**The following are my personal opinions and not necessarily the opinions of Damsel in Defense(tm).**
This week there has been a campaign across social media called #metoo movement.
The campaign encouraged many people to speak up about being sexually assaulted or raped. I saw it trigger many as it brought up painful memories and for those still learning to heal.
First of all, did you know that the #metoo movement was actually started 10 years ago? Me either until today. Check out this article about the original advocate, Tarana Burke.
Many people were surprised by the amount of women, and men, who spoke up. When in reality, this is a gut-wrenching fact I’ve known for awhile.
There was also a lot of calling people out in judgment and criticism who are not ready or willing to speak up. This is not only disrespectful and unkind, it is also unhelpful and contributes to further trauma. Everyone heals in their own time and in their own way.
Being part of this company and spreading awareness myself, has helped me heal. Yes, I still get triggered, but I’ve gained back my confidence and know my self worth again.
Unfortunately, it takes something like this to spread awareness on a mass scale.
Now that there is awareness, what’s next? #nowwhat
This is a question I’ve seen a lot after the initial #metoo campaign.
I wish there was an easy answer, but their isn’t. It’ll take more than telling people to “not do it”.
Here are some of my ideas:
There needs to be mutual respect towards everyone, instead of only thinking of yourself. This is ingrained in the Japanese culture and should be a no-brainer to us.
Both Boys AND Girls need to be taught body boundaries, starting at home. I help with this through my business. It’s one of the many reasons I do what I do. This is not just a “woman’s problem.” Boys and men go through it too.
Teaching Sex Ed needs to have a different perspective. Whether you want to admit it or not, some kids do have sex. Besides the body boundaries, sex needs to be about safety and prevention, not a scare tactic. Maybe even discuss how their career or life would be different having a child vs. waiting.
No means No. It’s really that simple.
How to handle rejection. Sure, it’s a blow to the ego and confidence when someone turns you down, but that is no excuse to feel you “deserve” they “owe it to you”. Trust me, being the “good guy” IS a compliment. If you think you’re a “good guy” and not respect other person’s decision (your rejection), that doe not make you a good guy.
How someone dresses is NOT an invitation to “deserve it” EVER. Feeling confident and sexy about yourself is a good thing.
Body Image, especially in the media. Sex sells so nudity seen as something to be sexualized (in the USA at least) about instead of as a beautiful creation. (That’s a post for another day.) Media is also great at photo-shopping celebrities and even models, to make us think that is what beauty looks like. (Also, another topic for another day.)
Better roll models. No matter your thoughts about our current President, it is obvious that he is setting a bad example about how to treat women. Kids need respectful roll models from their parents. It’s amazing what they pick up on when you’re not looking or don’t think it would effect them.
What are your thoughts and ideas about how to begin changing society’s opinion and response to sexual harassment and rape? Share below and keep the comments respectful.