NO, I will NOT calm down. I will NOT stay silent. On Friday, I listened to tape of a presidential candidate speak with glee about his belief that, as a wealthy male celebrity, he had the right to commit the crime of sexual assault against women at will. I was horrified, to the core of my being.
This was NOT locker room talk. This was NOT just crude language. This was a self-described sexual predator reveling in his privilege. This was video of a man firm in his belief that he had the right to molest another human being. NO, I will NOT calm down.
@kellyoxford, a writer I was previously unfamiliar with, asked women on Friday to tweet their first sexual assault to her. She shared hers first, an old man on a bus, grabbing her crotch. She was 12. A hashtag, #notokay, was used. As of today, MILLIONS of women have shared the tales of one or more of their own sexual assaults, molestations, indecent exposures, and harassments. MILLIONS of women. I was one of them. NO, I will NOT calm down.
The incidents on my own list number in double digits, going back to the age of 5 or 6. I was not physically harmed during any of them. In that I am fortunate, and I know it. But as I reviewed this list over the course of the weekend, my horror and disgust only increased. I realized how much of my life has been or is now circumscribed by my desire to avoid assault, harassment, and intrusion. I had to once again face the pain and sadness associated with individual incidents, while trying to cope with my revulsion at the accumulation. NO, I will NOT calm down.
Half of our population is under continual threat from a sizable percentage of the other half. This is NOT a new phenomenon. It is NOT due to a coarsening of our culture, unpleasant though that is. It is NOT due to women claiming the right to control their own bodies, own (and revel in) their own sexuality, and live as they please, wear what they please, and, dare I say, FUCK, whom they please. It is due to this sizable percentage of men continuing to refuse to treat women as PEOPLE, with the right to make their own choices, and these men being enabled and encouraged by both those around them and the culture at large. NO, I will NOT calm down.
Captured on that video was what is now called ‘rape culture’, and most women just call ‘culture’. A horrible man, surrounded by sycophantic cowards (Billy Bush was not the only other man on that bus), bragging about his assumption of sexual supremacy over any woman he chose. An unbridled monster, in a power tie, supported in his monstrousness by a group of giggling toadies. And these subhumans would presume to deny a woman’s humanity by reducing her to her various body parts. NO, I will NOT calm down.
It has been suggested to me that these men cannot be educated and therefore cannot be redeemed. You know what? I don’t care about redeeming assholes and criminals. I want them controlled, by both government and society AS A WHOLE. Women cannot do this alone. And we should NOT have to. You know it’s wrong. This is not about being protected. It’s about being respected as people and left the hell alone. How about this for predation and harassment – “If you see something, say something.” Because half the population is being terrorized, and has been for too long. NO, I will NOT calm down. And goddammit, neither should you.