Tuesday 31 October 2017

TIME FOR CHANGE


If you’ve been following the news in regards to Harvey Weinstein, Parliament (here in the UK) and the latest Kevin Spacey revelations, it would dawn on you that the proverbial floodgates are open when it comes to sexual assault and harassment. And to be frank, I couldn’t be more delighted. I shall clarify for those of you that could misinterpret that last comment.

For any woman (or person for that matter who has been victimized) out there, we are delighted that the conversation is finally being had and a spotlight is being shone on an epidemic that has been around for decades… more than decades actually, if one takes a brief look at history.  Look at any history book or search the web and the suppression, oppression and objectification of women has been going on since the dawn of time. Literally.  It was we women who lost our heads to the hands of Henry the VIII; we women who were handed over in marriage with a price tag on our heads determining our worth;  we women who were considered property and subordinates to be bartered and sold…even in the Bible it repeatedly points out our place: Genesis 3:xvi 'Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.'  There is really no debating this, whether it was the Roman Age, The Renaissance, the Witch Trials, or last freaking week when women were sold as sex slaves in Eastern Europe, we’ve gotten a raw deal. 

But let’s not dwell on the negative shall we.

In light of the outpouring of people stepping forward to scream 'ME TOO' from the rooftops it’s time to open the dialogue and talk this stuff out: with your sons, your husbands, your brothers, and more importantly, your daughters. It's time men understand that women (or those in a position of less power, be it an employee, or a student/child what have you) are not to be touched, denigrated, passed over, sold, objectified or abused.  And it is time we women truly understand our worth and more importantly our power; the power of our voices in numbers. Cause a single voice can be loud as hell, but a collective of FED UP voices, well that right there is an tsunami of change you cannot thwart or ignore. 

Not to mention, it is damn time we change the language around assault. Women are not just assaulted, as if it happens in a vacuum, we’re assaulted (for the most part) by men.  It’s time to stop blaming the victim and the clothes that she wears, or her sexual history.  And it’s definitely time we crawl out of the shadows and tell those in the position of power (physical or mental) that we’re not going to take your bullsh*t anymore.  If you’re going to harass us; we’re going to talk about it.  If you’re going to assault us, get ready to meet my lawyer and a jail cell. If you’re going to objectify us, we’ll prove to you at every turn that we’re more than that and then we'll take your job :-).

Of course some fear that all this recent news will lead to a witch-hunt and any man that innocently puts his hand on a woman’s knee is going to get hung up by his fingernails. I suppose my first response to that is, unless she’s your wife, why do you need to touch a woman’s knee? It's her knee. Touch your own damn knee. And if you’re just touchy-feely (or Italian... or an Italian George Bush Senior), then fine, an innocent act most of the time will be seen as just that. There is a big difference between an innocent knee touch and an employer abusing his power and sexually harassing an employee because he/she can. 

My husband and I were talking about all of this the other day in light of the fact that we’re raising a son. And of course, we both realise it is imperative that he understands how to treat a woman. Furthermore, how he views women, their place in this world and his place alongside them. At the moment, he thinks it is hysterical to smack me on the bottom when I’m doing something... or when I’m not doing something.  In short, I think he just likes smacking my rear end.  It’s innocent obviously, and he finds it hysterical, but I did have to tell him point blank, "Listen Mister, that’s MY bottom, not yours and the last time I checked it didn’t have a bull’s-eye on it. I then start telling him about respect and personal space and the equality of women, and of course his eyes glaze over and he wanders off to look for his Lego.  

I’m hoping that in time the King - and society as a whole - will understand that the days of smacking women on the bottom are over!




Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed