#YesAllWomen


It breaks my heart to read all the #YesAllWomen tags on Facebook and Twitter over the last day or so, and I'm so happy that its starting so many conversations.

It seems like violence against women is everywhere I look, every night on TV, all across the internet.  How are we as a society failing women so badly?  And why is it that we keep blaming the victims? Its ridiculous!

As a mother of daughters, I don't want to have to teach them how to not get raped as they live their lives, I want them to feel confident in their ability to say No, and have it respected.  Unfortunately that's not the world we live in.  We live in a world that no matter what I teach them, society will tell them that if they are raped, its their own fault, because they flirted, because they wore a short skirt, because they were "asking for it"  And that is complete bullshit.

When I was seventeen, I was sexually assaulted while at work, by my sixty year old boss.  At the trial, there were more questions about what I was wearing, and whether or not I was "friendly" then there were about the the actual circumstances of the assault. I was asked questions about my personal life, about my boyfriend, questions that had no bearing at all to the trial.  In what messed up world is that ok?   I remember feeling let down by my "trial", I felt that they didn't really fight for me, and now I know why.
I was a pretty seventeen girl, I had obviously been asking for it.

The current generation of parents has the power to shift this blame back to where it belongs.  We need to change the way we talk to our children, "boys will be boys" is fine if were talking about playing with trucks or jumping in puddles, it is NOT an acceptable excuse for pressuring their teenage girlfriends, or for disrespecting women, any woman.  And it is definitely not a good enough excuse as to why they couldn't control themselves around a girl in a tank top.

As a mother I will teach my daughters how not to get raped, I will teach them and  I will pray that my lessons are never put to the test.
At the same time though, I will teach my son to be a man.  I will teach him that a real man respects women as human beings, and that it doesn't matter if she is standing in front of you naked with " take me " written on her forehead in lipstick, if she says no, its no.


#YesAllWomen deserve respect
#YesAllWomen are human beings
#YesAllWomen have the right to say No

and its about time we start acting like it

7 comments:

  1. Amen!! Time for change!! What is happening to the world when it's OK and normal to be bullied, sexually assaulted, depressed, etc on a daily basis???

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  2. Having two daughters and two sons I agree. We have the power to teach our sons the right way to treat women. we have the power to teach our daughters what she deserves and how she should be treated. Knowledge is power

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  3. I have full body chills reading this. I'm sorry you had to experience this first hand and just as sorry that your trial was so unjust, erring on the fault of you as the victim. So upsetting, yet still rings so true even now. I really hope things change as far as perspective and ignorance, and yes - it boils down to how we teach our children. Great post!!

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  4. What a powerful post you have written! I am so sad that you had this horrific experience but very proud that you have taken a stand and are fighting for change! It makes me sick that any girl or women would be made to endure a sexual assault. I am ashamed that we live in a society that punishes a women for being female and allows men to escape responsibility for their crimes. I have taught my daughter everything I can in the hopes of keeping her safe, but we all know that often, it is not enough. We have also taught our son treat women with respect and that no means no! Hopefully, with people like you rallying for change, male society will soon see this behavior as totally unacceptable!

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  5. Oy, I've been up a couple nights now reading through this hashtag. Although I've not been sexually assaulted, I found myself nodding along with so many of the tweets... it really hit home how much of a problem we have.

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  6. Well said. I am sorry you had to live through this. As a mom with young daughters, as a woman, heck, as a human, it breaks my heart that this conversation is still required. Basic rights. Every deserves to be comfortable in their own body and to be left the heck alone.

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  7. What a compelling and touching post, Jaymi. I can't believe the world we live in thinks it's ok to make the victim a victim again (in court, or in the court of people's opinions). I, too, have a boy and a girl. I teach my daughter AND son modesty, and both of them respect for others. My son knows that it's not cool to be rough, especially with girls, and I go out of my way to teach him respect for the opposite sex. Thank you for this post and for sharing your experiences.

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