas had done to her.
There have been others.
Bill Cosby was sentenced (finally!), while still denying what he’s done. And then along came this quiet, well-spoken lady named Christine Blasey Ford and the doors were blown off of the closet. Women everywhere are rallying around her, speaking out, and organizing. We are done pretending that mens’ behavior is acceptable just because they’re men.
Why is it that when a man comes forward and says that he was abused by a coach or clergy member as a teenager, the world applauds him for his bravery at coming forward and speaking up, but when a woman comes forward and says that she was sexually harassed or sexually assaulted by a classmate, a teacher or a politician when she was younger, the world screams that she is lying, and ask what she was wearing?! Bullshit.
Sexual assault is any form of physical, sexual contact that is unwanted.
The ass grab, boob graze, or unwanted kiss are the obvious “no big deal” ones.
No big deal except when they aren’t welcome. Almost always, such things are viewed by most as something that just happens. Brush it off. It’s not a big deal. But it is. I don’t want a man groping me. His hands don’t act independently of his brain. He thought about what he did and then acted on it. Men can and should control their actions. “No big deal”?
No. If you are a woman, you know this isn’t the truth, even if, somewhere in your mind, you tell yourself it was just one of those things you need to brush off. The next man who gropes me will get brushed off with an elbow to the gut.
But he was just a teenager. They do dumb things.
Wrong. The things that you do as a teenager should have consequences, no matter when they are brought to light. When a woman who has been sexually assaulted is not allowed to sit on the jury of sexual assault case but a man who is accused of sexually assaulting someone in his past is allowed to preside over sexual assault cases, something is very wrong. We had a president who was caught in the act of consensual oral sex and was impeached, and yet someone who is accused of sexual assaulting someone has been appointment the highest legal position in the nation.
I don’t normally talk about where I stand on politics, and I don’t plan to do much of it in the future but I will say this: The way that I will be voting from now on has completely changed direction. I am not a Republican, nor am I a Democrat. I am a woman who is tired of silently bearing mens’ bad behavior. From now on, my votes will reflect this standard.
Any person running for office from now on will need to be respectful, responsible for themselves and their behavior (past and present), and mentally stable.
Bob Dylan was right. The times, they are a-changing.