Season 15, episode 19 of "Grey's Anatomy." I have been a fan of this show from episode one, but never have I had so much respect for a TV show, its cast and its writers in my life. This episode portrayed three different stories about sexual assault, rape, and consent.
For anyone who knows the show, you know that Jo Wilson was an orphan. She finds her mother and discovers that her mother gave her up because that pregnancy was the result of rape. When Wilson returns home, she is faced with a patient who comes into the hospital and has just been raped. At the same time, Miranda Bailey and Ben Warren discover that their son, Tuck, has a girlfriend and need to talk to him about consent.
I have seen portrayals of subjects like this before. "13 Reasons Why," "Gossip Girl," even "Riverdale." I don't believe any show has ever done it justice besides this one.
This episode of "Grey's Anatomy" shows exactly what a woman goes through in the 24 hours after being raped, if she decides to seek help. It shows the struggle of coming to the hospital, covering up what really happened, the extent of going through a rape kit. The guilt, judgment, and trauma a woman feels. One of the ending scenes shows the woman being transported to the operating room with the hallways of the hospital lined with only women to support her.
That struck me deeper than any scene of any show or movie I have ever watched.
I have never been a victim of sexual assault or rape, and for that, I am grateful and extremely lucky. But I know what it is like to face the fear of the "what ifs." When I get out of work late at night, I hold my keys between my fingers in case someone decides to attack me. I constantly look over my shoulder no matter where I am, scouting out my surroundings to ensure that I am not caught off guard. I avert my eyes from men who stare a little too long, in fear that they will take a smile the wrong way and think I want their attention.
I am lucky. Every boy I have ever let into my life has been a gentleman. I've never been physically abused. I've never been forced into doing things sexually that I didn't want to do. Not every woman is as lucky as me and statistically, I might not be as lucky in the future. Being a woman means constantly having your guard up against the men who don't take "no" for an answer, the ones who think they have a right to violate your body.
I hope this episode touches the hearts of others like it did mine.
Working in a hospital, I have seen the trauma that these situations cause. I will always be the girl who looks out for other women when I'm at a bar or club, just to make sure they are alright. I will continue to watch my back because unfortunately, that is the way the world has to be today. Our society needs to feel the raw emotions that go along with rape and sexual assault and "Grey's Anatomy" hit it right on the head.