I felt super annoyed today, well not all day, well actually it did sit with me for quite a while and here I am writing about it, so maybe it really did annoy me more than I care to admit?
Out for breakfast with a few girlfriends, the subject of sexual abuse came up. If you read my previous post you will be aware that this is a topic that I feel strongly about, why? I was sexually assaulted in the past. My friends do not know this about me, so they do not censor their views around me. I happen to know another friend sitting beside me was sexually assaulted as a teen by a family member so I knew she would have her own thoughts on this discussion.
One lady brought up the fact that a well known and loved celebrity was being accused of assaulting a women he worked with a few years ago during musical stage show he was part of. Now I will make this clear, I do not know anything about this case, so I am not about to comment on it, but what really annoyed me was a comment made by another friend at the table, a mother who has a tween daughter. Her comment was;
“well what can you expect in that industry? He would have been on drugs, it is part of the scene. He wouldn’t have really known what he was doing.”
I am sorry (not sorry), but what the F***!????
I don’t know if he was on drugs, I don’t know if he did it, or if he didn’t, but if he did is that excused because it is part of the scene? What was she trying to say? I proceeded to say that I don’t believe him being on drugs excuses anything, if in fact he did do it. If he did then I don’t care what scene it was ,or what drugs he took, he still is 100% accountable for his actions!
My other friend (the one who was sexually abused) and I started taking about the issues with celebrities and how people treat them like some kind of Gods who could do no wrong, especially the better looking they are. We were chatting about the fact that women are still constantly treated like we are simply here to look pretty, please a man and that we should be flattered that a man, any man gives us attention, like our whole self esteem is based on if a man wants to have sex with us.
Another friend decided to add that ‘it is all so much better these days, that women are reporting things mores and abuse occurring far less‘, she went on to add that ‘by the time our children were older it would hardly exist!’
Excuse me again (cough cough), but what planet is she living on?
How can I be sitting there with these intelligent, educated, funny, caring women who I have come to love and yet feel so far apart? Is it because I have been abused? Is my mind so warped because I have suffered sexual assault? Or are they burying their heads in the sand?
According to the fats and figures by OurWatch.org.au for Australian Women;
Eight out of ten women aged 18 to 24 were harassed on the street in the past year.
One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence
On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner, according to the most recent analysis of homicide statistics in Australia.
One in four Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner
ONE in FIVE women, and yet we want to say it is getting better.
My thirteen year old daughter said no to a boy in her class to going on a date with him early last year. She was very nice about it, she explained she was not interested in him like that, but hoped they would be friends still. She just is not interested in dating. He said that was ok. I am not sure 13 year olds really know what romantic love is, but he told her and his friends he was in love with her. He was sad about her not wanting him, but he left her alone. His friends on the other hand did not leave it there. They hassled her for months, telling her she had made him sad, that it was all her fault he was hurting. That she should just kiss him so he would be happy. She continued to say no. They continued to annoy her. Her friends told them to stop, they didn’t. Eventually my daughter told the teachers and the boys stopped, but made it clear they were annoyed at her for telling.
I am proud of my daughter for not giving in to their continued pressure! It may seem all innocent, and for the most part it was, but still, it has to start somewhere doesn’t it. Boys being boys in the playground, it is no big deal, don’t overreact! But when you go to school day after day being told you have really hurt someone, and the only way to make it better is to kiss them it can put a young girl in a very uncomfortable position. Should we just laugh it off, or should these boys be told to back off!? Should they be told their behaviour is inappropriate? One in five girls/women have experienced sexual assault! 80% have been harassed on the street! Do we just say it is boys having fun? Or do we say enough is enough?
What do you think?
Thank you to everyone for their amazing supportive comments and tweets on my previous post, it means more than I can express here.
Please note: I am not saying that boys and men are not sexually abused or assaulted. The facts remain though according to outwatch.org.au, “that both women and men are more likely to experience violence at the hands of men, with around 95% of all victims of violence in Australia reporting a male perpetrator”.
I am also not saying All Men are Bad, I am married to a wonderful man, trust me I know there are plenty of great boys, young men and men out there. Let’s raise our sons to be one of the great ones.
Reflections from Me