There have been way too many cases coming out recently about women being sexually harassed by co-workers, family members, film directors, music industry professionals, etc. and it makes me absolutely sick. I have been lying awake forever trying to wrap my head around how so many men have gotten away with such disgusting behavior for so long without an ounce of consequence, and I just can’t.
For weeks now, many women have come out and declared that they have been sexually harassed, which was brought about by the “Me Too” tag across social media. The range of women spans from those in the public eye, to people we may know personally, and as the number of women sharing increases, I am more and more disgusted and saddened with what I read.
These women who have been sexually harassed or taken advantage of are not only exposed to such horrible behavior, but then are threatened and are forced to remain silent about what they have gone through. Keeping these things bottled in doesn’t just last for weeks or months, but it can last for years. The amount of emotional damage that can cause someone is immeasurable. No matter the threat, these women are not only emotionally and physically damaged by the harm caused to them, but then are made feel like it is their fault for being taken advantage of. This does not fly with me.
No woman should ever be made to believe that she is a sexual object. No woman should ever have to feel that wearing her favorite dress or top is ‘too provocative’ even if it makes her feel confident, just because some scum bag turns it around to say she was ‘asking for it.’ No woman should have to feel so much shame for something she is not to blame for, that it causes her not to be herself out of fear.
What makes all of this worse is that the horrendous men that sexually harass women don’t face any consequences, and walk around acting like they’ve done nothing wrong. HECK TO THE NO.
Once men are through with sexually harassing one group of women, they simply move on to the next, without being stopped. Bystanders see what’s going on, and very few step in to stand up and help the women who are victims. When a man acts in a way that threatens and deteriorates the self-esteem of a woman, he NEEDS TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.
Men, how would you feel if a woman took advantage of you in such a way that you have to them, and then threatened you with your career or family so they could continue to hurt you and other innocent people? How would you feel if going about your everyday life became extremely uncomfortable because of these actions? How would you feel if being sexually harassed caused meaningful relationships to fall apart because you were so afraid of being wrongfully treated again? How would you feel if you felt nobody would believe you if you spoke out, so you tried to bury your feelings, but they were always right there lingering at the surface?
Bystanders who don’t speak up, put yourself in the victim’s perspective. If the roles were reversed, wouldn’t you want her to stand up for you and remove you from such a toxic environment?
Any moral and right person should know that how these men are treating women is absolutely inexcusable. Nobody in their right mind should be able to rationalize mistreating a woman for their own ‘personal pleasure.’
To the women who are victims of sexual harassment and have spoken out, I am inspired by the bravery and the courage it took for you to speak such a horrible truth that was forced upon you, changed your story and how you have lived your life since those events. My heart is broken for you and all you have had to, and all that you may endure. I am in awe of how you have come together to fight the wrongs that have been done to you, even if it may have been difficult to speak out.
To the women who are victims and have not spoken out, do not feel that by not speaking out you are somehow weaker than others. You are stronger than anyone. Know that even if you are not comfortable sharing these horrible things, that we believe you and are behind you one hundred percent.
As a community of women, we must continue to fight back and speak out both for those who cannot, and for those who have. Together, we will put an end to this wicked behavior, even if that means exposing one man at a time until they are punished.
Everything you say and do matters. Nobody should ever be taken advantage of the way these women have, and we owe it to them to make a positive change.