So, I was going to write a post and say--honestly, I thought--that I had never been sexually assaulted, but I lived in fear of it.
I was going to say that I believed the women who'd come forward, because I am the most likely person in the world to just be quiet, just hold it close, just eat it to death and maybe tell four or five people in my life that it ever happened and think that was good--that made me an open book.
I was going to stand with my sisters and say I'd been fortunate--so fortunate--that I'd never had to deal with the trauma of being criminally assaulted.
Just groped, you know. Harassed. Laughed at. Just put into the uncomfortable position of having to say, "Uh, no, I've got a boyfriend, you shouldn't do that." Just forced to ask my daughter if I should tell her grandparents about the incident or if she'd rather we kept it quiet because it was her discomfort we needed to respect, and the rest of it could go to hell. Just confided in during college and uncertain as to what she was saying because was she really saying what it sounded like she was saying until my friend said, baldly, "No, this was coercion," and I grew up and said, "Did you report it?" And she said, "No. I went to a rape counselor instead."
Just told again and again and again by people I knew and loved and respected that it had happened and stood in awe of their strength, helpless, because there was nothing I could do to make it better, I'd never be able to make it better, and every small incident I remembered in my own past paled in comparison to the abuse of others I've known and yet even those things were awful and humiliating and frightening and they weren't anything, just small things, just a drop in the bucket of rape culture, not even worth talking about.
I've never been criminally assaulted.
Bully for me.
Fuck anybody who thinks that means it doesn't happen. Fuck anybody who thinks it hasn't happened to people they know. Fuck anybody who thinks its rare and it can just be gotten over and all these women should just get over it because it's all in the past and it doesn't matter any more.
It's a splinter in the soul. Shrapnel near the heart. A festering wound waiting to burst. It's human pain and the staggering indifference to it on behalf of the politicians who are supposed to represent us is symptomatic. These are the people who starve children, separate families, back sexual predators, cheat companies, fuck over education at EVERY opportunity, and have sold our country to the highest bidder.
Their gross and bilious fuckery does not lessen the importance of what we know.
Real men don't assault women. They don't rage at them. They don't intimidate them. They don't beat them.
The politicians can fuck off. Can fuck ALL the way off. We will raise our sons to be gentle and our daughters to be strong, and dammit, we will start to fix the world.
It is time to NEVER let puckered angry white men speak for us again.