today’s topic might not be all rainbows and sunshine and I will put a trigger warning right at the beginning. This post contains a video that will mention sexual abuse and mentions of it. If you are getting triggered by it, please skip the video from 10:30 onwards. I will put the trigger warning in the post once I start writing about it. Now to the topic and the reason behind this post (the video is in german but you can turn the CC on to get subtitles).
This video went viral in Germany few days ago and it is talking about the harassment that we as women receive almost on a daily (in one way or another).
Let’s start with the first part of the video and so-famous dick pics (unsolicited ones). I believe that every women has received at least one in her inbox on any social media account or in the message on WhatsApp, most of the times not wanting those. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have and are you a popular; there is still sadly a big chance that you have received one. And even after you say or write that you don’t want those or ask them to stop, a lot of men then become aggressive and make you feel like you are guilty for receiving it. This has happened to me.
How often has one of us received a flirty message to our inbox? Many, many times (I have stopped counting)! Sometimes, they are nice. But sometimes, they are ugly and they are shockingly disgusting and perverse, and the only thing you can do is to block the person. There are also messages and chats that start nice but then they turn around into something sexual. The worst thing about those is that when you say “no” or stop replying, the messages just keep on coming, you are being called names. Does this makes things better? No, it makes things worse. Just accept NO as an answer, no matter what situation is. Don’t push yourself onto the other person just because YOU want something.
Trigger warning part of my post is starting here
Are you, as a woman, afraid to walk home at night, especially if there are not that many lights around? I am, I really am afraid of that. As many of us have learned from the very young age, I often walk home with my keys in my hand in order to be able to protect myself. How often have many of us heard not to stay in the car in the parking lot in order to be safe?! So often! When I’m driving alone at night, the first thing I do after getting into the car is locking the doors from the inside. Just this winter, I was walking home from the train station around 8pm (mind you, I’m living 10 minutes away from the train station). On the other side of the street, there were 3 boys walking (age 14-16). They noticed me soon after and crossed the street to walk behind me, started thowing some comments and also playing music. I picked up the pace, but they followed. I walked into my apartment building and walked straight into my flat and into the kitchen. I live on the ground floor and they would see the light in my living room if I went in there. The next 15 minutes, they stood under my living room window (while I was still hiding in the kitchen) and they were blasting the music so loudly until my neighbor screamed at them to get lost or he will call the police. This and many other stories has happened to so many other women.
On one of the other occasions, I was walking from the store when I saw two kids, around 10, fighting at the street. Siblings, a brother and the sister. Boy obviously being older. They were walking in front of me but he was screaming at her so loudly that probably the whole neighborhood has heard it. I think he wanted her to go back to the store and buy something from him, which she didn’t want to do. He started pulling her around, even pulling her by her hair, telling her that she HAS to do it. At her every ‘no’, he came more and more aggressive towards her. The girl soon started crying and was trying to literally run away from him. There were grown up people walking by, not doing anything aside shaking their heads and muttering under their breaths how rude he was. At one point, he mentioned that if she doesn’t do it, he will tell the dad and he will beat her. This was the tipping point to me and I got in between. Sadly, I don’t know what happened to the girl because she refused my asks to take her home so I didn’t want to push, but I hope that the little girl is safe. It made me question; how is their dad acting towards their mom? Where this little boy learn to act like this towards his own sister? He was not above 12 years old.
Often when sexual abuse or harrassment happens, the women are questioned what they were wearing at that time. Many of them didn’t wear anything that screamed “abuse me”. But, why does it even matter what we were wearing when we were abused?! Why is it the something so important? It doesn’t matter what we were wearing at the point that sexual abuse has happened and it shouldn’t even be the question. What was I wearing when the guy pressed me against the wall and tried to kiss me and touch me? I just came back from the handball training, around 10am. I was wearing shorts and sweaty shirt. Every day, I was passing by his house on the way to mine. That day, he pushed me into the small storage room in the basement. I was 12 and he was 17 or 18. The pictures of that are still so vivid in my brain and it took me until the last year to realize that it was abuse. It took me 14 years to realize that I was abused. After I ran away (a lot of pinching and punching was involved from a 12 year old me), he was laughing and acted like nothing has happened every single times our paths would cross.
Trigger warning of my post is done
For the man that say “Not all men are like this”; yes, you’re right. Not all the men are like this but we ask you, the guys that are different, to be louder and to hold those men accountable! Call them out, tell them that what they have done, isn’t okay. Teach your sons (and your daughters) that this behavior isn’t to be tolerated. Treat your girlfriends, wives, daughters as if you would treat any other guy. Treat your female co-workers with the same respect you treat your male co-workers. This has to stop and we have power to do that. Don’t throw “men haters” at us women when we are talking about our bad experiences with men. Instead, show us the other side of the medal and show us with gestures that not all men are like this.
Love and light,