I, like most of the country, spent last week – and really, this week – wrapped up in the Kavanaugh hearings. It was a topic of my communication classes, and I could not stop watching.
My heart hurts for the people who are suffering – those who are on the national scene and those who are watching this and reliving their own painful experiences.
I should have stayed off of social media – really. I absolutely should have never gone to Facebook, never gone to Twitter – but I did anyway. And I saw it – the one post that I can’t get out of my head, can’t stop thinking about. It was from a female and said something on the basis of, “I don’t see what the big deal is. I’ve been sexually assaulted multiple times, and I never made a big deal out of it.”
Did you just feel the breath rush out of your body like you’d been hit? Because I did, even typing it nearly a week later. And that wasn’t the only one I saw similar to that, either. I told my husband it reminded me so much of a scene from “Sharp Objects” (semi-spoiler alert coming) where the Amy Adams’ character sees a man from her past who sexually assaulted her. He is apologetic, and she shrugs him off like it was no big deal.
But it was. It is.
Sexual assault, at any age, at any point in your life, is a really big deal. Whether it went all the way to rape or not and whether it happened when you were in high school, college, or whenever — it is a really big deal.
Let me say it louder for the people in the back: IT IS A REALLY BIG DEAL.
Never let anyone tell you differently.
I am thankful to live in the time of the #metoo movement. I am thankful to live in a time when people are beginning to realize that consent – at any time, date, or place – is mandatory. I am thankful that I am raising my daughters in a time when the boys around them will see what happens when “boys will be boys” and cross a line. I am thankful I have a husband who understands that my body did not become his property when we said “I do,” and that he daily seeks to earn the privilege of intimacy (an approach of daily consent), believing I have the right to say “yes” or “no” joyfully.
I hear the arguments against this all the time, people saying that girls need to dress in a certain way or not go to frat parties or, “Well, I guess boys will have to get a form sign and notarized for just saying hello to a girl.” For the last part – what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong about people thinking just a little before speaking? I know I need to think before I speak on a daily basis. Why shouldn’t we all take a page out of that politeness book?
People are discussing this, and that is a good thing. People are asking questions, and that is a good thing. And while it is sadly such a prevalent problem in society, one thing needs to be stated very clearly:
Sexual assault – yeah. It is a big deal.