Men were asked “Why do you fear women?” and they answered “Because we are afraid they will laugh at us.”
Women were asked “Why do you fear men?” and they answered “Because we are afraid they will kill us.”
I am a survivor of “sexual assault” as people are so politely phrasing it now days.
Sexual Assault…what does that actually mean?
What that really means for me is that I have been kidnapped, gang raped and sodomized by three men. What that means is that l I have been incested by a relative. What that means is as a child, when I would go to visit my friend; her pedophile father would sit across the table from me and try to force me to touch him. What that means is that when I would walk home from visiting my friend, and another equally frightening and creepy neighborhood pedophile would try to lure me into his house. What that means is when I was 10 years old I had a man expose his penis to me on an empty mesa while trying to get me to touch him. What that means is that I have had to jump out of a moving truck to escape from a man who was trying to abduct me. What that means is that I had a man who would trap me in a small room where I worked and tell me his sexual fantasies about touching my breasts and pissing on me. What that means is that I had a customer at a restaurant walk up behind me in front of my boss and grab me, but by then I was so traumatized I couldn’t even tell him to leave me alone. (My male boss, of course, just sat there and said nothing). What that means is that when I went back to school to get an education in psychology I was grabbed by a teacher. Though the incident was reported to the school by me and by a counselor, a year later the teacher was still teaching, I however, was unable to complete my education due to the PTSD. What that means is that I have had men stare at my chest and say “Don’t come any closer with those things, they’re staring at me.” What that means is that I have had total strangers come up and ask me my bra size. What that means is that I have had conversations with men where their eyes never made it up to my face, which emphasized that to them I had no value except as a vagina with breasts. What that means is that I have been grabbed and groped by co-workers, strangers, and brothers of friends, fathers, lovers, and even my ex-husband who would get angry and make my life hell if I didn’t want to have sex right then and there. What that means it that when I get a response on a date line the men typically open with talk about sex or my breasts. What that means is that I have made myself fat to try to protect myself, to no avail. What that means is that I have settled for a life of loneliness, rather than have to face sexual abuse from another man.
I can think of at least 40 times where I had sex with a man because it was too frightening to say “No!” because experience has taught me that men will take it anyway. And because of that, what it means it that I am labeled a “whore”, “used up” and “dirty.”
Once I was a whole person with dreams and aspirations. Now I function for awhile and I seem to be doing ok, and then the PTSD hits and I am shaken to the bone. I become fearful, and closed down. It affects my work, my friendships, and my relationship with myself. I go from a competent woman to doubting myself , my abilities and my worth.
I have tried to explain to men how destructive sexual abuse is to a woman, but all I see is a blank expression, or “Well why didn’t you fight them off?” Never is there an understanding of how easy it is for a man to overpower a woman. Never is there any comprehension of what it is like to have your life totally in the hands of someone who doesn’t care if you live or die.
So, now our society has voted in a man for President who has visibly shown his scorn for women, who has been accused of “sexual assault” by multiple women, who has a trial pending for the rape of a 13 year old girl. Who has talked openly about grabbing women by the pussy. Who claims his degradation of women is just “locker room talk”. Who has vowed to reverse Roe VS Wade, because to him, a woman’s body does not belong to her, but to any man who has an opinion. Who judges women on their value as sex objects. Who calls women fat pigs and dogs, and rates them by whether they are “ good enough to have sex with him” as if THAT is some kind of special gift.
So I woke up yesterday to a world that feels like it is no longer safe, to a country that feels like it neither needs or wants me.
And so the PTSD hits again.
In a country where rapists are given 6 months, 3 months, or perhaps just parole for destroying a woman’s life, with a government who sees no value in slightly more than half of its population, in a country where 1 in 6 boys are raped, and 1 in 4 girls/women are raped (not counting the unreported rapes of course) who will protect us? “Your men!” you might say, except the men are the problem.
I hear people who chose not to vote feeling superior for not having “chosen the lesser of two evils”. I hear men and women making excuses for the new President, talking about how he is going to shake things up, and your superiority and joy burns like coals on my skin.
I pray for us, the abused masses, and when your son or daughter is raped, (remember 1 in 4 for girls and 1 in 6 for boys) I will pray for them too, while you continue celebrating your superiority and toasting your new president.