The voice for the silenced.

People unite under the #MeToo movement march


People unite under the #MeToo movement march

Meriah Rodriguez, Staff Reporter

A small child tugs on the skirt of his mother, begging for her attention and for her to purchase a toy. She says no, but he continues to ask, over and over again until finally, she gives in. Satisfied, this response is imprinted into the child’s mind. Now the mother does not bother to say no when the child asks for a toy; he gets what he wants when he wants it. “No” does not mean “no” anymore. “No” means “Keep asking, and eventually I will give in.” Such an idea is commonplace.

Sure, blame it on the mother, but when the child is in middle school and experiencing hormonal changes, called puberty, the child will get primitive urges, experience confusion, and feel the need for self-discovery. Navigating this world is hard enough. Correct guidance would help, yet every average person has individual consciousness and choice-making skills, regardless of upbringing or non meditated claims. But what will occur when that child wants something but is told no?

For example, that same child, now a teenager, enters high school and gets involved with a group of wild, partying, drinking juveniles. The teenager then decides consciously to attend parties with that group and ingests alcohol himself. At a party, there is an attendee who the hormonal raging teenager wants because her erotic features, on display, appeal to his sexual desires. The teenager approaches the attendee and gropes her genitals. Having been sexually assaulted with no consent given, the attendee tries to free herself of the teenager’s grasp and screams for help. The teenager is confused, maybe mad, perhaps because he’s never been told no. He’s used to getting what he wants.  He has done just that in the past and the attraction was reciprocated or it wasn’t protested. Because this individual’s family happens to be privileged and of a higher status, he feels entitled to what he wants. 

Today’s women, just as many before them, are pushing for social justice and equality. Women wanting to feel safe, a basic human right, has led to many social actions, like the #MeToo movement.

However, the loud voice of women across the nation speaking out against alleged sexual assault as well as alleged and convicted predators, such as Brett Kavanaugh, Harvey Weinstein, Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby, Woody Allen,  and R. Kelly, has stirred a counter front women know all too well.

Society tells women to never take their eyes off of their drink at public functions, always be accompanied when walking home, hold their keys between their fingers when walking in a parking lot, do not live alone, NEVER park in a parking garage, don’t go for a run too late, be polite to strangers or else!

Then when a woman is sexually assaulted and/or raped, frequently it’s somehow her fault. She shouldn’t have been alone with him, she should have known better, she put herself in that situation, her clothes were too tight, she was teasing or she was asking for it.

Often times no one believes victims are telling the truth. People will be skeptical and have to see it happen to believe it. She must have bruised herself. She probably wanted it. The crowd is not neutral; the victim is probably lying.

Too often are humans assaulted, too often are humans raped, too often are humans cat-called, too often are humans stared at intently, too often are humans scared of the larger, generally stronger, opposite sex, too often are humans treated like sex objects. Women are humans.

It is estimated that 1 in 19 women have experienced sexual assault. However, all statistical data can be manipulated or skewed, and the females of this society would tell you otherwise if they felt they could.“I was depressed. I pushed all my friends away,… I was internally sad. I hated my image of myself… I didn’t go to school because he was still attending. I pushed all the bad at the back of my mind… that’s when I missed more days than ever.”A person who preferred their identity to remain undisclosed has bravely shared how being raped affected and impacted her life. When she tried to seek support from supposedly trusted adults, a staff member heartlessly said they warned her to stay away from that person.

As isolated as one would feel from such a horrendous experience, it is society who isolates them. “It’s when teachers would tell me to drop out or to just stop attending. My GPA dropped. I was letting the pain I pushed away consume me.”

It is society that makes them feel speechless. One may ask why the majority of rape/ sexual assault victims do not report it; maybe they have and nothing was done. They were children at the time. they figured nothing would be done anyway or the predator had/has authority over them.

When even the president of the United States mocks sexual assault victims on national television for girls, boys, daughters, sons, the sexually abused to see, who would want to speak up? Let’s reinforce rape culture, am I right? Grab her (your mom, your sister, your daughter, your aunt) by the (genitals), slap (bottom) Friday, locker room talk, boys will be boys. Besides, it’s wrong to ruin a person’s life, even though they left a person/people traumatically scarred mentally, emotionally, and in some cases physically.

Rape is not ostracized. In fact, it is accepted; it is a norm; it is culture. If society were truly against sexual assault, the predator would not become the victim. It is more likely for one to be struck by lightning than to be falsely accused of rape. Decent people are not sitting around worrying about being accused. Scared to touch someone? Not sure what to say? Afraid to leave your house? Women always have been.

#womensmarch2018 Philly Philadelphia #MeToo _ Rob Kall _ Flickr