The day of the women's march I wanted to feel excited, supported, and empowered in my feminine self... but I didn't. Not at all. In fact I cried for hours on end pouring my emotions onto a canvas as my husband walked by 'n kissed my forehead every few minutes. I understand this anger. I've felt this anger. I've yelled and screamed and cried for respect and change; it's done nothing but fuel my fury 'n give me laryngitis. The only way to control what is in our lives, is to walk away from anything or anyone who crosses our boundaries and refuses to change. Period. That is up to us as individuals to draw the line in the sand. It's unfortunate that there are people in our world who feel justified in acts like rape, sexual harassment, molestation and so forth; but playing wack-a-mole with each and every individual will be a never ending endeavor that will only further the divide.
The first time I saw my grandfather after having him sentenced to prison for sexual abuse was at his late wife, my grandmother Jane's funeral. I knew he'd be there and was pretty nervous about having to see him, but the moment it happened was no doubt divinely timed. I was walking up to the casket alone not realizing he was walking toward me and when I looked up and saw him, this shaking shell of a man, all I could do was open my arms to hug him and ask, "Are you alright?" I don't even remember what he said or what I said after that, I think I was stunned at how not angry or upset I was. How empowered I felt to actually comfort the man who I had felt controlled and broken by my entire life. I'd heard nothing but derrogatory comments about men in general throughout most of my childhood during counseling sessions and from my mother and her friends. There was a comment my mom made one day that even at my young age made me think, "Holy shit. You look at the world like that? No wonder you're angry all the time." We were in the Revco parking lot (yall remember Revco!? Before CVS took over!? Old school baby.) 'n a man walked by with a small dog on a leash 'n she said, "What a cute little dog! He probably has it to attract small children." DAMN MAMA! I mean damn. I think I was around 6 or 7 years old when this happened 'n it really stuck with me. What a suckass way to look at the world. That small statement encompassed exactly how she interacted with everyone around her, out of paranoia, distrust, and resentment.
Not a way to live.
So let's talk about the amount of shade bein thrown at so many men right now. Does it feel great to call someone out who's wronged us and see them squirm a lil bit? Hell yeah it does! Does it heal anything or even last for any extended amount of time? No, unfortunately it does not. So is this really how we're gonna heal the injustices and wounded bonds of the feminine? With anger, resentment, and punishment? By demanding others change the way they treat us and see us as human beings? Probably not. It's not that I don't see anger and pain as being completely justified, but I don't see dragging it out bringing about a positive solution. For someone to disrespect another person to the point of sexual harrassment and rape... you can pretty much be sure they've already got blinders on and earplugs in. Scream all you want, they're not hearin it. They may go through the motions of an apology and act out remorse, but they wouldn't have commited the acts in the first place if they weren't living from a place of victimhood and pain somewhere in themselves. It's important to realize when we're yelling and screaming at these people to change and respect us... we're yelling at 5 year olds who are in a continous loop of self loathing. Seriously. I wouldn't hold my breath waitin for them to change anytime soon, but we sure as hell can.
As women as a whole... I'm pretty sure we've been lusted after since the beginning of time. I mean we're fucking amazing are we not? No shit people are gonna wanna touch the merchandise. Heres the kicker- We have to draw the lines in the sand where we see fit. We ourselves have to decide what we will and will not allow. Sometimes that means turning down a job. Cutting contact with someone. Losing money from a potential client. Making a scene when we'd rather not have to deal with it at all. Being uncomfortable for 5 minutes rather than furious and vengeful for 5 years. Being the only person in a crowd of hundreds to not go along for the sake of fitting in, because right now ironicly enough, it's trendy to be a victim. It's courageous, to throw a temper tantrum. It's respectable to point fingers and demand justice from the system...because THATS never failed to deliver... (if you didn't pick up on the complete sarcasm...that was complete sarcasm.)
The truth is, this is not a problem for women solely...this is about human beings resepecting one another in general, and the fact that next to nothing is considered sacred or to be respected anymore. So therefore...if lines are not drawn...how the hell does anyone know where to stop? It would be great to think every human being is raised with morals and a loving family who teach them to respect one another...but they don't yall. Most of human interaction is simply taught by example from the general public. So what kinda example are we setting?
