Weeks before a presidential election that could change the trajectory of this country, conversations about sexual harassment and the position of women and girls in our society is a hot topic. I’m sure that most of us have been unable to avoid reading at least a headline about where or not Donald Trump is some kind of a womanizer.
This could not have come at a better time. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Really timing is everything.
Let’s join the conversation and let me explain a little bit about what it’s like to be female in this day and age.
I will share with you that I have experienced some form of sexual harassment more times in my life than I can count on my fingers. Writing this right now, so many forgotten stories flood my head. This worst part is I am not the only one. I have had many friends share their experiences with me. They tell me stories about encounters they have had with men they have known for a long time, and men they have just recently met, which can be described in no other words but disgusting. Tell me when will I no longer be able to share stories of creepy men over cocktails with my friends?
Why do we continue to allow this?
When I think back to the times that I have been harassed I always wonder why I passively let it happen to me. At this moment I can argue that I am not the only woman to fall victim to casually brushing off harassment. I believe there are two reasons why many women dismiss uncomfortable situations. One reason could be that we do it because it happens so frequently. We save making a big deal for when it is an extreme situation; one of those moments where you could not possibly hold back. I believe the other reason is that as young girls many of us are taught to be kind and not be rude. We are taught not to be rude to the point that we compromise our security, for the comforts of strangers. Let’s just stop this.
These are just some of the small reasons why it is so important to be critical of how people in power talk about women. If it is ok for them, who is going to explain to the school aged children that this behavior is inappropriate? To the women, we should not be alone in this flight. To the men, now it is your turn.