A lot of “news” has focused on the sexual harassment in Hollywood. Then there were the social media hashtags of “#metoo.” It got me thinking of reflecting on my own life. Had I ever been sexually harassed?
My initial thought was no, but today I thought more about it. The more I thought about it, the more I feel like I have let things slide. I didn’t think of it as harassment or assault, but rather “accepted” it because I didn’t stop it or didn’t know what was happening.
I still don’t know. What do you think?
- At a young age, when I was just developing, someone squeezed my breasts, “Honk, honk” he said. This was a male relative. He only got a verbal “warning,” (if you can even call it that) from another elder relative. It was more along the lines of “Don’t embarrass her” because Lord knows how I hated transitioning from kid to woman.
- In middle school, one of my homeroom classmates who was a year older, talked to me like he liked me. I was enamored. He was an 8th grader and I was in 7th. He was really tall and cute. He’d put his arm around me, and squeezed my thigh, and talked about how at our wedding, there’d be his family on one side and mine on the other. He and I belong to different races.
I kind of feel like all my life I have been made to believe women are inferior to men. From a young age, I developed crushes on boys. Then as I progressed into elementary school, I think that’s where I started feeling like the attention of a boy/mutual admiration determined my worth, determined that I was “pretty.”
Of course, to my dismay, I didn’t get the attention or mutual admiration. Hence, I felt ugly, unlovable.
Then in my Freshman year of high school, I pounced on the first male who showed any remote interest in me. He was OK-looking. He was the same ethnicity as me, which helped pass the parent hurdle.
Fast forward 10 long years. I don’t know if I’ve ever admitted this on paper, but I forced myself to like this guy. For a whole damn decade. Why? Because I felt valued. I felt because he loved me, then I must have worth. I wanted a boyfriend because it was like a badge. I wasn’t some lonely girl who couldn’t get a guy. I had a boyfriend. A long-term boyfriend. It made me so much better. This was what was in my head the whole time.
Though I had tricked myself or told myself I really loved this person, I didn’t. Not in *that* way, anyway. I cared very much about him, but didn’t have romantic feelings. I don’t think I really realized this until I met the guy who is now my husband.
After 10 years, I ended up unceremoniously dumping him by making out with a different guy — a guy who made me feel like I was freaking hot stuff. Because I was just an object that wanted to be wanted.
This guy was a Marine. Hot stuff, right? He wasn’t very attractive, but our AIM chats (yeah, it was THE texting of the day) were hot and steamy. This guy wanted me as a sexual object and I was easy bait.
Long story short… I thought Mr. Marine was “the one” ’til I tried to confront him later and he acted like he had never met me before in his life.
It’s hard to admit. It’s hard to look back and allow myself to think it was OK to be mistreated because I didn’t know any better. If I allowed it, it must have been OK, right?
No, it’s not OK. A 10-year-old shouldn’t be treated like a toy for her changing body. A 12-year-old shouldn’t be treated like a piece of meat by her peer just for his kicks.
Perhaps it also comes to light now, too, since I have a son of my own. I want him to be the best he can be. I don’t want him to feel superior to women, nor do I want him to feel superior to other men. I want him to be the best he can be. To treat ALL people fairly. With kindness. Most of all with utmost respect.
No, it’s not OK for him to whip out his dick just because he got permission first. How about keep your privates PRIVATE.
Treat other women like you’d treat your own mother. Would you whip your dick out in front of her? Would you squeeze her breasts that sustained your life for the first 6 or so months and say “honk, honk”?
If you answer “yes” to either of these questions, get fucking help.