We can be clear on two things: First, women still aren't getting the respect they deserve to have, and it's been time (for a long time) that we change this narrative.
The U.S. president's supreme court nomination (Brett Kavanaugh) has been under fire about sexual assault allegations from when he was in high school by three different women. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has testified and I'm proud of her for stepping up to the plate. Kavanaugh also has testified and has been in denial about any kind of sexual contact with all three of them.
Regardless of whether or not Brett Kavanaugh committed this act, we are better off believing the claims made by the women, rather than telling them that the accused person could never do that, or that they shouldn't report things like this. It's wrong to immediately dismiss such claims or push them off to the side and enable this kind of behavior.
The problem that clearly exists is this: with certain people in power, these women are powerless to speak up when they have been sexually assaulted in the past. When they do come out with their story though, whether the allegation is denied by the accused, admitted, or deflected all together, accusers feel threatened after coming forward, and others who have been through such experiences but haven't come forward yet submit to that fear and don't come forward.
You know it's a problem, especially since the commander-in-chief thinks he can get away with as much [bleep] as he wants, such as this; furthermore, there are so many soundbites out there of him being disrespectful to women, whether it's muttering them under his breath (inexplicably, those right by him smiled as he said what he said), or saying them out loud ([coughs, as well as over social media]). You also know it's a problem when survivors like Brenda Tracy are being told that they're "terrible human beings."
When Mollie Tibbetts' life was taken too soon, it's because she turned down a man's desires to make advances on her. Her feelings weren't respected and it makes women feel like they can't say 'no'. They should never be afraid to say 'no', but they are afraid of it because of situations like this that took the life of a woman who had a bright future to come. Instead, people were mourning her death because of something that could have easily been avoided.
When the situation between Courtney Smith and former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith came to light, it was handled in a less than satisfactory way. When Zach Smith was working at Florida, one of the football staff members at the University of Florida discouraged Courtney from pursuing charges, because Zach's career was apparently more important than Courtney's dignity.
Instances like these are EXACTLY why women fear coming forward about past abuses they've dealt with, and why they don't feel like they are believed. It's time that we believe them because we will be better off if we do.
Women are still called sluts and body-shamed to this day for what they wear, regardless of the occasion.
Women are basically told that 'they asked for it' when asked about what they wore if they were sexually assaulted.
Women are still inappropriately touched by strangers when they're out with friends or told to 'smile more' when they're working at restaurants as servers.
Women are called 'gold-diggers' and 'attention-seekers'. But, just because you report something that has happened to you doesn't mean you're seeking attention, nor does it necessarily mean you're trying to get money from someone.
Women are still told that their bodies and looks are more important than their brains.
Women are still told that 'he would never do that to you." But he did it.
Women are still told that their voices aren't important.
Women who have come forward about being sexually assaulted are still called 'liars'. Because of this,...
Women still feel like they're powerless.
Until this stops, the problem that women still aren't respected will continue to exist.
None of this is the woman's fault. Rather, it's the fault of those in positions of power who deem that it's okay to be disrespectful, abusive, neglectful, manipulative, dishonest, deflective, in denial, or to silence women from letting the truth come out. Hush-money doesn't change the fact that they did something wrong. Denial and deflection only go so far. Those in positions of power will very seldom understand the negative impact of their words and actions.
Let me tell you this: If you didn't have a brain, you wouldn't be alive. Your brain IS important. Let's use our BRAINS to think, to think about what we can do to be part of the solution rather than the problem. #SetTheExpectation
You shouldn't tell a woman that her brain is less important than her body, and you definitely shouldn't discourage her from reporting a sexual assault case. Women still aren't getting the respect they deserve to have, and it's been time for a long time that we change this narrative.
What does it take to respect the women in our world? Apparently, it takes years of abuse, disrespect, neglect, manipulation, and silencing. The last, I checked, none of those behaviors are respectful in any way.
Before you attack me for making this political or calling me a 'leftist', or anything of that kind, let me tell you that this is not a political matter at all. This is a human matter. A moral matter.
Yes, you ARE innocent until proven guilty, and Kavanaugh hasn't yet been found guilty, but at the same time, we must believe all the stories that are testified both through the media and under oath, until they are concluded to be true or indeterminable, and continue to believe all victims even after the verdict comes out. We CAN do both of these things while showing women the respect that they deserve. It's time that we do.