Lately in these #metoo days, I’m feeling Crushed Under The Weight of the sexual harassment and discrimination I’ve finally realized I experienced all my life.
What’s horribly wrong with that sentence? The words, “finally realized.”
Up until now, I just thought that was part of being a woman. I didn’t even know to call it harassment or discrimination.
And that’s exactly the point. Harassment and discrimination are so woven into the essence of being a woman, they are the norm. Think of the woman I could have become! The things I could have accomplished! If I had been free. If no one had blocked my way and stepped on me at every turn, comment, look.
The salaries I didn’t negotiate because I didn’t want to appear aggressive or lose the job if I spoke up. Ad nauseum infinitum.
That’s why actor/director David Schwimmer (Ross of “Friends”) produced #thatsharassment, a series of public service announcements showing men and women what harassment is, what it looks like. You can see them on youtube. It was devastating for me to watch, seeing the young me in exactly these situations, not knowing what was going on, feeling powerless, not wanting to put myself in jeopardy or hurt feelings. The confused discomfort on the women’s faces. Oh so painful. Oh so seething.
A thoughtful – and devastating – article to read is about how women are conditioned to have bad sex. The female price of male pleasure by Lili Loofbourow is a must read article. Bad sex is the norm for women, we are conditioned to accept less, to not want to hurt feelings again. As if. Oh how “nice” we women are. When and where did this go so wrong? Oh, let me think, it was all Eve’s fault. There needs to be some big sex reeducation for both men and women. And women need to insist on their pleasure.
And finally (for today, that is…) I’ve been consumed with the sexual molestation trial that has finally rocked the female U.S. Gymnastics organization. How is it possible that over 150 young women were sexually molested by their team doctor over the period of 20 years, and no one noticed or cared? The fact that the young girls didn’t realize it was molestation is sad, the fact that they didn’t talk to each other is infuriating, the fact that they didn’t tell their mothers is outrageous. And when they did talk to officials, it was disgusting that no one believed them or did anything about it. Oh, and pathetic that it took place often with their mothers in the room. I’m not blaming the victims or their mothers, just the sad state of women’s ability to speak up.
What does that say about us, about our society? How can we live in such a world?
Yes I’m seething. But now, I have to do something about it. I have to decide how I will personally manifest my activism and my rage. I begin by sharing it with you. Money in the form of donations will be next. And then, there must be action on my part.
xo Liza 😡
P.S. And oh, this: When the men’s sexual molestation case came up at Penn State, millions of dollars were paid to the male victims. So far in this women’s gymnastics case, just a trifling sum to one woman. Lawyer up women! Let the suing begin!
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