I really want to explore this issue of the me too movement. While there are fringe elements that want to use it to create vengeance against innocent bad behavior, we must get to the underbelly of how we are all effected by sexual abuse..
In our culture we tend to look at abuse in relative terms, meaning only those who suffered battery or rape can fit the criteria of joining the conversation. This is what i had been told my whole life by family members who were afraid to look at the side effects that come from minimizing a woman’s fear and pain.
I spent almost 40 years trying to mold myself into this perception that i was fed in which i was told to compare myself to others who suffered more. This became the excuse to which I subconsciously buried the trauma while still trying desperately to find my own peace with it.
The muzzle is the smoking gun that causes an issue to blow up and create total destruction of the people’s lives that my adult self had relationships with. This invisible sadness that can never quite be taken seriously unless there are bruises, blood and blatant discrimination.
I have many things i would like to explore about this topic and not all of it will be in this writing but I have come to a point where I can’t ignore it any longer. For many woman we are face each day with folks who grow uncomfortable with our story and dismiss us by convincing us that we are dwelling on the past. Well the truth is, the past will repeat unless it is address in a meaningful way according to the victims sense of healing.
There is no time table for healing and there is never a reason to forget the abuse we suffered. It is, and always be part of our story and in facing it until we get to the root is the only way to educate young woman and men to keep their bodies safe.
I don’t have much knowledge about the men’s perspective but I welcome any stories of your suffering. I feel like part of the reason we have not solved this insidious issue is because men and woman still view each other on different islands. I am guilty of this absolutely but I recognize that when we stop communicating with each other and sharing our gender shames, we tend to “other” the other.
Men become the villains’ and the perpetrators and woman become the hysterical emotionally unstable ones. In my life, this belief was perpetuated by my father who refused to admit that I was sexually abused and that I hold scars for a lifetime. My mother, following suit in order to not upset my dad was unable to discuss it without going to guilt and shame that made her the victim and forced me to take care of her feelings.
Being a woman who spent my whole life as a performer and spent my young adult years in hollywood, I was very aware of the sexual tension that exist in world that sizes an actor up by their physical appearance. As a survivor I found myself torn between allowing myself to be in my sexual beauty; for my own enjoyment as well as to be a viable casting choice, and protecting myself from unsolicited advances.
Like most woman, my subconscious used weight and baggy clothes and hard as nails serious artist, to build a wall from this very real energy that exists with men of power. The casting couch is an easy place to fall for any girl or boy, let alone if you have a history of trauma. I had many close calls and I used promiscuity with my boyfriends to guard myself from this pitfall.
When a woman walks into a room she is automatically sexualized. This is a fact that many fathers or bosses understand. We are expected to deal with as our problem and create an identity that is strong, confident and masculine like while still maintaining our female sensuality.
If we allow ourselves to be truly vulnerable and we get violated, it is seen as our fault. No woman, girl or teen can get away with being completely comfortable with our bodies when at every turn there is a man who want to have sex with us. Woman need to be on guard at all time because we never know if we are going to be over powered, manipulated or worse dismissed for not doing the flirt thang and entertaining the inappropriate behavior.
Woman in this culture have been forced to be surrogate men in a pretty dress but when we complain or show our pain we are seen as weak and crazy. I am not blaming men for this because my mother was just as demoralizing to my experience as my father. We all have male and female energies within us and this issue is less about gender and more about denial.
We both normalize, not only the sexualization of individuals, but also the shut up and do your job mentality. Now is the great shift and the me too movement is not going away no matter who claims it to be invalid. Speak up, speak out and most important share your story with a person who has empathy. Telling our story to people who don’t get it will just re-traumatize you. I have been shouting at the rooftops for years to stone hearts and the result has been extreme self loathing and isolation.
There are people who understand and many more people who share the same pain but it takes time to sort out who those people are. My hope is that children will be given these tools at a young age so that they can avoid the life roadblocks that these traumas cause in relationships, career and self esteem.
We no longer, men and woman, need to feel like we are the problem. When we choose to not shut the fuck up, we will eventually see a tipping point where are precious little humans can live in world where they feel safe in their bodies. Why the fuck not??