If we are lucky, as little girls the grown ups in our life talk to us very early on about inappropriate touch and our bodies. Too many of us are not so lucky to have grown ups that care for us that way in our lives, but either way, talk or no talk, most of us are broken by the uninvited sexual touch of others at some point in our lives.
They are brothers, boyfriends, fathers, uncles, employers, boyfriends, and health care providers. They are coaches, neighbors, priests, counselors and babysitters. They are too many to name, and they break us.
-20% of us will be sexually assaulted in our lives.
-25% of us will experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner.
-65 % of us will experience sexual harassment in our lives.
These numbers are based on reported cases so the numbers are likely much higher.
The #metoo movement is giving a voice to us a collective, a battlecry, a slogan that too many of us have needed to too long. The sense that enough is enough and we won’t tolerate this shit anymore is mounting. But to what end? How does this really change?
Women, we need to act, always in the defense of self. Our individual selves and our collective selves. We need to support one another in these acts of defense in word, deed, and intent. The world has not been created to keep us safe, to enable us to act in defense of self, because to do so, it has been told to us, is a zero sum game and in that game, men loose. They lose face, confidence, access to our bodies at any time they want it, and the lose the social protections they’ve enjoyed.
So it’s time, ladies, for us to make the rules to the new game in town, our game: in defense of self. Ourself, women-self. These rules will protect us, punish those who hurt and hunt us, and will promote a culture of consent. Are you in? Let’s go.