Receive Updates From Writer
Get the latest stories in your inbox
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.
You may be triggered, so only read if you can. My love to all who have suffered; I wouldn’t wish trauma on anyone. Bear with me as I flesh out my thoughts.
The “chuckle” heard around the country last week has given rise to backlash I never thought possible. On one hand, jokes about sexual harassment in an elevator really aren’t that funny. Neither is the fact that someone can go through a traumatic violation of their body and mind and have trouble revealing this information for years.
On the other hand though, I did laugh too. Initially. I, like the minister, couldn’t seem to understand what the whole fuss was. You were “possibly” assaulted five years ago, and just now have the freedom to speak? Hmmm….
I remember getting one of my female friends very upset. She asked me what I would say if I had a daughter, and my best friend turned out to be sexually abusing her for the last ten years. My response was, “Well, she not dead. Her mouth works. Why shi never say nutten mek mi kill di bwoy?” Apparently, this was the wrong response and I’m not allowed to have views on this topic at all.
I’m not someone who has a lot of compassion – neither for myself or anyone else. I’ve known people very close to me who have been through all kinds of abuse, and I have my own abusive tendencies. I may not be filled with the same level of socially required shock and outrage as everyone else. I just find it incredulous that in a world where we see things are wrong, and we know things are wrong, we’re still willing. Willing to be silent. Willing to be angry without explanation. Willing to let things be. Willing to let our officials treat the matter with little importance, even when these cases are reported. Yes, it takes bravery to come out with your story, and it takes wisdom to ensure that the right objectives are achieved. But when we don’t fully utilize the spaces where these conversations can and must be held, then do you really think your anger serves any purpose?
Let me try another way to express my points, which may be angering you regardless by now. The focus tends to be heavily on women who are assaulted, and rightly so in my opinion. For too long we have ignored the plights of girls and women, and we are now reaping the moldy harvest. Compare this to abuse experienced by men. I still have to hold down a laugh when trying to imagine a man being raped. I just can’t understand. It just doesn’t come to the imagination that this is a serious matter. Maybe I’d need to hear someone’s story, or maybe if the legal environment actually took it into consideration then I’d find it to be a serious occurrence. Right now, though, I have to try to care about it – even though I know I‘d hate for that to happen to me. Imagine my difficulty then, in caring about the woman’s case. It’s not so much about who was assaulted, but the ways and means by which we stigmatize and play eenie-meenie-minie-mo with our next course of action. Is justice really being served, at all?
I don’t have the answers, but I do know that silence will achieve nothing. We must keep talking about these things. We must keep turning stomachs and annoying the unconcerned; that’s the only reason I care now. We must keep raising awareness. I’m not saying you have to make your details open knowledge for everyone, but Lord knows that if you’re strong enough to manage such a thing, your story would help.
Simply hearing that rape and assault is bad does nothing to the unconcerned majority, in my opinion.
Blessings and Healing in abundance.