Friday, October 27, 2017

Me, too.

So elder George Bush is a dirty, old man.  A licentious, grabby, old fart.  Excuses have been made: age, dementia, disease.  As the Washington Post pointed out, so what? Someone should be keeping a better eye on him then, making sure women are not within arm's reach.  His caregivers and others around him have a responsibility.  And why is this story repeated by of so many of our presidents, senators and congressmen who are supposed to lead and set examples.  Well, I guess they have set the example for others to follow.  We have a known predator in the White House now and . . . nothing.

But that is the whole point of #metoo isn't it?  That there has always been an expectation that as  women, men at one time or another or all the time, will be reaching for our boobs, crotch, or butt.  "It just happens."  

Raised in the 1960s and 70s, this expectation of behavior was certainly the message and the experience I had.  I was taught to kick boys in the crotch "if they tried anything."  There were the uncomfortable and embarrassing comments in the halls of high school and on the street.  There were cliche catcalls passing construction sites. When I was 17, I saved my money and flew to California to visit my eldest brother.  I talked him into taking us down to Tijuana one day.  While there, I was grabbed by the breast as I was buying something from a street vendor.  I told my sister-in-law in an inevitable voice, "well I just got my first boob grab."  She quickly said, "Don't tell your brother!"  I think she feared that he would flatten the guy.  Nice to know that someone would stick up for me if I had wanted.

This, of course, came after the repeated touching of my genitals by a family member when I was in grade school.  When I finally told, it stopped.  And in this, my experience is different than many.  I was heard and believed - the first time.  I was ultimately protected but not until after the damage was done.

Why as women are we taught to expect men - known or unknown - to sexually assault us and sexually harass us? Why has it been "It just happens?" Why are so many millions adding their voices to #metoo?  "Boys will be boys" or "men will be men" should never be used to excuse away such vile behavior.  No person has the right to touch, harass and otherwise humiliate another person. Why isn't this a national emergency as much as opioids or anything else?  Sometimes it can kill and it almost always leave scars if not open wounds.

I just shake my head and ask, "Why?"

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your clear assessment of "how it is". I think "me,too" could emphasize "including family members and spouses" because I think a lot of people don't include the family stuff. Anyway, it's a big question all right. Why? I didn't realize how harassed and frightened I was when living in Portland until I moved to Condon and began to feel more free of fear of the boogie man. Thanks for your clear thinking and writing.