I can't help but squint my eyes in confusion when I hear over and over the demand for respect for the human spirit, viewing eachother as humans and not objects, and the importance of consensual sex, yet, I struggle to find recent films and shows that don't turn into soft porns within the first 5 minutes...and most of them are made including the celebrities who are demanding the most respect and change! I mean... At a time when disrespect and mistreatment of one another in general has been brought to light more than any other... dontcha think it's a little fucked up that extremely graphic rape and sex scenes are tossed into film and television like it's nothing? Is no one stopping to think of the complete desensitization that's happening with this? I embarassingly burst into tears at work one day when someone simply described the opening of an episode from American Horror Story which included a graphic rape scene. I was just sippin my coffee 'n chattin with the girls up front when my brain grasped the images this woman was describing...the tears just began to roll. I remember a coworker asking if I was alright 'n I said, "I don't even know why I'm crying...I just...that was a little much. Yall... why is this entertainment!?! A child could so easily turn on the tv 'n see something they should never even have to imagine!"
Look, to each his own! By all means please do whatever it is you wanna do with whoever you wanna do it with cause I intend to do the same... let freedom ring.
But this is a whole nother level.
Rape and devaluing of human beings in general has become normal nightly entertainment. Rather than being a respectable part of the story, a few tasteful scenes to build a character, it's just not enough. It's become the plot line itself leaving out very few details. Do we really need to watch a horrificly graphic rape happen...? Honestly guys. Would you youtube it? I would hope not...so why are we sitting through it? Call it acting, art, whatever, our brains don't know the difference my friend. If someone getting shot on tv shocked you as a child but you barely blink now...that's desensitization. It's like if a coffeeshop I went to gave me a free 6 shot mocha latte everytime I ordered a small green tea. I mean thanks but...that's really way more than I was lookin for. So either I choke it down and feel awful until my body adjusts to their standards over time... or I just make my own damn tea at home. (This is a drawn out metaphor for experiencing sex when, with whom, and how you choose to. Not having it shoved in your face in whatever way someone else sees fit.)
I respect and applaud the individuals who have had the courage to speak up for the injustices against themselves and others, but these acts are only symptoms of the problem. Speeches, protests, and social media movements aren't gonna do a damn thing if meanwhile we're completely desensitizing an entire generation as to what boundaries, privacy, or respect even is. I want people to express themselves just as I wanna be free to express myself, but I also take full responsibility for my actions. We all have to.
Being a Massage Therapist for over ten years, things have popped up quite a few times, literally and figuratively. I am no stranger to uncomfortable situations and disrespectful people by any means, and sometimes shitty things happen. There's no stopping that, that's part of life ya'll, but if no one ever pushed my boundaries or made me get angry, I'd never have learned how much power truly, no one else has over me. Don't like what you're gettin paid? Leave. Don't like the way someone talks to you? Walk away. No it's not easy. At all. It's tough as shit, but that's how change happens. You don't throw a tantrum for it. You accept nothing less. What's the quote in My Big Fat Greek Wedding...? "The man is the head of the house, but the woman, is the neck, and she can turn the head aaaany way she wants." Um...yall it's true. We've got such potential to bring about healing and change, and yet still screaming and acting like someone has to hand it back to us. This is why I honestly believe it really starts with our close relationships to one another, empowering one another and hashing things out in our own close circles before anything else will change. We have to remind eachother how to have healthy communication, compassionate honesty, and respect for our own boundaries. Not being agreeable with the majority for fear of being singled out, but actually allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with one another so we're not living from other's perspectives and insecurities. That's when we stop questioning ourselves.
I can tell you right now if it wasn't for my own insecurity during 90% of the innapropriate situations in my life...they wouldn't have even progressed in the first place. Inescurity and lack of trust in ourselves is what leads us to trust in someone else's judement, overlook our intuition and find ourselves in uncomfortable situations most the time.
I'm gonna be real ironic 'n quote Michael Jackson, "If ya wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself 'n make that chaaaaange....chumon." How many people still dance to Michael Jackson? You know I dooooooo. He may have been a lil messed up from his childhood 'n made some horrible decisions...but the man made music that changed my life! I can't deny that! None of us are 100% good...or 100% bad. We ALL have disrespected one another at times and hurt others because we felt justified in that moment. All we can do is look at situations we don't like and say, "I may not be able to change that. I may never get that person to feel the pain I've felt, but I will make damn sure I never put that kinda pain on someone else. It stops here." That anger and passion is driving us for a reason, let's make sure it's in the right direction.
"Unless you stand on level ground, how do you ever intend to see eye to eye?"