Hi Everyone, I thought I'd post something a little different today on my account. Unfortunately, it’s not a yummy piece of cake, or a gooey vegan cheese burger. It’s a bit more serious and important.
I wanted to share with you something that I’ve been thinking about a lot in the last week or so. As you all know, the #metoo hashtag has blown up in the last few days. Unfortunately, I too have my own experiences with sexual assault and harassment. Thankfully the experience with sexual assault happened a long time ago, and I’ve dealt with it so it doesn’t consume my life.
However, sexual harassment is something I have to deal with on an all to frequent basis. From aggressive and overly sexual looks from men as I walk down the street, to crude verbal expressions of sexual interest from strangers, to inappropriate messages and stalking on social media, to the uninvited sexual images received from men on dating sites. All of these interactions shape the way I feel, interact, and respond to the people around me.
Every single incident is accompanied by a voice in my head (sometimes barely audible and sometimes too loud to ignore) that says “what did I do to invite this kind of attention and behavior from him?”. I imagine I’m not alone in that thought, and that is a very sad reality. One that I’m done with. I will no longer take the blame for the unacceptable behavior of others, and I will no longer let them get away with it.
It’s time to speak out about sexual harassment and assault so everyone realizes how big the problem is, so it’s no longer a part of our “normal” routine, and so our actions and thoughts are no longer shaped by it. I’ll do my part. Please do yours.