It’s been some weeks now since Ashley Judd and others found the courage and the right time to finally speak up about the sexual harassment that happened to her years ago against a mighty man of their business so that he had to face some serious consequences.
Many more brave people followed with daring to speak about sexual harassment and sexual violence they suffered. Often when they were young and vulnerable.
The topic became one to be discussed in private conversations, in business conversations.
A very eye opening and shocking result of such conversations is the impression I got, that no woman, not a single one, grew up without being the victim to unwanted sexual advances by men. Very very often it’s their bosses.
I haven’t met women who say they were actually raped during this last weeks.
But each and every one I spoke to has endured unwated touching, verbal sexual offers or offends.
We’re not far enough yet to talk about sexual violence against men in my office for example.
But it seems to be nearly as common as violence against women.
One thing I also learned about this topic is, that we all deal differently with it.
I’ve met peopke who still say that sexuality is a means of domination for most mammals. And as we humans are mammals it could be regarded as natural behaviour for us too.
I’ve met people who say that those saying #MeToo should get over it. As long as it’s not really rape (but just a boss touching them unwanted for example) they should simply ignore it.
In very many cases I guess thats what people actually do.
Or at least pretend to do.
Because there is one common thing I see in the reports of all those who are brave enough to speak up publicly.
They all talk about how much that particular experience influenced them, the way they see themselves, their further interaction with other people, their health.
To me it looks as if just very few can really get over it, forget it, get on with life as if nothing bad happened.
There is some logic in this.
Because sexual dominence (lived out in what way ever and by whom ever) only makes sence to those using it, if it has an effect. If it were not effective mammals would have found other ways of dominating each others. The hugest effect such domination can have, is that the dominated person stays in fear of rebelling against their dominator. That obviously works especially good with sexual dominance.
But we humans have already gone a long way away from our natural behaviour to live in societies so close together that we can mostly only exist on learned behaviour. We spend a lot of time teaching our children how to survive or better to thrive in our societies. We spend a lot of time to teach them that some impulses are inappropriate and that if they include violence they aren’t tolerated.
And while lot of people, even women go through life without being beaten up not a single one goes through life without being sexually bothered.
It seems that behaviour education fails hugely at this point.
Looking at how sexuality is seen these days that isn’t surprising.
We talk about it much opener and also much more publicly.
But we’re not more respectful about that towards other people.
As long as we comment on „peach butts“ or alow ourselves to openly discuss the explosion of ovaries because a certain actor took off his clothes we have to face the fact that all of that is modern day sexism. Carried out by all genders against all genders.
Commenting someone’s bodily features as sexy or in connection with sexuality is verbal domination and shows little respect. That counts for men and women.
It’s perhaps a bit similar to how we deal with other temptations. Smoking for example. It seems to bring some delight but we know it’s harmful at the same time. And although we know that everybody would be better off without it, we have huge difficulties in letting it be. We even throw values like personal freedom into the ring to justify that we still do it.
And as we believe that smoking is our personal right and freedom, many people believe that it’s their right of talking their opinion freely to make sexist comments.
But it is not. Sexism isn’t an opinion. It’s an offence.
Sexual dominance isn’t our personal freedom. Neither done in direct contact as violence or unwanted touchings nor in a verbal way done by objectifying a person.
Let’s teach that to our children…it’s in our hands❗️<<