I am so beyond fed up that I can’t even adequately express myself, it seems, but here goes (because when I’m fed up or riled up, I blog).
For any of you who feel you need some history on my own experiences, here is a blog entry a wrote a few years ago about having been sexually assaulted. I have been sexually harassed on an extremely regular basis since I was 11 years old. I have been touched by men when I haven’t wanted to be touched. I have been repeatedly bothered by men who couldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I have been – for all intents and purposes – stalked by two men I dated for a short time each; one for the better part of a year, the other for more than two years.
What I am saying is that sexual harassment and sexual assault have been a regular and ongoing part of my life for more than 30 years.
AND I AM NOT ALONE.
Women everywhere – most especially women of colour, working class women, any women who don’t benefit from white, middle-class heteronormative, able-bodied privilege – are subjected to sexual harassment and assault every single day, numerous times a day.
If you don’t know this at this point, you are being willfully ignorant.
If you don’t know, at this point, that women – BY AND LARGE* – do not lie about sexual harassment and assault, you are being willfully ignorant.
(*False accusations about sexual assault occur at the same rate as false accusations for all other crimes — 2%.)
If, right this minute, you think that ALL men should be fearful of talking to or flirting with a woman, because she might accuse him of sexual harassment or assault, YOU ARE BEING WILLFULLY IGNORANT.
Women do not, they DO NOT accuse men of sexual harassment or sexual assault for fun, fame, or fortune.
At present, in Canada, we have at least three male politicians accused of sexual ‘misconduct’ – two Conservatives and one Liberal.
I don’t care what their politics are.
I will always believe survivors.
And if the people – mostly men, but also some women – who keep banging on about “false accusations,” “convenient timing,” “what took so long,” “whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty” and on and on and on had the FIRST CLUE what it takes to stand up and name your abuser; what it’s like to be interrogated; what it feels like to be raked over the figurative coals, they would believe survivors too.
I am beyond fed up with men thinking they are entitled to women’s bodies and I am beyond fed up with those who make excuses for those men.
There is no excuse.